Gluten-free meatloaf with cranberry glaze served with pashed potatoes.

The Best Gluten-Free Meatloaf With Cranberry Glaze

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Meatloaf makes some people skeptical. However, that’s because you haven’t tasted the right meatloaf yet. 

This gluten-free meatloaf is the best meatloaf you will ever taste. It is tender and filled with moisture. 

You don’t have to force yourself to eat dry meatloaf that falls apart before putting it in your mouth. One taste of this comforting meatloaf, and you will look forward to eating the leftovers stored in the fridge. 

What Makes This Gluten-Free Meatloaf Recipe Different 

This gluten-free meatloaf recipe is jazzed up with a sweet but tart cranberry glaze. The glaze contains sugar-free ketchup, mustard, brown sugar-free sweetener, and cranberry jam

I added cranberry jam to the glaze for two reasons. I made a big batch of jam and needed to use it up. Additionally, I thought the jam would add a different twist to the meatloaf. 

It worked out perfectly. The jam gave the glaze a beautiful rich red color and a sweet but tart flavor, which paired perfectly with the moist, savory meatloaf. 

Gluten-Free Meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl.

What Is The Best Ground Beef For Meatloaf

You don’t want to use ground beef that is extremely lean or overly fatty. Yes, fat equals flavor. But the meatloaf gets its flavor from the other ingredients. 

Remember, as it cooks, the fat will render. If you use ground beef with high-fat content, the meat will sit in the fat, creating a greasy mess. 

If you use ground beef that is too lean, the meatloaf will be super dry. Ground beef that is 80% or 85% lean is best for making meatloaf. 

If you are still worried about the meatloaf being dry, the other ingredients will help keep it moist and juicy. 

What Is The Secret To Juicy Meatloaf

Adding moisture is the secret to creating a juicy meatloaf. Ingredients such as milk, eggs, mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce, and tomato paste add moisture to the meatloaf and prevent it from drying out. 

Gluten-free meatloaf with cranberry glaze served with pashed potatoes.

What Can I Use Instead Of Breadcrumbs In Meatloaf

This is a gluten-free meatloaf, so it does not contain wheat breadcrumbs. Luckily, there are many substitutes you can use. 

The most obvious choice is gluten-free breadcrumbs. However, you can also use crushed gluten-free crackers or cereal, as well as rolled oats. Instead of gluten-free breadcrumbs, I used 1/2 cup of almond flour to make this meatloaf keto-friendly. 

Why Do You Put Milk In Meatloaf

Milk adds moisture to the meatloaf. It softens up the bread, breadcrumbs, or, in this case, almond flour, adding moisture to the meatloaf. Milk also gives the meatloaf a softer texture and helps bind the meat mixture together preventing it from falling apart.

You can use non-dairy milk or water if you do not want to use milk. You can also use low-sodium beef or chicken broth in place of milk. 

Why Is My Meatloaf Falling Apart

There are several reasons why your meatloaf may fall apart, such as cooking it too long. But the culprit is probably the binding agents. Eggs and breadcrumbs bind meatloaf together. It will fall apart if there aren’t enough of these ingredients in the meatloaf.  

Do You Cook Meatloaf Covered Or Uncovered

I always cook meatloaf uncovered. The meatloaf has to brown, and the sauce needs to caramelize. However, if you are worried about the meatloaf burning, cover it and bake it for 40 minutes, then uncover it, add the glaze, and bake it for another 15 minutes. This will allow the meatloaf to brown and the glaze to caramelize. 

Gluten-free meatloaf with cranberry glaze served with pashed potatoes.

Tips For Making The Best Meatloaf

Do not overmix your meatloaf. Overmixing can cause the meatloaf to become tough. Mix it just until it is combined.

Chop the onions, bell peppers, and garlic finely. If these ingredients are cut too big, they will not cook through. 

Saute the onions, bell peppers, and garlic. This step is optional, but sauteeing the vegetables makes them more tender and adds moisture to the meatloaf. 

If you want the meatloaf to have a crisp texture, cook the meatloaf in a baking pan or sheet pan. You can cook the meatloaf in a loaf pan, but the drippings from the meat will cause it to steam. 

Let your meatloaf rest for 10 minutes before cutting it. It will let the juices settle and prevent the meatloaf from drying out. 

How To Store Meatloaf

To store meatloaf, let it cool completely. Place the meatloaf in an airtight container, cover it, and cook it in the fridge for 3-4 days. 

You can also store meatloaf in the freezer. Let the meatloaf cool completely, then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. Wrap the meatloaf with a layer of foil, then freeze it for 2-3 months. 

Let the meatloaf thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating. 

To reheat meatloaf, cut it into single portions and reheat it in the microwave in 30-second bursts until it is heated through.

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The Best Gluten-Free Meatloaf With Cranberry Glaze

Recipe by Sarah
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: Dinner Recipes, Gluten-Free, Keto, Lunch, RecipesCuisine: American, Gluten-Free, KetoDifficulty: Easy
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

50

minutes
Calories

286

kcal
Total time

1

hour 

5

minutes

This easy to make meatloaf is the best meatloaf you will ever make. The meat is moist, tender, and bursting with flavor. The sticky caramelized cranberry glaze is tart but sweet, making it hard to eat just 1 piece of meatloaf.  

Cook Mode

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Ingredients

  • Meatloaf:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 medium white onion, minced

  • 1/2 medium orange bell pepper, minced

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1/2 cup almond flour

  • 3/4 cup almond milk

  • 2 lbs. lean 80/20 ground beef

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons herbs de Provence

  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese

  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley

  • Cranberry Glaze:
  • ½ cup cranberry jam

  • ½ cup sugar-free ketchup

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar substitute

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yellow mustard

Directions

  • Meatloaf:
  • Place the olive oil into a small skillet and set it over medium-low heat.
  • Add the white onion, orange bell pepper, and garlic and cook it for 3-4 minutes, often stirring until it softens.
    Sautéing onions, bell peppers, and garlic in olive oil.
  • Remove it from the heat and set it aside to cool completely.
  • Place the almond flour and almond milk in a large bowl and stir to combine. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • Add the ground beef, eggs, seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, herbs de Provence, parmesan cheese, and dried parsley and mix to combine.

    Gluten-free meatloaf mixture in a large bowl.
  • Shape the mixture into two small loaves or 1 large loaf and place it into a baking dish. You can also bake the meatloaf on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Set it aside.
    Two gluten-free meatloaves in a baking dish.
  • Cranberry Glaze:
  • Mix the cranberry glaze ingredients in a small bowl until combined.
    Cranberry glaze for gluten-free meatloaf in a small bowl.
  • Brush half of the cranberry glaze on top of each meatloaf, then bake it for 40 minutes.
    Cranberry glaze being brushed onto gluten-free metaloaf.
  • Spread the remaining cranberry glaze on top of the meatloaf and bake it for another 10-15 minutes until it has an internal temperature of 160°F.
  • Let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes. Slice it. Serve with mashed potatoes if desired and enjoy!
    Gluten-free meatloaf with cranberry glaze served with pashed potatoes.

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Nutrition Facts

8 servings per container


  • Amount Per ServingCalories286
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 14.5g 22%
    • Saturated Fat 4.3g 20%
  • Cholesterol 119mg 40%
  • Sodium 672mg 29%
  • Potassium 38mg 2%
  • Total Carbohydrate 13.2g 5%
    • Dietary Fiber 0.6g 0%
    • Sugars 7.3g
  • Protein 25.3g 50%

  • Calcium 14%
  • Iron 3%
  • Vitamin D 14%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Author

  • Sarah

    Hello. Welcome to my food blog! I am a recipe developer/content writer and creator. Food is universal. Its more than something you eat. Food is an experience that can be enjoyed alone or with others. It can affect your physical health and your mood. I love food and I believe it affects how we feel which is why I started this blog that provides you with delicious healthy recipes, useful tips and tricks, guides, and informative articles.

    View all posts

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