Meatloaf is one of everyone’s ultimate favorite dishes, loved by adults and children alike. But when it’s made with fatty ground beef, white breadcrumbs, a sugary tomato ketchup topping and mountains of cheese, what you’d expect to be a fairly nutritious main meal can turn out to be a calorie-packed nutritionally-dull dish.
This version of a lightened-up meatloaf incorporates lean ground beef, oats instead of breadcrumbs and four different types of vegetables which – if you chop them up small enough – veggie-hating children won’t even notice! If you’re making this meatloaf for adults only and love different textures, try leaving the vegetables in fairly large chunks – the chewy veggies contrast wonderfully with the soft meatloaf when done this way.
This recipe makes eight thick slices of meatloaf which is easily enough to serve four people alongside some steamed veggies for a filling lunch or dinner. If you want to serve a larger number of people or want to have plenty of meatloaf meals to enjoy throughout the week, you can double or even triple the ingredients in the recipe and make one very large meatloaf or several smaller ones.
To prep this dish in advance, follow the recipe as it is below, but leave the meatloaf slices to cool down completely before storing inside a Ziploc bag or an air-tight container. The meatloaf will keep perfectly in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months. When you’re ready to eat, simply warm the meatloaf slices up in the microwave for a couple of minutes until piping hot.
1/3 cup milk
Pinch of salt and pepper
¼ cup oats (you can use gluten-free oats)
¾ pound lean ground beef
½ onion, chopped
1 carrot, grated
½ stick celery, finely chopped
4 medium-sized mushrooms, chopped
2 tablespoons pasta-style tomato sauce
1 ½ teaspoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons cheddar cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper.
Stir in the oats until well combined and then mix in the lean ground beef, onion, carrot, celery and mushrooms.
Press the mixture into a small loaf pan.
In a small bowl, stir together the pasta-style tomato sauce and yellow mustard. Spread this mixture evenly on top of the meatloaf.
Sprinkle the grated cheese on top of the meatloaf then bake in the oven for around one hour, until no longer pink in the middle.
Slice into eight thick slices and serve two per person, alongside some salad or steamed vegetables.