Gluten Free Meatloaf Recipe: The Ultimate Weeknight Comfort Food

Gluten-Free Meatloaf: Do you think if someone is really good at something they should just have the job?

gluten-free meatloaf with sides of buckwheat salad and mashed potatoes.

Gluten-free meatloaf with sides of buckwheat salad and mashed potatoes.

That's what I told my husband as I was dishing out my second helping of his mouthwatering homestyle gluten-free meatloaf.  I'm the chef in the family but I haven't made meatloaf since.  (There's a story about laundry but that's for another day)

Well I picked his brain and dragged the recipe out of him so I could share it with you.

Skip right to the recipe if you like, or read through to get some important information on making your gluten-free meatloaf a success. 

The Ingredients

The Meat

All whole fresh cuts of meat are naturally gluten free, so you don't need to worry about gluten when choosing the meat for your gluten-free meatloaf.  That is, so long as you're getting plain ground meat.  Sausage or anything that has seasonings or fillers may contain gluten.  Check the label or talk to your butcher if you're not sure.

Beef is Bonnie, but Pork on Your Fork?

As the title suggests, this is kind of the key ingredient.  It's two pounds of ground meat and a lean ground beef works wonderfully.  But, if you really want to deepen the flavor of your gluten-free meatloaf and ensure there are no leftovers to worry about, try 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 ground pork.  It kicks the comfort food rating of this recipe up to lazy-boy territory.

We've not tried this with ground turkey or chicken but if you do, I'd love to hear how it works out. 

Game Meat

Last year we were lucky enough to get some ground moose meat from a hunter friend and decided to incorporate it into this gluten-free meatloaf recipe.  What could be more authentic than hunting your own meat and making into such a down to earth homestyle dish?  We did the half and half thing again as I find straight moose or venison if it's wild is just a little too gamey.  So we did half moose and half beef.  It truly was amazing.  The moose gave it that bit of je ne sais quoi, and the beef balanced it out so that it was beautifully subtle. 

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Turkey or Chicken

Ground turkey and chicken tend to be a bit dry and bland on their own, so they need a bit of help.  You could try half and half with beef or pork, though that might defeat the purpose of using chicken or turkey which is usually to reduce fat and red meat consumption.  Another option is to add some chopped mushroom and fresh garlic.  Mushroom is rich in umami which is the fifth core taste alongside sweet, sour, salty, and bitter, and it will add the depth and mouth feel that your ground meat is missing.  You could also soak your oats or breadcrumbs in milk to rehydrate them and give your gluten-free meatloaf the moisture it needs. 

Safely Cooking Ground Meat

Ground meat should always be cooked to well done to prevent food borne illness.  Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness.  Well done is 71°C to 82°C or 160°F to 180°F.

The Bread

Breadcrumbs are traditionally added to meatloaf to act, along with the eggs, as a binder and a filler.  They hold moisture and help to hold the whole thing together without it being too dense.  You can use gluten-free breadcrumbs, but I like the texture that gluten-free rolled oats gives to the meatloaf, and it add to the fiber and nutritional profile.  

About Eggs

If you're intolerant to eggs, you can still enjoy gluten-free meatloaf.  You have two options.  1. just leave out the eggs.  It will totally work and will be delicious.  It just may not hold together quite as well,  If this doesn't bother you then you're good to go.  2. Try an egg replacer.  Commercial egg replacers like Bob's Red Mill, are made with gums that swell up and turn viscous with moisture.  That will help to hold your meatloaf together.  Another option is flax eggs.  

Keto Version

There are 2 elements you need to tweak to make this meatloaf keto-friendly. 

First is the oatmeal.  Keto is grain free so oats are a no-no.  You have a few options to replace the oatmeal in this recipe:

1.  Simply leave it out.  Your meatloaf will still taste great.  It might be a little denser, 

2. Replace the oatmeal with the same amount of ground pork rinds.  You can buy the pork rinds in a bag similar to potato chips.  The pork rinds will give you that extra bit of moisture retention and texture that you're looking for with a complimentary flavor.

3.  Add 2 tbsp ground flax seed.  This will give you the binding power that the oatmeal provides and will also hold the moisture.

The second element is the glaze.  You can simply leave it off, or spread tomato paste on your meatloaf.  It  will caramelize nicely in the oven and taste wonderful. 

Gluten-Free Meatloaf - The Recipe


The Meatloaf:

2 pounds of ground beef, or 1 pound each of ground beef and ground pork.

1/c cup of gluten free oatmeal.  You can also use gluten-free breadcrumbs.

2 eggs 

1 onion finely diced

2 tbsp. tomato paste

1tbsp. gluten-free Worcestershire Sauce

1 tsp each garlic salt and onion salt

Salt & pepper to taste

The Glaze:

1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tsp mustard

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Preheat oven to 350°F

Mix all the meatloaf ingredients together. 

Form into 2 loaves. 

Mix the glaze ingredients together.

Spread over the two loaves.

Bake in 350 oven for about 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 160°F or 71°C.

Let rest for a few min then slice and serve

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