Let’s face it- I could never be a vegetarian.
I love meat.
I love a LOT of meat.
Growing up in the South, I ate a lot of it, in a lot of different forms. I had my favorites and I had my.. not-so-favorites.
Confession: Meatloaf is one of my favorites.
There is just something about that hearty chunk of meat on a plate, surrounded by veggies and all things comfort food. I simply cannot get enough.
Except, struggling with food allergies and sensitivities meant that for quite some time I was unable to eat meatloaf. That is, until I decided enough is enough. Where there is a will, there is a way, and I have a will to eat meatloaf.
I set out on a journey to create the perfect gluten free, non-mushy, flavorFULL, hearty meatloaf. Basically I decided to come up with the best meatloaf ever, and then I realized I would be selfish not to share it with the world.
I heated the oven to 350 degrees and lightly greased a 9×9 pan, and then I started with a pound of ground beef. Honestly, some people will say you have to get a certain quality, but I say get whatever is your favorite, because that is what you will love most.
I combined all the ingredients in a large bowl, mixing only enough to make it even throughout. I mean, the meat is already ground, no need to do all that work all over again.
I then pressed the meat into the pan, forming a loaf.
Then I drooled over Pinterest for an hour while it baked, checked the center of the meatloaf to confirm it reached 160 degrees, and let it stand for 5 more minutes.
Voila! It was gluten free. It was not mushy. It was FULL of flavor. And totally hearty.
For me, it was the best ever.
Hopefully it measures up for you, too!
Oh, and I served it with a veggie medley and sweet potato fries!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 9×9 pan.
- 1lb ground beef (your choice of quality, but I use 90% lean ground chuck)
- 2/3 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 cup whole rolled oats, uncoooked
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup chopped onion (use more if you’d like)
- 4 slices bacon, crisp cooked and finely chopped (I use turkey bacon)
- 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp of salt (you can always add more once it’s on your plate)
- 1 tbsp garlic powder (or less if you are not a garlic lover)
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, mixing just enough to make even throughout, but not too much. Press into greased 9×9 pan, forming a loaf. Bake for one hour or until center reaches 160 degrees F. Let stand on cooling rack for 5 min. Serve and enjoy!