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RD’s Hot Dish: Mama’s Meatloaf Makeover

meatloaf Meatloaf, loved by many (and possibly dreaded by even more) makes its way to households all over the Midwest for dinner many nights of the week. Simple to make and a form of perfection for those meat and potato eaters in your life, meatloaf doesn’t usually top the charts as far as health food goes. Which is just one of the reasons why I so, so love this slightly adapted made over meatloaf recipe from EatingWell®! This tender, juicy meatloaf knocks its heavier counterpart out of the water! Keeping with true meatloaf tradition, ground beef is still used as the base with bread crumbs and egg as binders; the makeover comes from incorporating finely chopped vegetables into the mix, lightening up the meatloaf, boosting the nutrition, and turning the typically dense “meat brick” into a succulent dish the whole family will ask for time and again! To start, roughly chop your washed vegetables. Next, place all of your vegetables into a food processor until finely chopped (this can also be done by hand).


Add the vegetables, salt, pepper, and garlic to a large nonstick skillet that’s been heated over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, 5 to 10 minutes. meatloaf Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 10 minutes. Now we’ll add in the bold flavors of sweet ketchup, beefy Worcestershire sauce, tangy Dijon mustard, and a kick of paprika. This flavor combination really brings the overall taste of the meatloaf up a few notches! meatloaf Now we’ll mix in our whole grain bread crumbs (for a tip on making homemade crumbs, see this post here) and lightly beaten egg. Gently combine the cooked vegetables and meat together with clean hands, being careful not to overmix. Form the meat mixture into a loaf shape on a prepared baking sheet (this allows for faster cooking; feel free to use a loaf pan). Top with ketchup meatloaf Bake the meatloaf at 375°F until internal temperature reaches 165°F, about 45 minutes. To turn this meatloaf into a complete meal, add a side of roasted vegetables! If you read last week’s post then you know I love turning bland vegetables into sweet, roasted goodness for a side dish. The length of cooking time for this meatloaf provides the perfect opportunity to add hearty vegetables to roast for a one dish meal. Simply add Brussels sprouts and sweet potato wedges (or your vegetable of choice) that have been lightly coated in canola oil halfway through the baking time! meatloaf

Meatloaf Makeover

Adapted recipe from EatingWell®


  • 2 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 3/4 whole grain bread crumbs (2 pieces of toast)
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 5 Tbsp. ketchup, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef or beef/turkey blend


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with tin foil and lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Pulse onion, mushrooms, carrot, and celery in a food processor until finely chopped. (Or finely chop them with a knife.)
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables, salt, pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons ketchup, Worcestershire, mustard, and paprika to the vegetables; stir to combine. Stir in egg and breadcrumbs. Add ground beef and with clean hands gently knead the vegetable mixture into the meat; do not overmix. Pat the meat mixture into a loaf shape (about 12 by 5 inches) on the prepared baking sheet. Spread the remaining 3 tablespoons ketchup on top.
  5. Bake the meatloaf until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, about 45 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is intended for general information only. It is not intended as medical advice. Health information changes frequently as research constantly evolves. You should not rely on any information gathered here as a substitute for consultation with medical professionals. Information may not be reproduced without permission from Festival Foods. We strongly encourage guests to review the ingredient lists of suggested products before purchasing to ensure they meet individual dietary needs. All products not available at all Festival locations.

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