Few meals are more comforting than a big old slice of warm and tasty low carb meatloaf.
But as you know, meatloaf is traditionally made with a handful of high carb ingredients. So, I made a few swaps, added some low carb magic, and viola! A low carb meatloaf even Grandma will be proud of!
So, next time you’re looking for some soothing low carb comfort, crank on that oven, set aside 30 minutes, and give this low carb meatloaf recipe a try! Let’s dive in…
How to Make Low Carb Meatloaf
Low carb meatloaf is one of my favorite low carb meals for busy weeknights — you only need 20 minutes to saute your low carb vegetables and throw everything in a pan!
Here are a few tip that’ll help make your meatloaf as tasty as possible:
Epicurious swears the best meatloaf is made of 25% pork, 75% beef.
I’ve tried this low carb meatloaf with their suggested ratio. I’ve also made it with 100% beef. The truth is, my trusty taste testers and I couldn’t taste much of a difference — What do you think? Which do you prefer?
Cooking the low carb vegetables.
Most low carb meatloaf recipes utilize raw veggies — but caramelizing them helps to bring out their flavor and get rid of excess water.
Pst, if you’d like to save yourself some carbs, consider cutting the keto vegetables in half, or swapping them with lower carb vegetables (although onion is my favorite flavor packed addition to meatloaf!).
Low carb ketchup.
I loveeeee low carb ketchup. I make it in bulk, and store it in the freezer, so whenever I’m making something (such as this low carb meatloaf), I can skip the extra step.
If you don’t have any sitting around, make your own using the first 5 ingredients listed in the recipe below.
I picked up this trick from Epicurious. According to their article on “How to Make the Best Meatloaf”, they explained that cooking this dish on a rimmed baking sheet yields a significantly tastier meatloaf.
Now I know that seems weird, especially since most recipes recommend cooking meatloaf in a bread pan, but when you do that, you end up cooking your low carb meatloaf in a pool of beef juice (gross thought, I know) — which yields a wet low carb meatloaf that’s “steamed” rather than “baked”.
Cooking your low carb meatloaf on a rimmed baking sheet allows the ketchup to caramelize along the edges, and the steam to escape.
Fair warning, your meatloaf pan will look a tad messy coming out of the oven from all the melted cheese and juices — I always plate this on a serving dish and clean around the edges.
Carbs in Meatloaf
In case you’re curious, there are a whole lotta carbs in meatloaf with bread crumbs — thanks to the breadcrumbs (duh) and ketchup.
The breadcrumbs are used as a binder, which help add moisture to traditional meatloaf recipes. In our low carb meatloaf, we’ll add eggs and cheese instead — both add moisture while keeping everything together.
In lieu of ketchup, we’ll use low carb ketchup, easy as that!
What to Serve With Your Keto Meatloaf
Meatloaf is traditionally served with green beans, mashed potatoes and bread. But fear not, there are plenty of tasty low carb side dishes to serve alongside this keto meatloaf with cheese — here are my faves:
- Roasted broccoli. Toss florets in olive oil, salt and pepper and place them on a baking sheet, easy!
- Cauliflower mashed potatoes.
- Fresh low carb salads.
Gluten Free Meatloaf Variations
There are plenty of ways to customize this gluten free meatloaf, although the combination shared in the recipe below is my favorite. But, if you’re feeling creative, here are a few ideas:
Try using low carb BBQ sauce instead of ketchup in this recipe for a little extra zest!
You can also try making low carb meatloaf with salsa — add the salsa after baking, as salsa doesn’t contain the same ingredients that will create that caramelized crust.
Switch around the veggies.
Try adding some additional aromatics to your low carb meatloaf, such a celery or carrots — just use less onion so the ratio (binding ingredients vs. non-binding) stays about the same.
If you’d like more nutrients, try making low carb meatloaf with spinach or low carb meatloaf with cauliflower. Again, be sure to cook all the liquid out first, and substitute these veggies for some of your onions.
As we discussed earlier, you can play around with the pork to beef ratio. Using ground chicken or turkey will result in a dryer low carb meatloaf, and may require more cheese to help bind (I haven’t tried these yet, if you do let us know in the comments below!)
You can use a different meltable cheese in this low carb meatloaf— cheddar, mozzarella, and jack would all be delicious!
Can You Turn This Into a Paleo Meatloaf
Since we aren’t using breadcrumbs to make this low carb meatloaf no pork rinds, the cheese is one of the most important ingredients in binding everything together — which means this isn’t a paleo meatloaf recipe.
However, before I was diagnosed with diabetes, I made a meatloaf version which uses sweet potatoes for moisture and almond meal to bind everything together — check it out if that’s more your style!
Meal Prepping This Keto Meatloaf Recipe
Low carb meal prep is key in sticking to your goals — and this caveman keto meatloaf recipe is perfect to portion out for individual meals.
Try baking this low carb meatloaf without the ketchup — instead, bring an individual container of ketchup on the side, and pour it over your slice before reheating it in an oven/toaster oven (this will allow it caramelize on top and create a delicious crust).
You can also bake these in muffin tins for individual portions of meatloaf! Baking times will vary, set a timer for 25 minutes to check the temperature of your meatloaf — you’ll know it’s done when the center reaches 155F.
Low Carb Meatloaf Recipe
Alright friends, I can’t WAIT to hear what you think of this low carb meatloaf recipe! Be sure to leave a comment below to tell me what you think — would it make your Grandma proud?
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!