Ketchup is the most important part of meatloaf.
When I was little, I remember my mom making meatloaf a lot. She used Quaker old fashioned oats instead of bread crumbs and put a generous shmear of Heinz ketchup on top before it went in the oven. Her meat loaf was never dry and she taught me to appreciate a good cold meatloaf sandwich the next day. I always went for the piece that had the most ketchup on it, and still do.
I just use fancier ketchup.
My search for ketchup without high fructose corn syrup led me to a bottle of Melinda's Chipotle Ketchup, and this Chipotle Meatloaf was born. This stuff has a legit kick to it, so you may want to use regular ketchup on half the meatloaf if you're serving it to kids.
If you want to make your own Chipotle Ketchup, try one of these:
This recipe is adapted from the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. I ditched her cup and a half of breadcrumbs for just a quarter cup of coconut flour to help everything stick together. If you're using ground turkey, don't use turkey breast. It's way too lean and you'll be left with a meatloaf the texture of sawdust. Same goes for ground beef; you can go for a leaner beef (85/15) but don't go TOO lean (93/7) or again - sawdust. Grass-fed beef is the way to go, as its naturally leaner and contains beneficial fats not found in conventionally raised beef.
One more tip for great meatloaf? Be sure to use a meat thermometer and pull it from the oven as soon as the internal temp hits 160. I served mine with garlic mashed cauliflower and a giant serving of Brussels sprouts with bacon and a splash of balsamic vinegar.
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 c. low-sodium chicken stock
1 Tbs. tomato paste
2.5 lbs. ground turkey or ground beef*
2 extra-large eggs, beaten
1/4 c. coconut flour
1/2 c. chipotle ketchup (homemade or bottled - I like Melinda's Chipotle Ketchup)
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Cover a large rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for around 8-10 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Remove the pan from the heat.
3. To the sautéed onion mixture, add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Whisk to combine. Allow to cool slightly.
4. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef or turkey, cooled onion mixture, coconut flour, and eggs, and mix lightly with clean hands. (The most fun part. Take your rings off or you'll be picking raw meatloaf out of them...) Shape the mixture into a rectangular loaf onto the prepared sheet pan. Spread the chipotle ketchup evenly on top. Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F and the meat loaf is cooked through. Slice and serve hot.