It’s the perfect keto meatloaf! Almond flour and parmesan add flavor and keep the juices in. The glaze is made with unsweetened ketchup.
Meatloaf is so EASY. And since everyone 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 for my family, 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 (exact measurements are provided in the recipe card below):
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 in this recipe,. It’s too dry.
Almond flour: I use blanched finely ground almond flour.
Parmesan: Make sure you use finely grated parmesan and not coarsely shredded.
Unsweetened ketchup: I get it at Whole Foods or on Amazon.
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:
Start by whisking together the egg, salt, pepper, and spices.
Add the beef, almond flour, and parmesan and gently mix.
Shape into a loaf and place on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
Brush the top with the ketchup, then bake until cooked through, 50-60 minutes at 350°F.
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 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, the best way to make sure that the meatloaf is done is to use a thermometer. The internal temperature should reach 160° F.
To glaze or not to glaze the keto meatloaf?
Always in search of the perfect recipe, I resisted glazing 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. I generally don’t use ketchup – it’s too sugary.
The solution presented itself to me on a trip to Whole Foods, when I discovered this unsweetened ketchup, available on Amazon. Now I could glaze my meatloaf to my heart’s content!
But of course, it’s perfectly fine to use any regular old ketchup, since you’re only using 1/4 cup for the entire recipe.
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 breadcrumbs.
Almond flour is nutritious, and it works beautifully to absorb the juices, keeping them inside the meatloaf. The grated Parmesan also helps absorb juices and adds great flavor.
Don’t use a loaf pan!
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.
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 keto 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 also 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.
A metal pan is better
I tried making this recipe with foil and with parchment paper. For some reason, the meatloaf turns out much better when the pan is lined with foil. I’m not sure why – maybe better heat distribution?
If you’re worried about exposure to aluminum, perhaps you could use an unlined stainless steel pan.
What about leftovers?
Keto meatloaf is one of those dishes that actually gets 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 pickles.
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Juicy Keto Meatloaf
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 lbs. lean ground beef (85/15)
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup unsweetened ketchup
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with foil.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and thyme.
- Add in 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 on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the loaf with the ketchup.
- Bake the meatloaf until the center of the loaf registers 160° F, 50-60 minutes.
- Rest the meatloaf for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.