Lean Italian Meatloaf

December 17, 2014

in Dinner in a Dash, Gluten Free, Recipes

Italian Meatloaf_main

It doesn’t get much more comforting that meatloaf. Not to mention easy. In case you’re wondering, its totally possible to use a lean cut of meat and still get a moist and flavorful loaf. They key with using extra lean meats is to add in some moisture, like eggs, grated onion and soaked oats or bread, since there is no fat to keep the meat from getting dry. This lean Italian meatloaf is so flavorful with the addition of parmesan cheese, garlic, onions and fresh parsley.

Italian Meatloaf_3

This recipe would also make a great Italian meatball, just roll the mixture into balls, and brown in a skillet with a bit of cooking spray.

The sauce is so much nicer than a ketchup glaze. The addition of the balsamic glaze and worcheshire gives it a much richer flavor. I even made another batch of the glaze for just dipping our meatloaf. What can I say…I love to dip!

Italian Meatloaf_2

If you don’t have loaf pans, don’t fear! This can be easily done on a baking sheet. Just shape into loaves, add the sauce and bake!

Note: The recipe is for 2 loaves. If you’d like to stick with one loaf you’ll need to divide the recipe in half.

Lean Italian Meatloaf
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Makes 2 meatloaves. Cut recipe in half to make 1 loaf.
Recipe type: Main
Yield: 12 servings
For the Meatloaf
  • 1450 grams raw lean ground meat (or 3 lbs). I used ground moose. Any meat will work.
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 egg whites (I used ½ cup carton egg whites)
  • 1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, grated
  • 1 cup soaked quick oats or soaked bread (soak oats in milk of choice for 10 or so minutes...I used almond milk. If using bread, give it a rough chop into cubes. Whole wheat or gluten-free bread is fine)
  • ½ tsp of salt & pepper
For the Glaze
  • ½ cup organic or lower sugar ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic drizzle or glaze (its reduced balsamic vinegar, much thicker than regular balsamic)
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  1. First, soak your quick oats or bread. Submerge the oats or bread in milk of choice and let sit which you prep the meatloaf.
  2. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together all the meatloaf ingredients (aside from the oats/bread). Clean hands work best. Lastly, mix in the soaked oats or bread by sifting it out with your hands. Don't squeeze it much as you'll want to keep a bit of the milk to add moisture.
  4. Spray a loaf pan or cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  5. If using loaf pans, divide the mixture and place in the pans. If using a baking tray, form 2 loaves.
  6. Mix together the glaze ingredients and smother over the loaves.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees F for approx 50 minutes to 1 hour.
*Nutrition calculation is based on using ground moose and quick oats.
* Each loaf is 6 servings, so cut into 6 thick slices each loaf.
Serving size: 1 serving Calories: 217 Fat: 3.5 g Saturated fat: 1.9 g Unsaturated fat: 1 g Carbs: 9.8 g Sugar: 1.8 g Sodium: 284 mg Fiber: 1.2 g Protein: 33 g


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I'm Kristine Fretwell, busy mom of 2 little girls, author, blogger, and former pro fitness competitor. I love almost any kind of cookie, anything coconut or pumpkin flavored, and Thai food. A perfect day for me is enjoying my family, getting to the gym, and whipping up a new healthy recipe. I've got a collection of over 300 healthy recipes, and other tidbits like fitness and health tips. My recipes have been featured on websites such as Huffington Post, Savvy Mom, Shape and Skinny Scoop.
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Latest posts by Kristine (see all)

  • Deb Seyler

    I wish you would post the carb macros

    • http://www.busybuthealthy.com Kristine Fretwell

      I have them. Forgot to do that by mistake. Will add it. Thanks for catching that!

  • Blair @ The Seasoned Mom

    Hi, Kristine! This looks like delicious comfort food! I love that it’s a lightened up entree that is full of protein. Pinned, printed, and I will be making it for my family soon! Have a great holiday!

    • http://www.busybuthealthy.com Kristine Fretwell

      Thanks! Glad you like it! Happy Holidays to you too! 🙂

  • sweetonnh

    If I use bread, how many slices? Thank you!

    • http://www.busybuthealthy.com Kristine Fretwell

      I’m not sure how many slices as bread sizes vary so much. Especially between gluten-free bread and whole wheat. You’ll just want to chop the dry bread and put in a measuring cup. Even when soaked it won’t expand all that much.

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