When I first saw Wedding Crashers 8 years ago, I wondered, “what is this meatloaf they speak of?”

Nope, I didn’t grow up on meatloaf. I grew up on a diet heavy in grilled meat goodies, pasta primavera, and spinach strawberry salad.

However, Austin (my bf) did grow up on meatloaf. His humble mother claims that her recipe is “nothing special;” but when you’ve got three grown men all raving about how much they love their mother’s meatloaf, it’s got to have something special going on.

I spent one weekend in San Angelo with Austin’s mom studying up on her meatloaf technique. We experimented with paleo-friendly adaptations and landed on a solid recipe that I KNOW you’re going to love.


It was actually my first meatloaf … and I loved it. I’ve always been a little grossed out by the thought (for no good reason) so was pretty hesitant to take a bite. I was wrong. Meatloaf is delicious and I am officially a fan.

The pride and joy of most meatloaf chefs revolves around the “sauce.” Meatloaf sauce is usually ketchup-based. It’s smeared on top of the loaf during baking and then used to drown the poor little slices again during eating.

The secret behind Austin’s family meatloaf is that you apply the sauce when the loaf is almost finished baking, then crank the heat up so it stiffens. This turns the sauce from a watery slather to a thick, savory, frosting-like topper.

The secret to my paleo meatloaf is that I use almond meal instead of bread crumbs/crackers, tomato paste instead of ketchup, and balsamic vinegar in the sauce to make people wonder, “what on earth is making this so tasty?”

The balsamic vinegar adds a sweet, rustic, full-bodied flavor.

My non-meatloaf-eating family gobbled up the stuff and kept asking for more.

Next I’ll share my recipe for Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes. Mashed potatoes and meatloaf go together like hotdogs on the 4th of July, ice cream with warm peach cobbler, and Gus + broccoli (the little weirdo loves broccoli).

Hope you enjoy!





Paleo Meatloaf

5 — Votes 2 votes
By Cassy
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
The secret to my paleo meatloaf is that I use almond meal instead of bread crumbs/crackers, tomato paste instead of ketchup, and balsamic vinegar in the sauce to make people wonder, “what on earth is making this so tasty?”



  • 2 pounds Lean Ground Beef I used 90% lean
  • 1 pound Lean Ground Pork I used 80% lean
  • 1 cup Shredded Carrots
  • 1 cup Chopped Yellow Onion
  • ½ cup Chopped Green Bell Pepper
  • 1 cup Chopped Fresh Tomato
  • ½ cup Almond Meal
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Black Pepper


  • 1 can 15 ounces Tomato Sauce I prefer organic
  • 1 can 6 ounces Tomato Paste again, I prefer organic
  • 3 tablespoons Grainy/Spicy Mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Mix all the loaf ingredients together. I recommend you use your hands to smash and combine – you can feel when the texture is even.
  • In an oven safe pan (I like to use my non-stick turkey roasting pan), form your loaf.
  • Bake at 375 F for 45 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk all ingredients for your sauce together.
  • At the end of the 45 minutes, pull loaf from oven and turn heat up to 450 F.
  • Frost the loaf with the sauce. Like a cake, place all the sauce on top of the loaf and carefully spread down until it evenly covers all sides.
  • When the oven is at 450 F, put the coated loaf back in the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  • If the tomato sauce still looks watery, leave in the oven for 5 minutes at a time until it has a texture you’re happy with.
  • Let cool slightly, then serve!
  • [Note: this meatloaf makes for amazing leftovers. Just cover with plastic wrap and reheat slices when you want. It will keep for 4-5 days in the fridge.]


Calories: 417kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 152mg | Sodium: 909mg | Potassium: 1099mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 3485IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 5mg

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 417
Keyword: grain free meatload, paleo meatloaf

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About the Author

Cassy Joy Garcia, NC

Cassy Joy Garcia, a New York Times best-selling author, of Cook Once Dinner Fix, Cook Once Eat All Week, and Fed and Fit as well as the creative force behind the popular food blog Fed & Fit.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    The Best paleo meat loaf – I blend the veggies before I mix and use oat flour and the kids love it. I have also smoked on Traeger. SO Good we make over and over.

    1. Blending the veggies is a great idea!! We are so happy y’all love it!