Zucchini Meatloaf Recipe

No matter how you slice it, meatloaf is one of those dishes that's unmistakably a comfort food. Between the savory meat and the sweet ketchup-y glaze, it's basically a hug on a plate. But just because meatloaf can feel and taste like an indulgence doesn't mean it always has to be bad for you. With her zucchini meatloaf — which she calls "a family favorite made healthier" — recipe developer Melissa Olivieri has created the best of both worlds. Think of it as the delicious, meaty cousin to zucchini bread.

"This beef meatloaf is loaded with flavor thanks to the addition of spices such as garlic powder, parsley, cumin, and chili flakes, and it has a unique texture with the shredded zucchini," Olivieri says. Plus, if you've made any type of meatloaf before, this recipe will be a snap. When you've had a long day and need to whip up a meal that will satisfy a crowd, this meatloaf will always have your back.

Gather your ingredients for this zucchini meatloaf

The best way to start this zucchini meatloaf is by preparing all your ingredients and preheating the oven. Technically, this process is called mise en place, and it makes all the other steps in the recipe easier.

For this recipe, you'll need two types of meat: lean ground beef and ground pork. To season the meat, measure out some pepper, salt, cumin, dried parsley, and garlic powder, plus one egg, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and Italian breadcrumbs. Olivieri says you can use fresh garlic if you prefer but notes that she prefers garlic powder. "I don't want to bite into chunks of garlic — I would rather an even spread of garlic throughout the loaf," she explains.

You'll also need grated zucchini (of course) and grated onion, which are both probably best accomplished with the help of a box grater.

Why zucchini?

You may be wondering why zucchini is the best type of vegetable to add to meatloaf. "Adding the zucchini to the meatloaf does two things," Olivieri explains. "It keeps the meatloaf moist (rather than the dry ones most people are used to from their childhood!), and it also is a fantastic way to sneak veggies into dinner for the kids since you cannot taste it."

Plus, zucchini offers plenty of nutritional benefits. It's high in antioxidants, fiber, potassium, and vitamins A and C!

Mix everything together

Now that you've measured out your ingredients and grated your onion and zucchini, making this meatloaf is a breeze. Simply take a big bowl and put your ground meat in it. Then, add your grated zucchini and give everything a good mix. After that, add in your spices, onion, egg, ketchup, and Worcestershire. Mix everything up again, and don't be afraid to get in there using your hands! Just remember to wash them before and after. Finally, add in the breadcrumbs, and give it a final mix so there aren't any pockets of breadcrumbs lurking anywhere.

Bake to perfection

Now that your meatloaf has been prepped, it's time to turn it into a loaf. Put the meat, zucchini, and breadcrumb mixture into a nine-by-three-inch loaf pan of your choice, making sure it's in one even layer. Then, place it in your preheated oven for about 45 minutes. Every oven is different, so you'll know when your meatloaf is cooked when a meat thermometer inserted into it reads 160 F.

Once it's nice and baked, don't get eager just yet. It has to sit in the pan for 10 minutes first. This allows [the juices] to stay in the loaf rather than seep out when you are cutting," she adds. "This will also keep the meatloaf moist and prevent it from drying out."

Serve and enjoy

You've patiently waited those 10 minutes, and now you've earned your reward. Slice up the meatloaf — it's time to eat! Olivieri suggests serving this with a salad, vegetables (she loves steamed butternut squash), and some fresh crusty bread.

Have leftovers? No worries. "Store any leftovers in a sealed container for three days," Olivieri says. "Simply reheat in the microwave. You can also heat the leftovers in a pan and get a nice crisp edge!" Eating extra vegetables has never tasted so good.

Zucchini Meatloaf Recipe
No Ratings
This meatloaf is loaded with flavor thanks to the addition of spices such as garlic powder, parsley, cumin, and chili flakes, and it has a unique texture.
Prep Time
Cook Time
zucchini meatloaf
Total time: 55 minutes
  • 18 ounces lean ground beef
  • 18 ounces ground pork
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon parsley flakes
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup Italian breadcrumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F and set aside a 9x3-inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the pork and beef together with the zucchini to combine.
  3. Add in garlic powder, salt, cumin, parsley, and ground pepper along with grated onion, egg, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce. Using hands, mix well.
  4. Add breadcrumbs to the meat mixture and mix until just combined throughout.
  5. Place entire meat mixture into the prepared pan and bake at 375 F for 45 minutes (or until an internal temperature of 160 F is reached).
  6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting to let juices rest.
  7. Serve with vegetables, salad, and fresh bread.
Calories per Serving 516
Total Fat 36.3 g
Saturated Fat 13.5 g
Trans Fat 1.0 g
Cholesterol 148.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 13.9 g
Dietary Fiber 1.1 g
Total Sugars 4.9 g
Sodium 569.3 mg
Protein 31.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe