I have tried and tried and tried to create a delicious gluten-free meatloaf, but have failed on countless occasions. We have had hard-as-a-rock meatloaves and runny meatloaves and gummy meatloaves and dense meatloaves, but nothing has ever been delicious…until now.
When all else fails (oatmeal, gluten-free breadcrumbs, no breadcrumbs at all, fresh gluten-free breadcrumbs, etc..), you just have to go to the experts. To me, there is no better resource than America’s Test Kitchen and The How Can It Be Gluten-Free cookbook had a meatloaf recipe in it that had a really unusual binding agent that yields a fluffy and delicious meatloaf without the gluten. You know what makes it even better? It is just a standard ingredient you would find at a standard grocery store that you might even have in your pantry. You mean, no fancy pants gluten-free ingredients that cost an arm and a leg? Well, heck, sign me up!
If you don’t have meatloaf pan like this, they offer an affordable alternative to create a loaf that isn’t swimming in grease. Simply place a standard cooling rack on top of your cookie sheet and then tear pieces of foil, roughly the size of a loaf pan) to lay on top of your cooling rack. Spray with cooking spray and then use a skewer to poke holes to drain the grease from the loaf. All the grease then goes to the cooking sheet, helping the loaf to hold its shape.
Once you have shaped your meatloaf, you can cover it in half the sauce you have made. This sauce is sweet and I have discovered my family prefers just a can of tomato sauce on top with a little shake of garlic salt for a more Italian flavoring. You can do either, but I definitely found that this sweet sauce hugged and set well on this meatloaf, even when reheated later for delicious meatloaf sandwiches.
This meatloaf is so light and who would ever have guessed that instant mashed potatoes is what keeps it so light and fluffy? It’s an incredible loaf that holds its shape and is full of flavor thanks to the delicious sauce that compliments this fluffy loaf perfectly. We served this dish with a big helping of oven roasted brussels sprouts, a side that has grown to be a family favorite!
I hope you will enjoy this recipe in your house as much as we had and now that I know what a great binder instant mashed potatoes are, this will be a pantry staple for our family! Thank you, America’s Test Kitchen, for making our family so darn happy!
Gluten-Free Meatloaf Recipe
Serves: 8 servings
A perfectly light meatloaf with the most surprising binding agent! Try substituting the sweet sauce with tomato sauce for an Italian kick!
- ½ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 onions, chopped fine
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup milk of choice
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ⅓ cup potato flakes
- ⅓ cup minced fresh parsley
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 pound (85 percent lean) ground beef
- Adjust the oven rack to the upper-middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Fold heavy-duty aluminum foil to form a 9×5-inch rectangle. Center foil on a wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Poke holes in the foil with a skewer (about ½ inch apart). Spray foil with vegetable oil spray.
- Stir ketchup, sugar and vinegar together in a bowl and set aside. Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Whisk in eggs, milk, mustard, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Stir in potato flakes and parsley. Add pork and knead with hands until thoroughly combined. Add beef and continue to knead until uniform.
- Transfer meat mixture to foil rectangle and shape into 9×5-inch loaf. Brush half of ketchup mixture over meatloaf. Bake meatloaf in preheated oven 40 minutes.
- Brush meatloaf with remaining ketchup mixture and continue to bake until center of loaf registers 160°F, 30 to 35 minutes. Let meatloaf cool 15 minutes before slicing.
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