Meatloaf without breadcrumbs using oats instead turns out so good! If you want a high protein comfort food topped with bbq sauce, this is it.
Meatloaf with oats is the bomb. Never heard of swapping this traditional ingredient out for something else? After you make this quick and easy meatloaf you’ll be a believer too and it will be added to your meal rotation too. (participant in the Amazon program, affiliate links present, originally published 9/22)
Recipe for Meatloaf Without Breadcrumbs
There are a few reasons why you may not want to use seasoned breadcrumbs. If you’re looking for a gluten free option, Quaker has a version just for you too. A bigger benefit is moisture. Think of the two. Toasted and crushed bread dries things out whereas oatmeal absorbs moisture and locks it inside.
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It’s a great binder that locks the egg, diced onions and all the seasonings together. You could easily make the same meat mixture but roll into meatballs without breadcrumbs too if you wanted. If I am in a hurry I will do that instead since it cuts down on the cook time quite a bit.
How to Make Meatloaf Without Breadcrumbs
So you can basically substitute your “regular” binding with this instead. You always want to have a light hand when it comes to this part as if you add too much it will have a very weird texture and not be moist no matter what you use. Use too little and it will fall apart more as it cooks and not slice at all.
You do have a choice as to which type of oatmeal you use. Below lists Old Fashioned which is going to give you more texture and fiber but more texture means it will be more noticeable too. Quick oats will mimic breadcrumbs but the nutritional value will have been stripped. Your choice.
If you have your own recipe for let’s say meatloaf with onion soup mix, by all means you can use that if you want. Swap the breading for rolled oats and try it out!
I mean you can use all sorts of things to bind all of your wet ingredients together. If you don’t have oats you could crush crackers like Ritz or Cheese Its into a fine mixture and use that. Grinding chips would work too. You get the idea.
2 lb Meatloaf Cook Time
Now if you did want some heat in this dish I do have a Spicy Meatloaf Recipe version as well. You would need to use oats instead of the crumbs but would work the same way but hotter. If you want tons and tons of flavor with heat this is the way to go.
Meatloaf Recipe with Oats
For us there needs to be some goodness on the top too. You could easily use bottled barbecue sauce, but this mixture with ketchup, brown sugar and vinegar is pretty killer too. If you add half at the beginning and the rest halfway thru it will almost caramelize and bake right into the loaf.
- A large mixing bowl
- I like to use 80/20 ground beef, could use some ground pork and rest beef too
- 2 c old fashioned oats
- 3 eggs
- Worcestershire sauce
- A bit of milk or milk product
- Salt and some pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp thyme
- About half of an onion diced is nice but optional of course
- 1/4 c tomato paste
Meatloaf With BBQ Sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp mustard and white vinegar
If you needed to half a recipe it is quite easy to do. You can use the same loaf pan but it will just not be as thick. That being said you’d want to decrease the cook time by about 1/3 and check. Since it will be thinner it shouldn’t take nearly as long.
Gluten Free Meatloaf with Oats
This one will feed 8 or so with large slices for hungry eaters. If you need guaranteed gluten free oats for meatloaf you can buy some online here. For that you will need to look at the ingredients in the other items you’re adding but typically the rest (other than the sauce) will be okay.
- Chop your onion finely and mix those together with meat in a bowl. Add tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and thyme. Stir.
- Add the 3 eggs and then mix your oats in. Fold in milk, then scoop meatloaf mixture into a 9×5 pan and set aside.
- In a small bowl combine topping ingredients: ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and vinegar. Add enough water to make the mixture smooth and thin it out a bit so it is like bbq sauce.
- Spread half of the topping mixture onto the top of the meatloaf.
- Put meatloaf in the oven at 350° F for 20 minutes. Add remaining topping mixture to top of meatloaf. Bake an additional 20 minutes. 40 minutes in total.
Allow it to sit when done for at least 5 minutes before slicing so it stays together as well as possible. Once you are done you can save for the next day. Always allow your food to cool completely before saving and storing in the fridge at the end. Most dinners are safe to reheat within 3 days max.
What to Make with Leftover Meatloaf
We actually have a long list of leftover meatloaf recipes for you here. You want to make sure you save it properly so it doesn’t dry out. Do so with a large piece of aluminum foil folded over what you have and rolled up tightly. You can also use freezer bags or vacuum seal bags which I love, just ensure all the air is sucked out.
The next day the best is to just make a meatloaf sandwich out of it inside a hoagie roll. You can microwave it on a plate with a bit more of your sauce poured over the top for about 1 minute. Check internal temperature to see if it reached 160 and then serve and enjoy away!!
For an easier clean up you could line the pan with a piece of parchment and/or spray with non stick spray. If you have a newer ceramic coated loaf pan then you should be good to go with no extra prep on your part. I love all things dishwasher safe so I can rinse and just throw that baby right in when done. 😉
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!
Meatloaf Without Breadcrumbs
- Chop onion and mix together with ground beef in a medium size bowl. Add tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce to meat with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and thyme. Stir ground beef mixture.
- Add 3 eggs and then mix oats in. Fold in milk, then scoop ground beef mixture into a 9×5 pan and set aside.
- In a small bowl combine topping ingredients: ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and vinegar. Add enough water to make the mixture smooth and thin it out a bit so it is like bbq sauce. Spread half of the topping mixture onto the top of the meatloaf.
- Bake at 350° F for 20 minutes. Add remaining topping mixture to top of meatloaf. Bake an additional 20 minutes. 40 minutes in total.