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Basic meatloaf: simple, gluten-free, paleo

Meatloaf is a lot like soup: You can add just about any ingredient you like and it’ll taste great. Play around with this recipe by adding or substituting chopped roasted bell peppers, chopped mushrooms, different herb combinations (fresh or dried), even different combos of meats.

This is also easy to put together in the morning; just cover and refrigerate, then pop in the oven when you get home from work.

I use ground bison because we like the taste, it’s readily available (we buy it at Costco), and it’s a little leaner than regular ground beef; but of course you can use beef too. Basic Meatloaf is delicious with a big salad and maybe ketchup (my husband’s choice) or a dollop of Dijon mustard mixed with a little Just Mayo and dried tarragon.

This is the latest installment of my plan to record my everyday go-to recipes. (First installment: Chicken Oregano.) Click the “Follow Me” Button in the right column of my website to get an email whenever I post a new recipe.

Basic Bison Meatloaf

Serves 4


2-3 large cloves garlic (you can use bottled chopped garlic but I don’t think it tastes quite as good in this recipe)

A handful of fresh parsley sprigs (to yield 1/3-1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley)

1 egg

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

About 1 teaspoon dried thyme or oregano (or a combination), or more to taste

1-2 teaspoons dried onion flakes (yes, freshly chopped onion is much better, but when I’m in a hurry I’ll use dried in recipes like this one, where the onion is just a slight flavoring)

About 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins is gluten free)

About 2 teaspoons lemon juice (I use Santa Cruz Organic)

About 2 tablespoons gluten-free bread crumbs (This is just a binder, so use whatever you have. I make breadcrumbs by breaking up and whirling a piece of frozen/dried GF bread in a food processor. Recently I found some ancient, leftover GF pancakes in my freezer so I used one of those. You could also substitute 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed or almond meal.)

1.25pounds ground bison (buffalo) or lean organic ground beef


  1. If you’re going to cook this right away, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Peel the garlic; mince or squeeze through a garlic press. (If you must, you can substitute 1 teaspoon bottled chopped garlic, but I don’t think it tastes quite as good in this recipe.) Chop the parsley to yield 1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped parsley.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the egg, salt, pepper, dried herbs, onion flakes, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice; whisk with a fork until well mixed. Add chopped garlic, parsley, and bread crumbs; stir until well mixed. Add ground meat and, using your hands, mix well. Form into a loaf and place in a 8×4-inch loaf pan. (If making ahead, cover and refrigerate the meatloaf all day until you’re ready to cook it.)


  4. Once your oven is preheated to 350 degrees, bake meatloaf 50-55 minutes, until cooked throughout (no longer pink in the middle). Let it sit for 2 minutes before slicing to serve. IMG_9554

That’s it! Let me know your own modifications to this basic recipe.


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