Gluten Free Meatloaf Recipe

Published on May 22, 2023

  by   Kristina Stosek

5 reviews

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 50 minutes Serves: 6 - 8
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This gluten free meatloaf is moist and tender with a perfect slice. Adding fresh grated veggies, such as cabbage, carrots, and onions, and a sweet caramelized tomato topping, will provide an extra boost of nutrition and flavor to this homemade gluten free meatloaf recipe.

gluten free meatloaf on a serving dish with carrots

Why we love meatloaf?

Meatloaf is a beloved comfort food that embodies the authentic flavor of home and togetherness. It has a rich history in American cuisine and our love for great southern food. 

What is a meatloaf?

Meatloaf is made from ground meat, typically beef, mixed with other ingredients such as breadcrumbs, eggs, onions, and spices. The mixture is then formed into a loaf shape and baked in an oven. 

It can be served hot or cold and with gravy. Meatloaf is a popular comfort food in many countries, including the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. It is often served as a main course for dinner, and leftovers can be used for sandwiches or other dishes.

uses for leftover meatloaf

There are many creative ways to use leftover meatloaf. Here are some ideas:

Meatloaf Sandwich: Slice the leftover meatloaf and place it between two slices of bread with your favorite condiments.

Meatloaf Hash: Chop up the leftover meatloaf into small pieces and fry it up with potatoes, onions, and any other vegetables you like.

Meatloaf Tacos: Heat the leftover meatloaf and use it as a filling for tacos.

Meatloaf Stuffed Peppers: Cut the tops off bell peppers and remove the seeds—stuff the peppers with leftover meatloaf and top with our easy to make gluten free gravy. Bake in the oven until the peppers are tender.

Meatloaf Shepherd’s Pie: Layer leftover meatloaf in the bottom of a baking dish, add some gravy, and top with mashed potatoes. Bake until heated through.

Meatloaf Meatballs: Mix leftover meatloaf with grated parmesan, eggs, and Italian spices. Roll into meatballs and bake in the oven. Brush with olive oil if needed.

Meatloaf Quesadillas: Heat the leftover meatloaf and use it as a filling for quesadillas with cheese and vegetables.

These are just a few ideas, but there are many other ways to use leftover meatloaf. 

ingredients for gluten free meatloaf in a bowl, spices, breadcrumbs, ketchup


What is a gluten free meatloaf?

A gluten-free meatloaf should have the same delicious flavor and texture as a traditional meatloaf without gluten-containing ingredients. Here are some tips for making a wicket gluten-free meatloaf:

Use gluten-free breadcrumbs or substitute them with almond flour, oat flour, or cornmeal.

Use gluten-free Worcestershire sauce or substitute with balsamic vinegar or tamari sauce.

Use gluten-free ketchup or tomato sauce.

Add moisture to the meatloaf using grated vegetables like zucchini, carrots, cabbage or mushrooms.

Add flavor to the meatloaf using herbs and spices like garlic, onion powder, paprika, or thyme.

Use lean ground beef, pork, chicken, or turkey, or a combination of any two, to keep the meatloaf from becoming too greasy.

Bake the meatloaf in a loaf pan, and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Ground beef recipes are very popular, check out our 20 Best Gluten-Free Ground Beef Recipes

Do you have to use eggs in a gluten free meatloaf recipe?

Eggs are often used in traditional meatloaf recipes to bind the ingredients together and add moisture, but several egg substitutes can be used in gluten-free meatloaf recipes. Here are some options:

Applesauce: Substitute 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce for each egg.

Mashed Potatoes: Substitute 1/4 cup mashed potatoes for each egg.

Chia Seeds: Mix 1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water to replace each egg.

Flaxseed: Mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water to replace each egg.

Silken Tofu: Blend 1/4 cup of silken tofu to replace each egg.

Using any of these substitutes should help bind the ingredients together and add moisture to the meatloaf without using eggs. 

However, remember that the meatloaf’s texture and flavor may be slightly different than if eggs were used.

cabbage, carrots and onions chopped in a food processor

Add grated vegetables for moisture, flavor, and nutrition.

Here is a list of grated vegetables to use in a gluten free meatloaf recipe:

Zucchini: This squash is a great choice for meatloaf because it has a mild flavor and adds moisture without overpowering the other ingredients.

Carrots: Carrots add natural sweetness and moisture to the meatloaf and a bright color.

Onion: Grated onion adds flavor and moisture to the meatloaf. It also helps to bind the ingredients together.

Mushrooms: Mushrooms add a meaty texture and umami flavor to the meatloaf. They also contain a lot of moisture.

Bell Pepper: Grated bell pepper adds a sweet and slightly tangy flavor to the meatloaf. It also adds moisture and color.

Sweet Potato: Grated sweet potato adds natural sweetness and moisture to the meatloaf. It also provides a boost of nutrients like vitamin A and fiber.

Green cabbage: Cabbage adds flavor, fiber, and moisture

overview of uncooked meatloaf in a loaf pan brushed with ketchup and brown sugar

toppings for a gluten free meatloaf

Popular toppings for meatloaf include gluten free ketchup or BBQ sauce. Or a mixture of ketchup, brown sugar, and gluten-free Worcestershire sauce, or a combination of gluten-free ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard.

baking temperature

The best temperature to bake a meatloaf is typically 350°F (175°C). This temperature allows the meatloaf to cook evenly and thoroughly without drying out or burning. The internal temperature of the meatloaf should reach 160°F (71°C) 

I recommend using a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature to ensure that it is fully cooked. 

The cooking time will vary depending on the size and shape of the meatloaf, but it is typically between 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Does the meatloaf have to rest before slicing?

Yes, let the meatloaf rest for about 10-15 minutes after baking before slicing it. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meatloaf, making it more moist and flavorful. 

If you slice the meatloaf immediately after taking it out of the oven, the juices will run out, and it may become dry. 

Letting it rest makes it easier to slice the meatloaf without falling apart. Cover the meatloaf with parchment paper and a towel to keep it warm while it rests.

overview of baked meatloaf on a serving platter with carrots

Cover or not a gluten free meatloaf during baking?

Cover the meatloaf:

The meatloaf will retain moisture, and the top will be soft.

Don’t cover the meatloaf:

The meatloaf will be firmer with a crispy crust and have a wicket caramelized topping.

Whether you cover it or not during baking is a matter of personal preference and can depend on the desired texture and appearance of the meatloaf.

Is cooking with aluminum foil safe?

If you are covering your meatloaf with aluminum foil maybe try another option. As per Lily Nichols RDN some studies have suggested that high levels of aluminum in the body may be linked to health problems.

Aluminum foil can leach into food, especially when the food is acidic or salty or when the foil is heated. Therefore, to minimize potential health risks, it is recommended to avoid using aluminum foil with acidic or salty foods and use it sparingly.

Additionally, it is important to use aluminum foil correctly, such as not wrapping acidic foods in foil for long periods and not allowing the foil to touch the heating element in the oven or grill.

While there is no conclusive evidence that aluminum foil harms human health, it is recommended to use it cautiously and follow safe handling practices.

What can you use to replace aluminum foil?

If you prefer not to use aluminum foil in baking, there are a few alternatives that you can consider:

Parchment paper: Parchment paper is an excellent alternative to aluminum foil for lining baking sheets or wrapping food for baking. It is non-stick, heat-resistant, and can line baking sheets, wrap food, or create parchment paper pouches for cooking.

Silicone baking mats: Silicone baking mats are reusable, non-stick mats that can be placed on baking sheets to prevent food from sticking and to promote even baking. They are heat-resistant and can replace aluminum foil for baking.

Glass baking dishes: Glass baking dishes are a great alternative to aluminum foil for baking casseroles, lasagnas, and other dishes. They are heat-resistant, non-reactive, and often have lids. They can also be used in the microwave.

Metal baking dishes: Metal baking dishes such as stainless steel or a well-seasoned cast iron skillet can be used instead of aluminum foil. They are durable, heat-resistant, and can be used for various dishes.

sliced section of gluten free meatloaf with caramelized topping

My take on homemade gluten free meatloaf

Meatloaf is a dish that is often associated with nostalgia and comfort food. Many of us fondly remember eating meatloaf as a child at home or at a family gathering. It is a dish often passed down through generations and has been a staple in American cuisine for decades.

Meatloaf is a versatile dish that can be made in various ways with different meats, seasonings, vegetables, and toppings and gluten free. It is often served with classic sides such as mashed potatoes, green beans, peas, carrots, and gravy, which adds to its nostalgic appeal.

The simplicity of meatloaf is also part of its charm. This dish can be made with basic ingredients often found in the pantry, making it an easy and budget-friendly meal. A couple of sides I like to add are Maple Ginger Roasted Carrots or Green Beans with Maple Bacon & Ginger.

Meatloaf is a dish that has stood the test of time and is a beloved comfort food for many people, even those following a gluten free diet.

Let’s Connect!

Many thanks!

Kristina xx

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very good. I love the texture so smooth and perfect to add to my salads :-)

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