Hide-a-Veg Meatloaf


I’ve got sons. Sons who love meat and potatoes. They LURVE this meatloaf. Vegetables? Not so much. They don’t know my meatloaf is like 40 percent veg. Shhhhh!



3 lbs lean ground beef or ground turkey

2 carrots, chopped

2 stalks of celery, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper or 4 sweet red peppers, chopped

4-5 large button mushrooms, chopped

1 cup spinach or arugula, you guessed it, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

2 eggs

1 cup bread crumbs or crushed saltine crackers

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter


1/2 cup Ketchup

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon onion powder


The key to getting this dish into a picky kid’s mouth is getting a good dice on your veg. If picky isn’t a problem, a rougher chop gives amazing texture and lightens the dish.

Preheat oven to 350º


  • In a large pan over medium heat, warm the oil or butter
  • Add the carrots and cook 5 minutes, stirring often
  • Add the onion, peppers and celery, cook until lightly browned on the edges
  • Add the mushrooms and cook until soft
  • Stir in the spinach or arugula and remove from heat
  • Cool to room temperature


  • Thoroughly combine the ketchup, brown sugar and onion in a small sauce pan
  • Cook over low heat until the sauce becomes smooth and translucent


  • In a large bowl, break the meat up to allow easier mixing
  • Add the cooled vegetables, garlic, worcestershire, eggs, salt, pepper and bread crumbs.
  • Mix until combined
  • In a large roasting pan, form the meat and vegetable mixture into a 3 inch thick oval loaf shape. In warmer months, you may need to mix in more breadcrumbs a little at a time until the loaf shape holds.
  • Cook 30 – 45 minutes or until the top starts to brown
  • Spoon or brush on the glaze
  • Cook an additional 15 -30 minutes until internal temperature reaches 150º
  • Rest 10-15 minutes

Slice and serve with a little extra glaze.

Don’t tell my kids how much veg is in the meatloaf.

Seriously. I’m trusting you with my secret.


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