This is my go-to meatloaf recipe: It’s simple, delicious, and healthy, with some secret vegetables mixed in. It’s also gluten-free, using oats instead of flour as a binder.

Mom's meatloaf recipe: It's famous in our family! Find out why.

Meatloaf is a cheap and easy meal that feeds a crowd. It’s classic comfort food and every cook seems to have his or her own version of the recipe.

What makes this particular meatloaf recipe so good? (Other than it being my mom’s recipe?!)

  • Spices: My mom’s recipe includes poultry seasoning and sage – and I added some cayenne pepper (optional) and garlic powder.
  • Oats: Instead of flour or breadcrumbs, this recipe calls for oat flour (ground oats). This recipe is naturally gluten free. You can make oat flour by pulsing old fashioned or quick oats in the blender or food processor until the oats become a fine flour.
  • Veggies: The addition of shredded zucchini and carrots ups the nutritional value of this meatloaf and also lightens it up.
  • Barbecue sauce: This meatloaf is baked with a generous coating of barbecue sauce on top. It helps keep the meatloaf moist and adds great flavor. Some people put a ketchup glaze on top, which is also tasty.

Thanks to the oat flour, this meatloaf is gluten free. But for those who aren’t gluten free, the oat flour takes nothing away from the meatloaf. It’s delicious! This can absolutely serve as your traditional meatloaf recipe.

A veggie-studded meatloaf that is famous in our family! Click through for recipe.

Shopping List

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this gluten-free meatloaf:

  • Ground beef: 85% or 90% lean is preferable for meatloaf.
  • Oat flour: Ground your own oats to save money.
  • Egg: This serves as a binder to keep everything together.
  • Veggies: Shredded zucchini and carrots, and chopped yellow onion add nutritional value, moisture, and flavor.
  • Seasonings and spices: A variety of seasonings are added, including Worcestershire sauce, poultry seasoning, ground sage, garlic powder, and black pepper. This is somewhat adaptable – some meatloaf recipes call for Italian seasoning, brown sugar, parsley, etc.
  • Glaze: I used my homemade 5-minute BBQ sauce as a glaze for this meatloaf which adds a bit of sweetness to the recipe. But there are other options for the glaze: If you want a tangy glaze that is less sweet, try mixing some ketchup with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of brown sugar.

Uses For Leftover Meatloaf

One of the best things about meatloaf is that it tastes great the next day. If you have leftover meatloaf, you can certainly eat it the standard way again – but you can also experiment with one of these ideas:

Meatloaf sandwich: Toast some sandwich bread, add some mayonnaise and lettuce, and add a slice of warm or cold meatloaf.

Meatloaf grilled cheese: Make a grilled cheese sandwich per usual, adding a thin slice of meatloaf.

Meatloaf as a pizza topping: If you like ground beef or meatballs as a pizza topping, then there’s no reason not to try meatloaf as a pizza topping.

Meatloaf-stuffed peppers: Place some cooked rice, leftover meatloaf, and cheese into a bell pepper, and bake for 40 minutes at 350F.

Meatloaf spaghetti: Leftover meatloaf acts as a meatball substitute on spaghetti with marinara sauce.

Meatloaf chili: Leftover meatloaf serves as a ground beef substitute in chili.

Meatloaf for breakfast: Fry up some scrambled eggs, potatoes, and serve with some cubed leftover meatloaf.

My mom's meatloaf recipe: It's easy, it's delicious. Get the recipe!

Store leftover meatloaf in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. Otherwise, leftover meatloaf can be stored in an airtight freezer bag for up to 3 months.

Want More Ground Beef Recipes?

Gluten-Free Meatloaf FAQs

Here are some of the most common questions I get about making really good GF meatloaf:

What is a good gluten-free breadcrumb substitute for meatloaf?

Breadcrumbs traditionally serve as the binder in meatloaf but there are several tasty gluten-free substitutes. This recipe uses oat flour. You could also substitute gluten-free breadcrumbs in a traditional recipe, gluten-free crushed crackers, dehydrated potato flakes, almond flour or even crushed corn flakes as a binder.

Does meatloaf contain gluten?

Many meatloaf recipes contain breadcrumbs, which contain gluten. Luckily, you can still make delicious meatloaf without traditional breadcrumbs and gluten. This recipe uses oats instead of flour/breadcrumbs.

Why are vegetables added to meatloaf?

Adding vegetables to meatloaf is an easy way to add more nutritional value as well as moisture. Zucchini and carrots are neutral vegetables that add subtle flavor to the meatloaf. These vegetables are great options for adding “hidden veggies” to a recipe.

Can other meat be substituted for ground beef?

Ground turkey is a popular substitute for ground beef in homemade meatloaf. You can use strictly ground turkey or a mix of ground beef and ground turkey. If you are using lean ground turkey, consider adding some extra fat to the meat (bacon grease, melted butter, tallow).

What is a good way to test the flavor of meatloaf?

If you want to test the flavor of meatloaf before baking it, you can take a small amount of the meat mixture and fry it in a frying pan. This will allow you to taste the meat and adjust seasonings, if desired, before baking the full loaf.

What is a good side dish for meatloaf?

Steamed or roasted vegetables are a great side dish for meatloaf. Try green beans, Brussels sprouts, corn, carrots, mixed vegetables or mashed potatoes. A fresh green salad also tastes great with meatloaf.

Mom's meatloaf recipe: It's famous in our family! Find out why.

Simple Meatloaf Recipe

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes


  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef (85% or 90% lean)
  • 2/3 cup oat flour (old fashioned oats ground into a flour)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup shredded, packed zucchini (water squeezed out)
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2/3 cup barbecue sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except barbecue sauce. Use your hands to mix and evenly disperse ingredients, but do not over-mix. If the mixture is too dry, add in a tablespoon of milk at a time until the mixture is moist but still able to hold its shape.
  2. Place mixture evenly into a loaf pan.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes, remove, and top with barbecue sauce. Return to oven and bake for 30 additional minutes. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

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