Carbs and Calories In Meatloaf: Is Meatloaf Keto Friendly?

meatloaf calories

Meatloaf is one of those home cooked meals that’s perfect on a cold winter day.  Even better, it’s low in carbs!  If you’re following the Keto diet, meatloaf can certainly be on the menu.  A large slice has between 180 calories and 294 calories and only 4.5 grams of carbs. 

The carbs lie mainly in the bread crumbs.  Bread crumbs, soaked in milk, are usually added to meatloaf to moisten the texture of meatloaf and help bind the ingredients together.  

Meatloaf with breadcrumbs isn’t a good choice for a low-carb diet.  Keep your meatloaf Keto-friendly by substituting a small amount of coconut flour or almond flour in place of the breadcrumbs.   You can also replace the breadcrumbs with almond meal. Another way to add moisture to your loaf is to incorporate more sautéed veggies, like diced onions, peppers, and tomatoes. 

Although ground beef is typically used, you can make meatloaf with just about any type of meat, even lamb, veal, or venison.  The good news is all of the above meats contain zero grams of net carbs.

If you are using a tomato-based sauce or soup in your meatloaf recipe, choose a brand that is low in sugar to avoid the addition of unnecessary carbs.

How Many Carbs are in Meatloaf?

There are 4.5 grams of carbs in a 100 gram serving of meatloaf.

How Many Calories are in Meatloaf?

A 100 gram serving of meatloaf contains 149 calories.

What is Meatloaf?

Meatloaf is a dish of ground meat that has been mixed with other ingredients, like onions, peppers and tomatoes.  It is formed into the shape of a loaf, then baked inside a loaf pan.

A cousin to the Dutch meatball, Meatloaf is a traditional dish of the German, Scandinavian and Belgian regions.  


It is believed by some that meatloaf emerged in medieval Europe, around the 5th century, in a Mediterranean dish of finely chopped meat scraps combined with fruits, nuts and seasonings.  Much like the concept of Sheppard’s pie, meatloaf was invented as a way to stretch meat and use up left over vegetables. 

The first recorded recipe for the modern American meatloaf is from the late 1870s, which instructed the cook to finely chop “whatever cold meat you have on hand.” That meat was usually beef since New Englanders slaughtered their cattle before winter, as feeding the herd during the cold months would be more difficult.

Meatloaf was a way to use up leftover meat scraps from the previous meal. To the ground beef, they added onion, milk-soaked bread crumbs, egg, salt and pepper. The final shape is hand-formed on a flat pan or baked in a rectangular loaf pan.  A tomato-based sauce is typically added or cheese. Today, you’ll find these very ingredients and steps in many meatloaf recipes.


meatloaf keto

Meatloaf is typically made with ground beef, although ground lamb, pork, veal, or venison can also be used.  Other ingredients added include black pepper, salt, onion, garlic, milk-soaked bread crumbs, egg, bell pepper, diced tomatoes, or tomato soup.  The sauce is a tomato base. Add a squirt of ketchup to the tomato sauce and a squirt of Dijon mustard adds a little extra zip.

Most recipes suggest soaking breadcrumbs in milk and then incorporating them into your meat mixture. The milk-soaked bread crumbs provide moisture to bind the loaf and prevent it from drying out while baking.  Rolled oats may be used in place of bread crumbs and some recipes call for Corn Flakes as the binding ingredient. Many low carb meatloaf recipes favor almond meal or coconut flour instead of bread crumbs.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 100 grams of Meatloaf
Calories 149
Total Fat 6 grams 9%
Saturated fat 2.3 grams 11%
Polyunsaturated fat 0.5 grams
Monounsaturated fat 3 grams
Cholesterol 46 milligrams 15%
Sodium 732 milligrams 30%
Potassium 394 milligrams 11%
Total Carbohydrate 4.5 grams 1%
Dietary fiber 0 grams 0%
Sugar 4.6 grams
Protein 17 grams 34%
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 5% Iron 6%
Vitamin D 8% Vitamin B-6 15%
Cobalamin 33% Magnesium 5%

Health Benefits 

Meatloaf is high in protein and a good source of healthy fats, both of which keep you feeling full for a long period of time.  It is also a good source of minerals such as Iron, cobalamin and magnesium.  Homemade meatloaf is high in monounsaturated fat, which is known to minimize unhealthy LDL cholesterol. 

Meatloaf is rich in B vitamins, Vitamin A and C, which are essential minerals needed for the body’s biological processes.  The vegetables that are incorporated in the recipe are rich in dietary fiber, which promote a healthy digestive system and lower blood sugar levels.

The spices used in making meatloaf, such as garlic, contain antioxidants to boost the body’s immunity.  Incorporating healthy ingredients into your loaf will make this meal more balanced and increase its nutritional value.

Making homemade meatloaf from scratch helps control the amount of fat and sodium, especially if lean meat is used and herbs and spices are used to season the meat mixture instead of salt.  However, some sodium is required by the body for optimal health.  Sodium plays a major role in regulating body fluids by the kidneys.  It also regulates nerve transmissions and muscle contractions.

Side Effects

Consuming excess sodium can lead to high blood pressure and edema.

Other side effects of ground meats, like beef are that they are easily exposed to contamination if not handled properly.   Because meat is highly perishable, if it is not stored properly and refrigerated or frozen, it can lead to food poisoning.

Meat is a high protein food. Eating excess protein and neglecting other food groups is not recommended.  Extreme high protein diets in can also lead to damage to kidneys, so it is best to enjoy ground beef and other protein sources in moderation and stick to the recommended 2 servings daily.

Meatloaf is also high in fat.  Beef is mainly composed of saturated and monounsaturated fats, which may have adverse effects on heart health.  It is best to use lean ground beef or ground turkey for a lower fat meatloaf that is more heart-healthy.

Sugar in Meatloaf

There are 4.6 grams of sugar in a 100 gram serving of meatloaf.

Fat in Meatloaf

Typically a 100 gram serving of meatloaf contains 6 grams of fat or more.  Depending on the fat content of the meat you’re using, meatloaf can be high in fat.

You can lower the fat content of your meatloaf by choosing lean ground beef or substitute in ground turkey or chicken.

meatloaf low carb

Protein in Meatloaf

A 100 gram serving of meatloaf contains 17 grams of protein.

Cheesy Stuffed Meatloaf Recipe – How to Make it Keto


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 ounces of extra old cheddar cheese, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup salsa or canned diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl, with the exception of the salsa and cheese.  Using your hands works best.
  2. Press half of the meatloaf mixture into the bottom of a loaf pan.
  3. Place the cheese chunks along the center of the loaf pan, leaving about an inch around the perimeter of the meatloaf.
  4. Cover the cheese layer with the rest of the meat mixture and press it down in the pan gently.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes.
  6. Top with heated salsa or canned diced tomatoes and enjoy!

Makes 6 servings.  Each serving contains 532 calories and 7.4 grams of carbs.

Turkey Meatloaf with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto


  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped finely
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup almond meal.
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 1/4 cup low sugar Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together by hand, except cheese, in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Place the meat mixture into a loaf pan.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes.
  5. Top with Mozzarella and place back in the oven for a few more minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Makes 6 servings.  Each serving contains 475 calories and 6.5 grams of carbs.

Melissa Marshall

A litigation paralegal and writer. Her first novel debuts this fall. She lives with her kitten, Zoey overlooking the waterfront in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - also known as the “City of Lakes”.

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