Mozzarella-Studded Gluten-Free Meatloaf
Meatloaf is one of those love/hate foods — either people really love it or they really. . . don’t. And, bless its heart, meatloaf won’t win any beauty contests.
I was going to call this “Polka-Dot Meatloaf” to try and make it sound cuter, but I don’t think that would have been a good idea. I think meatloaf should just own up to its appearances. Some of the best dishes (especially those that come out of a slow cooker) aren’t particularly attractive.
My mom made great meatloaf when I was a kid so I’ve always had a positive association with it. I suppose, like a lot of foods, if it’s made well it can be spectacular.
My only beef (har har) with meatloaf is the amount of meat you use for one loaf. It usually requires two pounds for a good-sized loaf, and it might be the only recipe I make that requires that much meat to feed our family of six for one meal.
Luckily we get grass-fed beef AND pastured pork from the local University ranch so it’s manageable. And a special treat.
Once I had some marinated mozzarella balls leftover from a cheese platter and had a hankering for meatloaf. I think that’s how a lot of recipe ideas are born — leftovers + cravings. It’s not very scientific, but most of my favorite creations have come about this way.
And I can add this gluten-free meatloaf to that list of favorites! All of my kids loved it, too, and we barely had any leftover.
This meatloaf is actually grain-free, too, and you can make it dairy-free by omitting the cheese if you like.
The other nice thing about meatloaf — well, nice, depending on how hungry you are — is that it takes a while to bake. That leaves you over an hour to clean up a bit and put a side dish together.
Here are a few that I think would be PERFECT matches for this meatloaf!
- Mashed Root Vegetables with Bacon Vinaigrette
- Roasted Shredded Brussels Sprouts
- Caesar Salad
- Baco-fried Green Beans
- Easy Balsamic Roasted Vegetables
- Crispy Lemon-Garlic Fingerling Potatoes