How to Cook Meatloaf Without Bread

Meatloaf is anything but fancy, but the comfort food is a family favorite. If you've been following a low-carb diet or you're just simply out of bread, you may be searching for a meatloaf recipe without bread crumbs.

If you’ve been following a low-carb diet or you're just simply out of bread, you may be searching for a meatloaf recipe without bread crumbs.
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Tip

Whether you're out of breadcrumbs or you're looking for a substitute for your special diet needs, you can make meatloaf without breadcrumbs by simply omitting them from your recipe. Or, you can use a substitute such as diced cauliflower, pulverized oats or crushed saltine crackers.

While breadcrumbs are considered an important ingredient in this classic, homey dish, with a little ingenuity you can create a delicious meatloaf without breadcrumbs.

The Classic Meatloaf Recipe

The exact origin of meatloaf isn't quite clear, according to Bon Appetit. However, it's agreed that the purpose of the classic dish was to stretch out the main ingredient — protein — and use up any of the leftover ingredients you had in your kitchen, which may have included vegetables and stale bread.

Most of the classic meatloaf recipes include a mixture of beef, eggs, various herbs and spices such as onions and garlic, and of course, breadcrumbs. According to the cooking experts at Kitchn, the breadcrumbs in your meatloaf act as a binding agent for the meat. Additionally, Kitchn recommends soaking your breadcrumbs (or stale bread) in milk before mixing with your meat to improve the moistness in your finished dish.

When searching for substitutes for bread crumbs in meatloaf you need to look for ingredients that provide these necessary elements. While there are many alternative ingredients you can use in place of your breadcrumbs, to help bind the meat and improve moisture you can simply add one more egg to your classic meatloaf recipe.

Read more: It's All About the Ratio: How to Make Ground Beef Good for Your Diet

Meatloaf Recipe Without Bread Crumbs

Inspired by a clean eating paleo meatloaf recipe, this meatloaf recipe without bread crumbs is nearly identical to the original.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup of diced onions
  • 1 clove of fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl combine the meat, eggs, Parmesan cheese, onions, garlic powder, black pepper and salt.
  3. Place the meat in a shallow baking dish and shape into a loaf.
  4. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until the meat has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can also use a 5x9-inch loaf pan, but you may need to increase the cooking time to one hour and 15 minutes. Even with the increased cooking time, you should always check the internal temperature of your meatloaf for doneness to reduce risk of food poisoning, as recommended by FoodSafety.gov.

Read more: What to Look for When Buying Ground Beef — Plus 9 Healthy Recipes

Substitute for Breadcrumbs in Meatloaf

Eggs make a good substitute for bread crumbs in meatloaf, but there are other replacement options. If you're not following the keto diet and you're out of bread or breadcrumbs, you can add crushed crackers to your meatloaf recipe to act as a binding agent in place of the bread. Saltine and butter crackers both work well.

Better Homes & Gardens suggests rolled oats as a substitute for bread crumbs in meatloaf. According to nutrient data from the USDA, half a cup of rolled oats adds 4 grams of fiber to your recipe. Finding ways to sneak more fiber into your diet offers many health benefits, according to the Mayo Clinic, such as lowering your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Tip

Most classic meatloaf recipes use beef as the protein source, which can be high in saturated fat. The American Heart Association suggests using lean or extra lean ground beef to reduce saturated fat intake. Lean ground turkey and chicken also work.

To really pack more nutrition into your meatloaf, add diced veggies to the mix, such as cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms and bell peppers. Saute your vegetables in oil before adding to your raw meat mix to improve the overall texture of your finished dish.

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