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Classic Meatloaf

Recipe Type

Low Carb
Makes 6 servings10 minutes hands on time70 minutes total time

By Catherine Newman

Makes: 6 servings

Total Carbohydrates: 7 grams per serving

Hands-on Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

This meatloaf is ready to go in the oven before the oven is even preheated and that’s partly because one time I forgot to add chopped onion, and now I on purpose never add it. If onion is important to you, by all means chop one up and add it, either raw or briefly sauteed in oil. But I can’t tell you how little I miss it! The Onion Question aside, this is a wonderful meatloaf: moist and flavorful and – like all worthwhile meatloaves – as good cold the next day as it is freshly baked.

If you’re looking to:

Lower the fat: Use ground turkey or leaner ground beef.

Lower the salt: Reduce salt to 1 teaspoon.


1 pound ground beef (ideally 80/20 or 85/15 lean to fat ratio)

½ cup rolled oats or uncooked plain oatmeal

¼ cup milk (I use whole milk)

1 large egg, beaten

2 tablespoons low- or no-sugar ketchup (plus 3 tablespoons for topping)

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

A pinch of thyme, basil, oregano, and/or rosemary, or ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning blend

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Black pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oven to 350° F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving some hanging over the sides. (The parchment paper isn’t strictly necessary; it just makes it easier to remove the meatloaf neatly after it’s cooked.)
  2. Thoroughly mix together all of the ingredients (except the ketchup for topping). I do this in my stand mixer with the paddle attachment, but you can also do it by hand with a wooden spoon. I know that sometimes you want to mix ground meat very gently, but this is not one of those times. Once it’s well mixed, you can microwave or pan-fry a pinch of the mixture to see if it needs any more seasoning – salt, herbs, or spices – before you bake it.
  3. Scoop the mixture into the pan, smooth the top and dome it a little bit if you’re feeling fussy, then spoon on the rest of the ketchup and spread it around with the back of the spoon.

  4. Bake until it’s cooked through, around 50–60 minutes (it will be browning by this point, and shrinking from the sides of the pan a bit), or until it reaches 160° F on an instant-read thermometer, if you’re fancy like that.
  5. Cool in the pan for ten minutes before moving it to a cutting board. (Or serve it directly from the pan, which is what I do when I’m not photographing it for diaTribe.)

About Catherine

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop series of mission-driven cooking magazines. This kids’ cooking magazine won the James Beard Publication of the Year award in 2013 – the first non-profit ever to win it – and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. Her book "How to Be A Person" was published in 2020. She also helped develop Sprout, a WIC version of the magazine for families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), as well as Seasoned, their senior version. They distribute over a million magazines annually, through paid subscriptions, doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals. Their mission started with obesity as its explicit focus – and has shifted, over the years, to a more holistic one, with health, happiness, and real food at its core. That’s the same vibe Catherine brings to the diaTribe column.

[Photo Credit: Catherine Newman]