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The Ultimate Plant Paradox Meatloaf

The Ultimate Plant Paradox Meatloaf

This plant paradox meatloaf that is also paleo and Whole30 approved is the perfect way to hide many vegetables for the pickiest of eaters. You will still love this meatloaf if you are not a vegetable fan. A healthy meatloaf that is perfect for meal prep, school, and work lunches. Made with grass-fed and grass-finished ground beef and loaded with vegetables.

Finding ways to hack classic comfort food and re-create healthier alternatives is my mission. This plant paradox meatloaf might sound like a heavy meal. But what if I told you more than half of it is made of vegetables?

Hacking a classic comfort food: the meatloaf

My inspiration for this dish was actually not a meatloaf, but the way bolognese sauce is made (of course, without the tomatoes). This mixture could be shaped as patties or meatballs. I wanted something easier and less messy and meatloaf sounded like the right stuff.

I used grass-fed ground beef (80/20) from a local store and ranch in the Dallas-Fort Worth area – Burgundy’s Local – and the following veggies: yellow onion, celery, spinach, sweet potato, and carrot.

Please skip the carrot if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes or have insulin resistance. Or you can replace it with a turnip.

It also has one egg, cassava flour, and dry herbs (or you can use fresh instead). The quantity was enough for 3 mini loaf pans like these (I got mine from William Sonoma). I used parchment paper for easy release.

The plant paradox meatloaf, a healthy idea for the lunch box

If you follow my Instagram page, you know I started a lunch box feature. I’m having so much fun with it. There will be a separate section for lunch boxes on the website once I have enough to make a post (I’m looking at probably a minimum of five for one post).

Today’s lunchbox was meatloaf, swiss chard, and tahini dip (find the recipe on my Instagram), grain-free tortilla chips from The Real Coconut (only the ones with Himalayan pink salt are plant paradox compliant), fermented okra from The Barrel Provisions, some crispy radishes and seasonal fruits. And because I got so many questions already, the lunch box is Bento Cinco from LunchBots.

Whole30 and paleo meatloaf recipe

If you are looking for a paleo meatloaf recipe or a whole30 approved meatloaf recipe, this is the one. The ingredients are fresh vegetables, fresh and dry aromatics, herbs and spices, grass-fed & grass-finished meat, and cassava flour. You can use dry or fresh herbs, depending on what you have available. You can even use a mix like Italian seasoning, just make sure you read the label, and the mix is made of pure herbs and spices with no fillers or sugar.

Cassava flour is great for this kind of recipe, but I would not recommend tapioca flour as it is too fine. Also, please don’t use coconut flour. It has a very strong coconut flavor which is not great for a meatloaf.

Here is the complete list of ingredients:

  • onion
  • celery
  • carrot
  • sweet
  • spinach
  • 100% grass-fed ground beef
  • pastured egg
  • cassava flour
  • parsley
  • oregano
  • thyme
  • salt
  • pepper
  • avocado or olive oil

How to make the plant paradox meatloaf

Since we have so many vegetables in this meatloaf, they need to be sauteed first. Don’t skip this step, it’s essential for both texture and taste.

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare 3 small loaf pans with parchment paper (or a big one). I prefer to make it in small mini loaf pans because it’s easier to handle, it will cook faster and it’s easier to store or even freeze.
  • In a large skillet on the stove heat the avocado or olive oil on medium heat and add the chopped onion and celery, stir and sauté for about 5-7 minutes, until the onion and celery are soft and translucent. Add the spinach and sauté until wilted (about 4 minutes). Add the grated carrot or parsnip and the sweet potato. Stir and make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan, if not enough moisture, you can add about one tablespoon of water. Mix everything for 2 more minutes, then add to a mixing bowl and let it cool.
  • When the mixture is cooled down, add the meat, the herbs, salt and pepper, one egg, and cassava flour and combine well.
  • Add the mixture to the loaf pans and bake for 45 minutes. Take out and let cool for about 10 minutes. You can serve immediately, refrigerate or freeze.

*This post contains affiliated links, which means I get a small commission if you choose to purchase something via one of my links, at no extra cost to you.

The Ultimate Plant Paradox Meatloaf

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By Claudia Curici Serves: 10-12
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 60 minutes

A lectin-free meatloaf loaded with veggies, perfect for meal prep, school and work lunches.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 big stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot or parsnip (don't eat cooked carrot if insulin resistant), grated
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and grated (raw)
  • 1 bunch mature spinach (you can use baby spinach instead, about 3 cups)
  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 pastured egg
  • 6 tablespoons cassava flour
  • 2 tablespoons dry parsley (or use one fresh bunch, finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon dry oregano (you can also use fresh herbs if you have)
  • 1/2 tablespoon dry thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • avocado or olive oil

Instructions

1

Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare 3 small loaf pans with parchment paper (or a big one). I prefer to make it in small mini loaf pans because it's easier to handle, it will cook faster and it's easier to store or even freeze.

2

In a large skillet on the stove heat the avocado or olive oil on medium heat and add the chopped onion and celery, stir and sauté for about 5-7 minutes, until the onion and celery are soft and translucent. Add the spinach and sauté until wilted (about 4 minutes). Add the grated carrot or parsnip and the sweet potato. Stir and make sure it doesn't stick to the pan, if not enough moisture, you can add about one tablespoon of water. Mix everything for 2 more minutes, then add to a mixing bowl and let it cool.

3

When the mixture is cooled down, add the meat, the herbs, salt and pepper, one egg, and cassava flour and combine well.

4

Add the mixture to the loaf pans and bake for 45 minutes. Take out and let cool for about 10 minutes. You can serve immediately, refrigerate or freeze.

Notes

Because of the many veggies, the texture is rather fluffy and it has to be sliced carefully, otherwise will break. To make it more consistent you can add more flour but I'm happy with how this one works. Store in an air-tight, glass container or freeze.

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36 Comments

  • Reply
    Matt
    August 27, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Looks great…assume I add the beef in step 3 after the Vegas cool?

    • Reply
      Claudia
      August 27, 2018 at 5:20 pm

      Yes! Sorry I forgot to add but someone else told me and I fixed it.

  • Reply
    Leah Bruhn
    August 27, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Can you suggest something besides ground beef?

    • Reply
      Claudia
      August 27, 2018 at 9:53 pm

      Like another meat? Ground chicken? Pork? Or you mean turn it into a only plant based loaf (LOL)? – which might not be impossible.

  • Reply
    Carolyn Gurski
    September 4, 2018 at 10:00 pm

    Made this delicious meatloaf this morning! My husband said meatloaf isn’t veggies. I said it has grass fed beef too! He gave it two thumbs up as you can see by the missing half on instagram!!!

    • Reply
      Claudia
      September 5, 2018 at 9:05 am

      Hahaha, husbands are so funny :D. Mine was also a bit suspicious but then he ate a lot of it. Thanks for sharing <3

  • Reply
    Susanna
    September 19, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    I’m baking it now, and it SMELLS SO GOOD! Added garlic, coconut aminos, and a little red wine. Can’t wait to try it!

    • Reply
      Claudia
      September 20, 2018 at 3:18 pm

      Nice additions! Let me know how you like it 😀

      • Reply
        Susanna
        October 15, 2018 at 7:47 pm

        It was really delicious! I also used almond flour instead of cassava (didn’t have any), and it held together well. Getting ready to make it again!

  • Reply
    Taylor Santos
    January 17, 2019 at 9:55 am

    Quick question….what do you mean by 2 big stacks of celery? How much is that?

    • Reply
      Claudia
      January 17, 2019 at 10:03 am

      I mean 2 single sticks, on the bigger side.

  • Reply
    Mona lagan
    March 1, 2019 at 7:05 am

    This is delicious. It doesn’t look like meatloaf in that it is very green. But is smells like savory Thanksgiving Dressing and is absolutely not greasy – at all.

    I sliced mine, added a spoonful of Organic mayo on the side, with lots of pepper, and dipped the meatloaf in the mayo. It was like having a Meatloaf sandwich without the bread.

    It is one of my favorite recipes.

    Thank

    • Reply
      Claudia
      March 1, 2019 at 10:19 am

      Thank you so much Mona for this awesome feedback. I love this meatloaf and having it with mayo is a great idea, I’m thinking with a romaine lettuce leaf too :))).

  • Reply
    Pamela Manuel
    July 14, 2019 at 8:39 am

    Hi Claudia,
    I thought all meats contained lectin, but I see this has ground beef?

    • Reply
      Claudia
      July 14, 2019 at 9:39 am

      Hi Pamela, a lot of the recipes on this website have meat. Lectins are proteins found in plants, not meat (although animal protein needs to be grass fed, pasture raised or wild). I recommend reading The Plant Paradox, by Dr. Steven Gundry, the recipes on this website and a lectin-free diet is based on his books. I hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Nancy
    September 2, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    Looks great! I’ll do it thaïs week-end for sure!

  • Reply
    Karelys
    September 12, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    Hi,
    I’m a PP follower since August, after the 3 days detox plan I started to dig in meals that are PP approved. I’ll do this recipe again because so far is a hit, let’s see how the meat loaf does the day after. Thanks for your clear instructions in the recipe, The only thing I added out of the recipe was Trader Joe’s coconut aminos.

    • Reply
      Claudia
      September 13, 2019 at 2:09 pm

      Hi Karelys, I’m happy this is a hit with your family, coconut aminos is a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Christie
    January 13, 2020 at 8:25 am

    I just started the Plant Paradox lifestyle and made this meatloaf to ease me into things. I added mushrooms and spring mix, and eliminated the sweet potato (carbs). It was fantastic. My boyfriend doesn’t like anything green, but he tried this and was actually a fan! My question to PP family, none of the recipes have nutrition facts/label. I would like to continue using my food/nutrition journal as I am also trying to loose weight. I am using Dr. Grundy’s cookbook and all that is missing is the nutrition Facts/label. Can this be found on any site?

    • Reply
      Claudia
      January 13, 2020 at 1:08 pm

      Hi Christie! Thank you for getting in touch, and happy you loved the meatloaf. Great idea with replacing the sweet potato. I am personally not a fan of counting anything when it comes to food, I believe eating should be a social time, enjoyed naturally, intuitively. And I think most of the people in the PP community think the same, including Dr. Gundry. So, as far as I know, I don’t think you will find that kind of information anywhere in this community. For losing weight there are specific guidelines, but they need to be adapted to specific situations. Some of these are: limiting carbohydrates, limiting animal protein, eliminating dairy, limiting sweeteners of any kind (reeducating the palate to not crave sweet anymore), eliminating fruits, practicing intermittent fasting.

  • Reply
    Laurie Rigg
    January 24, 2021 at 9:50 am

    This is the best meatloaf I have ever eaten. Fantastic! I appreciate your time estimates as they really help me a lot. I never can tell what an onion is translucent so having a estimated time to sauté really helps. Thank you for sharing all this information. PS I just noticed you have a book so I am going to get me one.

    • Reply
      Claudia
      January 24, 2021 at 9:57 am

      Laurie, thank you for making me smile and appreciating what I do. Might sound like a cliche but it means the world! With gratitude, Claudia

  • Reply
    Irene Clark
    February 6, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    I absolutely love this recipe!!

    • Reply
      Claudia
      February 6, 2021 at 1:22 pm

      Thank you so much xx

  • Reply
    Diane
    May 18, 2021 at 7:49 pm

    This meatloaf is delicious! Try it you’ll love it!

    • Reply
      Claudia
      May 19, 2021 at 5:48 am

      Thank you so much Diane! <3

  • Reply
    Lori
    June 7, 2021 at 8:28 pm

    This recipe is excellent. It always turns out great. Thank you Claudia!

    • Reply
      Claudia
      June 8, 2021 at 5:31 am

      Thank you Lori, happy you love it. xx

  • Reply
    Linda Forest
    October 20, 2021 at 6:36 pm

    Good Day claudia, your recipe sounds delicious. I am eating really low carb. Any suggestion to replace the sweet potato ? Thanks for your time.

    • Reply
      Claudia
      October 21, 2021 at 1:05 am

      Hi Linda, you can either skip it completely or replace it with peeled and deseeded zucchini (grated).

  • Reply
    Sherry
    October 23, 2021 at 11:59 am

    I am hoping to try this recipe soon but would like to keep it as vegetarian as possible. I’ve had success swapping some meats with mushrooms and this recipe looks like it would work. Do you have any idea how much mushroom I should use? Are there any other changes that I would need to make with this swap?

    • Reply
      Claudia
      October 24, 2021 at 1:09 am

      Hi Shery, there are many ways to replace meat, but not just one ingredient. To me, pressure-cooked lentils and walnuts are a good meat replacement combination (with the right spices). Mushrooms and walnuts work too, but in this case, since you already have so many veggies, it might work without walnuts. I’m not sure how much though. You can add bit by bit until you get a good consistency. If you are using egg, that will probably hold everything together. Mushrooms tend to leave a lot of juices when cooked, that’s why maybe mixing with walnuts would be better. Make sure the consistency is not wet if you are using mushrooms. If it works, please let us know. xx

  • Reply
    Sherry
    January 12, 2022 at 2:07 pm

    I made 1/2 a recipe replacing the ground beef with chopped portobello mushrooms. I also used egg replacement to get the 1/2 egg. The flavor was wonderful but it didn’t stick together very well. Do you have any recommendations?

    • Reply
      Claudia
      January 18, 2022 at 4:26 am

      Hi Sherry, a vegan meatloaf would need a different approach, from scratch. To replace the meat (especially the texture) you would probably need to mix mushrooms with walnuts, maybe add more sweet potato, more starch… It’s hard to say without trying.

  • Reply
    Sue
    October 4, 2022 at 12:43 pm

    Claudia, Thanks for sharing your recipes! I have been eating PP for a while now and been craving meatloaf so this is a bonus, especially to my husband who has been asking for it. I am out of spinach in the garden and was wondering if I could use swiss chard as a replacement or if it would be too strong?
    Thanks
    Sue

    • Reply
      Claudia
      October 4, 2022 at 12:52 pm

      Hi Sue, thank you for the kind words! Yes, swiss chard is perfect!

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