You can make a moist, tender AND gluten-free meatloaf!!!

Meatloaf is an old-school recipe that most of us ate as children. It might not be the sexiest meal to make, but damn is it good, especially a day or two later.  When making a gluten-free meatloaf, it’s best to ditch the bread and use potato flakes instead. I learned this tip from America’s Test Kitchen and now my meatloaf is tender and juicy just like the versions made with bread and milk.  GF bread just doesn’t soften and add the tenderness like regular bread does, so it’s time to re-envision your Mom’s meatloaf if you need to be gluten-free.  Read more about Potato Flakes and how to use them here.

jar of potato flakes fallen over with some flakes spilling out

Potato Flakes will keep your meatloaf juicy and tender

There are lots of herbs and vegetables in this version which are worth the extra chopping time. Double the recipe and make some meatballs so your prep time leaves you meals for a couple of days.  I bake this meatloaf on a baking sheet instead of in a loaf pan so all the grease can move away. I found my meatloaf was boiling in its own oils and juices in a loaf pan. Plus the texture of the sides really improves by being touched by direct heat instead of being hidden in a loaf pan.

Try these extra Special Ingredients!

I highly recommend trying the Epicurious.com recipe version which adds bacon and prunes to your mixture. I thought it was a strange addition the first time I read their recipe, but I am SO GLAD I tried it. The sweetness of the prunes adds something special to your meatloaf that you can’t quite put your finger on. And bacon makes everything better:  Add ¼ pound cooked bacon (about 4 slices) and ¼ cup pitted prunes.  The sweetness of the prunes along with the salty bacon will transform your meatloaf!!!  Put the bacon and prunes in the food processor and chop up well before adding in.  Reduce the salt to 1 tsp.

Some Cooking Tips

  • Cut the veggies as small as possible. They are there for flavor, but if they are too big, they will make your meatloaf crumble.
  • Give the veggies a quick saute’ or the carrots may be a little hard even after baking. Also, sauteing will improve their flavor.
  • Use a meat thermometer! It’s the only way to know the middle of your meatloaf is fully cooked. I love the Thermapen.
  • Let the meat sit out on the counter for 30 minutes before assembling to help bring it to room temperature. Baking a cold meatloaf will ensure the middle doesn’t cook.
  • Let it rest! I know it smells amazing and you can’t wait to dive in, but resting will help keep the moisture in the meat instead of all over your cutting board
  • After mixing the meat and all the spices, cook a small piece in a frying pan to test the salt level. Taking this extra step will help you to know that you got the right level of seasoning.

Meatloaf Ingredients in bowls assembled on marble kitchen counter

How to make Gluten-Free Meatloaf just like your Mom’s

(Scroll down for the printable version of the recipe)

Ingredients

2 tsp olive oil
½ small onion, chopped fine, (about ¾ cup chopped)
1 medium celery rib, finely chopped (about ½ cup chopped)
1 medium carrot, finely chopped (about ¼ cup chopped)
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup milk, unsweetened soy, rice or almond or stock
1 egg
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 rounded tbsp minced parsley
¼ cup potato flakes
1 ½ pound ground beef
½ pound ground pork
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
½ cup ketchup

Procedure

1)  Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2)  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. (I use a half or quarter size sheet pan).

3)  Heat a medium saute’ pan over medium high heat, add the oil and then the onions, celery and carrots. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and stir, another 30 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside.

Bowl with all the wet ingredients from the recipe along with the herbs and potato flakes

4)  In a large mixing bowl big enough for the meat, whisk together the milk or stock, and egg. Then add all the seasonings to the bowl: mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, parsley and potato flakes. Mix well.

5)  Add ground beef and pork to the bowl along with the sautéed onions, salt and pepper and knead until thoroughly combined.

Meat mixture has been shaped into a loaf on a foil lined baking sheet

6)  Shape mixture into a loaf shape on the foil lined baking sheet. Spread ketchup over the top and place in oven.  Bake for 70 to 80 minutes or until internal temperature registers at 160 degrees.

7)  Let meatloaf cool for 15 minutes before cutting.

ENJOY!

slice of gluten free meatloaf on a white plate with a fork holding a bite

PRINTABLE VERSION

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sliced gluten free meatloaf on white plate

Gluten-Free Meatloaf Recipe

  • Author: Andrea Sprague
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 80 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Meatloaf is an old-school recipe that most of us ate as children. It might not be the sexiest meal to make, but damn is it good, especially a day later. For a tender and moist gluten free meatloaf, you will use potato flakes instead of bread crumbs. Look for plain, unseasoned potato flakes, usually near the rice in the store.

I add lots of herbs and vegetables which are worth the extra chopping time. Double the recipe and make some meatballs so your prep time leaves you meals for a couple days.


Ingredients

Scale

2 tsp olive oil
½ small onion, chopped fine, (about ¾ cup chopped)
1 medium celery rib, finely chopped (about ½ cup chopped)
1 medium carrot, finely chopped (about ¼ cup chopped)
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup milk, unsweetened soy, rice or almond or stock
1 egg
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 rounded Tbsp minced parsley
¼ cup potato flakes
1 ½ pound ground beef
½ pound ground pork
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
½ cup ketchup


Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  3. Heat a medium saute’ pan over medium high heat, add the oil and then the onions, celery and carrots. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and stir, another 30 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk or stock, and egg. Then add all the seasonings to the bowl: mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, parsley and potato flakes. Mix well.
  5. Add ground beef and pork to the bowl along with the sautéed onions, salt and pepper and knead until thoroughly combined.
  6. Shape mixture into a loaf shape on the foil lined baking sheet. Spread ketchup over the top and place in oven.  Bake for 70 to 80 minutes or until internal temperature registers at 160 degrees.  Let meatloaf cool for 15 minutes before cutting.

Notes

Add Bacon and Prunes: Try the Epicurious.com recipe version. Add ¼ pound cooked bacon (about 4 slices) and ¼ cup pitted prunes.  The sweetness of the prunes along with the salty bacon will transform your meatloaf!!!  Put the cooked bacon and prunes in the food processor and chop up well before adding in. Reduce the salt to 1 tsp.

Cut the veggies as small as possible. They are there for flavor, but if they are too big, they will make your meatloaf crumble.

Use a meat thermometer! It’s the only way to know the middle of your meatloaf is fully cooked. Let the meat sit out on the counter for 30 minutes before assembling to help bring it to room temperature. Baking a cold meatloaf will ensure the middle doesn’t cook.

Let it rest! I know it smells amazing and you cant wait to dive in, but resting will help keep the moisture in the meat instead of all over your cutting board

After mixing the meat and all the spices, cook a small piece in a frying pan to test the salt level. Taking this extra step will help you to know that you got the right level of seasoning.

Bake on a half or quarter size baking sheet. It will be easier to lift in and out of the oven.

Keywords: gluten free meatloaf recipe

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