You’re either a meatloaf lover or a meatloaf hater. I happen to like meatloaf, but I know plenty of people who have an adverse reaction at the very mention of it. Several years ago, my sister passed along a healthy meatloaf recipe by Bobby Flay that included lots of finely chopped roasted vegetables in the meatloaf mix, topped with a sweet and tangy balsamic ketchup glaze. I was skeptical at first and was afraid my kids would revolt at the thought of having vegetables in their meatloaf, but I was wrong.
In fact, my kids absolutely love this meatloaf. My oldest son is the only one who refuses to touch meatloaf, but the other boys keep telling him how good “mom’s meatloaf” is. I’ve been tweaking the recipe a bit the last few years, making it gluten-free (using gluten-free rolled oats) and lightening it up by using ground turkey, chicken, or lean ground beef. Because there are so many vegetables in this meatloaf recipe, it’s really moist. I also added mushrooms to the recipe which I whirled around in my food processor until finely chopped. I just love how the vegetables bulk up this meatloaf – sneaky mom I know ;).
I actually think this meatloaf is prettier than most meatloaves – it’s hard to take pictures of brown food that look good, so the little bits of red bell pepper actually make this more appetizing. I made this the other night and served it with simply steamed broccoli drizzled with a little garlic infused extra virgin olive oil, and roasted garlic mashed potatoes moistened with chicken broth, non-fat Greek yogurt, a little low-fat milk and a little extra virgin olive oil. The boys welcomed this comfort meal, and I was happy that it was lighter and healthier than your average meatloaf.
Today, I’m participating in Food Network’s Comfort Food Feast where Meatloaf is being featured. Please be sure to check out what all my talented foodie friends made:
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Balsamic-Glazed Roasted Vegetable Meatloaf
The Cultural Dish: Classic Meatloaf
Red or Green?: Meatloaf With Green Chile
Napa Farmhouse 1885: My Mom’s Meatloaf (Connie’s)
And Love It Too: Not Your Momma’s Meatloaf
Made By Michelle: Turkey Meatloaf
The Heritage Cook: Succulent Gluten-Free Meatloaf, The Ultimate Comfort Food
Feed Me Phoebe: Smoky Meatloaf With Three Paprikas
Virtually Homemade: Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf With a Spicy Sweet Ketchup Glaze (Gluten-Free)
Devour: Pick Your Meat (Loaf): Beef, Pork or Turkey
Dishin & Dishes: The Ultimate Southwest Meatloaf
FN Dish: For the Love of Meatloaf
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large zucchini, finely diced
- 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 8-ounce package mushrooms, finely minced (I used the food processor and pulsed them)
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed to a paste with kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 pounds ground turkey, chicken, lean ground beef or a mixture
- 1 cup gluten-free oatmeal (processed in a food processor) or gluten-free breadcrumbs (use ends of gluten-free bread)
- ½ cup grated Romano cheese
- 1 cup ketchup, divided
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add zucchini, pepper, mushrooms, garlic paste, and ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes. Cook until vegetable are just softened, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
- Put eggs, thyme, ground meat, ground oatmeal or bread crumbs, cheese, ½ cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, and cooled vegetables in a large bowl and mix until just combined.
- Mold meatloaf into a loaf shape on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Whisk together remaining ½ cup ketchup, ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, and ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes. Brush mixture on top and sides of meatloaf. Bake for about 1 hour, depending on how thick the meatloaf is. If meatloaf is browning too quickly, turn oven down to 325. Let meatloaf rest for 10 before slicing.