Recipe: Veggie-packed meatloaf

Welcome back to Tuesday's recipe series, where each week I share a new recipe which you can download for free. When there is a collection on the blog, I will be showing you how to use them to create weekly, fortnightly and monthly meal plans. Today's recipe is a veggie-packed meatloaf.

Mince is a once-a-week protein for my monthly meal planning - be it in the form of lasagna, bolognese, meatballs, tacos, shepherd's pie, kofta or meatloaf. The thing I like most about these meals is you can add lots of extra veg to bulk it up and get that extra hit of nutrition into the kids' tummies. I usually make a double batch of these dinners and freeze one portion to save for those busy nights. 

It has to be said though, there is no way to take a great photo of meatloaf! I have to just assure you that this is a really delicious version, packed full of veggies, that our whole family loves to eat... despite appearances! This recipe is an adaptation of a Bill Granger recipe - his books are definitely our most used - which uses ricotta cheese to make the meatloaf nice and moist. 

This is the final recipe in this series, so look out over the next few weeks where I'll be giving ideas for shopping, meal planning, creating lunch boxes and snacks and saving time and money in the kitchen.

Veggie-packed meatloaf


  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 kg beef mince
  • 3 rashers bacon, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 135g ricotta cheese
  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • Handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 180º C
  • Grease a 9cm-deep, 9cm x 19cm (base) loaf pan (or use a silicone loaf pan and skip the greasing)
  • Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized pan, and gently cook the onions and bacon for 5 minutes, until the onion is softened
  • Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside for 5 minutes to cool
  • Place mince, breadcrumbs, egg, ricotta, parsley, zucchini and carrot in a bowl. Add the cooled onion mixture, and mix the ingredients together with your hands
  • Spoon the mixture into a pan and level the top with a spoon. Bake in the oven for 1 hour until the meatloaf is browned on top and coming away from the sides of the pan
  • Serve with mashed potatoes, and sliced avocado or green beans

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