Keto friends, rejoice! This Keto Meatloaf Recipe is for you (but everyone is going to love it!) It’s moist, packed with flavour and is so much easier to make than you might think!
This Keto Meatloaf is a delicious mix of flavours and a meal the whole crowd is going to love! It’s made with sautéed onions, celery and minced garlic, almond flour, fresh parsley and parmesan and cheddar cheeses. It uses three different ground meats – beef, veal and pork, is completely wrapped in bacon and oven baked to crispy perfection for the ultimate flavour explosion. It’s a hearty and cozy comfort meal good for any night of the week!
Meat Lovers, rejoice! This Keto Meatloaf is the ultimate meat lover’s dream come true. As if using three different types of ground meat (YEAH, that’s right!) wasn’t enough to deem this the all time Meatloaf Recipe, it’s even wrapped in bacon then oven baked to crispy perfection. I mean, I would say it doesn’t get any better than this but when I tell you that shredded cheddar cheese also shows up to the party, it jusssssst might.
Meatloaf, being a lover of all things meat, was always just one of those things for me. Like these meatballs I just loved so much growing up, when my mom announced we were having meatloaf for dinner, it always felt like a special occasion. We’d have it with gravy and mashed potatoes or salad. And sometimes, if we were really lucky, she’d serve it up with her famous French Onion Soup. Either way, it’s my mama’s meatloaf that inspired me to wrap this Keto one in bacon because hers never showed up to the table without that. And as a kid, it was always the bacon that took her meatloaf to the next level for me.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this last week of being on Keto (and I say that verrrry lightly) is that bacon and cheese are basically like gold on this Diet. Which, you guessed it, is totally fine by me. More Broccoli with Bacon Salads coming right up!
INGREDIENTS FOR THIS KETO MEATLOAF RECIPE
It might look like a ton of ingredients at first glance but believe me, they each play a part in making this Keto Meatloaf incredibly moist and absolutely delicious. Let’s talk about them in a little bit more detail down below:
- The Ground Meat aka the Star of the Show: As you can see, I’ve already bragged about this meatloaf being the best because of the fact that it uses THREE different types of ground meat. You see, my local grocery store must read minds because they actually sell a package that comes with perfect portions of all three meats – Veal, Pork and Beef (a great base for a meatloaf, btw). If you don’t get so lucky and/or are unable to head to a butcher to portion out and only buy the exact amounts of what you need for this recipe (while keeping in mind that any unused leftover meat freezes well), it can get quite expensive. So maybe you have to do without one of the meats and only use two, then do that. If you want to only use one, do that, too. However, the ultimate flavour explosion, IMHO, comes from a mixture of the three. Which ones you use is totally up to you. But, keep in mind that all three meats will produce a different taste/outcome of the final dish.
- Spices: Since there are already so many delicious sauces and ingredients that make up the bulk of this meatloaf, we keep the spice blend pretty basic here. Salt and pepper because you can’t live without those. And Italian Seasoning. Which, in my mind, is a great way to add more than one spice (thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano, parsley) without adding more than one spice, if you know what I’m saying. Feel free to add different spices or more or less of something, if you prefer.
- Almond Flour: Another blessing in Keto cooking. You’ll definitely seeing a lot more of this around here so long as I’m cooking Keto. It’s a bit heavier than regular flour in my opinion, more powdery/”chalky” and is made from ground blanched almonds making it the perfect Keto substitute. It acts as a binder here for our Keto Meatloaf and plays an important part in holding it all together.
- Eggs: Also used as a binder. Plays an important role in shaping the loaf without having to work it too much (important!). Also adds flavour, moisture and richness to our meatloaf.
- Onions, Celery and Garlic: Finely diced and then sautéed in a bit of olive oil before adding to the meat with the rest of the ingredients. This brings out the flavour and softens them up a bit before baking. PRO TIP: Although I do recommend going the sautée route, if you want to skip this step, chop the onions, celery and garlic even finer, more like a mince. This will enure they blend well when combined with the other ingredients.
- Bacon: The other star of this Keto Meatloaf! Adds flavour (I mean, who doesn’t love bacon?!) and crisp to the dish. The slices are kept whole and raw – use enough to cover the entire meatloaf – and will cook up nicely in the oven. PRO TIP: If you find the bacon cooking too quickly, cover the loaf with foil to avoid burning.
- Cheddar Cheese: I did grated here but cubed would also be amazing (think: little pockets of melted cheese). Either way, it’s cheesy, melty and makes our meatloaf irresistibly delicious.
- Worcestershire Sauce, Parsley, Parmesan Cheese: For added flavours! Feel free to throw in any of your favourite condiments instead. Dijon Mustard or tomato paste are good options.
- Ketchup: Normally used as a glaze for meatloaf. But, since the bacon voids the need for a glaze here, we add it directly to the mixture for added flavour and moisture. Make sure to use sugar free ketchup in order to keep this meatloaf Keto Friendly.
KEY TIPS TO MAKING THE ULTIMATE KETO MEATLOAF RECIPE
- Don’t use lean ground meat as this will lead to a dry meatloaf. Instead, go for a ground meat with some fat content. The fat will help the meatloaf stay moist and together as well as add a punch of flavour.
- Sautée the onions, celery and garlic and allow to cool slightly before adding to the meat with the rest of the ingredients. This releases their flavour and adds moisture to the meatloaf. However, if you must skip this step, be sure to cut the veggies smaller (like a mince) so they combine well when mixed into the meat.
- Don’t overwork the meat! The most common rule when it comes to meatloaf as over-mixing leads to tougher meat. You want to mix it just enough so that the ingredients combine. PRO TIP: Add all the ingredients to the bowl at the same time so you only have to mix it once and not each time you add an ingredient.
- Use your hands! Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty when it comes to mixing up the meat. But be gentle and remember not to overwork.
- Gently but firmly press the meat mixture into a loaf pan covered in plastic wrap (so it doesn’t stick) before turning it out onto a parchment lined sheet pan. This will help shape it into a beautiful loaf! But be careful, pressing it down too hard will compress it too much and make it dense, take longer to cook and overall be tougher.
- Don’t bake the meatloaf inside the loaf pan. Bake it on a parchment lined sheet pan using the loaf pan to only help in shaping. It expands while it cooks and baking it in the loaf pan won’t allow it to do this. Also, keeping it in the loaf pan will make it cook in it’s own juices and prevent it from crisping up or cook evenly as it bakes. Alternatively, you can skip the loaf pan altogether. Just use your hands to freely shape the mixture into a loaf directly on the sheet pan.
- Let the meatloaf rest about 15 minutes before slicing. I know it can be tempting to dig right in as soon as it comes out of the oven. But, as is with any good piece of meat, letting it rest helps retain the moisture/juices. Letting it rest on a cutting board will also help ensure you don’t end up with a crumbly mess which happens when you slice into it too soon!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
No. The meat does not need to be cooked prior to mixing in the other ingredients. The meat, bacon and other ingredients will cook as the meatloaf bakes in the oven.
There’s a few secrets that go into making this Keto Meatloaf nice and moist. Using fatty instead of lean meat. Sautéeing the vegetables before adding them to the mixture. The almond flour, which replace typical breadcrumbs in a regular meatloaf, absorb and retain the juices leaving you with a moister loaf. Not over-mixing the meat. Letting it rest and not slicing into it too soon will all aid in giving you the moist meatloaf you deserve!
While you definitely can, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing this for this particular recipe. Ground turkey and chicken tend to be leaner meats than ground veal, pork or beef and using them instead could leave you with a dry meatloaf. However, if you wish to still proceed with either of those, add more liquid to the base recipe.
Here we start uncovered. However, sometimes the bacon might cook/crisp up too quickly this way. Start with the first 30 minutes of cooking uncovered. Then, check on it and if you notice the bacon is cooking too quickly, tent it with some aluminum foil for the remainder of the cooking process to prevent burning.
Yes and makes a great meal prep freezer meal to boot. Prepare the meatloaf per instructions up until the point of baking. Tightly wrap the raw meatloaf in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, allow to defrost in the refrigerator the night before. Continue with baking instructions.
Any leftovers should be stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge for up to a week. To reheat, simply place individual slices in a microwave or bake in an oven until heated through. Alternatively, you can pan sear the slices in a skillet until warmed through.
If you’re making the meatloaf and are not on the Keto Diet (hey, high five to you because it’s delicious) then you’re options are pretty endless. As tradition goes, meatloaf is always great served with roasted or oven baked potatoes. I think these Scalloped Sweet Potatoes or this Easy Homemade Garlic Bread would be a hit served up next to this meatloaf. Or how about some sort of gravy (this Mushroom Gravy, although Vegan, would be divine!). However, if you are on the Keto Diet and want to keep the side dishes strictly Keto, try this Sautéed Rapini or a side tossed salad. (For more Keto Friendly ideas/recipes, see below the recipe card).
- 2 lbs Ground Meat*
- 7 slices Bacon
- 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, grated
- 1 Onion, diced
- 1 cup Celery, diced
- 1/2 cup Almond Flour
- 1/4 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
- 1/4 cup Ketchup, sugar free
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp each Salt and Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- Add the olive oil to a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the diced onion and celery and sautée until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and sautée until fragrant, an additional minute, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, add the ground meat.
- Add the worcestershire sauce, spices, parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, almond flour, chopped parsley, ketchup and eggs to the bowl. Then add the cooled vegetables.
- Using your hands, carefully mix the meat until just combined. Do not overwork!
- Gently but firmly press the mixture into a loaf pan lined with plastic wrap (to prevent sticking). Carefully turn it out onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Alternatively, you can skip this step and just use your hands to freely shape the meat into a loaf on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Arrange bacon slices over the meatloaf, lengthwise, overlapping them slightly and tucking them underneath to prevent curling. The entire meatloaf should be covered in bacon.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 160 degrees. If you notice the baking cooking too quickly, cover the meatloaf with aluminum foil to prevent burning.
- Let rest for about 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 686Total Fat: 47gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 232mgSodium: 820mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 56g
Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.
HAVE AN AIR FRYER? TRY MY DELICIOUS MEATLOAF IN THE AIR FRYER RECIPE INSTEAD!
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