I haven't made meatloaf in forever and thought it would be yummy so I decided to make it. This time to be a bit healthier, I decided to add some veggies to my meatloaf. I really enjoyed the results. I have to warn you here that I am trying to watch our sodium a bit, so if you choose to make this, you can adjust the recipe to add more salt. This is a good way to sneak veggies into kids, you could even puree the veggies if you wanted to before adding them to the meat so they can't be identified. I like to leave them like they are though.
Veggie packed Meatloaf
2 tablespoons of butter
1 cup of finely diced onion
1 rib of celery, finely diced
1 carrot, diced finely
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
½ of an 8oz can of tomato sauce
1 cup of breadcrumbs
2 eggs, large
2 pounds of ground beef
Preheat your over to 350 degrees. In a saute pan over medium heat, melt butter and then add the diced celery, onion and carrot. Saute for 3-5 minutes allowing the veggies to soften. Turn the heat down a bit and then cover and let the veggies continue to soften for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat back up to medium and add the minced garlic, allowing it to cook for a minute or two. You can also add a bit of salt here if you would like. Then add the half can of tomato sauce cooking for another minute. Set aside and let cool. Crack the two eggs into a small bowl and lightly beat them. In a large bowl, add the beaten eggs, ground beef, breadcrumbs, and the cooled veggie/tomato mixture. Mix the meatloaf mixture with your hands until everything is mixed well.
Now you’re ready to form your meatloaf and place it in a pan. I chose to use a sheet pan and free form my loaf. I like this way the best. You could also choose to use cupcake tins, though the cooking time would be quicker. Bake for one hour. Top with desired amount of ketchup (I like a good amount) and bake for about 10-15 minutes more.
Handy Tip #1: I advise you to check any meats you cook with a meat thermometer just to be extra safe. Fully cooked according to this website that I found online here is 160 degrees.
Handy Tip #2: Use parchment paper on your sheet pan for easy clean up.
Handy Tip #3: you could also use ketchup in place of the tomato sauce. I chose to use no salt added tomato sauce because I am trying to watch our sodium intake somewhat. I never really realized how high in sodium ketchup is. Feel free to sub it in place if you’d rather. Also, feel free to add more salt to this recipe as I didn’t really add much.