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Roasted Vegetable Balsamic Meatloaf takes the classic retro dinner and gives it more flavor and an extra dose of veggie goodness. Plus they make it extra moist and tender. Whether you want to use up leftover roast veggies or are looking for an easy and healthier way to stretch your ground beef, this is a hearty dinner recipe the entire family will love. And it’s even super simple to make this Roasted Veggie Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze one of your favorite gluten free comfort food recipes too.
Originally published on April 30, 2012. Updated with new photos, video, and additional helpful information.
The first time I made this, I was looking for a true manly-man meal. You see, I was cooking dinner for my son (I only had one at the time), husband, father, and grandfather. And the best guys in my life deserved a hearty and satisfying dinner.
So many of us grew up on this dish that was a genius was of stretching already relatively inexpensive ground beef by adding fillers like egg and breadcrumbs. While this is great for making the food budget go a little further, it doesn’t do much for the flavor and nutrition factors. In fact, not all of us even have fond memories of meatloaf.
However, with a few changes to the classic meatloaf recipe, you can not only add the healthy benefits of eating more veggies but actually make it taste amazing. Dare I say it, almost gourmet.
How to flavor meatloaf
When I saw this Roasted Veggie Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze from Ann at The Fountain Avenue Kitchen, I knew I had to try it. But I did put my own spin on it.
Sure, many traditional versions do have raw veggies like onions, carrots, and celery to help stretch it out. But when you use a mix of things like carrots, squash, mushrooms, peppers, or whatever you have on hand, then roast them at a high temperature to get them browned and caramelized, it really intensifies the deliciousness.
Instead of bottled ketchup, I mix up a quick batch of my homemade balsamic ketchup. It literally takes just seconds to stir together and really adds that delightfully tangy punch of balsamic goodness with the moisture and umami from the tomato-ey base.
And then it does double duty as the balsamic glaze slathered on top before baking.
No packets of onion soup mix needed, like my mom always used to use. Yet it might be twice as yummy. My guys, my kids, my extended family, even one of my best friends, who makes this recipe all the time, and her family repeatedly devour it.
It might be a manly meal, but you have to admit, this is some fancy meatloaf. But don’t worry. Not too fancy. We keep it real around here.
How to make Balsamic Glazed Meatloaf with Roasted Vegetables
You have a few steps to follow, but it’s really quite simple to make. Roast some veggies or set aside leftovers, then puree them in a food processor or blender. Then stir together a quick, extra tasty homemade ketchup to add to the meat mixture and to serve as the balsamic glaze.
Make your standard ground beef, bread crumbs (or oats), egg, ketchup, and seasoning mixture, but add in those pureed veggies. Form it all into a loaf and bake for about an hour. The balsamic and the caramelization on the veggies made this a more interesting and exciting spin on an old standard.
Here is a brief overview so you can see just how easy it is to make. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full quantities and details.
But don’t skip my PRO TIPS below!
- Roasted vegetables – anything you have leftover will work, but I like to use my Balsamic Roasted Vegetables.
- Breadcrumbs or slightly ground oats – use certified gluten free, if needed. Do NOT use quick or instant oatmeal.
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Balsamic ketchup – a simple combination of tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, and a few herbs and spices. This is used in the meatloaf and as a balsamic glaze for the top.
- Thyme – dried or fresh
- Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper
- Ground beef – I usually use 93% lean, but you can use whatever type you prefer
- Stir together the balsamic ketchup.
- Puree the veggies in a food processor or blender.
- In a bowl, stir together the eggs, breadcrumbs or oats, Parmesan, balsamic ketchup, thyme, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Stir in the roasted vegetables.
- Add the ground beef and work it together with your hands.
- Shape the meat mixture into a loaf and place it into a baking pan. Pack it firmly together.
- Spread more of the balsamic glaze over the top.
- Bake at 350°F for about an hour, until the internal temperature, reaches 160°F.
- Let rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with additional balsamic ketchup, if desired.
Brianne’s recipe pro tips
First, a few general tips to help you make perfect meatloaf.
Sure, you can just use a mixture of ketchup and balsamic vinegar for the meatloaf and glaze. But it is much thinner than my Balsamic Ketchup. So I’d recommend at least just mixing the specified amount of tomato paste and balsamic vinegar, even if you want to skip the dried herbs and spices. Do be sure to add a pinch or two of salt, though.
The pureed veggies do make this meatloaf moist and tender, but you will want to be sure you mix it thoroughly and pack it together tightly so it doesn’t fall apart. There really isn’t as much of a concern of overmixing like with other meatloaf recipes.
You’ll want to cook the meatloaf to an internal temperature of 160°F. I recommend an Instant Read Thermometer for a quick and accurate reading.
Now, let’s get into some specifics.
Veggies to use
The roasted vegetables do add a lot of flavor just from their caramelization in the roasting process. But adding balsamic vinegar when you roast them, as I do in the Balsamic Roasted Veggies recipe I link to above, really kicks it up.
What veggies do I use? Well, it depends on what I have in the fridge. But I have used different combinations of carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, red peppers, butternut squash, zucchini, and onions.
Gluten free meatloaf
Gluten Free Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This information is solely based on my research and personal experience, and I provide it as a courtesy to my readers. Please consult your doctor or medical professional for any questions as it relates to your needs, particularly if you have celiac disease or a severe gluten allergy or intolerance. Products, manufacturing facilities, and ingredients change frequently, so you should always contact the manufacturer for the latest information.
Most people think of breadcrumbs as the traditional binder for meatloaf. And you can certainly use gluten free breadcrumbs. But another option is oatmeal (certified gluten free oats, of course, if needed).
I highly recommend using old fashioned oats that you’ve ground slightly in a food processor or blender. Just add them to the container and press “Pulse” several times just to break it down a bit.
I DO NOT recommend quick or instant oats. These are processed to be able to absorb liquid quickly. Thus they will absorb the liquid from the roasted vegetables and beef, expand quickly, and cause the meatloaf to break apart.
Make it ahead
Roasted Veggie Balsamic Meatloaf is a great make ahead or meal prep recipe, and you have several options for advance preparation.
If you are roasting vegetables for dinner one night, double the batch and set aside 2 1/2 cups to be able to mix up the meatloaf a day or two later.
After you bake your meatloaf, you can keep all of it or just the leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 or 3 days. It’s great to cut off a slice to make meatloaf sandwiches for lunch.
It also freezes well in an airtight container for up to two months. Cut into slices and wrap individually if you want to be able to pull out single servings. Or if your family only eats about half of it, freeze the entire thing for another full meal.
- Baked potatoes or baked sweet potatoes
- Side dish casserole – Corn Pudding is always a family favorite.
- Mashed potatoes – go with the classic, or try Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes with parmesan.
- Mashed cauliflower – this whipped cauliflower with parmesan cheese pairs perfectly with the balsamic meatloaf.
- Salad – simple greens drizzled with Creamy Balsamic Dressing would be a perfect match.
- Roasted vegetables or potatoes – such as Lemon Parmesan Roasted Broccoli or Italian Herb Oven Fries. Or make a double batch of the veggies you plan to use in the meatloaf.
More ground beef comfort food recipes
- Easy Beefaroni
- Keto Egg Roll Bowl
- Shepherd’s Pie Loaded Baked Potatoes
- Best Lasagna Recipe (or Gluten Free Lasagna)
- Ground Beef and Potatoes Skillet
Other meatloaf recipes
- French Onion Stuffed Meatloaf
- Lasagna Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf
- Low Carb Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf
Roasted Veggie Balsamic Meatloaf Recipe
When I say veggie meatloaf, I don’t mean vegetarian meatloaf. What I do mean is, let’s take the classic comfort food and add more flavor, more juiciness, and yes, even more healthy benefits by adding roasted vegetables to the mix. Sure, it might be a bit sneaky, but it’s also extra delicious. And easy to make gluten free too!
Roasted Vegetable Balsamic Meatloaf
For the Meatloaf:
- 2 1/2 cups roasted vegetables see note
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup Balsamic Ketchup divided (see below for how to make it, and note for substitution)
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs or old fashioned oats, slightly ground in a blender or food processor
- 1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds ground beef (I've used 90%-93% lean, but 80-85% will work just fine)
For the Meatloaf:
- Preheat your oven to 350° F.
- Prepare the Balsamic Ketchup and set aside.
- Puree the roasted vegetables in a blender or food processor, leaving them a bit chunky.
- In a large bowl, combine the eggs, 3/4 cup of the Balsamic Ketchup, bread crumbs or oats, Parmesan cheese, thyme, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir until combined.
- Add the roasted veggie puree and stir to combine.
- Add the ground beef and incorporate everything together thoroughly with a spoon, spatula, or your hands.
- Form into a loaf, place into a baking pan, and press it together firmly and tightly.
- Spread 1/2 cup of the Balsamic Ketchup over the meatloaf as a glaze.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F.
- Let rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
For the Balsamic Ketchup:
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir until smooth.