Our Gluten-Free Meatloaf recipe has tender texture, plenty of protein, and a yummy sticky sweet glaze that make it a classic!
I think we can all agree that there’s not a lot that’s glamorous about meatloaf. I mean…the name alone isn’t exactly haute cuisine.
There’s something classic, comforting, and cozy about making meatloaf. We’ve made bacon wrapped mini meatloaves and veggie-loaded meatloaf minis, but today, I’m sharing a classic meatloaf recipe that hits all the right notes.
From the tender texture, to the delicious, hearty flavor, this protein-packed dinner is a winner when you want something comforting.
Here’s what you need to make our easy gluten-free meatloaf recipe …
Gather Your Ingredients
- Lean Ground Beef. I usually make this gluten-free meatloaf with 90/10 ground beef (sometimes labeled as 90% lean). Even though it’s lean, it WON’T mean dry meatloaf! (You can even go as lean as 93%, if you prefer)
- Onion & Garlic. These two add a savory base of flavor that works really well. I recommend mincing the onion as finely as you can so there are no large pieces.
- Barbecue Sauce. I use a little bit of barbecue sauce in the meatloaf for added flavor and moisture. I love the smoky, savory flavor it adds. It’s my not-so secret ingredient!
- Worcestershire Sauce. Another great flavor ingredient! Be sure to use gluten-free Worcestershire sauce like Lea & Perrins.
- Parsley. Not 1000% necessary, but I do really love what a little fresh parsley does here. It adds a pretty pop of color and a light, fresh element in an otherwise more hearty dish. (Feel free to use 1 Tablespoon of fresh thyme or basil instead.)
- Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs. For ease, we usually use our homemade gluten-free bread crumbs, but store-bought gluten-free breadcrumbs are great, too! (Check out the FAQ below for our favorite brands.)
- Milk. Whatever kind of milk you drink will work here, whether it’s dairy or dairy-free milk. We’ve made it with almond milk countless times! Just be sure it’s unsweetened and doesn’t have added vanilla.
- Eggs. Using a few eggs helps bind the meatloaf together so it holds its shape better. I find that beating the eggs a bit first helps them blend in easier later.
- Salt & Seasonings. Simple seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika give this meatloaf amazing flavor paired with the other ingredients and flavor builders we have going on.
- Our Quick Meatloaf Glaze. Last, but not least is our easy meatloaf glaze. Made from ketchup, barbecue sauce, cider vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, it thickens in the oven and gets a gorgeous sticky-sweet texture that’s tough to beat!
How To MAke Gluten-Free Meatloaf, Step By Step
- Preheat The Oven & Prep Your Pan. Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees F. Set out a sheet pan and a 9×5″ loaf pan. Grease or line the loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving the parchment hanging over the edges to act as handles later.
- Mix Up The Meatloaf Glaze. In a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients. Mix ketchup, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, cider vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk until the glaze is smooth and set aside.
- Combine The Meatloaf Ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, onion, gluten-free bread crumbs, milk, eggs, barbecue sauce, parsley, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Gently Mix (But Don’t Over-Mix!). Use a fork to gently mix the ingredients together until everything is well distributed. (Try not to over-mix or compact the mixture or it can get dense or tough in the oven.)
- Transfer To The Pan. Then, transfer the meatloaf mixture to your prepared loaf pan and gently pat out into a loaf shape with your hands. (Use a light touch so everything holds together, but don’t try to pack it down super tight.) Place the loaf pan on the sheet pan (this will catch any splatters or drips.)
- Bake for 45 minutes & Add 1/2 the glaze. After baking for 45 minutes, pour half of the glaze onto the meatloaf and use a spatula or pastry brush to spread the glaze into an even layer.
- Bake 10 Minutes & Add Second 1/2 of The Glaze. Return the meatloaf to the oven for another 10 minutes, then repeat with the second half of the glaze mixture.
- Finish Cooking. Continue to cook the meatloaf 10-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
- Let It Rest, Then Serve. After checking the internal temperature, let the meatloaf rest in the pan 10 minutes or so. This will allow many of the juices to redistribute, and will help the meatloaf stay together when sliced. Carefully remove the meatloaf from the pan (parchment handles make this easy!) or slice in the pan if you prefer.
How To Make Meatloaf Without A Loaf Pan:
Don’t have a loaf pan? No worries! You can still make meatloaf without a pan. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and form the meatloaf mixture into a roughly 9×5-inch loaf shape on the baking sheet. Then, you’ll bake for a similar amount of time and glaze as directed. It may cook a few minutes faster, so checking in with a meat thermometer can help you avoid over-cooking!
Yummy Side Dishes To SErve With Meatloaf
Okay, so you’ve got a hearty gluten-free meatloaf ready for dinner, but what do you serve with meatloaf? Since this is a classic meat-and-potatoes type dish, I usually opt for something carb-y (carrots, potatoes, etc.) and something green (broccoli, salad, green beans, etc.). Some of our favorite side dishes for meatloaf include:
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes – No oven or stove-time necessary! You can even peel and dice the potatoes in the morning, cover them with cold water in the fridge all day, then drain and prep as directed that night. They’re always a hit with the whole family!
- Green Beans With Balsamic Pepper Relish – Bright, colorful, and made on the stove!
- Easy Lemon Asparagus – One of my favorite easy side dishes!
- Baked Potatoes – You can pop these on a lower shelf in the oven and roast them for about an hour at 375 (same temperature as the meatloaf), or make them in an air fryer to save oven space!
- Broccoli Bacon Salad – While not exactly the lightest way to eat broccoli, it IS super delicious!
- Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes – We LOVE this alternative to classic mashed potatoes. Made on the stovetop, they’re smoky, savory, and just a little sweet. A perfect pairing with meatloaf!
- Steamed Broccoli – It’s a classic for a reason!
- A Green Salad – Feel free to pick up a salad kit or make your own and finish with a yummy salad dressing!
FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The Best Gluten-Free Meatloaf
What Are The Best Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs? We love homemade gluten-free bread crumbs, but for store-bought, we have good luck with Schar, Aleia’s, Ian’s, and Kikkoman gluten-free. I prefer gluten-free panko-style breadcrumbs here. They make the best meatloaf!
Catch Spills & Drips With This Trick! Even though we’re using lean beef, there will be some extra fat released as the meat cooks. It’ll bubble as it cooks, so to avoid splatters on the floor of your oven, I recommend putting the loaf pan on a cookie sheet. Works like a charm!
What Percentage Of Beef Is Best For Meatloaf? I recommend 90/10 (90% lean) ground beef. All the other mix-ins and our easy meatloaf glaze keep this meatloaf recipe super moist, so you don’t need the extra fat to help you along.
The Best Way To Get Meatloaf Out Of The Pan. My favorite trick for getting meatloaf out of the pan is to line the loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving some parchment hanging over the two long sides to use as handles later. If you have 2 metal binder clips (no plastic!), you can use them to help hold the parchment paper out of the way while you fill the pan. After the meatloaf is done baking and resting, run a thin knife around the edges, then use the parchment “handles” to lift the meatloaf out of the loaf pan.
⭐ Don’t forget to leave a star review and comment below when you make our gluten-free meatloaf recipe. I can’t wait to hear how it goes!Print