Cool weather comfort food at it’s finest, packed with nutrient dense grassfed beef & liver and the most amazing flavor!

Nutrient Dense Meatloaf

Out of every meal that comes out of my kitchen, this is the most popular.



It never fails about an hour into that meatloaf into the oven and I’ve got a hungry pack of drooling kids surrounding my kitchen!

I’ll cut to the chase to my meatloaf secrets. Give it amazing flavor with herbs and lots of yummy garlic, and make sure it doesn’t dry out. The secret to the flavor is all in that veggie and herb sauté. And since grassfed beef is on the leaner side, it is important to use a little extra friendly fat to keep it from drying out, and nothing makes a meatloaf more delicious than a little scoop of sour cream.

Nutrient Dense Meatloaf

One of my other secrets to this kid friendly meatloaf is the ketchup I use for the top. I know that ketchup is a staple for meatloaf, but I use a nice thick layer of this simple and quick homemade ketchup that just puts it over the top. Bonus! It is naturally sweetened! Any ketchup in your fridge will do, but I trust me – you want to take the extra few minutes to stir up this homemade one to “frost” your meatloaf.

Meatloaf makes a great, easy to chew toddler dinner, and when you add the grassfed beef liver in addition to the beef, it really packs a nutrient dense punch for those growing kiddos. Use a side of mashed potatoes and easy to manage pan cooked veggies with lots of butter and even the little ones can sit right at the table with the rest of the family and eat the same dinner!

Nutrient Dense Meatloaf

I’m going to warn you though….the leftovers will be a hot commodity!

My kids usually ask for them for breakfast the next morning, and they make a great breakfast…unless my husband has gotten to them first to take along to work 😉

Nutrient Dense Meatloaf

Renee -
Cool weather comfort food at it’s finest, packed with nutrient dense grassfed beef & liver and the most amazing flavor!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 TB butter or other friendly fat to cook in
  • 1/2 onion finely diced (I like to pulse the onion, carrot, and celery in the food processor - fast!)
  • 1 medium carrot finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery finely diced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes this leaves the heat very mild for kids - if you like a lot of heat double!
  • 5 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 lb grassfed ground beef
  • About 1/8 - 1/4 lb grassfed beef liver ground (optional)
  • 1 pastured egg
  • 1/2 cup whole sour cream
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup white rice flour
  • Optional ketchup for the top and/or for dipping
  • 1/2 cup water


  • Melt the friendly fat in a skillet over medium heat and cook the onion, carrot, and celery with the salt, pepper, thyme, red pepper flakes, and garlic until the veggies are soft, about 5-7 minutes.
  • In a medium mixing bowl put the ground beef, liver (if using it), egg, sour cream, white rice flour, and the cooked/seasoned veggies and mix well.
  • Put the meat mixture into a small loaf pan, spread the ketchup on top if using it, and then add the water to the top. Don't leave this out - I know it seems odd but it really makes it so it doesn't dry out! I promise it won't be watery!
  • Bake the meat loaf uncovered for 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees. Let the meatloaf rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting.
Keyword healthy meatloaf, healthy meatloaf recipe, vegetable filled meatloaf
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

For more nourishing ideas from my home, you can follow my Nourishing Staples board on Pintrest!

More real food ideas you might like:
Slow Roasted Pastured Chicken

Nourishing Beef & Kale Soup

Beef & Kale Soup
How To Slow Cook A Beef Roast

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed Acorn Squash

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Recipe Rating


  1. We love meatloaf! Though I rarely make it these days since there is no way to add anything the whole family can have 🙁 So if I make meatloaf it is basically just a hunk of beef 😛 No eggs, no ketchup, no veggies, nothing. Not very exciting. Your recipe looks delicious!

  2. I’ve seen you share this recipe several times on social media and it always looks so good! I will have to add it to my meal plan (that one that loosely exists in my head, haha) for the next few weeks. I’m excited to try it!

  3. What can I substitute for the rice flour? All the substitute sites recommend cake/pastry flour, but they are assuming it is a cake/cookie. Not sure what the equivalent for this recipe would be… thanks.

    1. Hi Shawn! A lot of people use bread crumbs for meatloaf – if you double the amount you can use that – I just never have bread crumbs around the house. You could use a sprouted Einkorn flour or sprouted brown rice flour as well. Does that help?

  4. I adore meatloaf. I usually use almonds to bind the meatloaf together. Your recipe looks delicious. I would just need to do a workaround for the sour cream. Dairy issues here.

  5. I’m making this tomorrow and literally can’t wait but my sister wants to make it and is paleo and is struggling for a replacement for the rice flour, do you have any suggestions? Could she just leave it out? She doesnt eat sourdough either so breadcrumbs aren’t an option. Thank you! X

    1. Hi Fabienne! You do need something to soak up the moisture or it will all fall apart. You could use tapioca or cassava flour for a grain free option. You may also mention that many paleo followers do include white rice in their diet so this might still work for her 🙂

  6. I want to make this tomorrow. Should I cook the liver first, then grind? I bought some packaged liver at the store (all they sell, no fresh. Have to visit a real butcher next time), and when I thawed it it was the consistency of jelly. There’s no way this will grind like meat

    1. Hi KD! I grate the frozen liver and just mix it in with the ground beef. I fyou already have it thawed, that will be harder – I’m not sure that I would cook it before mixing it in. Maybe you can pop it back into the freezer overnight until you are ready to use it tomorrow? It grates really easy when frozen!

      1. Thanks so much, I’ll definitely grate it next time 🙂 I ended up leaving it out cause my boyfriend was fussing about eating liver. You’d never know he grew up on a farm 😛

        1. 5 stars
          Seriously amazing meatloaf, btw. I doubt I will ever use another recipe other than this one now that I’ve had it

  7. Renee, I made this tonight. It’s delicious! But also.. I just want to cry! I struggle to get my toddler to eat meat (texture thing) and also veggies. He’s taking forkful after forkful of this meatloaf! I paired it with parsnip mashed potatoes and this makes the best meal he’s had in awhile! Thank you!!!!

  8. 5 stars
    I love this meatloaf- extra veggies for the win!! I made a double batch last night and am wondering if I can freeze the second loaf for later?

  9. Do you cook it before freezing or no? How do you reheat? Trying to get a last few meals prepped before baby #2 arrives and we LOVE this meatloaf recipe!

    1. Great Kayla! Congratulations! I think I would freeze slices of it. So cook it off, cool it and slice. Then freeze the slices. You can thaw it out in the oven for dinner on a sheet tray 🙂

  10. i love trying to hide liver in meatloaf, too, however, i haven’t been able to do it successfully yet. i think i try to add too much, so i’m anxious to try your recipe. also, how do you grind your liver? that’s been a problem for me in the past. =(

  11. This looks tasty! I am always looking for ways to incorporate the wonderful broth I make in to recipes. Do you think substituting broth for the water would be over kill? Or should I stick with water?

  12. Made this last night… Hello to our new favorite meatloaf!! This was amazing. My 2 and 4 yr Olds are not normally meatloaf fans, but they gobbled this up! Thanks Renee. 🙂

  13. hi! i think i’m missing something (sleep deprivation from two kids who don’t sleep…you know what it’s like), but what is the ‘then add the water to the top’ step in the instructions? how much water? do i just pour it over the meatloaf? thanks in advance!

  14. I made this last night and it was the best meatloaf I’ve ever had! I used sheep’s yogurt and cassava flour as substitutes. I recommend increasing the amount of flour to about half a cup if you try cassava! Definitely will be adding this to my weekly rotation! Thank you!

  15. I have a double batch of this in the oven right now. My husband and two year old love this meatloaf! Although we haven’t been able to try it with liver yet. I don’t have rice flour on hand so I’d normally use potato starch but this time I’m trying coarsely ground oats. We’ve done mustard mayo on top but it really doesn’t need anything! Thanks Renee!

  16. What substitute do you recommend for the sour cream to make the recipe dairy free? Would cashew or oat milk yogurt work?

  17. Hi! I made this and am wondering if I can tweak some things to improve my outcome. Not sure I did it all right. The liver— I defrosted first and then “grated” by blending in the food processor. Is this bad? The flavor is tasty but the texture is a little mushy… kind of like it has pockets of mush. Versus typical meatloaf that is closer to a hamburger in texture. Is it the way I did the liver? Or perhaps the rice flour gathered in pockets?

  18. Hello Renee,

    Can I freeze this? and if so, for how long? I’m thinking this will be a great postpartum meal in my freezer 🙂

    Thank you!