It's the perfect keto meatloaf! Almond flour and parmesan add flavor and keep the juices in. The glaze is made with unsweetened ketchup.
I'm a notoriously lazy cook, always looking for simple low-effort recipes, And meatloaf is so EASY. Since everyone around here seems to like it, and leftovers are really good, I end up making it quite often for my family.
After years of making this dish, tweaking and experimenting, I have developed the perfect keto recipe. I am happy to share it with you!
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty keto meatloaf. The exact measurements are provided in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Egg: I use large eggs in most of my recipes, this one included.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Spices: Garlic powder, onion powder, and dried thyme. Make sure they are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Lean ground beef: I don't recommend using extra-lean beef in this recipe. It works well in some recipes, but it's too dry for this one.
Almond flour: I use blanched finely ground almond flour. I haven't tried using a coarse almond meal so I don't know if that would work.
Parmesan: Make sure to use finely grated parmesan and not coarsely shredded. There's a difference.
Unsweetened ketchup: I get it at Whole Foods or on Amazon. We're using a small amount, so it's not the end of the world if you use regular ketchup. And you can also omit it completely, although I do feel it greatly enhances the meatloaf.
How to make a keto meatloaf
It's so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
You start by whisking together the egg, salt, pepper, and spices in a bowl.
Next, you add the ground beef, almond flour, and parmesan. Gently mix to combine.
Now, shape the mixture into a loaf and place it on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. I find it helpful to use a small loaf pan to help shape the meat mixture.
Brush the top of the loaf with some ketchup, then bake it until it's cooked through, 50-60 minutes at 350°F. Don't forget to let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
How long to bake it?
After many experiments, I have come to the conclusion that if you want a juicy keto meatloaf, you need to bake it for 50 minutes at 350 degrees F.
I have tried different temperatures and cooking times (such as 40 minutes at 400 degrees), but ultimately, we were all happiest with 50 minutes at 350 degrees.
Of course, ovens greatly vary in their temperature. So the best way to make sure that the meatloaf is done is to use an instant-read thermometer. The internal temperature should reach 160° F.
To glaze or not to glaze?
I resisted glazing my meatloaves with ketchup for years. Why ruin a good, savory dish with a thick glaze of a sweet condiment? It just didn't make sense.
Until I tasted ketchup-glazed meatloaf at my friend's house. I was smitten! Her secret? She applies the glaze at the start of baking and does not re-glaze after it's done.
The ketchup bakes into the meat and becomes caramelized. Without a second glazing, the flavor is quite subtle. It enhances the dish rather than overpowering it.
Back home, I was determined to develop a meatloaf recipe with a ketchup glaze that would still be low carb. The solution presented itself to me on a trip to Whole Foods, when I discovered unsweetened ketchup, also available on Amazon. Now I could glaze my meatloaf to my heart's content!
Use almond flour and parmesan instead of breadcrumbs
Since I want to keep this meatloaf keto and gluten-free, I use almond flour in the mixture instead of the traditional breadcrumbs. Almond flour works beautifully to absorb the juices, keeping them inside the meatloaf. The grated Parmesan also helps absorb juices and adds great flavor.
You can vary your spices
As you can see, in addition to salt and pepper, I like to use garlic powder, onion powder, and a small amount of dried thyme.
While I always stick with the garlic and onion powders, I sometimes use dried oregano instead of thyme. I also like, on occasion, to add two teaspoons of smoked paprika or chili powder to the mixture. A bit of cumin (no more than ½ teaspoon) is also very good.
What pan to use for keto meatloaf
When it comes to the pan used to bake the meatloaf, I have two tips for you:
- It's always best to bake a meatloaf on a large rimmed baking sheet so that the outside can crisp up. If you bake it in a loaf pan, it will bake inside its own juices and won't crisp up.
- A metal pan is better. I tried making this recipe with foil and with parchment paper. The meatloaf turns out much better when the pan is lined with foil, probably due to better heat distribution.
How to keep it from being too dense
One of the most important things you can do to keep your meatloaf tender and fluffy (not a brick!) is to handle it lightly. Mix just until everything is incorporated, and when you shape it into a loaf, be gentle.
How to avoid a dry meatloaf
I have three tips for you:
1. This meatloaf recipe uses lean (85/15) ground beef. This is the leanest you should go, in my opinion. An 80/20 blend might be even better. Definitely avoid very lean ground beef. A 93/7 blend is simply out of the question.
2. The addition of cheese, egg and almond flour helps to keep the meatloaf nice and moist. The almond flour helps absorb the juices released during baking. It's not as efficient as breadcrumbs, so more juices will escape, but it still does the job pretty well.
3. Rest it for about 15 minutes before slicing. This will help the juices to redistribute and settle. It's never a good idea to cut into a meatloaf as soon as it emerges from the oven.
How to serve a keto meatloaf
It's a wonderfully versatile main course that truly goes with any side dish you could possibly think of.
You basically have to approaches when it comes to selecting sides. Serve this comfort food with another comfort food such as mashed cauliflower or even loaded mashed cauliflower. Or serve it with a light side dish such as an arugula salad or steamed broccoli. It really depends on your mood!
What about leftovers?
Happily, this is one of those dishes that gets even better the next day. You can keep it in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to three days.
Reheat the leftovers in the microwave, or - even better - slice and pan-fry the slices in olive oil.
Leftovers are also excellent cold. I sometimes make a plate of them for my lunch the next day, with Dijon mustard, fresh-cut veggies, and quick pickles.
More tasty ground beef recipes
If you're looking for more ways to use ground beef, try these amazing cheese stuffed meatballs. And this egg stuffed meatloaf is a nice variation on the basic meatloaf. It's fun to make and fun to eat!
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JUICY Keto Meatloaf with Almond Flour and Parmesan
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon of fine salt)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 lbs. lean ground beef (85/15)
- ½ cup blanched finely ground almond flour
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
- ¼ cup unsweetened ketchup
- Preheat your oven to 350° F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with foil.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and thyme.
- Add the ground beef, almond flour, and Parmesan. Gently mix, just until uniform.
- Shape the mixture into a rectangular loaf (as shown in the video) and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the loaf with ketchup.
- Bake the meatloaf until the center of the loaf registers 160° F, 50-60 minutes.
- Rest the meat for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.