A keto diet doesn’t sound like much fun, does it?? Well, we can guarantee that you will be in for many tasty surprises! Having decided to embark on your keto diet journey, you will be elated to find out that you will not be missing out on many of your favorite foods! But how is that even possible? Simply put, a ketogenic diet is low in carbs and high in fats, including moderate levels of protein intake. Hence, many delicious food choices can be consumed on a keto diet.
So, that juicy meatloaf you miss preparing for dinner is back on your weekly menu! After discovering how to prepare the meatloaf without it falling apart without the use of breadcrumbs, we just had to share it with you.
What is Keto Meatloaf?
Keto meatloaf is guaranteed to taste way better than you think. Even though keto meatloaf contains fat and sodium from the ground beef, it is healthier than regular meatloaf because of its low percentage of carbs. Consuming fat and lesser carbs is what the body needs to go into a ketogenic state where the body quickly and efficiently uses fat as an energy source.
Traditionally, breadcrumbs have been used along with eggs to hold the meatloaf together during baking. However, in a keto diet, more healthy options are available to substitute for the breadcrumbs, which also add to the flavor of the meatloaf.
What is the best breadcrumbs replacement?
Many items can substitute for breadcrumbs in keto meatloaf, but they may cause the meatloaf to have an undesired result such as texture and flavor. We have one of the best breadcrumbs substitute options, and they do not include any flour, so you’ll find this interesting!
Our substitute is hemp seeds or hemp hearts. The fantastic thing about hemp hearts is that they are excellent at retaining moisture in the meatloaf and adding flavor. This breadcrumb alternative is one of our favorites because it is one of the healthier options that fit perfectly in a keto diet.
Preparing a meatloaf that is both tasty and healthy is everything to get excited about, and now the moment you have been waiting for has arrived!
Ground Beef Selection
The ground beef purchased to prepare your keto meatloaf is very important because it will impact the result of your meal. One key thing to observe when purchasing beef is the fat to protein ratio. For this meatloaf, 90/100 or 85/15 are the best ratios. Nevertheless, if it is possible, it is best to select the latter ratio in ground beef.
Just Rub it in!
Once you have purchased your beef, we recommend seasoning the meat a day before preparing the meal and leaving it to marinate in an airtight container. However, if this is not possible, then seasoning your beef a few hours before preparing the meatloaf will also result in a tasty dish. When you’re seasoning the ground beef, add your marination or finely chopped seasonings with approximately three teaspoons of olive oil, and then rub it in using your hands.
Combine the other Ingredients
Remove the beef from the refrigerator and add the remainder of the ingredients. The other ingredients also need to be combined using your hands, especially the egg!
Preheat the Oven and Bake
If you did not preheat the oven before you started preparing the meatloaf, then you could wrap the mixture and rest it in the fridge while the oven is preheated to 375 degrees. Once you are ready for the meatloaf to be formed and placed in the oven, you will need to shape it nicely using, yes, of course, your hands! Many people prefer an oldie but goodie trick where the meatloaf is placed and pressed into a greased loaf pan and then turned over onto a flat baking sheet to bake.
The ideal baking time is 40 minutes, but that doesn’t translate to a 40-minute break. What adds to the flavor and texture of the meatloaf is the baste or the glaze. Baste and glazes are prevalent and vital in long cooking times of meats and poultry and are necessary for adding flavor and retaining moisture during a lengthy cooking process. We know you may be already thinking that ketchup is the ideal option. But we recommend something a bit different. One of our favorite options is barbeque sauce with ginger or honey and garlic.
On the other hand, if you want to stick with a tomato flavor for your baste, you could add a small amount of flavored jerk sauce to your ketchup or tomato paste. Once you have made the baste, apply the baste to the meatloaf in two 15 minute intervals. When you have the final ten minutes remaining, add the rest of the basting mixture and allow it to finish baking.
After the 40 minute baking time is over and the meatloaf is removed from the oven, you must check the internal temperature to ensure that you have a well-cooked meatloaf. Using a meat thermometer, ensure that the meatloaf’s internal temperature has reached 160 degrees.
Similar to steaks and other roasts, the meatloaf must be allowed to sit and rest for five to ten minutes before it is sliced and served. Resting is needed to allow the juices and temperature to settle. Slicing the meatloaf too early will cause the juices to run out from the meatloaf; these juices contain flavor and provide moisture to the dish.
Now you’re ready to slice and serve! Pairing your keto meatloaf with some vegetables sauteed in garlic butter sounds heavenly, but many other amazing keto side dishes would pair exceptionally well with your meatloaf!
Ground Beef: Because of the higher fat content in beef, it is perfect for making meatloaf because of its ability to produce moisture. Beef also carries a lot of flavors, which results in a delicious meatloaf. Specifically, ground chuck is one of the best options to prepare meatloaf.
Hemp Hearts: This ingredient is an excellent breadcrumbs replacement because of its absence of carbohydrates. Hemp hearts are also filled with nutrients and essential minerals such as zinc, magnesium, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, iron, fiber, and of course protein. With the nutty flavor it provides, hemp hearts can contribute a unique taste to your meatloaf that you will enjoy.
Eggs: Eggs are necessary for binding purposes in preparing a meatloaf. This binding element is also essential throughout the baking process so that the meatloaf will not crumble.
Are there any Ground Beef Substitutes?
Many people do not consume beef for various reasons and may want to swap the beef with turkey or chicken to make a meatloaf. Well, why not? Chicken and turkey are so good and versatile! But everything has its own set of limits. Chicken and turkey are lean meats and do not provide enough fat to result in a moist meatloaf. However, if you do not consume beef, then the chicken or turkey can be combined with any meat that has enough fat content to result in a tender and moist meal. Ensure that you are generous with adding sauces that will add moisture to the meatloaf. Sauces and wet ingredients such as Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, barbeque sauce, and ketchup are excellent options.
Watch those carbs!
The primary source of carbs in regular meatloaf is breadcrumbs, and substituting it for hemp hearts equates to a considerable carbohydrate reduction. However, other ingredients used in preparing your keto meatloaf may have a good percentage of carbs.
Many vegetables contain carbs, so you must research different low-carb vegetables and select those instead. The sauces and ingredients used for basting and adding moisture tend to contain many carbs; try to read the labels and select those with a low carbohydrate percentage before adding them to your meal.
Baking Sheet vs. loaf pan
The decision of baking your meatloaf in a loaf pan or a baking sheet all comes down to your preference. Many recipes will require the meatloaf to be baked in a loaf pan or on a baking sheet. But let’s look at the benefits and downsides of baking your meatloaf in a loaf pan or on a baking sheet.
Loaf pan: One of the best things about using a loaf pan is that the meatloaf will cook evenly and retain moisture, resulting in a juicy meatloaf.
In a loaf pan, the meatloaf may begin to steam. When this happens, the sides will not brown and have crispy edges. If you do not like browned edges and sides and prefer a juicy and moist meatloaf all around, this option will be perfect for you.
Baking sheet: Once you form your meatloaf and then place it on the baking sheet, your sides will brown nicely, creating a crispy exterior or a crust. However, pay special attention if you decide to go this route because you risk the outsides being cooked too quickly, leaving the insides undercooked. However, this can be easily avoided if you cover the meatloaf during the baking process and uncover it during the last ten minutes of baking to achieve nice crispy sides while the insides are cooked.
It’s time for the actual recipe!
keto meatloaf recipe
- 8×4 Loaf Pan
- Baking Sheet
- 1.5 lbs ground beef
- 1/2 medium onion diced
- 1 tsp garlic
- Scallion a few stalks
- Sprig of thyme
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup hemp hearts
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 tbsp water
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- Honey to taste
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- ½ medium onion
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tbsp garlic
- 1 tbsp of scallion
- Sprig of thyme
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 375°F degrees.
- Blend all seasonings for both the beef and the sauce and set aside. Subtract a quarter of the blended seasoning (marination) to make the topping.
- After you have seasoned your beef, add all the remaining ingredients to the meat.
- Combine all the ingredients using your hands. Do not overwork the beef!
- Form the mixture into a loaf shape, press into your loaf pan, and then turn it into the baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- While the meatloaf is baking, whisk the blended seasoning set aside and the remaining ingredients for the sauce.
- Remove meatloaf from the oven and top with the barbeque sauce. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes and baste again.
- Covering the meatloaf with aluminum foil will help the insides to cook evenly.
- In the final ten minutes of baking, baste and remove the aluminum foil for the rest of the bake time.
- Once the 40 mins are over, check the internal temperature to see if it has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes to let the juices settle before slicing and serving.