In Episode 59, Taryn teaches you how to make a delicious smoked meatloaf using a variety of ingredients, including some hidden veggies and a few pantry staples. This savory meal is packed with flavor and makes a great dinner for a hungry family. Serve it with your favorite sides and enjoy this delicious and smokey twist on a classic!
These are some of the recipes mentioned in the episode, all of which are on Hot Pan Kitchen.
- Traeger Smoked Meatloaf
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Sauteed Green Beans
- Spring Green Salad
- Grilled Asparagus
- Grilled Corn on the Cob
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- Traeger pellet grill and smoker
- Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- Traeger Signature wood pellet blend
- Mini food processor (what I used in this recipe)
- Temperature probe for smokers
- Silicone basting brush
- Using a meat thermometer for grilling (includes recommendation)
Taryn Solie: Hello grillers, and thank you for tuning in today! I am your host, Taryn Solie, and I am here to give you some grilling inspiration.
In the last episode, number 58, I went over one great smoker recipe – smoked meatballs. Today we’re doing another one that takes those meatballs and makes them something bigger – that’s right, we’re doing smoked meatloaf.
My husband is a big meat lover, and this meatloaf is right up his alley. What I love about it is it has some hidden veggies in it that don’t compromise the flavor or texture. Both my husband and kids gobble it up without so much as a peep of objection.
The other thing about this meatloaf – it’s made without breadcrumbs. I am gluten free and wanted to make a meatloaf that everyone could still enjoy without them. So instead of using breadcrumbs as a binder, this meatloaf uses egg and almond flour to keep things held together.
Now I typically make this meatloaf on my Traeger wood pellet grill, but you could make it on any wood pellet grill or smoker. I also tend to use the Traeger Signature blend wood pellets when smoking this as they’re very versatile and good for most meats, but you could also use a simple mild wood like pecan or a stronger scented wood like hickory to really add the smoky flavor to your meat.
Alright, let’s get into the recipe! First up, these are the ingredients you’ll need:
- 5 ounces of frozen spinach;
- half a medium yellow onion;
- 1.33 pounds of ground beef;
- ¼ cup of almond flour;
- ½ tsp of Diamond Crystal kosher salt;
- ½ tsp of garlic powder;
- 1 tsp of Italian seasoning;
- 1 tbsp of coconut aminos;
- 1 extra large egg; and
- 4 tbsp of ketchup.
A couple of tips about this recipe before we get into the instructions:
- If you have a little less meat than 1 and a third pounds, that’s okay. I’ve made this meatloaf with just one pound of ground beef and it still turns out great. I would probably use just a large egg in that case though.
- I specify using Diamond Crystal kosher salt as this kosher salt is less salty by weight than other salts. If you’re using a different kosher salt you’ll want to look up the ratio of salt to use – it will likely be slightly more than is called for in the recipe.
- And last, when you’re combining the meatloaf mixture in the bowl, it’s going to be a lot easier to use your hands than a spoon or spatula. You’re going to want to feel the mixture to make sure all the ingredients are getting thoroughly incorporated, which you really can only do with your hands.
Okay, let’s get into how to make this meatloaf!
First you want to heat your smoker or wood pellet grill to 225 degrees F. Next start prepping the vegetables. Peel then roughly chop the onion using a cutting board and large sharp knife. Place the onion into a food processor and process until diced. If you don’t have a food processor you can certainly dice the onion by hand. Set the processor aside, while leaving the onion in it.
Next take the frozen spinach out of the packaging, cutting away any excess if necessary. Thaw it according to package directions using the microwave. Once thawed, place it in several paper towels and squeeze the excess water out over the sink. You may need to do this several times to get all the water out.
Remove the spinach from the paper towel. There are usually some pieces that stick to the towel – you can just pick those off with your fingers. Place the thawed spinach into the food processor in clumps, with the onion. Mix the two together in the food processor until well combined. Again, if you don’t have a food processor you can do this step by hand with a large sharp knife.
Remove the spinach and onion mixture and place it in a clump on several paper towels. Squeeze any remaining water out of them with your hands over a sink.
A quick note here – squeezing the moisture out of the spinach and onion is an important step when making this meatloaf. If you don’t, that moisture is going to affect how your meatloaf turns out and nobody wants a soggy meatloaf.
Okay, now you’ll want to get a piece of foil out – it should be roughly the same size as a sheet pan or large cutting board. Set it aside – we’ll form the meatloaf on that in a minute.
Go ahead and place that spinach and onion mixture into a large bowl. Measure out the remaining ingredients, except for the ketchup, and place them in the bowl as well. Use a fork or a small whisk to gently mix the egg white and yolk together, then use your hands to combine everything well.
Take the meatloaf mixture out of the bowl and place it on that piece of foil you took out. Use your hands to form it into a loaf that’s approximately 10 to 12 inches long, about 4 inches wide, and roughly 2 inches tall – similar to the size it would be in a loaf pan.
Slide the meatloaf onto a sheet pan or cutting board and carry it out to your grill or smoker. Slide the foil and meatloaf onto the grill grates – without the sheet pan or cutting board – and, if you have it, put a temperature probe into the middle of the meatloaf. Set the probe temperature to 160 degrees F.
Close the lid and let the meatloaf cook. The total cooking time is going to depend on what the outside temperature is like at your house, but it should be around 3 hours.
At about the 2 hour mark – or roughly when the internal temperature of the meatloaf hits 145 degrees F – measure out the ketchup with a measuring spoon and put into a small bowl. Open the lid of the smoker or grill and, using a basting brush, spread the ketchup all over the meatloaf, covering as much of the exposed surface as you can.
Close the lid and let the meatloaf finish cooking to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F – if you didn’t have a temperature probe to put in the meatloaf, you’ll need a meat thermometer to measure the internal temp. Once the meatloaf is done, remove it from the grill and let it cool for 10 minutes. Cut it into pieces using a large sharp knife, then serve and enjoy!
A quick note about cooking time – if you reach the 3 hour mark and the meatloaf is still not done cooking, you can crank the heat up to 400 degrees F and let it finish cooking faster that way. I have had to do that once or twice and it should only take another 10 minutes – or less – to finish it off.
Alright, now that we’ve got our meatloaf, let’s talk about what to serve it with! Of course mashed potatoes are a classic pairing – I like to make mine in an Instant Pot. Green beans are another great option – I usually saute them with some shallots – or a green salad works too. You could also grill some veggies, like grilled asparagus or even grilled corn. All of those would be great options.
I’ll include a link to the full printable recipe for this smoked meatloaf, as well as the other recipes I’ve mentioned, on the show notes page. To get to it you can either go to my main website at Hot Pan Kitchen dot com and click on podcast in the main menu, or you can click on the link provided in whatever podcast app you’re listening on.
If you enjoyed this episode, consider subscribing to the show on your favorite podcast platform so you don’t miss out on future episodes! I’ve got so many more great grilling and smoking recipes you’re going to love.
That’s it for today, thank you so much for listening, and until next time, keep grilling like a mother.