Paleo meatloaf topped with spicy barbecue glaze is comfort food at it’s best. The recipe makes two loaves, so you can have one now and save the other for later.
As I stood in the kitchen making this recipe, I had to laugh. I’ve never liked meatloaf. At all. As a kid, I’m pretty sure I threw legit tantrums whenever my mom made it.
Which is funny, since meatballs are basically my favorite food of all time. And really, what is meatloaf if not a giant meatball?
I’ve made meatloaf a few times as an adult and while I can tolerate it, it’s still not my favorite. There are a few that have been really good (duck meatloaf from a restaurant downtown that’s unfortunately no longer on the menu and this bacon wrapped mushroom meatloaf) and some that I flat out hated (turkey meatloaf is a no go and DO NOT under any circumstance put ketchup on it).
Shawn loves it though, and last week we were both craving some good, old-fashioned comfort food. What I especially love about this paleo meatloaf recipe is that you can roast potatoes (or sweet potatoes if that’s more your style) right on the same pan. That way, most of your dinner is taken care of – just mix up a green salad or toss some vegetables on the stove and you’re good to go. I’m all about sheet pan recipes these days.
I actually based this recipe off of a meatloaf that I made from one of my Sun Basket boxes about a year ago – it was surprisingly delicious and I keep waiting for it to come around again. In addition to scaling the recipe way up (what can I say, I wanted leftovers), I made two main swaps to make this barbecue meatloaf recipe fit into a paleo/Whole 30 diet.
The first swap is to use almond meal in place of breadcrumbs. This is something I started doing with meatballs a while ago and it works really well. Be sure to look for a coarser almond meal as opposed to almond flour, which is more finely ground and results in a dryer meatloaf. You’ll generally be able to identify almond meal by the flecks of almond skin in the mix. I like this one from Trader Joe’s.
The second change was figuring out what to put on top. I wanted to use barbecue sauce, but I really didn’t feel like going through the hassle of making my own. And, like I mentioned above, ketchup was a complete nonstarter. I grabbed a bottle of date-sweetened from Whole Foods – Tessemae’s is popular, and Not Ketchup also makes a version. I added a little cayenne pepper to up the heat and balance out the sweet date flavor and some apple cider vinegar to add a little extra tang and thin the sauce out to more of a glaze.
The result was delicious, and the leftovers were even better.