The Best Low-Glycemic and Low-Carb Meatloaf Recipe

Meatloaf is a classic comfort food but can be loaded with added sugars. Learn how to transform this dish to become a guilt-free holiday staple.

Mia Barnes
— Signos
Staff Writer
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Reviewed by

Mia Barnes
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Updated by

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Science-based and reviewed

July 18, 2024
October 23, 2023
— Updated:

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Meatloaf is a classic family recipe beloved by generations. The famous baked loaf of ground beef features savory sauces and spices. Everyone deserves to have a yummy meatloaf recipe that aligns with their health goals. By preparing this low-glycemic and low-carb meal, you can enjoy your favorite family dinner without worrying about your blood sugar.


Why People Are Trying This Meatloaf Recipe

People on various diets make meatloaf to reach their health and wellness goals. A traditional recipe would include breadcrumbs, eggs, and ketchup loaded with enough sugar to have a 55 glycemic index rating.1 Although it makes a tasty dish, the resulting meal has more sugar and carbohydrates than some people may want to consume.

Individuals trying to lose weight on low-carb diets or keto diets might reduce their carbohydrate intake with an easy keto, low-carb meatloaf recipe. Anyone living with diabetes could also benefit from a low-glycemic recipe. Following the steps below, you’ll prevent blood sugar spikes and potential weight gain.

Low-Carb Meatloaf Ingredients List

You may already know how to make a meatloaf, but you’ll need specific ingredients to make it fit into a low-carb diet. These easy tweaks will help make your meal healthier, especially if you pair your entree with a low-calorie side like quinoa, veggies, or mashed cauliflower


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ large white onion, diced, or ½ tablespoon onion powder
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced or pressed, or 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese or parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup sugar-free ketchup
  • 1 cup crushed pork rinds or ½ cup almond flour

Potential Substitutions

Understanding substitutions is a key part of learning how to make a meatloaf. Some ingredients like the Worcestershire sauce, are flexible. You could use the same amount of coconut aminos to achieve the same savory flavor without all the sodium.

There’s also an egg substitute for meatloaf. If you’re making it for a vegan audience, add three tablespoons of non-dairy yogurt per egg to bind the meat together.

Anyone gluten-sensitive or allergic can swap the breadcrumbs in a traditional meatloaf with a cup of crushed pork rinds. They add a salty flavor while absorbing excess fat. 

If pork rinds add too many calories to your meal, try a half cup of gluten-free flour instead. It will soak up the fat efficiently without adding allergens or extra calories to your dinner.

Getting 2 pounds of ground beef may also be too costly if you’re on a budget. Substitute one-quarter to a half-pound of meat with chopped white button mushrooms. They have a mild flavor and tons of nutrients, so they won’t steal the show from the rest of your spices, sauce, or gravy.2


How to Make Low-Glycemic and Low-Carb Meatloaf

Prepare and serve your family’s newest favorite meatloaf recipe with these simple steps. It only takes a little over an hour to make an incredible meal.

Cook time: 75 minutes

Prep time: 5-10 minutes

Total time: 85 minutes

1. Preheat Oven

Your keto meatloaf will need to bake at 350 degrees F. Preheat your oven to this temperature before getting started.

2. Combine Most Ingredients

Place all the ingredients except the meat, mozzarella, and ketchup in a large bowl. Mix until combined. Stir in your cup of pork rinds or half a cup of almond flour if you use any other substituted ingredients. 

Adding Greek yogurt as an egg substitute for meatloaf may take some extra stirring, so mix gently until everything looks red or light pink.

3. Spread Out the Meat

Spread the meat mixture into a flat rectangle on your cutting board or countertop. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over it before rolling it into a ball.3 Press the ball gently into a loaf shape.

4. Place in a Baking Dish

Transfer your meatloaf mixture into a baking or ceramic casserole dish. You could also use a loaf pan to separate the grease from your meat.

5. Bake Until It Reaches 160 F

Anyone topping their meatloaf with gravy or another sauce can bake it for 55 to 75 minutes. The internal temperature for meatloaf should always reach at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit to kill lingering bacteria or viruses.

If you’d like to eat your meatloaf with a ketchup topping, bake it for 30 minutes before moving on to the next step.

6. Spread the Ketchup Topping

After 30 minutes, remove your meatloaf from the oven and spread the top of the meatloaf with sugar-free ketchup or tomato sauce. Put it back in for another 25 to 45 minutes.

Prepare your favorite side dishes for meatloaf while it cooks. It would go well with sweet potatoes, which also strengthen your white blood cells to help you fight viral infections during flu season. It’s the perfect cold-weather side for a steaming plate of meatloaf.

7. Remove and Serve

After a meat thermometer confirms your meatloaf is at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit, remove and slice it for everyone to enjoy. Top it with beef gravy or a cheesy sauce, if preferred.

Make the Best Low Carb Keto Meatloaf With These Tips

You’ll make the best meatloaf ever by following these quick tips. They ensure you know what you’re doing in the kitchen so you can cook with confidence.

1. Mix Pork Into Your Beef

Diversify your meal’s flavor profile by using 1 pound of ground pork with 1 pound of ground beef. The two flavors mix well, and pork is good for your blood sugar. The standard internal temperature for meatloaf is 160 degrees Fahrenheit. If you add pork, it stays the same.

2. Play With Your Sides

You can do more than use pork rinds or almond flour to make your meal healthier. You can also consider making new side dish recipes. Coconut-lime jasmine rice would add a subtle zest to each bite and balance the hearty meat flavor of your brown gravy. 

There are many more side dishes for meatloaf than mashed potatoes or mac and cheese. Consider what you enjoy eating within your new healthy diet to match this easy recipe with a complementary food.

3. Change Your Worcestershire Sauce

Low-carb meatloaf is equally healthy with a replacement for Worcestershire sauce. Low or no-sugar barbecue or steak sauce goes just as well with the savory ground beef.

4. Give Yourself Time

Some ovens have cool spots due to age or their internal wiring. You may need more than the full 75 minutes to cook your meatloaf. Give yourself extra time to avoid feeling rushed when your family sits down to eat. If you want to reduce the cooking time, form small meatballs instead of a single loaf.

5. Add Different Spices

Spices change the flavor and aroma of meatloaf. Draw inspiration from other recipes that combine things like ginger, curry powder, and garlic powder. You’ll enjoy new bursts of flavor without changing the foundational parts of your recipe.


How to Store Your Meatloaf

Store your cut or uncut meatloaf leftovers in an airtight container. It should stay fresh for two or three days.

Let the meatloaf come to a warm temperature where it isn’t steaming anymore if you want to freeze it. When kept in an airtight container made to prevent freezer burn, your meatloaf will stay good for three to four months.4 Reheat it by thawing it overnight in your fridge and warming it in your oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 30 minutes.

Monitor Your Health and Learn More About Keeping a Healthy Diet With Signos

You’re about to make your new favorite low-carb meatloaf recipe. It’ll change how you think of your standard meals as you adjust to a healthier diet. Notice how it makes your body feel after the meal and if your continuous glucose monitor (CGM) reads your blood sugar levels differently. It should show little to no change because this recipe is low-glycemic.

A CGM could be the best investment you make in your health this year. It tracks what you eat daily and reads your blood sugar levels every 15 minutes. You’ll see exactly when you had energy spikes to better understand different foods’ effects on your health. It’s helpful for weight loss goals or managing conditions like diabetes.

Want to reach your goals faster? Take a quick quiz to learn more about the expert guidance and life-changing options available with Signos. A helping hand may be all you need to feel more in control of your overall health.

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Topics discussed in this article:


  1. The University of Sydney. (2023, May 1). Glycemic Index – Glycemic Index Research and GI News.
  2. Sinha, S. K., Sharma, S. K., & Upadhyay, T. K. (2020). Nutritional-medicinal profile and quality categorization of fresh white. Biointerface research in applied chemistry, 11(2), 8669–8685. 
  3. Quick and Easy Meatloaf recipe. (2022, October 17). Sauder’s Eggs.
  4. Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs (ASPA). (2023, September 19). Cold Food Storage Chart.

About the author

Mia Barnes is a health writer and researcher who specializes in nutrition, fitness, and mental health.

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Please note: The Signos team is committed to sharing insightful and actionable health articles that are backed by scientific research, supported by expert reviews, and vetted by experienced health editors. The Signos blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. Read more about our editorial process and content philosophy here.

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