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Miniature Gluten Free Meatloaf

Miniature Gluten Free Meatloaf

This recipe for gluten free meatloaf is made with just the right seasoning mix for a savory homestyle meal that everyone will love.

This recipe for gluten free meatloaf is made with just the right seasoning mix for a savory homestyle meal that everyone will love. 

A family favorite meal

There’s a recipe for Meatlove in the flagship Gluten Free on a Shoestring cookbook (now on page 168 of the second edition). It’s such a family favorite, and I’ve made it so, so many times that I had often thought of reprinting it here for you on the blog.

In the book, it’s called “meatlove” since that’s what my son thought meatloaf was called when he was small. The name just stuck. And, of course, we love it.

The recipe in the cookbook has different spices, different types of cheese, bread crumbs in place of oats and a tomato sauce instead of the glaze. It’s a more savory recipe in some ways. Don’t make me choose, please? I love them both equally.

Gluten Free Miniature Meatloaves ingredients

Over the many years that I’ve been making the recipe, it has evolved back and forth a little here and a little there. With all dried herbs, with some dried and some fresh herbs. I’ve changed up the types of cheese a little here and there—nothing too exciting.

These miniature gluten free meatloaves with a sweet ketchup glaze are our current favorite way to enjoy meatlove. Mostly, they’re a good excuse to share this classic comfort food recipe with you.

This recipe for gluten free meatloaf is made with just the right seasoning mix for a savory homestyle meal that everyone will love. 

How could meatloaf have gluten in it in the first place?

Meatloaf needs a few basic elements to work: beef (the “meat” part!), spices (for depth of flavor), a binder (here, I used gluten free oats), grated cheese (for texture and flavor), milk (moisture and flavor) and eggs (for structure, binding).

The binder that is most common is similar to the binder used in most meatball recipes: bread crumbs. Those bread crumbs are not going to be gluten free … unless someone used the gluten free kind on purpose.

I really really like the idea of making miniature meatloaves instead of one large meatloaf in a loaf pan for a few reasons: they cook faster this way and let’s be honest they kind of look more appetizing. There’s a good reason why, when you order meatloaf in a restaurant, it’s usually a miniature meatloaf and not in slices.

This recipe for gluten free meatloaf is made with just the right seasoning mix for a savory homestyle meal that everyone will love. 

Of course, you don’t need the glaze but it sure adds a special something. Warm, flavorful, and fragrant, meatloaf is the ultimate comfort food. Make it for your family tonight!

Ingredients and substitutions

Beef: I’m not planning to show you how to make gluten free meatloaf—without meat. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but that is a much bigger job.

I just want to point out that you can use a mixture of ground meats in this recipe, rather than just lean ground beef. I rarely use pork as my youngest won’t eat it, and none of us will eat veal, but a “meatloaf” mixture of ground pork, beef, and veal would work great here.

Dairy-free: There is dairy in this recipe in the milk, and in the grated cheddar cheese. The milk is easy to replace with any unsweetened nondairy milk. The cheese is another matter entirely.

When my oldest daughter was dairy free for about a year, I made this recipe using Daiya cheddar-style shreds in place of the cheddar cheese. I thought it tasted great. Not all of my children agreed, but they’re, well, wrong.

Egg-free: I haven’t tried making this recipe without eggs. If you’re avoiding eggs, I’d recommend experimenting with a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds mixed with 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel) replacement for each of the two eggs. I prefer chia to flax seeds since they have a much more neutral flavor.

Oats: In the U.S., there are certified gluten free oats that are grown on dedicated gluten-free fields and stored in dedicated silos. I never buy oats that are more processed than old-fashioned rolled oats.

For the equivalent of quick-cooking oats, I simply pulse certified gluten free old-fashioned rolled oats in a food processor 2 to 3 times. Any further processing will give you oat flour.

To substitute the oats entirely, I have also made this recipe with ground gluten free corn flake cereal or coarse gluten free breadcrumbs. I prefer quick-cooking oats in this recipe, though, as I like the slightly chewy texture.

If you decide to use a corn flake cereal, be sure to use a very simple corn flake cereal like Erewhon gluten free corn flakes, which have only two ingredients—corn and salt. Sweetened cereals like Chex really change the flavor balance of the meatloaf mixture.

Worcestershire sauce: In the U.S., Lea & Perrins brand Worcestershire sauce is gluten free. Be careful what brand you use, as some contain barley malt in place of molasses.

It really adds nice depth of flavor (I’m not going to say “umami” because it just sounds pretentious) to the recipe. You can leave it out, though, or replace it with some gluten free fish sauce or a mixture of molasses and anchovy paste, even.

Tomato ketchup: Again in the U.S., Heinz tomato ketchup is gluten free, but it does have quite a bit of added sugar. I really like Organicville ketchup as it has no added sugar, especially since we’re adding brown sugar to it for the glaze.

 

This recipe for gluten free meatloaf is made with just the right seasoning mix for a savory homestyle meal that everyone will love. #glutenfree #gf #meatloaf #dinner #homestyle

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 10 miniature meatloaves

Ingredients

For the meatloaf mixture
2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell), lightly beaten

3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces) milk

1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 cup (110 g) quick-cooking certified gluten free oats

1/4 cup fresh or 2 tablespoons dried parsley

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

2 teaspoons dried onion flakes

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

4 ounces (about 1 cup) grated sharp cheddar cheese

2 pounds (at least 90% lean) ground beef

For the glaze
2/3 cup (180 g) gluten free tomato ketchup

1/4 cup (55 g) packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the eggs, milk, and Worcestershire sauce, and whisk to combine. Add the oats, parsley, salt, cumin, mustard powder, onion flakes, and garlic powder, and mix to combine well. Add the grated cheddar and ground beef, and mix gently to combine. Do not overwork the beef, or the meatloaves will be tough. Divide the mixture into 10 equal pieces. With clean, moistened hands, shape each piece into an oval and place about 2 inches apart from one another on the prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.

  • While the meatloaves are baking, place all of the glaze ingredients in a small bowl, and mix to combine well. After 20 minutes of baking, remove the baking sheet from the oven and brush the tops of the meatloaves generously with the ketchup glaze using a pastry brush or spoon. Return the baking sheet to the oven and continue to bake until the meatloaves are browned on the outside and cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F (about another 20 minutes). Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

  • Originally published on the blog in 2015. Recipe mostly unchanged, video and most photos new. 

Love,
Nicole

Comments are closed.

  • Sherri Armstrong
    October 29, 2018 at 6:29 PM

    Have you tested this recipe with flax eggs?

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 30, 2018 at 9:08 AM

      Hi, Sherri, I haven’t tried making this recipe without eggs, I’m afraid. Your question made me realize that I hadn’t included eggs in my “ingredients and substitutions” section, as I normally would. I’ve added this advice: If you’re avoiding eggs, I’d recommend experimenting with a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds mixed with 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel) replacement for each of the two eggs. I prefer chia to flax seeds since they have a much more neutral flavor. 

  • Gerry earnest
    October 28, 2018 at 12:23 PM

    I would like to buy the cookbook gluten free on shoestring.
    Please let me know where to purchase

    • Nicole Hunn
      October 28, 2018 at 1:43 PM

      Hi, Gerry, you can buy my books anywhere books are sold. If you’d like a copy of the second edition of my first cookbook, Gluten Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes For Eating Well on the Cheap, you can get it from your local bookseller, or from Amazon.com (here’s an affiliate link to the book online).

  • Jones
    February 16, 2015 at 2:14 PM

    Have you ever tried making and freezing? Guessing it would work better to just freeze the loves and make the glaze when you are ready to heat and eat, what do you think?

  • Marcie
    February 13, 2015 at 10:30 AM

    I literally just made a half-batch of these and they are delicious! My apartment smells wonderful and I can’t wait for dinner time!

  • Carol
    February 12, 2015 at 9:14 AM

    Yay! I wanted to make mini meatloaves shaped like hearts for my kids’ valentines dinners. Now I know what recipe I am going to use! Thanks!

  • peggi
    February 11, 2015 at 1:21 PM

    Not a big cheese fan….is there a substiute?

    • February 11, 2015 at 2:54 PM

      I’m afraid nothing I can think of, peggi. If you can eat it, I’d try using it in this recipe.

  • MsGF
    February 11, 2015 at 12:35 PM

    Looks yummy!

    In Canada only HEINZ Worcestershire Sauce is Gluten-Free.
    Just an FYI for the other Canadians on this site :)

    • February 11, 2015 at 2:53 PM

      Good to know, Ms! Thanks for sharing that info.

  • Jennifer S.
    February 11, 2015 at 10:18 AM

    Yum. I bet these make great Sammy’s the next day too!

    • February 11, 2015 at 2:53 PM

      Most definitely, Jennifer!

  • Lucy
    February 11, 2015 at 10:09 AM

    This is one of our favorites too! an oldie and a goodie :)

    • February 11, 2015 at 2:53 PM

      Well said, Lucy!

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