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Recipe Re-Do: Meatloaf

Fitday Editor
meat loaf dinner.jpg

Meatloaf is a classic comfort dish that brings back fond memories of family meals enjoyed together. What isn't comforting is the fact that many classic comfort foods, like meatloaf, are high in fat and calories. However, with a few simple swaps, you can slim down this classic dish.

Since meatloaf is based around a few key ingredients but can incorporate a variety of others, making substitutions is as easy as it is flavorful. If you start with a lean meat, such as extra-lean ground turkey, instead of fattier meats like ground beef, you'll slash fat and calories right from the start.

Below you'll find the original meatloaf recipe and FitDay's Re-Do recipe and their nutrition information.

Original Recipe (6 servings):

  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • salt & pepper to taste
Nutrition Information (per slice): 478 calories, 36 grams fat, 14 grams saturated fat, 160 mg cholesterol, 17 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 12 grams sugar, 20 grams protein. Yikes!

FitDay Re-Do Recipe (6 servings):
  • 1 ½ pounds extra-lean ground turkey breast
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ cup bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup salsa
  • ½ cup egg substitute (like Eggbeaters®), or 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • ¼ cup Heinz® Reduced Sugar Ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 packets Splenda®
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • salt & pepper to taste
Nutrition Information (per slice): 214 calories, 4.2 grams fat, 2.7 grams saturated fat, 55 mg cholesterol, 16 grams carbohydrate, 2.3 grams fiber, 5 grams sugar, 27 grams protein.

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In large bowl, combine all ingredients except ketchup, mustard, and Splenda (mix these ingredients in separate bowl and set aside). Mix with hands until well blended.
  3. Spray bottom of a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray, and spread in mixture.
  4. Bake 45 minutes, remove from oven and top with ketchup/mustard/Splenda mixture. Bake about 10 more minutes, until beef is done throughout. Check the temperature with a meat thermometer--it should read 165° F in the center.

The FitDay Re-Do recipe has less than half the calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sugar, but has more than double the fiber and has 7 grams more protein per serving.

Feel free to add additional herbs and spices to suit your tastes. These calorie-free additions can be used in place of the high-calorie ingredients that are often used to give foods flavor--fat and sugar. You can also add more vegetables, such as zucchini, mushrooms, or celery.

Like most people, one thing you probably love about meatloaf (besides the great taste!) is the fact that the leftovers can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Slice it and use it in a sandwich or on top of whole-grain crackers, combine it with pasta and tomato sauce for a quick Italian dish, or simply reheat it in the microwave to enjoy that classic meatloaf taste all over again.

Kari Hartel, RD, LD is a Registered Dietitian and freelance writer based out of St. Louis, MO. Kari is passionate about nutrition education and the prevention of chronic disease through a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Kari holds a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Southeast Missouri State University and is committed to helping people lead healthy lives. She completed a yearlong dietetic internship at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, IL, where she worked with a multitude of clients and patients with complicated diagnoses. She planned, marketed, and implemented nutrition education programs and cooking demonstrations for the general public as well as for special populations, including patients with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, obesity, and school-aged children. Contact Kari at

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