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Cold weather has never been my friend: We’re into February, and all I can think about is counting down the days until summer produce and sandals. I can’t exactly escape the cold living in Minnesota, though. If it has to happen, bring on the low carb comfort food. In addition to the classic low carb soups and keto casseroles, a low carb keto meatloaf recipe definitely makes the list. (Plus, it happens to be a paleo meatloaf as well.
Is Meatloaf Keto?
Some meatloaf recipes may be keto, but most traditional ones are not because they include higher-carb ingredients such as milk, bread crumbs, and ketchup. The good news is that you can easily adapt meatloaf to make it low carb!
Why You’ll Love This Keto Meatloaf Recipe
- Rich, savory flavor
- Moist and tender texture
- Uses basic ingredients
- Only 3g net carbs per slice
- Creates a naturally low carb, gluten-free, and paleo meatloaf
- Healthy family-friendly dinner
This keto friendly meatloaf has all the savory flavor you might miss in the traditional dish, all thanks to a few low carb ingredient swaps. Instead of bread crumbs, this dish uses Wholesome Yum Almond Flour for the best taste and texture. With a fine grind, it bakes up a perfect homestyle loaf — without the crazy carb count!
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for easy keto meatloaf, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Ground Beef – I prefer 85/15 beef, because it’s not too lean or too fatty. Very lean beef is more prone to drying out, but ground beef that’s very high in fat tends to shrink a lot when you bake the meatloaf. I order my grass-fed ground beef from here, but any 85/15 ground beef will work great. You could also use ground turkey for a keto turkey meatloaf, if you prefer.
- Wholesome Yum Almond Flour – Keto meatloaf with almond flour bakes up so moist — and this one has a grind so fine, it bakes and tastes just like breadcrumbs.
- Onion – Finely diced for classic flavor. Fresh onion is best, but onion powder should also work.
- Garlic – I use minced garlic for freshest flavor, but jarred garlic also works for convenience. Substitute 1 teaspoon garlic powder if that’s all you have.
- Tomato Paste – Another classic ingredient that makes an old fashioned low carb meatloaf. It’s very concentrated so we only need a little bit. Don’t confuse this with tomato sauce, which is less potent in flavor and more runny.
- Worcestershire Sauce – This does add a small amount of sugar, but because it’s such a small amount for a whole loaf, it doesn’t change the carb count per serving much. You can omit it, but I recommend keeping it for flavor. Substitute coconut aminos for a cleaner or paleo meatloaf option.
- Eggs – Use whole, large eggs.
- Italian Seasoning – Use store-bought or make homemade Italian seasoning in minutes.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
- Sugar-Free Ketchup – Use a store-bought variety (this one is my favorite with clean ingredients), or make keto ketchup at home.
UPGRADE IDEA: Make it bacon wrapped keto meatloaf! This keto turkey meatloaf recipe is wrapped in bacon, but you could do the same for the beef meatloaf recipe here.
Any good meatloaf needs a binder to keep it from falling apart. Many low carb meatloaf recipes are made with either almond flour or coconut flour. Since I first began my low carb diet journey many years ago, I’ve experimented with multiple low carb substitutes for bread crumbs in meatloaf, and here are my findings:
- Almond Flour – My favorite way to make this keto meatloaf recipe is with almond flour, which is why it’s the default on the recipe card below. I find that it creates the best texture. The right amount for this recipe is 1/2 cup, or 2/3 cup for a more sturdy, but less tender loaf.
- Coconut Flour – I don’t generally recommend coconut flour for meatloaf, because it absorbs a lot of moisture and can dry it out. If you still want to try it, I recommend starting with just 2 tablespoons of coconut flour and adding an extra egg.
- Crushed Pork Rinds – Pork rinds are a popular keto replacement for breadcrumbs in many recipes, because they are naturally crunchy and zero carb. If you want to make your keto meatloaf with pork rinds, they can replace the almond flour 1:1 and would make this recipe nut-free. You can crush your own pork rinds by pulsing them in a blender or food processor, or buy these that are already crushed for you.
- Flaxseed Meal – I originally used golden flaxseed meal as my low carb meatloaf binder, because I figured it helps keep baked goods together, so it would do the same for a meatloaf. It also happens to be the lowest in net carbs. However, it’s no longer my preference, because the texture turns out slightly gummy. If you do choose to use flax, use the same amount as you would almond flour.
- Parmesan Cheese – Meatloaf comes out too dense if using only parmesan as the binder, but you could replace half of the almond flour with parmesan, which does make it more sturdy.
How To Make Keto Meatloaf
This section shows how to make low carb meatloaf, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Mix ingredients. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except meat and ketchup.
TIP: If you prefer your paleo meatloaf to be more sturdy, increase the almond flour (or other binder) amount to 2/3 cup. This makes it a bit less tender, but easier to cut without crumbling. I think it’s delicious both ways!
- Add beef. Add meat and mix until fully incorporated. Be careful not to overmix.
- Bake. Transfer the meat mixture to baking dish, form into a loaf shape, and bake for 30 minutes.
- Brush. If using ketchup, brush ketchup on top of the partially cooked meatloaf keto recipe.
TIP: Want a super shiny glaze? Brush the ketchup on when the meatloaf is completely finished baking, instead of part-way through baking. Both ways are delicious!
- Bake again. Return to the oven and bake until cooked through. The internal temperature should reach at least 160 degrees F.
- Rest. Allow the old fashioned low carb meatloaf to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Garnish with fresh parsley.
Tips For The Best Low Carb Meatloaf
- Don’t overwork the meat. Avoid overworking the meat when mixing the ingredients, too. Doing so can make the loaf more prone to falling apart. It may also affect the taste and texture. This pretty much applies to any recipe that uses ground beef.
- Taste test. I’ve tested this low carb meatloaf recipe extensively, but everyone’s palate is a little different. If you want to confirm that the seasonings are the way you like them, you can cook a small piece of the meat mixture in a skillet on the stove. That way, you can make adjustments before you bake the entire loaf.
- Choose a loaf pan or sheet pan intentionally. I originally made this keto meatloaf recipe in a loaf pan, but now prefer it on a sheet pan. Although a loaf pan does a better job of locking in moisture (because the meat “steams” in there a bit–some people compare this to a school cafeteria experience), a sheet pan creates offers more surface area on the loaf for browning and caramelization.
- Don’t pack the meat. If you decide to use a loaf pan, don’t pack the meat mixture into it too firmly, which can lead to a result that’s tough, dense, or mushy. Instead, pat gently.
- Don’t overcook. A popular recommendation is to cook meat to 165 degrees F, but because the internal temperature continues to rise as the meatloaf rests (see next tip!), the end result will be too dry if you wait for it to reach 165 degrees while still in the oven. The best way to know that your meatloaf is done is to use a meat thermometer to confirm that it reaches 160 degrees F. A probe thermometer, which will beep when the set temperature is reached, is even better.
- Let it rest. After baking, it’s important to let your low carb meatloaf rest for at least 10 minutes (tented with foil) before slicing. This helps to seal in the juices (so it’s not dry) and also makes it easier to slice. The internal temperature will rise another 5 degrees while resting.
- Cut correctly. Just a quick word of warning – low carb meatloaf is very tender. Don’t skip the resting step, and cut carefully using a sharp serrated bread knife, not a chef’s knife.
- Make ahead: You can easily make this keto meatloaf in advance! If you’ll be eating it within a few days, it stores just fine uncooked in the fridge. Cover the surface very tightly with plastic so that the meat doesn’t oxidize. Otherwise, you can freeze it for longer.
- Store after cooking: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
- Meal prep: Portion out into individual serving containers with some mashed cauliflower for ready-to-heat lunches.
- Reheat: Heat meatloaf in the microwave or 350 degree F oven until warmed through.
- Freeze: Wrap individual meatloaf slices tightly and transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container. Store for 3-4 months.
What To Serve With Keto Meatloaf
Since this low carb meatloaf recipe is one of our family favorites, I figured I had to share it for all the rest of you hearty food lovers. For all those “meat and potatoes” guys and gals, this dish is where it’s at. But since potatoes are not keto friendly, try these healthier low carb side dishes with your keto meatloaf instead:
More Keto Comfort Food Recipes
Don’t stop at this homestyle recipe for keto meatloaf… keep the comfort food cooking with these dishes:
Find 100 more easy keto comfort food recipes in my Easy Keto Carboholics’ Cookbook!
Tools To Make Low Carb Meatloaf
- Loaf Pan – The best pan for classic moist meatloaf.
- Baking Dish – If you prefer more caramelization and less moisture in your meatloaf, use this pan instead.
- Probe Thermometer – My favorite way to get the meatloaf to the perfect temperature. Just set it to 160 degrees F and it will beep when it’s ready!
Keto Paleo Meatloaf Recipe
Keto Meatloaf Recipe (Low Carb, Easy, Tender!)
This low carb keto meatloaf recipe is EASY to make, using common ingredients, quick prep, and a simple glaze. Tender and juicy every time!
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except meat and ketchup, and mix. Then add meat and mix until fully incorporated. Avoid overmixing.
Transfer the mixture into a baking dish and form into a loaf shape. Bake for 30 minutes.
Spread the ketchup on top of the meatloaf (if using). Return to the oven and bake for 25-45 more minutes, until cooked through and internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F (71 degrees C). (Time will vary depending on thickness of the loaf.) For best results, use a probe thermometer, which will beep when it's done so you don't have to keep checking.
Rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Cut carefully using a serrated bread knife (not a chef's knife).
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Serving size: 1 3/4″-thick slice
- You can increase almond flour to 2/3 cup for a more sturdy, but less tender,meatloaf.
- Nutrition info does not include ketchup, which will vary by brand and is optional. I used homemade sugar-free ketchup.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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