Easy Savory Meatloaf – Best Gluten-free Recipe!

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This savory gluten-free meatloaf recipe is the ultimate comfort food, perfect for a family dinner or an easy weeknight meal. It’s a twist on the traditional meatloaf recipe, ensuring that everyone, including those with gluten sensitivities, can enjoy this classic comfort food. It is also a dairy-free recipe. Packed with great flavor and easy to make, this meatloaf will become a family favorite in no time. 

This recipe is a Dined and Dashed Level 3 Recipe which means it takes 45 minutes or less to prepare and starts to push the boundaries for many busy people to prepare on an average weekday. With some smart planning and pre-prep, however, these recipes can often be tackled successfully in less time.

Traditional recipes call for bread crumbs, which help bind the loaf and contribute to the texture we like. If you want the classic meatloaf taste and texture in a gluten-free version, you’ll need to use a substitution for breadcrumbs. Not only did we find a substitute that gave us the taste and texture we were looking for, when we compared it to the same recipe using traditional bread crumbs, we found we prefer the substitute!

savory gluten-free meatloaf on a plate with a side of carrots and mashed potatoes

What is a gluten-free substitute for breadcrumbs in meatloaf?  

I’ve seen a variety of ingredients suggested, and the list includes things I don’t have in my kitchen. I don’t even know what some of them are. Almond flour, pork panko, gluten-free oats, and gluten-free breadcrumbs… Unless you’re already a gluten-free cook, you probably don’t have those on hand either. Do you have to go to a specialty store to get them?

Ok, wow, let’s simplify this. You are much more likely to have boxed instant mashed potatoes in your cabinet, and if you don’t, they are readily available at any grocery store. I think they even sell them in the convenience store. No kidding. The easy way to make gluten-free meatloaf is to use instant mashed potato flakes in place of bread crumbs! Truly, that’s a gluten-free cooking hack you can use in a lot of your gluten-free recipes. You’re welcome to it. 🙂

Are boxed instant mashed potatoes gluten-free?

Several brands of instant mashed potatoes are considered gluten-free to less than 20 parts per million (ppm), including Betty Crocker Potato Buds, Idaho Spuds Naturals line, and Hungry Jack Instant Mashed Potatoes. Even the box I have from Aldi is gluten-free, so I can assure you, they can easily be found. Some processed potatoes may have other gluten-containing ingredients. For example, if they are thickened with flour, they are not gluten-free. Simply check the ingredients to be safe.

The only tools you’ll need to make your best savory gluten-free meatloaf:

The very basics. If you have a typical kitchen, you have what you need.

  • large mixing bowl
  • baking sheet or 9-inch loaf pan
  • parchment paper or aluminum foil (optional)

Did we tell you it was easy? There is nothing more required, friends. No food processor, fancy pastry brush, special pan, or anything but what you see right here! You don’t even need a spoon, as mixing with clean hands is the best way to work the spices into the meatloaf mixture. You will also need an oven, but that probably goes without saying, so it’s not listed. Likewise, you will need to use a knife to cut it after it bakes, and a fork to eat it, but you don’t need me to tell you that, I hope. A plate too, come to think of it…

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Our easy, savory gluten-free meatloaf ingredients:

  • instant mashed potato flakes
  • paprika
  • parsley
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • black pepper
  • beef bullion
  • salt
  • Worcestershire sauce (gluten-free*)
  • egg
  • lean ground beef

You can see why these meatloaf ingredients result in amazing flavor – a mixture of ground beef with all of those savory spices.

Is Worcestershire sauce gluten-free?

Some Worcestershire sauce brands contain barley malt vinegar, which is unsafe for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. But there are many gluten-free Worcestershire sauces, so you should be able to find one easily at most grocery stores. The most popular brand, Lea and Perrins, is safe for those who eat gluten-free. There are several other choices, including a few that are also vegan. It is not uncommon for Worcestershire sauces to contain anchovies, so those are not vegetarian or vegan. 

How to make our easy savory gluten-free meatloaf recipe

The best recipe is an easy recipe that delivers delicious results. For this classic recipe there are just three super-duper simple steps:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Form the meat mixture into a loaf on a baking sheet. 
  3. Bake.
gluten free meatloaf 4

Prep time is so quick; mixing everything literally takes just 2-3 minutes. Cooking time is also minimal. It’s so simple! 

As I mentioned earlier, you will get the best mixing results using your hands – clean or in gloves, of course – to combine the spices and lean ground beef, and also to form the loaf shape.

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For ease of clean up, line your baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Forming the meat mixture into a loaf shape and baking it on a sheet rather than in a 9-inch loaf pan allows more surface area to bake to a nice, dark crust. It’s also prettier for serving. We prefer it that way, but you could also bake the meatloaf mixture in a 9-inch loaf pan and it will taste every bit as good!

A Few Tips:

  • Of course, you are free to make minor changes to the recipe to suit your taste preferences. You might experiment with different combinations of ground meat. Other lean meat such as ground turkey can be substituted, for example. You might also adjust the spices to your taste, or use Italian seasoning in place of some of the other spices. 
  • I like to combine spices in a small bowl first to ensure they are well-mixed. This results in more even distribution when I then add them to the large bowl and combine with all of the other ingredients.
  • While you could top your meatloaf with some type of tomato paste, barbecue sauce, or meatloaf glaze, as many an old-fashioned recipe does, trust me when I say you will not need any tangy glaze competing with the savory spices for this classic meatloaf recipe!  
  • Leftover meatloaf makes excellent meatloaf sandwiches the next day. Simply slice the meatloaf and place it between two slices of gluten-free bread for a tasty lunch option.
  • Store any leftover meatloaf in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also freeze large pieces in plastic wrap or a freezer bag for longer storage.
  • Serve with real mashed potatoes and gravy, a side of green beans or other green vegetable for a complete meal.

This easy savory gluten-free meatloaf recipe is also dairy-free and offers all the wonderful flavor of a classic meatloaf without the gluten. It’s a great way for the whole family to enjoy one of your favorite comfort foods while accommodating dietary restrictions.

Whether for a family dinner or an easy weeknight dinner, this savory meatloaf is sure to have a special place in your recipe collection.

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meatloaf 4

Easy Savory Meatloaf – Best Gluten-free Recipe!

Author: Dave Paukner
No ratings yet
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 294 kcal


  • 1 baking sheet or 9" loaf pan
  • 1 mixing bowl


  • ½ cup potato flakes
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp beef bullion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce gluten-free*
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lb. ground beef


  • Mix all ingredients together.
  • Form into loaf on a baking sheet. (Lining the sheet with parchment paper makes cleanup easy).
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.


Serving: 138gCalories: 294kcalCarbohydrates: 8.28gProtein: 32.55gFat: 13.78gPotassium: 489mgIron: 3.92mg
Keyword beef, comfort food, dietary restrictions, dinner, gluten-free, leftovers

Let us know if you try our savory gluten-free meatloaf recipe. We’d also love to hear if anyone could tell that it wasn’t made with breadcrumbs!

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