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Healthy Meatloaf Recipe with Mushroom Gravy

This healthy meatloaf recipe with mushroom gravy is packed with finely chopped vegetables, making it a moist, nutritious and delicious home-cooked meal.

Just a simple American classic dish and old fashioned comfort food.

slices of meatloaf on plate with potatoes and beans

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. This meatloaf would also work, though, with the traditional ketchup-based glaze (instructions are in the recipe). Or with a a plain 5-minute beef gravy recipe without drippings.

Is this veggie meatloaf really healthy?

I experimented with adding vegetables to make a healthier meatloaf and they work well, bulking up the meatloaf with nutrients. The vegetables cook well in the meatloaf.

A serving is only 330 calories (including the gravy) and is high in vitamin A, C, protein and iron from the vegetables and oats which add dietary fiber as well. You can cut out the salt if you like.

So yes, as meatloaf goes, this one is pretty healthy. Not to mention moist and tender.

What to serve with meat loaf

Since we’re talking old fashioned comfort food here, I love serving this vegetable meatloaf recipe with mashed potatoes and green beans

Other great options are coleslaw, quinoa and butternut squash salad, root vegetable mash, mashed potato pancakes (use store bought or leftover mashed potatoes for a shortcut) or roast zucchini

For a lighter option, try our low carb lemon-herb cauliflower rice stir fry.

slices of meatloaf on cutting board with gravy in bowl

Tailor To Your Taste

Here are some variations and substitutes you can try to adjust the recipe to your liking of what you have on hand.

  • Meat: Use a mixture of different ground meats such as ground turkey, beef, veal or ground pork.
  • Vegetables: Use other vegetables such as shredded carrots, celery, mushrooms or swiss chard
  • Other fillings: You can add 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 options: Leave out the mushrooms or substitute them with 1 cup sautéed onions for an onion gravy.
  • Topping instead of gravy: Feel free to use the classic ketchup-based topping (see instructions in the recipe)

How to make a healthy meatloaf recipe

ground beef, bell pepper, egg, onion, oats, tomato sauce, seasoning, spinach, garlic
Ingredients: ground beef, bell pepper, egg, onion, oats, tomato sauce, seasoning, baby spinach, garlic
chopped veggies in food processor
Finely chop vegetables in the food processor (or by hand).
meatloaf seasonings in bowl
Combine the remainder of the ingredients (except ground beef). Then add the beef and vegetable mixture. Combine gently with your hands.
raw meat loaf on pan
Form the meatloaf mixture into a loaf shape a lined baking sheet.
Bake for 45-50 minutes.
mushroom gravy in pot
While meatloaf if baking, make the mushroom gravy with mushrooms, flour, broth and wine (optional).
close up baked meatloaf slice
Let meatloaf sit for 5 minutes, then slice into thick slices and serve with the mushroom gravy.
slices of meatloaf with mushroom gravy on plate with veggies p

Shortcuts

  • Use a processor to finely chop the vegetables
  • Skip the gravy and make a classic glaze topping that covers the meatloaf before baking (instructions in the recipe card). Or even quicker, use a bottle BBQ sauce for the glaze.

Make Ahead 

See instructions in the recipe notes for:

  • Make ahead without baking
  • Freeze without baking
  • Bake loaf to serve the next day

How to use leftover meatloaf

Oh, so many ways! Here’s a few options:

  • as an appetizer – warm it and serve small pieces with mustard
  • in a sandwich
  • in shepherds pie
  • crumbled into a soup

Here are some great ideas: best leftover meatloaf recipes and 8 things you never thought to make with leftover meatloaf.

Love meatloaf?

If you love meatloaf and want an even lighter version, try our healthy chicken meatloaf with vegetables. Our how about a soup version like our simple ground beef vegetable soup

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Healthy Meatloaf Recipe with Mushroom Gravy

This healthy meatloaf recipe 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.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, cut in quarters
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach (or 3-4 ounces frozen spinach – about 1/3 of a 10 ounce frozen package – thawed and squeezed dry)
  • 1 red or green 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 black pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (or any mixture of beef, veal, turkey, pork)

Mushroom Gravy

  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 2 cup chopped mushrooms (8 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 1/2 cup beef stock or beef broth I use 1 cup/237 ml of canned Campbell's undiluted broth plus 1/2 cup/118ml water
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Instructions

  • PREHEAT OVEN to 350F/176.7C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil, sprayed with oil. Instead, you can use a 5-inch loaf pan (13 cm), sprayed with cooking spray or lined with parchment.
  • 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 mixing 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: Place the mixture onto the lined baking sheet and shape into a loaf, about 4 inches/10 cm high. Or place in loaf pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer reads 155F/68.3C. 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.

Notes

  1. 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
  2. Variations and Substitutions
    • Meat: Use a mixture of different ground meats such as ground turkey, beef, veal or ground pork.
    • Vegetables: Use other vegetables such as shredded carrots, celery, mushrooms or swiss chard
    • Other fillings: You can add 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 options: Leave out the mushrooms or substitute them with 1 cup sautéed onions for an onion gravy.
    • Topping instead of gravy: Feel free to use the classic ketchup-based topping (see instructions above)
  3. Make Ahead:
    • Make ahead without baking: Make the loaf. Cover it well with plastic wrap or foil and keep it in the fridge for up to two days. Then bake.
    • Freeze without baking: If you are not using the meatloaf within two days, freeze it. Wrap unbaked loaf in plastic wrap then place in an airtight container or ziploc bag. Freeze for up to 6 months. When ready to use, thaw the meatloaf in the fridge overnight. Place on a lined pan and bake. If you forget to thaw the loaf, bake it for about 1.5 hours.
    • Bake loaf to serve the next day: Bake the loaf for about 35-40 minutes. Reheat the next day for 15 minutes at 350F/177C. Or slice and reheat in the microwave for a minute or two.
 
Nutritional information includes the mushroom gravy.

Nutrition

Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 1029mg | Potassium: 917mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2464IU | Vitamin C: 47mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?We’d love you to rate it above under ‘rate this recipe’ or in the comment section below. Thanks!

This recipe, originally published here in 2017, has been updated with new information and edited images.

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