This paleo meatloaf sneaks in some veggies for a complete meal!! I have also modified this recipe to be keto, and Whole30 friendly….the options are endless!!
Meatloaf is a favorite comfort food for my husband. When I first learned this when we were young and dating….I didn’t get it. I certainly didn’t have any fond memories of the loaves of meat to hit our dinner table growing up! They were just too…well….meaty. Of course, it IS a meatloaf!!
Today my pallet is greatly changed (thank goodness for that!)
But it took many years to finally get the hang of making a meatloaf that I can enjoy right along with my dear hubby. Of course my version contains whole grains (or not!), fiber, and lots of veggies. I frequently add a bit of whatever needs to be used up if I think it will taste good. So consider this recipe a springboard. A great basic paleo meatloaf to let your creative juices go crazy!
Adaptations and tips to make this the right paleo meatloaf for you:
- I really like adding the brown rice or quinoa as it makes a pound of meat go really far, and I usually have a sufficient amount left over to freeze into little mini loaves for another dinner. I frequently make a double batch to be sure of this.
- My preference is making little mini loaves as opposed to one giant loaf. I prefer more crunchy edges and less cook time, but you could of course modify the cooking time for a large loaf (about 45-60 minutes).
- If the mashed potatoes sound good to you, make your favorite basic mashed potatoes or cauliflower mash (mine had 1/4 sweet potato, 3/4 yellow potato), and add in some chipotle puree and Daiya cheese or cheddar for some added zang!
How do I make a Whole30 or keto meatloaf?
- Replace the brown rice/quinoa with another pound of a ground meat (turkey, pork, or beef),
- Instead of gluten free breadcrumbs, you can use a 1/2 cup almond flour or pork rind crumbs.
- Lastly, use your own favorite sugar free ketchup, this is one you could try!
And for those of you with picky eaters, mine always enjoy this dinner!
More gluten free family dinners using ground beef to try:
- Easy Cuban Picadillo
- Homemade Hamburger Helper
- Instant Pot Keto Bacon Cheeseburger Soup
- Paleo Pepperoni Pizza Casserole
Some roasted potato slices or red skinned mashed potatoes would make a great side to whichever meatloaf version YOU create!
Kid friendly meatloaf cupcakes?
Anyone has young kids knows, they LOVE novelty! I used this to my advantage when I used my meatloaf recipe to create meatloaf cupcakes! I piped some mashed garlic cheddar sweet potatoes on to the top to look like frosting!
Please refer to my shepard’s pie recipe for how to make a pipeable mashed potato or sweet potato frosting. The techniques are different.
Bake the meatloaf as directed and pipe the mashed potato through a large tip when you are ready to serve!
Paleo Meatloaf Recipe:
If you make this meatloaf, I want to hear about it! Please leave a comment below!
Paleo Sneaky Veggies Meatloaf
- 1 pound ground beef I prefer to use some that includes some fat, like an 85/15....it is still good with lean, but not much crispiness!
- 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa. Replace with another 1lb ground meat for Whole30, paleo, and keto version
- 1/2 cup almond flour OR pork rind crumbs OR gluten free bread crumbs
- 1 small sweet potato peeled, chunked. Omit for keto
- 1 small zucchini chunked
- 1 small onion chunked
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup any milk I use So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk
- 4 tablespoons ketchup may use any homemade or store bought unsweetened or keto versions
- 1 egg optional, I have made this without eggs with no issues!
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt increase to 1 1/2t if using additional ground meat
- 1/3 cup ketchup can use more if you like
- 2 teaspoons mustard
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha or other hot sauce optional
- 1 tablespoon palm sugar optional, omit for Whole30, replace with erythritol for a keto version.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
In a food processor, make your bread crumbs with 2-3 slices gluten free bread or pork rinds if necessary, and then pour into a large bowl, set aside.
In the same food processor bowl, add the sweet potato, zucchini, onion, and garlic and pulse until everything is finely minced (kids won't detect the vegetables this way!).
Mix the minced vegetables with the crumbs, along with all the remaining meatloaf ingredients (through the 3 tablespoons ketchup).
Mix well with your hands. But careful not to over-handle the meat as it will toughen it.
Stir together glaze ingredients.: 1/3 cup ketchup, mustard, and the optional Sriacha and palm sugar if using.
Form 8 mini loaves on a greased cookie sheet. Alternately, place into a loaf pan.
Spread the glaze evenly over the tops of each loaf.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes, until the desired crunchy edges (or lack thereof) suit your fancy and the meat is cooked through. If cooking one large loaf, increase cook time to apx 60 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
**Nutrition info in calculated for the first listed ingredients. If you make the keto version, approximate carbohydrate count is 4 grams per serving.
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I LOVED this recipe. I made it to share with my friend, who came over for a study break between nursing school finals, and he loved it so much, he licked his plate and asked for leftovers to take home! I used quinoa and almond flour and it worked great. I definitely prefer the patties to the loaf – thanks for the tip, Tessa! Will be making again for my family!
Tessa Simpson says
Awesome Lindsay!! Licked his plate huh…well, who am I say??!! Lots of ways to personalize this recipe, and quinoa is a great one!
Cherry Wilson says
I would be making the paleo option. So i know i can substitute almond flour for the bread crumbs but can i omit the brown rice? And if i do does that change the cooking time?
Thanks so much for your help?
Tessa Domestic Diva says
Yes, just leave the grain out and add additional ground meat if you like. Baking time would be the same Cherry!
Would love to try this, but have never made a meatloaf sans bread or bread crumbs. If I used the almond flour substitution, then I just use 1 cup of plain almond flour??
Tessa Domestic Diva says
Have you ever used this recipe to make meatballs?
Tessa Domestic Diva says
No, but should work seamlessly Erin!
Do you freeze it cooked or uncooked? How do you reheat? Thanks!
Tessa Domestic Diva says
Hi Jean! Good question. I freeze it uncooked, in mini loaves. When I a ready to cook, I take them out an hour before I am ready to cook and place directly on the baking sheet. I have Also cooked from frozen, but had to cook them longer!
This does look great! I will be trying this one!
Alea Milham says
What a delicious and healthy meatloaf. I love the ingredient list – I always enjoy finding unexpected ingredients! Thank you for sharing this with the Gallery of Favorites.
April @ The 21st Century Housewife says
This sounds like such a great way to enjoy meatloaf, but still cut back on the amount of meat! I also like the great selection of 'hidden' vegetables. Thank you so much for sharing this post with the Gallery of Favorites!
Hope you like this recipe as much as my family!
I love meatloaf, and the mashed potatoes sound so good too!
Found you at Allergy Friendly Friday.