Looking for a hearty and healthy dinner option? Look no further than this simple oatmeal recipe meatloaf! Oatmeal is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, and in this recipe, it adds both nutrition and texture to classic meatloaf.
I have been using oats in meatloaf for years. Oats are healthy and cheap making a great binder for meatloaf.
What is meatloaf
Meatloaf is a dish typically made with ground meat (usually beef, but sometimes pork, veal, or a combination of meats), combined with various ingredients such as eggs, breadcrumbs, onions, herbs, and spices. The mixture is shaped into a loaf, placed in a baking dish, and baked in the oven until cooked through.
Meatloaf can be served hot or cold, and is often accompanied by a tomato-based sauce or gravy. It is a popular comfort food in many countries, including the United States, where it is often served with mashed potatoes and vegetables. Meatloaf can be customized with different spices and ingredients, making it a versatile and flexible dish.
Why you should use oats in your meatloaf
Oats are often used in meatloaf recipes as a binder instead of bread crumbs or crackers. There are several reasons why you should consider using oats in your meatloaf:
Health benefits: Oats are a great source of fiber, protein, and other important nutrients. Using oats instead of bread crumbs can add more nutritional value to your meatloaf.
Texture: Oats have a finer texture than bread crumbs, which can help create a denser, more cohesive meatloaf that holds together well.
Flavor: Oats have a mild, nutty flavor that can complement the other ingredients in your meatloaf. They can also help absorb and distribute the flavors of other ingredients like onions, garlic, and herbs.
Gluten-free option: If you or someone in your household has a gluten sensitivity or allergy, using oats instead of bread crumbs can make your meatloaf gluten-free.
When using oats in your meatloaf, be sure to use old-fashioned oats, not quick-cooking oats. You can mix them with eggs, milk, or other liquids to create a moist and flavorful meatloaf. Give it a try and see if you like the taste and texture of oats in your meatloaf!
How oats can save you money on food
Oats can be a great way to save money on food in several ways:
Versatility: Oats can be used in a variety of dishes, from breakfast porridge to meatloaf to homemade granola bars. They can replace more expensive ingredients like nuts, flour, and breadcrumbs in many recipes, helping you save money without sacrificing flavor or nutrition.
Long shelf life: Oats have a long shelf life, especially if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. This means you can buy them in bulk and use them over time, rather than having to constantly restock more expensive ingredients.
Affordable: Oats are relatively inexpensive, especially compared to other grains like quinoa or rice. They are often sold in large bags or bulk bins, making them a cost-effective option for families on a budget.
Nutritional value: Oats are a nutritious and filling food, rich in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. By incorporating oats into your diet, you can potentially reduce your overall food costs by staying full and satisfied for longer periods of time, which can help reduce the need for snacks or extra meals.
DIY convenience foods: Oats can also be used to make your own convenience foods, such as granola bars or instant oatmeal packets. By making these items at home, you can save money on store-bought versions and also control the ingredients and nutritional value.
By incorporating oats into your diet and meal planning, you can potentially save money on food while also enjoying the many health benefits of this versatile and affordable ingredient.
Why Does Meatloaf Fall Apart?
Meatloaf can fall apart for several reasons, including:
Not enough binding agents: Meatloaf needs binding agents, such as eggs, breadcrumbs, oats, or vegetables, to hold it together. If there are not enough binding agents or they are not mixed in well, the meatloaf can fall apart when sliced or served.
Overmixing: Overmixing the meat mixture can break down the protein in the meat and cause it to become too soft or mushy, making it more likely to fall apart.
Too much liquid: Adding too much liquid, such as milk, broth, or tomato sauce, can make the meatloaf too wet and difficult to hold together.
Not enough cooking time: Meatloaf needs to be cooked thoroughly to the proper internal temperature to hold together properly. If it is undercooked, it can be too soft and fall apart.
Not enough resting time: Letting the meatloaf rest for a few minutes after it comes out of the oven allows the juices to redistribute and helps the meatloaf hold its shape. If it is sliced or served too soon, it can fall apart.
To avoid a meatloaf that falls apart, be sure to follow a recipe that includes enough binding agents and mix them in well. Don’t overmix the meat mixture and avoid adding too much liquid. Make sure to cook the meatloaf thoroughly to the proper temperature and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing or serving.
Classic meatloaf with oatmeal recipe
Here’s a classic meatloaf recipe that uses oatmeal as a binder:
- 1 pound ground beef (85% lean)
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats and milk. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow the oats to absorb the milk.
- Add the ground beef, onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, egg, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper, thyme, and oregano to the mixing bowl. Mix all ingredients well, but do not overmix.
- Transfer the meat mixture to a loaf pan and shape into a loaf. You can also shape it into a loaf on a baking sheet if you don’t have a loaf pan.
- Bake the meatloaf in the preheated oven for 1 hour, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F on a meat thermometer.
- Let the meatloaf rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Enjoy your classic meatloaf with oatmeal! You can serve it with your favorite side dishes, such as mashed potatoes, green beans, or roasted carrots.
Simple ways to spice up your meatloaf
Here are some simple ways to change up the flavor of your meatloaf:
Change up the meat: Try using a mixture of ground beef, pork, and/or lamb instead of just ground beef for a different flavor profile.
Add spices and herbs: Experiment with different spices and herbs to add different flavors to your meatloaf. Some options include cumin, chili powder, paprika, parsley, rosemary, or thyme.
Use different sauces: Swap out the ketchup for BBQ sauce, tomato sauce, or even salsa to give your meatloaf a different flavor.
Add cheese: Add shredded cheddar or parmesan cheese to the meat mixture or sprinkle it on top of the meatloaf for a cheesy twist.
Incorporate veggies: Add finely chopped vegetables like carrots, zucchini, or bell peppers to the meat mixture to give it extra flavor and nutrition.
Try different types of oats: Instead of using traditional rolled oats, try using steel-cut oats or quick oats for a slightly different texture and flavor.
Top it off: Add a topping to your meatloaf before baking, such as a layer of bacon or a glaze made from honey and mustard, for an extra boost of flavor.
These are just a few ideas to help change up the flavor of your meatloaf. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things to find your favorite combination!
What to serve with oatmeal recipe meatloaf
There are many side dishes that go well with oatmeal recipe meatloaf. Here are a few ideas:
Roasted vegetables: Roast some carrots, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts in the oven for a healthy and flavorful side dish.
Green beans: Steamed or sautéed green beans make a great side dish that complements the flavors of meatloaf.
Mac and cheese: For a comforting and indulgent side dish, serve your meatloaf with a side of homemade mac and cheese.
Baked sweet potatoes: Roast sweet potatoes in the oven and serve them alongside your meatloaf for a healthy and filling side dish.
Salad: A fresh green salad with a light vinaigrette dressing is a great way to balance out the heartiness of the meatloaf.
Garlic bread: Warm, crusty garlic bread is a tasty and easy side dish that complements the flavors of meatloaf.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Feel free to mix and match different side dishes to find your favorite combination!
How to store leftover meatloaf
To store leftover meatloaf, follow these simple steps:
Let the meatloaf cool down to room temperature before storing it. This will prevent condensation from forming and making the meatloaf soggy.
Wrap the meatloaf tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Make sure it’s completely covered to prevent any air from getting in.
Place the wrapped meatloaf in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. Label the container or bag with the date, so you can keep track of how long it’s been in the fridge.
Store the meatloaf in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
If you want to store the meatloaf for a longer period of time, you can also freeze it. Follow the same steps as above, but place the wrapped meatloaf in a freezer-safe container or bag to prevent freezer burn. The meatloaf can be frozen for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat it, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating it.
This simple oatmeal recipe meatloaf is a delicious and healthy way to enjoy a classic comfort food. By using oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs, you’ll be adding fiber and whole grains to your meal. Plus, the recipe is easy to follow and can be customized to suit your tastes.
Try making this simple oatmeal recipe meatloaf for your next family dinner or meal prep session. Share the recipe with friends and family so they can enjoy this tasty and healthy meal too.