Classic Meatloaf

It may not be a pretty dish, but it’s classic American fare: meatloaf.   Rich in calories and fat, it’s often the bane of low-fat gurus, but when made with proper, natural ingredients it can be both richly nutritive and flavorful.

Use grass-finished beef, as it’s rich in vitamin A, CLA, omega-3 fatty acids and other critical nutrients and add plenty of veggies to the mix for both flavor and nutrition.   This recipe, unlike others, is also grain-free.   You can make it even more nourishing by substituting a portion of the ground meat with ground liver.

classic meatloaf

By Jenny Published: September 27, 2008

    It may not be a pretty dish, but it's classic American fare: meatloaf.   Rich in calories and fat, it's often the bane of low-fat …


    • 2 lbs Grass-fed Ground Beef
    • 4 Eggs from Pasture-fed Hens, Beaten
    • ½ Yellow Onion, Minced
    • 1 Bulb Garlic, Chopped Fine
    • 3 Carrots, Chopped Fine
    • 3 Celery Stalks, Chopped Fine
    • 2 Tablespoons Sundried Tomatoes, Minced
    • 2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
    • Lacto-fermented Ketchup
    • Real Salt and Pepper to Taste


    1. Mix the ground meat and eggs together until thoroughly blended. Add the vegetables, parsley, salt and pepper and continue mixing until the vegetables are thoroughly incorporated into the meat mixture. Top with ketchup (I told you this was a classic, didn’t I?) and bake at 375 º F for about 45 minutes to an hour or until the juices run clear and the meatloaf’s center is cooked through.

    Learn to Cook Real Food

    Inspired Recipes, Tips and Tutorials.

    What people are saying

    1. says

      Mmmm, I made this tonight and it was very good, using about a total of 2.5 pounds ground beef and ground pork (3:1 ratio?).

      This afternoon our CSA box came and still I had bunches of celery and fresh parsley from last week’s CSA box to use up (should have grated in a carrot or two, now that I think of it) so this recipe made a nice dent in the produce overflow.

      I put the meatloaf mixture into a loaf pan to mold it, then tipped it out into a shallow casserole for baking (with a piece of foil on top the first 20 minutes. I like more surface area for browning. It took more than 45 minutes to bake (I used a temperature probe with a wireless remote monitor) until the interior was 155-160°F, probably at least 1 hour, but I also had at least 1/2 pound more meat than the recipe called for, too, and the ceramic casserole probably took more time to come to temperature.

      I served the meatloaf with cauliflower that I steamed, drained, and pureed with a hand-held (stick) blender (“mashed faux-tatoes”). I added a lot of butter (about 6 tablespoons), some heavy cream (a good “glug”), and seasoned with kelp granules, seasoned sea salt, & pepper.

      I shared two servings of the meatloaf and the remaining cauliflower puree with a neighbor couple, and they raved about the meatloaf.

    2. Kari H. says

      I have made this meatloaf several times and recently fed it to our 10 month old -she loved it! It is full of good stuff for her so we will be eating this often. I had to bake for 90 min at 375, and cook even longer if I add extra vegetables. Thanks for the recipe Jenny!

    3. Kari says

      When you say a bulb of garlic do you mean to use a whole head of garlic??? I love garlic but that sees like a heck of a lot of garlic.

      • Heather says

        Ditto to this question! We love garlic too, but when I made it I only used 4 cloves, which seemed like alot too. But it turned out amazing. Got rave reviews from my husband and our dinner guest!

    4. Jessica Campbell says

      Hi Jenny,
      So I made the similar recipe from my weekly menus and had much leftover liver from the pound I received at the farmers market. I think I did something brilliant but if it is not so, please tell me, I am new to eating beef liver. My family was weary of the strong liver taste too so I am trying to get us all accustomed to it. I froze the rest of the pureed liver soaked in milk in ice cube trays, (the covered ones) and now I thaw out one cube for every 1 lb ground beef I use in tacos, hamburgers, etc. Two months later I now add 2 cubes to every 1 lb of beef. Are we getting the nutrients from the liver still?
      Thanks, Jessica

    5. Kristina says

      I’ve been making meatloaf from this recipe for quite some time now and I just wanted to leave a note that one shredded apple is also a great addition. And we wrap ours in bacon!

    6. Sandy says

      This sounds great.. I’m just wondering though, doesn’t heating the fermented ketchup that much kill the probiotics? I thought you weren’t supposed to get them really hot… Thx

      • Jenny says

        Yes. Heating fermented foods kills probiotics, but you’re not eating this food as a probiotic food; rather you’re eating this as meatloaf. Provided your diet contains other raw and fermented foods, missing probiotics on a whiff of ketchup over meatloaf shouldn’t be a big deal.

    7. Red says

      I know we’re supposed to “salt to taste” but seeing that it’s not safe to taste raw beef, can you give a starting point for the salt? 1 tsp? 2 tsp?

    8. Hibber says

      I am going to make this, but following advice of the Healthy Home Economist regarding her Sloppy Joes recipe using lacto fermented ketchup, I am going to add the ketchup at the end so the probiotics are preserved.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *