This healthy meatloaf with mushroom gravy is packed with finely chopped vegetables, making it a moist, nutritious and delicious home-cooked meal. Just simple old fashioned comfort food.
I didn’t grow up with meatloaf, but my husband is a big fan so I’ve certainly made a few over the years, trying to find the right taste and textures. The trick, for me, was finding the right ratio of breadcrumbs (too much creates a mushy texture) and making the meatloaf light and moist. I like sauce or gravy on almost anything, so adding a mushroom gravy was a no brainer for me. This meatloaf would also work, though, with the traditional ketchup-based glaze (instructions are in the recipe).
I’ve experimented with adding vegetables to make a healthier meatloaf and I love the trick of processing them into fine bits before adding them to the meat mixture. Firstly, it’s super easy (no chopping) and secondly, the vegetables cook well in the meatloaf. If the pieces are too big, they come out crunchier – which is fine if you like them that way. I also like the fact that the vegetables and oats add some healthiness – not to mention that it stretches the loaf to feed four.
Tailor To Your Taste
- Meat: Use a mixture of different ground meats such as beef, turkey, veal, pork.
- Vegetables: Use other vegetables such as shredded carrots, zucchini, celery, mushrooms or swiss chard
- Other fillings: You can one or two of the following if you like to the meat mixture – chopped sundried tomatoes, olives, crumbled bacon or 1/2-1 cup shredded cheese.
- Gravy: Leave out the mushrooms or use 1 cup sauteed onions instead for an onion gravy.
- Use a processor to finely chop the vegetables
- Skip the gravy and make a classic glaze topping that covers the meatloaf before baking. Or even quicker, use a bottle BBQ sauce for the glaze.
Make Ahead Healthy Meatloaf With Mushroom Gravy
- Make the loaf a day ahead without baking. Cover and keep it in the fridge. Or,
- Bake the loaf for about 35-40 minutes. Reheat the next day for 15 minutes at 350F. Or slice and reheat in the microwave for a couple of minutes.
Healthy Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy
- 1 small onion, cut in quarters
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach (or frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry)
- 1 red pepper, cored and seeds removed, cut in large chunks
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup oats (or breadcrumbs)
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce (or ketchup)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound lean ground beef (or any mixture of beef, veal, turkey, pork)
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 2 cup chopped mushrooms (8 ounces)
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1 1/2 cup beef broth (I use a can of Campbell's undiluted broth (1 cup plus 1/2 cup water)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- PREHEAT OVEN to 350F.
- PREP THE VEGGIES: Put onion, pepper and spinach in a food processor. Pulse until vegetables are finely chopped. Alternatively, you can finely chop the vegetables with a knife.
- MAKE THE MEAT MIXTURE: In a medium bowl, add all the rest of the Meatloaf ingredients except the meat. Stir to combine well. Add the meat and chopped vegetables. Mix until fully combined using a light touch (I use my hands).
- BAKE THE MEATLOAF: Line a pan with tinfoil. Shape the meat mixture into a loaf, about 4 inches high. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until an instant thermometer reads 155F. Let sit for 5 minutes before slicing.
- MAKE THE GRAVY (Note 1): While the meatloaf is baking, heat oil to medium high in a saucepan. Add mushrooms and saute until water is evaporated and mushrooms are tender. Add flour and continue cooking for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add some broth and whisk until smooth. Add the rest of the broth, wine and thyme. Cook for a few more minutes until thickened. Add a bit more broth or water if you prefer a thinner consistency. Serve over sliced meatloaf or pass the gravy on the side.
- Instead of gravy, use the Classic Ketchup Glaze/Topping: Combine 1/4 cup ketchup, 2 teaspoons brown sugar and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire in a small bowl. Brush or spoon on glaze over meatloaf, then back. Or, for an even easier option, brush on your favorite bottled BBQ sauce
- Make Ahead: Make the loaf a day ahead without baking. Cover and keep it in the fridge. Or bake the loaf for about 35-40 minutes. Reheat the next day for 15 minutes at 350F (or slice and reheat in the microwave for a couple of minutes).
This recipe, originally published here in 2017, has just been updated.
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