I'll be the first to admit that I don't like meatloaf and haven't fixed it in years. We're just not a meatloaf family, so when I announced one day last week that we would be having meatloaf for dinner I got a very strange look from Michael.
"I found a recipe that I think might be pretty good."
"Hmmm." He was not convinced, and truthfully I wasn't sure that I was either, but I was willing to try.
The recipe comes from Cooking Light and the loaf has sun-dried tomatoes and lots of fresh basil. We baked it on a roasting pan so that the fat would drip away, and I was concerned that it might dry out that way, but the loaf was moist and tender and had good flavor. I made some garlic mashed potatoes and Michael and I ate a couple slices and our three-year-old and 15-month-old both ate three helpings each, definitely a signal that this was a good recipe.
The fresh basil was a mix that came from our kitchen garden, grown in an AeroGarden. The basil has grown very well in it and is tall and bushy. The fragrance coming from the basil is wonderful, and we found the leaves to be very flavorful. I had just trimmed the plants back, so I had a combination of several different types of basil for the meatloaf: Genovese, Lemon, Thai, Red Rubin, Glove, and Napolitano. The mix of flavors in the meatloaf was very interesting, and it tasted even better the next day.
The recipe has been lightened by using reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes and egg whites instead of a whole egg, but you can certainly use oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes and a whole egg instead. We used 90% lean ground chuck, and thought it worked very well. We think with some tweaking the recipe would make some delicious meatballs.
This homey dish is my contribution to December's Grow Your Own event. The deadline for Grow Your Own entries was yesterday (Ooops, I'm late for my own event!), but because the holidays have been so busy and I'm visiting family in South Carolina, I'm extending the deadline to January 2. If you made something using your own homegrown foods in December, then you can send it to and I'll add it to the round-up!
Make It Gluten Free
I now use gluten-free breadcrumbs in this dish. You can make your own from leftover bread, just run it through a food processor.
- large mixing bowl
- broiler pan coated with cooking spray
- 1 cup boiling water
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes (packed without oil)
- ½ cup ketchup (+ ⅓ cup ketchup for spreading on top, or use our family spaghetti sauce recipe instead Ann’s Spaghetti Sauce)
- 1 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
- ¾ cup finely chopped onion
- ¾ cup chopped fresh basil
- ½ cup shredded sharp provolone cheese
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 pound ground round
- Soak the dried tomatoes in 1 cup boiling water for about 30 minutes. Drain the tomatoes and chop finely.
- Set the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350° F.
- Put ½ cup ketchup, the tomatoes, breadcrumbs, onion, basil, provolone, egg whites, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, and ground round in the large mixing bowl. Mix it all together with your hands and shape the mixture into a loaf about 9×5-inches in size.
- Place the loaf on the prepared broiler pan and spread ⅓ cup of ketchup over the top.
- Baked for about 1 hour or until a meat thermometer registers 160° F. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for about 10 minutes, then slice and serve.