This Test Kitchen-approved meat loaf with oatmeal makes a tender, juicy loaf that is sure to make the whole house happy. Of all the ways to make meat loaf, adding oats to the batter must be one of our favorites. Swapping out the usual bread crumbs with quick-cooking oats makes for a hearty loaf with a wonderful texture. Try it for yourself, and see how oatmeal makes the best meat loaf.
Ingredients for Meat Loaf with Oatmeal
- Worcestershire sauce: Don’t skip out on this flavorful condiment. It’s essential for a delicious meat loaf.
- Quick-cooking oats: Make sure to use quick-cooking oats for optimal results. Other whole oats won’t cook through and will make a tough, chewy loaf.
- Ground beef: Meat loaf typically calls for ground beef with a higher fat content, but if you’re looking for something lighter, you can use ground turkey. Here’s our turkey meat loaf that uses quick-cooking oats.
- Ketchup: Can’t have a meat loaf without the glaze! Ketchup offers that classic sweet tang we all love in a loaf topping.
Step 1: Make the base
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, stir together the egg, milk, Worcestershire sauce, oats, onion, salt, sage and pepper. Crumble the beef over the mixture. Mix until combined. Press the mixture into an ungreased 8×4-inch loaf pan.
Step 2: Bake the loaf
Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Drain any liquid. Spread the ketchup over the loaf. Return to the oven, and bake for about 10 minutes longer, until the meat is no longer pink and a thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the loaf reads 160°. Let stand for 10 minutes. Slice and serve your delicious meat loaf with oatmeal.
Meat Loaf with Oatmeal Variations
- Give it smoky flavors: If you love a smoky, meaty flavor, try this robust smoked meat loaf. If you like, swap out the bread crumbs in the recipe for oats.
- Pack it with mushrooms: Try adding mushrooms to the loaf, as we do in this mushroom meat loaf.
- Stuff the loaf: Take your loaf to the next level making it a stuffed meat loaf. Fill it with anything from mozzarella to spinach!
How to Store Meat loaf with Oatmeal
Store any cooled meat loaf in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
Meat Loaf with Oatmeal Tips
Can you use other types of oats to make meat loaf with oatmeal?
You’ll only want to use quick-cooking rolled oats for making this meat loaf. Different types of oats could result in a tougher or chewier loaf.
How can I make this a gluten-free meat loaf?
It’s easy to make gluten-free meat loaf! Oats are naturally gluten-free, so just make sure that the brand you buy is made in a gluten-free facility. Also, check that labels of the other ingredients called for to make sure they’re made in gluten-free facilities.
Is oatmeal better than bread crumbs for meat loaf?
It’s hard to say which is better, oats or bread crumbs. In any case, bread crumbs are a totally acceptable substitute for the oats in this recipe. They’ll have the same effect of acting as a binder and helping to maintain moisture in the meat loaf.