Want to sneak some vegetables into your next homemade meatloaf? Learn about what vegetables that go really well in meatloaf and what are the best ways to add them.
Sneaking vegetables into whatever I can is the name of my game!
I always think of you can add more vegetables without sacrificing the quality of the food than good for it. Often the addition of vegetables add to the quality of the food.
Case in point, meatloaf. I never make meatloaf without putting some type of veg in it. Today I am going to give you several ideas of what vegetables you can add.
🚜 Vegetables to Use in Meatloaf
Here is a list of vegetables that would be great in your neat meatloaf. I will go through each one to give more details on how I add them. I will also share my favorite option and the easiest option.
- Baby Spinach
- Baby Kale
- Sweet Potatoes
Did you know you can use oats instead of breadcrumbs in meatloaf? This is a great way to add more oats. I don't like eating oatmeal because of the texture, I don't mind them in meatloaf at all. The picture you saw at the top of this blog post is meatloaf containing some quick oats.
🏆 Favorite option
Carrots are the vegetable that I use every time that I make meatloaf. They are so easiest to add and add color and sweetness to the loaf. I shred the carrots using a box grater just like it's a block of cheese.
I never actually peel the carrots. I don't find that I ever notice one way or the other, so why create the extra work for yourself.
I prefer to use smaller, more tender carrots than the big fat ones, but you can use any sized carrots. No baby carrots though. They are waterlogged to stay moist, making them lack flavor. Plus you don't want to try to shred something so small.
Carrots come in many colors as well. I am love me some red carrots. There is something about their flavor that I just adore. I wish I could find them more often though.
👶 Baby Spinach or Other Baby Greens
🏆 Easiest option
There is literally zero prep involved here. You just need mix some greens whether it be spinach, kale, or arugula into the meatloaf. It will wilt as the meat cooks.
I choose the tender baby variety of each. They are easy to add. If you find any boxed greens that are on clearance those are perfect to use. They are usually close to their best buy dates, you can use them up fast by including them in meatloaf or you can give my arugula & spinach pesto a try.
Do you find when you buy a bag of this mini peppers that you never finish the whole bag before they go bad. A couple of those peppers would be perfect to add to the meatloaf.
I like to do a fine chop on them. You can use bell peppers as well.
If you want some heat, I like to roast hot peppers first before mixing into the meatloaf. During the season I use hatch chile peppers from New Mexico. They are amazing when roasted and will fill your house full of good smells.
🧅 Onions or Garlic
Adding garlic depends on your preference. If you like a bold flavor, then just dice it really fine and add to the meatloaf. If you want it more subtle then sauté it for a few minutes in a pan before adding.
You also could mix some roasted garlic cloves right into the meat. Or use black garlic.
Learn more about black garlic from my skillet chicken recipe.
I do have to say that I hate raw onions in my meatloaf. Well technically they aren't raw, but if you add them raw, they will still be pretty firm when you eat the meatloaf.
If I am going to use onions, I will sauté them first. That sweet caramelized flavor will do wonders for your meatloaf, much better than just biting into a hardly cooked onions.
For zucchini I would use a cheese grater to grate the zucchini to add. That way it's closet to the texture of the meatloaf. Try to remove some of the excess liquid so that it doesn't mess up the ratio of water to meat in your meatloaf.
One way to do that is use a salad spinner to remove water from the zucchini.
Get my mini meatloaf recipe that can be made in egg bite molds as the recipe says or just baked in the oven as a loaf.
🥔 Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes
I haven't tried this before, but I have heard of people shredding raw potatoes or sweet potatoes to add to their meatloaf. Or using instant mashed potatoes in meatloaf.
What I am here suggesting today is taking mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes and putting them on top of your meatloaf before putting in the oven. This is like making a shepherd's pie. You could even top it off with some cheddar cheese.
I think at this point you are ready to run to your kitchen and start cooking!
If you enjoyed this post make sure you check out our entire series "What Vegetables Go Well In" to help you add more veggies to your favorite dishes.