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
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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