Meatloaf Recipe (Grain-Free, Paleo)

Labor Day has passed, school is in full swing and the mornings are beginning to get cooler. Little by little it’s beginning to feel like fall. I’m looking forward to this fall. Lots of new opportunities are on the horizon. Next month I’m attending the Blogher Food conference in San Francisco and I’m excited to announce I’ll be speaking on the panel entitled, “New to Blogging? How to stand out in a crowded food atmosphere.” I’m thrilled to meet many people whose blogs I’ve followed for quite some time and spend time with friends, talking about food and writing. If you are attending please let me know. I’d love to meet you!

One of my all-time favorite family meals for fall/winter is meatloaf. This is a new favorite, not something I grew up eating. For years I’ve made my meatloaf with breadcrumbs as a binder but the other day I wondered if a gluten-free grain would work just as well. I cooked up a small pot of quinoa and used it as a replacement for the breadcrumbs and it worked beautifully. The added whole grain provides benefits like extra protein and a bit of fiber. Our family usually fights for the leftovers the next day. I like to cut thick slices of leftover meatloaf and cook it in a little olive oil. Meatloaf sandwiches also score huge points, with good crusty sourdough.

Meatloaf Recipe (Paleo, Gaps, Gluten Free, Grain Free)

Serving Size: Serves 8

Meatloaf Recipe (Paleo, Gaps, Gluten Free, Grain Free)

It's important to finely dice the vegetables, so I blitz them a few times in the food processor to save time. I usually serve this with buttermilk mashed potatoes or brown rice and a salad.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 carrot, finely chopped

  • 1 stalk celery, finely choppped

  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 3/4 cup quinoa, cooked (or 1/2 cup almond flour for a grain-free/Paleo alternative)

  • 1 large egg, gently beaten
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
 (omit for Paleo or if you used the almond flour in place of quinoa)
  • 2 pounds ground beef

  • 6 pieces bacon, pastured preferred

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey


Preheat oven to 350°F and adjust rack to middle position. Heat oil and butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add carrot, celery and bell pepper and saute for 5-7 minutes, until soft. Make a well in the center of the pan and add salt and thyme and stir until fragrant (about 30 seconds), then stir into the vegetables. Remove pan from heat, let cool for about 10 minutes. In a large bowl combine quinoa, egg, cream and beef. Add cooled vegetables and stir until combined. Pour mixture into a 9x11-inch baking dish and form into a large loaf. Arrange bacon in a criss-cross pattern on top and using a pastry brush, brush with maple syrup. Pour 3/4 cup of water on the bottom of the pan (the loaf will be surrounded by water. This keeps the meatloaf moist). Bake for 1 1/2 hours until golden brown. Let meatloaf rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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  1. Molly Chester

    This looks delish! Great talking with you yesterday. Let's get together Wednesday! My dad will be heading out in the morning. So afternoon will be great… Looking forward to it! Molly

    • Deliciously Organic

      I apologize. The WordPress software sometimes changes my print link codes, making them unusable. We are trying to figure out the issue. It’s all fixed, so now you can print.

  2. Candace Hendrick

    I just wanted to let you know that I LOVE this recipe. I tried it a while back and it has been our go to meatloaf recipe since. Actually, it is on the meal plan for this week. Just wanted to let you know :)

    • Deliciously Organic

      I don’t have software on the site to show the nutritional values of each recipe. I know there are many programs out there that can help. You can add an extra egg and leave out the breadcrumbs and cream to bring the carb content lower if desired.

  3. Carli

    I am planning to prep this so I can freeze it to eat later in the month. Would you recommend prepping the entire thing up until right before adding the water to the pan, then freezing it? Then, when I go to stick it in the freezer, should I defrost it before baking it? Thank you!!!

    Also, I have made several recipes from your website and my family and I LOVE them! My husband gets especially excited because of all the bacon, which I haven’t used much of in the past, so he thanks you, also. :)

    • Deliciously Organic

      Yes, freezing and then thawing completely (freeze without the water) will work just fine. Thank you for the feedback. It’s always so nice to hear that others are enjoying the recipes! :)

    • Deliciously Organic

      I don’t recommend milk since the consistency will be too loose for the meatloaf. Yes, it will still taste great without bacon. I don’t recommend turkey bacon since it’s a processed food. My girls love it when I put some ketchup on top. When it bakes it caramelizes and turns nice and sweet! :)


  1. […] quinoa this is a GREAT deal. It can be quite expensive when you buy the small, individual bags. My favorite meatloaf recipe uses quinoa. Also, two other recipes we love quinoa in are Cajun Red Beans and Quinoa and Quinoa […]

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