There are a few healthy recipes that make me feel like I’m home, and this low carb meatloaf recipe is one of them!
With meat, veggies and delicious sauce all in one pan, you can totally add this to your healthy casseroles recipe collection.
All I know is it’s extraordinarily delicious!
This tender and juicy meatloaf defies all low carb recipes stereotypes, and will definitely have you wanting to go back for more. In fact, you’ll be making this tangy and addictive sauce for all of your low carb casseroles… well, maybe not, but you will sop up each lost drop!
This classic and savory low carb meatloaf is a mouthwatering combination of meat and spices that puts regular versions to shame. Plus it’s:
- Inexpensive and easy to source ingredients
- Incredibly quick prep time – almost all of the cooking time is in the oven!
- A healthy version of everyone’s favorite comfort food!
After you make this low carb meatloaf once, you’ll be making it again and again!
Ground beef – When it comes to making low carb ground beef recipes, you want to make sure you’re getting a quality source of ground beef…
This healthy ground beef recipes best made with 80/20 (in my opinion!), BUT, it can stand meat with a lower percentage of fat because it has so many other flavor sources if that’s your preference.
Binding Agent – As you know, traditional meatloaf is made with loads of breadcrumbs. Instead, well toss in an extra egg and add a handful of cheese! What’s not to love about that?!
Sweetener (in the sauce) – This zero calorie sweetener tastes and acts just like sugar, without the metabolic effect on the body. This makes it the perfect ingredient for adding some sweetness to our flavorful sauce while keeping down the number of carbs in meatloaf.
Tools To Make
- Rimmed baking sheet – This baking sheet has a small ridge all along the edges and is sometimes called a jelly roll pan. This will allow heat to reach the meatloaf on all sides, but keep any drippings from making a mess of your oven.I MUCH prefer cooking meatloaf on a baking sheet, as cooking it in a bread pan traps the released liquid, which essentially “steams” the meatloaf instead of browning it (like this method does!).
- Parchment paper – this is a special silicone covered paper that makes baking everything a breeze! Different from wax paper, this sheet is oven safe and will keep your baking pan clean and your meatloaf from sticking!
For leftovers, simply store this low carb meatloaf in an airtight container and place it in the fridge. Honestly, meatloaf is often better the next day!
Reheat in the oven or toaster oven – make sure to top it with additional sauce before to reglaze the surface. You can microwave it, although I find the oven to be way tastier! OR, don’t heat it at all. YUP! Some folks love to eat meatloaf cold – try it, you might like it!
Can You Freeze This?
Meatloaf is a magical dish that does beautifully in the freezer. Wrap in freezer paper and an airtight container and store until you need a quick and delicious meal.
Thaw, then reheat in the oven, toaster oven or microwave for a world-class dish without any of the effort.
Meal Prepping Tips
This low carb meatloaf is a perfect addition to your list of healthy dinner ideas. You can make this meatloaf and slice it into 8 portions, or plan ahead and bake it muffin-style for a week of incredible low carb dinners in minutes!
Looking to spice things up? Let’s see what we can do with this classic meal!
Can I Add Veggies?
This low carb meatloaf is a fabulous place to sneak some veggies in since there are so many strong flavors and textures!
Just be sure to cook any veggies before adding them in — otherwise, they’ll release liquid into your low carb meatloaf recipe and will prevent it from staying together.
I love to mince up some mushrooms and add them in with the meat for amazing texture and some great vitamins. You could also mix in some cauliflower rice for a meatloaf cauliflower rice casserole!
Psst — looking for other great veggie casseroles, you can’t go wrong with this classic low carb green bean casserole. OR check out these mouthwatering zucchini enchiladas for a LOW CARB spin on the classic dish!
Can I Use Different Types Of Meat?
After MUCH testing, I found this particular recipe is best made with beef.
I tested out an Epicurious recommendation of using 75% beef and 25% pork, and couldn’t taste much of a difference, so I opted for all beef and was just as happy with the results (PLUS, it’s SO much easier to grab one type of meat!).
Now, if you’re interested in swapping in ground turkey or ground chicken, let me forewarn you that you run the risk of your low carb meatloaf coming out a bit dry.
Since these proteins are lower in fat, there isn’t as much “juice” to add to the mix (which is what makes traditional meatloaf SO delectable!).
That said, it can be done!
If you’re ok with slightly dryer meatloaf, just swap them in instead of beef! OR!! You can add more cheese and/or eggs to your turkey or low carb chicken casserole to offset this.
Know your cooking times will vary a bit, for ground turkey or chicken casseroles, you want to make sure the internal temp of your meat reaches 165 F.
Can I Add Bacon?
Don’t you LOVE how most low carb recipes utilize this irreplaceable bringer ingredient?!
Answer, YES! You can add bacon to this low carb meatloaf recipe a few ways:
- Cook it, chop it, and add it into the mix for little bacon bits in every bite
- Make bacon wrapped meatloaf — check out my recipe for instructions on how to wrap it up!
Can I Add Squash?
Totally! Squash is another mild tasting veggie you can add into the mix. Just dice it up and cook it before stirring it in.
I’d opt for zucchini or summer squash (low carb squash casserole anyone?!) as they’re the most mellow in flavor and easiest to work with.
Other squashes like spaghetti squash are more time consuming to cook up, and will affect the texture. (BUT! If that’s what you’re craving, check out my spaghetti squash casserole instead!)
Can I Make This Spicy?
Heck ya!! There are a few ways you can make this low carb meatloaf recipe spicy…
- Top it with salsa instead of our low carb ketchup once it comes out of the oven (ala low carb taco casserole!)
- Add taco seasoning to the filling (check out my low carb Mexican casserole for some zesty inspo)
- Add jalapenos or siracha to the ketchup!
Low Carb Meatloaf
Low Carb Ketchup**
- 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 1 Medium Onion chopped
- 4 Garlic Cloves minced
- 2 Teaspoons Salt divided
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Black Pepper divided
- 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 Lb Ground Beef I prefer 80/20
- 3 Eggs
- 1 1/4 Cup Mozzarella
- Preheat to oven to 350 F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix the low carb ketchup ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a pan and cook onion with 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon pepper over medium heat until softened (about 10 minutes).
- Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant.
- Place cooked veggies into a large bowl and stir in Worcestershire.
- Add the ground beef, eggs, mozzarella, remaining salt and pepper and combine thoroughly.
- Form meatloaf on the prepared baking sheet by forming a 5” wide loaf with your hands.
- Brush the ketchup over the top and bake in the oven for 1 hr, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center reads 155F. This took me closer to 1hr 15 minutes, but start checking your meat at 1 hr to be safe.
- Allow the meatloaf to cool 15 minutes before cleaning up edges and transferring it to a serving plate***. Brush additional ketchup over the top (if you’d like) before serving and enjoy!
Low carb casseroles are a LIFESAVER in our house, as they’re quick, and perfect for middle of the week dinners. Need more inspiration? Check out these tried and true favorites:
- Low Carb Cheeseburger Casserole
- Low Carb Pizza Casserole
- Healthy Breakfast Casserole
- Low Carb Tuna Casserole
- Low Carb Breakfast Casserole
This low carb meatloaf is the perfect meal to welcome you home at the end of the day! Comment below and let me know what you think! Enjoy!