Meatloaf without breadcrumbs is the perfect healthy recipe your family will love! Topped with a healthy, sugar free ketchup and mustard sauce, this breadcrumb free recipe is Whole30, Paleo & Keto. Perfect for any dietary restriction and delicious for the entire family.
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The perfect simple Sunday night dinner is right here! Sometimes I opt for a classic recipe like Grandma's Meatloaf and other times it's something on the lighter side.
Meatloaf without breadcrumbs is a light and delicious meal that is perfect for Sundays and easy to prep for an easy weeknight dinner. I love to serve this recipe with a side of mashed potatoes and green beans for a filling, nutritious meal.
This recipe is completely doable if you're looking for a low carb recipe or even if you are just out of breadcrumbs. You don't need them to make a moist & delicious meatloaf!
Why This Recipe Works
- Classic comfort food that is healthy and family friendly.
- Versatile in customizations! You can make it Whole30, Paleo and Keto friendly with less carbs.
- Easy to sneak in some extra veggies.
- This is meatloaf without breadcrumbs or flour, instead the binder is made grain free using cashews and almonds instead of grains.
- Great to meal prep and make ahead! You can even freeze it to have for a busy weeknight dinner.
Ingredients You Need For This Recipe
Here are the ingredients you need to make this recipe. Reference the recipe card at the bottom for exact measurements and the notes below for substitution ideas.
- Ground meat: For this recipe and in the recipe card and nutrition information, I've used ground chicken. You can also use ground beef, pork or ground turkey.
- Onion Salt & Garlic: Lipton onion soup mix would also work if that's what you have on hand and aren't worried about any dietary restrictions. Italian seasoning plus salt would also work.
- Sugar Free Ketchup: I use Primal Kitchen Ketchup. No sugar BBQ sauce would be a great alternative.
How To Make This Recipe
Below are step-by-step instructions for how to cook this recipe. The recipe card at the bottom shows the exact cooking time and temperatures.
Using a food processor, pulse almonds, cashews, onion salt and garlic powder until you get a crumbly, breadcrumb-like consistency. Combine ketchup and mustard.
Bind by combining meat, salsa, Paleo breadcrumbs, egg, garlic and spices. I like to use my hands to mix it to ensure that it's not over-mixed.
Shape meatloaf into a loaf form on a baking rack sprayed with coconut oil spray. Coat top with the sauce.
Refer to recipe card for exact times and temperatures for baking.
- Turkey and chicken meatloaf tend to take longer to cook, especially if made in one loaf. I've had to cook mine for well over one hour to reach 165F which is the proper cooking temp for poultry.
- If using regular breadcrumbs, increase the moisture by adding an additional egg or some milk. Note that this will make the recipe no longer Whole30 compliant. You would also add egg or milk if you used crackers.
- Quinoa or rice are also great swaps if you want to make meatloaf without breadcrumbs but are OK with grain - this is a great gluten free option!
- Pork rinds are a great Keto option.
- Add in ideas: Make stuffed or top with finely chopped onion, bell peppers, jalapeños, or make a cheesy version with Parmesan or Cheddar cheese. They all add incredible flavor.
- Make ahead: Assemble ingredients and cover tightly with wrap for up to 3 days before cooking (make sure your meat doesn't expire within that time frame.)
- Storage: Store cooked meatloaf in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Store uncooked meatloaf in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months.
- Reheat: Reheat in the microwave or in the oven at 350F until heated through.
The cooking time for meatloaf completely depends on how large the meatloaves are. When I use a mini meatloaf pan to make mini meatloaves, I start temping it around 30 minutes.
I like to check in 5-10 minute intervals to ensure the meat is cooking to 160F the minimal safe temperature for ground beef and 165F for poultry.
If you opt to bake this paleo meatloaf in a traditional meatloaf pan then I would begin temping it around 45 minutes.
The best options for what to use to make meatloaf without breadcrumbs would be paleo breadcrumbs (almonds/cashews mix), quinoa, Saltine or Ritz crackers or oats.
If you don't put breadcrumbs or another binder in the recipe it could affect the moisture level of the dish.
I generally use this free form technique for making this recipe. I've found this method to produce the most moist results.
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Meatloaf without Breadcrumbs
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Using a food processor, pulse almonds, cashews, onion salt and garlic powder until you get a crumbly, breadcrumb-like consistency. Combine meat, salsa, Paleo breadcrumbs, egg, garlic and spices. I like to use my hands to mix the meatloaf to ensure that it's not over-mixed.
- If using a mini meatloaf pan score the meat mixture into four (or how many loaves you are making). Add mixture to coconut oil sprayed mini meatloaf pan or meatloaf pan.If using the one pan or freeform method, shape meatloaf into a loaf form on a baking rack sprayed with coconut oil spray.
- Combine ketchup and mustard. Coat top of meatloaf.
- Bake mini meatloaves for 30 minutes then begin checking temperature. If you are baking one full meatloaf with either the freeform or one pan method begin temping between 45 minutes and one hour. Meatloaf is cooked once it hits 165F when read with an instant read thermometer.
- Allow to sit for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.