This tasty Paleo meatloaf is made without breadcrumbs, and since I don’t use breadcrumbs, I also don’t add an egg, or any other filler (such as cheese). It’s pure meat and seasonings, and the resulting loaf, though small in size (because of the lack of fillers), is big on flavor.
Besides not needing eggs or breadcrumbs in a meatloaf (I used to think they act as binders, but truly they are not needed except to add bulk), and definitely not needing a sauce (the meatloaf is very flavorful as is), I have three more Paleo meatloaf tips for you:
1. Bake the meatloaf on a large baking sheet, not in a loaf pan. Loaf pans make wet, soggy meatloaves. Freeform meatloaves baked on large pans are nicely crisp and browned on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside.
2. Don’t use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. Normally I am a big believer in the use of digital thermometers as the best way to ensure meat doneness, but in this case, pricking the meatloaf with the thermometer’s probe will result in unfortunate loss of meat juices upon the probe’s exit.
3. Make ahead. If you make this Paleo meatloaf the day before (or in the morning for that night’s dinner), it’s even better – sitting in the fridge gives the flavors time to meld, and the texture improves too. At dinnertime, simply slice into 8 slices, and quickly saute them in olive oil, 2-3 minutes per side over medium heat. This step really brings out the flavor of the seasonings.
- 1 lb. 85% lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon olive oil for sauteing the meatloaf slices
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Use your hands to mix everything together in a medium bowl. Don't over-mix. Shape into a (roughly) 6 X 3 X 1.5-inch loaf.
- Transfer the loaf to the prepared baking sheet. Bake 25 minutes.
- Transfer the meatloaf to a cooling rack set on a sheet of foil, loosely cover with another sheet of foil, and allow to rest at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Better yet: make the meatloaf the day before, or in the morning, and allow it to cool and set in the fridge. Meatloaf tastes better the next day, and it's also easier to slice. Slice the cooled meatloaf, brush a griddle with a little olive oil and sauté the slices, 2-3 minutes on each side over medium heat, before serving.