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We’ve all had the traditional style meatloaf recipe that your grandmother makes that’s been in your family for generations. It’s comforting, delicious but unfortunately probably not good for any of your health goals. Most meatloaf recipes can be high in saturated fat from the ground beef or pork, unhealthy carbohydrates and sugars from the ketchup, brown sugar and bread crumbs and provide little to no nutrients.

If you love the taste of meatloaf but want to learn how to make it fit into your healthy lifestyle, then this article is for you! We’re going to give some tips on how to turn your typical meatloaf recipe into a nutritious and healthy dish. Plus, we even included a bunch of new recipes that you and your family will love! (Head straight to the end of the article if you’re here for recipes only.)

What’s In Traditional Meatloaf?

Your traditional “grandma’s” meatloaf recipe will usually contain ground beef, bread crumbs, onions, milk, eggs, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and variety of spices. The sauce that most meatloaves are topped with is made with more ketchup, brown sugar and red wine vinegar.

Making Healthy Meatloaf Recipes

There are a number of things you can do to ensure your meatloaf is healthier than the traditional style recipes. Instead of ground beef and pork, you can use ground turkey or chicken and keep it to 90% lean or leaner. Using egg whites instead of full eggs, will lower the fat content and remove some calories for the whole recipe. Adding Greek yogurt instead of milk will increase the amount of protein and provide good bacteria that is beneficial for a healthy gut flora. Omitting the breadcrumbs altogether or using a whole wheat version will decrease the unhealthy amount of carbs.

Creative Changes You Can Make To Meatloaf Recipes

If you want to jazz up your meatloaf recipe, here are some creative things to try! Adding in vegetables like zucchini, cauliflower, bell pepper or spinach will greatly increase the nutrient intake. This is a sneaky way to get your kids to eat more vegetables because they won’t even notice it! And you can sleep soundly knowing they’re eating more vegetables.

Instead of cooking a meatloaf in a normal 9 X 5 tin, you could try making mini loaves using a muffin tin. Or even making individual meatloaves in the size of patties. You get the same great taste, but in a fun, smaller form!

Making stuffed meatloaf peppers is another way to spruce you up your traditional meatloaf recipe. We have included this recipe at the bottom of this article!

Healthy Meatloaf Sauce
The typical sauce used to top meatloaf which can be high in sugar, calories and void in nutrients. (Ketchup is a sneaky food that has high amounts of sugar!)

To make a sauce for your new healthy meatloaf recipe, use ¼ cup tomato paste, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup and about 3 tablespoons warm water. Whisk everything until well combined and top your new healthy meatloaf.


Healthy Meatloaf Recipes

Below are some healthy meatloaf recipes to try out for dinner tonight!

Paleo Meatloaf

This recipe is grain, gluten and dairy free!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh or dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon fresh or dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary


  1. Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients until well combined.
  2. Pour the mixture into a 9 x 5 loaf pan and press down until evenly distributed. Press a bit more in the center for even baking.
  3. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the center is no longer pink.
  4. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing!
  5. Ready to serve!

Vegan Meatloaf

To make sure your plant-based friends or family members don’t feel left out!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 can of black-eyed peas
  • 12 oz. extra firm tofu, (1 block) drained and pressed to release all the water
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • ½ cup green onions
  • ¼ cup diced pecans
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mash peas in a large bowl. Then, crumble the tofu on top.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well combined.
  4. Transfer to a greased loaf pan.
  5. Bake for 45 – 60 minutes.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Vegan Cauliflower Lentil Loaf

Packed with plant-based protein, fiber and vegetables, this one will be a huge hit with your entire family.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup brown lentils, cooked
  • 3 cups Cauliflower, riced*
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • ½ cup green onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt

* To rice cauliflower, put the cauliflower in a food processor or high-speed blender and pulse until it becomes a “rice” consistency


  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. In a skillet, cook the green onion and pepper until soft. Remove from heat.
  3. In a large bowl or food processor, add all ingredients and combine well. (Doesn’t need to be smooth.)
  4. Add the mixture to a loaf pan that has been greased or add parchment paper. Press down evenly.
  5. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes.
  6. Let cool 5 minutes before slicing.
  7. Ready to serve!


Gluten-Free Turkey Meatloaf

Switch up your usual beef meatloaf for this turkey one and save tons of saturated fat! Plus it has red pepper which is packed with vitamin c.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 pound ground turkey, 99% lean
  • ½ large red pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup green onion, chopped
  • 6 oz. can of tomato paste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix until well combined.
  3. Pour mixture into greased loaf pan.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes.
  5. Let cool a few minutes before serving.
  6. Ready to serve!


Low-Carb Paleo Meatloaf

This recipe is low in carbs but adds some healthy fats from the flax seeds!

  • 1 pounds ground beef
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Any seasonings of choice


  1. Preheat over 350.
  2. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix until well incorporated.
  3. Pour mixture into a greased loaf pan.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
  6. Ready to serve!


Gluten-Free Chicken Meatloaf

These gluten-free Chicken meatloaf minis are made in a muffin tin and are always a hit with the whole family! Low in carbs and high in healthy fats and proteins… bonus!


Meatloaf Boats

A creative way to have your healthy meatloaf recipe: in a bell pepper! If you use a red bell pepper, it’s packed with vitamin C and adds a deliciously sweet flavor to a healthy meal!


Simple Healthy Meatloaf Recipe

A low-carb and gluten-free twist on a traditional meatloaf recipe. A favorite for everyone!


Happy cooking!

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