I used to have a poor opinion of meatloaf. I thought its throw-together preparation and cheap ingredients were the reason it became a hallmark of moms in a rush and budget-strapped school cafeterias. And I wasn’t able to eat it for a long time after my elementary school lunch lady slopped a dry gray slab of unknown meat covered in ketchup on my tray and called it “meatloaf.”  But, after being introduced to a variety of meatloaf filler ingredients and unique sauces, I’ve come to understand its classic comforting appeal. Meatloaf is easy to make, economical, hearty, filling, and (when cooked right) quite delicious! Of course, one of the main ingredients is bread crumbs, which are usually off limits for gluten-free diets. With a few substitutions, though, gluten-free meatloaf can be easily done!

One of the best things about meatloaf is that every cook has his or her own special family recipe. Therefore, plenty of solutions have evolved for replacing the breadcrumb filler in meatloaf with gluten-free ingredients.

Here are some breadcrumb substitutions you can try:

Bought or baked GF bread, sliced into bread crumbs. (Tip: If you make home-made gluten-free bread, save any “mess up” loaves for  crumbling into breadcrumbs to use in recipes such as meatloaf.)

  • Crushed GF crackers
  • Crushed corn tortilla chips
  • Crushed corn flakes
  • Dense vegetables such as mushrooms and zucchini
  • Quinoa
  • Cooked rice
  • Certified gluten-free oats

And here are 3 delicious gluten-free meatloaf recipes you can try:

1)      “Perfect Gluten Free Meatloaf” from Off the Wheaten Path is a classic meatloaf recipe with a ketchup & garlic sauce.

2)      “Sweet and Sour Meatloaf” from Gluten Free Mommy has a tangy flavor from bell peppers, mustard, and brown sugar.

3)      “Maple Meatloaf” from Gluten Free Goddess is savory and spicy, using nutmeg, allspice, curry, cinnamon, and maple syrup.

Or, save yourself time in the kitchen by using a pre-made GF meatloaf mix from Mixes From the Heartland. They sell a veggie-filled Garden Meatloaf Mix and a spicy Tex Mex Meatloaf Mix.

What do you use as a gluten-free meatloaf filler? Send us your GF meatloaf recipes in the comments section!

Note: Top photo courtesy of www.firehow.com