Healthy chicken meatloaf with hidden veggies on a serving platter with a side of mashed potatoes, plates, and forks.

Healthy Chicken Meatloaf with Hidden Veggies

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This is not your grandma’s average meatloaf recipe! Healthy chicken meatloaf with hidden veggies is an excellent dinner to serve your entire family. It’s full of flavor, doesn’t dry out in the oven, and comes together in just over an hour (most of which is cooking time!). Your kids will absolutely love it! Plus, they won’t even know they’re also consuming plenty of vitamins and minerals from the added veggies. It’s a win, win for all!

Healthy chicken meatloaf with hidden veggies on a serving platter with a side of mashed potatoes, plates, and forks.

What makes this healthy chicken meatloaf with hidden veggies so good?!

With its delicious ground chicken base, sweet ketchup glaze, and rich texture, this healthy chicken meatloaf with hidden veggies is the perfect meal for parents and kids alike. It is incredibly filling, pairs well with nearly any side dish, and is not overly complicated. It utilizes fresh and healthy ingredients, so you know your family will be eating a delicious, yet nutritious dinner complete with both protein and vegetables. 

To elevate this meatloaf even further, serve it with healthy garlic mashed cauliflower potatoes, steamed or roasted fresh vegetables, and a simple side salad. Trust me, you will NOT miss the greasy ground beef and loads of bread crumbs that make up your traditional meatloaf. This healthy chicken meatloaf is much lighter, more flavorful, and the perfect twist on a classic dish. Give it a try and you’ll never look back!

Ingredients

Labelled ingredients for healthy chicken meatloaf with hidden veggies (see recipe for details).
  1. Ketchup
  2. Brown Sugar
  3. Worcestershire Sauce
  4. Carrot, grated
  5. Celery, grated
  6. Onion, chopped
  7. Garlic, minced
  8. Olive Oil
  9. Salt and Pepper
  10. Ground Chicken
  11. Breadcrumbs
  12. Milk, or Favorite Milk Alternative
  13. Eggs

A few notes about the ingredients:

  1. When purchasing ketchup, look for one with very few additives and unpronounceable ingredients. I like to use Heinz Simply Tomato Ketchup. The ingredient list includes distinguished items like tomato concentrate from red ripe tomatoes, distilled vinegar, cane sugar, and onion powder.
  2. Worcestershire sauce is a fermented liquid condiment, which lends unique flavor and acid to the meatloaf. It is made mainly of vinegars, molasses, garlic, onion, anchovies, and seasonings. It can be found in the condiment aisle of the grocery store. There are many off-brand worcestershire sauces with “fake” ingredients that try to mimic the true flavor of the sauce. Opt for the true-to-form worcestershire sauce Lea and Perrins, though it might be a bit more expensive, to avoid “junk” ingredients and to maintain the best flavor.
  3. You can use ground turkey, instead of ground chicken, if you’d prefer.
  4. I used unsweetened almond milk, but you can use any milk or milk substitute.

How do you make healthy chicken meatloaf from scratch?

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray. My pan was 9 ½ x 6 x 3 inches. You can use a variation of pan sizes, but your loaf may either be flatter or taller and you may need to adjust the cook time accordingly.

Combined ketchup, brown sugar, and worcestershire sauce in a glass bowl with a spoon.

Combine ketchup, brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce in a bowl. Set it aside.

Chopped onions, minced garlic, and grated celery and carrots in a glass bowl.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and grated celery and carrot to the warm oil. Saute until the onions become soft and translucent. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add the other teaspoon of worcestershire sauce.

Remove the veggies from the heat and allow them to cool slightly while you prepare the meat.

Raw ground chicken mixed with the other ingredients in a glass bowl.

Combine breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl. Allow the crumbs to soak up the milk and soften. Add the egg and egg white, ground chicken, cooled veggies, and ¼ cup of the ketchup mixture. Mix it all to combine.

Raw meatloaf in a loaf pan with a spoon spreading the ketchup mixture on top.

Spoon the meat mixture into the loaf pan and smooth it out from edge to edge. Top the meat with the remaining ketchup mixture. Don’t hold any back, as this is my favorite part of the meatloaf!

Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake covered for about 40 minutes. Remove the foil from the pan and cook for another 10 minutes to allow the ketchup to thicken to a glaze. The chicken should be cooked completely through or until a meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees when inserted into the middle of the meatloaf.

Allow the meatloaf to cool slightly before slicing and serving with garlic mashed cauliflower potatoes.

3 slices of healthy chicken meatloaf with hidden veggies on white plates with cauliflower mashed potatoes.

What keeps a meatloaf from falling apart?

The breadcrumbs, eggs, and milk in this recipe help to bind the meatloaf together and keep it from falling apart. In addition, you need to be cautious not to overcook meatloaf, as well as include the proper ratio of fats to prevent it from drying out and becoming crumbly. You should also allow your meatloaf several minutes to rest before cutting it once it comes out of the oven, so all of the different elements bind back together as the meatloaf gradually cools down.

What is the secret to moist meatloaf?

Again, the fat, breadcrumbs, and milk ratios greatly affect the texture of the meatloaf. With decent fat content, the meatloaf should stay moist. As well, the milk (and other liquids, like the ketchup mixture in this recipe) helps to soften the breadcrumbs and prevent them from drying out the meat, while also allowing them to hold the loaf together.

What makes this chicken meatloaf with hidden veggies healthy?

This meatloaf is healthy because it substitutes ground chicken for the traditional ground beef, which is a leaner protein, contributing less fat and calories, but keeping the overall taste and integrity of a classic meatloaf. As well, the addition of carrots, celery, garlic, and onions (lots of fresh ingredients!) allows you to consume a variety of vitamins and nutrients without even knowing it’s hidden within your food.

One more tip

  • If you want to make individual meatloaves, you can bake this recipe in a muffin tin, instead of a loaf pan, to create chicken meatloaf muffins. Adjust the baking time so that they don’t overcook. Bake until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees. For an added twist, top the chicken meatloaf muffins with this delicious garlic mashed cauliflower potatoes, just like you would frost a cupcake.
Healthy chicken meatloaf on a white serving platter with a side of mashed potatoes in a black bowl.

Looking for more healthy chicken recipes? Try these:

Share your cooking with me! If you make this recipe, I’d love to know! Tag @yourhomemadehealthy on Instagram or leave a comment with a rating and some feedback at the bottom of this page!

Healthy Chicken Meatloaf sliced on a white dish with garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes on the side.

Healthy Chicken Meatloaf with Hidden Veggies

This is not your grandma’s average meatloaf recipe! Healthy chicken meatloaf with hidden veggies is an excellent dinner to serve your entire family. It utilizes fresh and healthy ingredients, so you know your family will be eating a delicious, yet nutritious dinner complete with both protein and vegetables.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings

Equipment

  • Mixing bowl
  • Skillet
  • loaf pan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 1 celery grated
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves minced
  • a drizzle of olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 lb ground chicken (16 ounces)
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp milk or favorite milk alternative
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray. My pan was 9 ½ x 6 x 3 inches. You can use a variation of pan sizes, but your loaf may either be flatter or taller and you may need to adjust the cook time accordingly.
  • Combine ketchup, brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce in a bowl. Set it aside.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and grated celery and carrot to the warm oil. Sauté until the onions become soft and translucent. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add the other teaspoon of worcestershire sauce.
  • Remove the veggies from the heat and allow them to cool slightly while you prepare the meat.
  • Combine breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl. Allow the crumbs to soak up the milk and soften. Add the egg and egg white, ground chicken, cooled veggies, and ¼ cup of the ketchup mixture. Mix it all to combine.
  • Spoon the meat mixture into the loaf pan and smooth it out from edge to edge. Top the meat with the remaining ketchup mixture. Don’t hold any back, as this is my favorite part of the meatloaf!
  • Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake covered for about 40 minutes. Remove the foil from the pan and cook for another 10 minutes to allow the ketchup to thicken to a glaze. The chicken should be cooked completely through or until a meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees when inserted into the middle of the meatloaf.
  • Allow the meatloaf to cool slightly before slicing and serving with garlic mashed cauliflower potatoes.

Notes

  1. When purchasing ketchup, look for one with very few additives and unpronounceable ingredients. I like to use Heinz Simply Tomato Ketchup. The ingredient list includes distinguished items like tomato concentrate from red ripe tomatoes, distilled vinegar, cane sugar, and onion powder.
  2. Worcestershire sauce is a fermented liquid condiment, which lends unique flavor and acid to the meatloaf. It is made mainly of vinegars, molasses, garlic, onion, anchovies, and seasonings. It can be found in the condiment aisle of the grocery store. There are many off-brand worcestershire sauces with “fake” ingredients that try to mimic the true flavor of the sauce. Opt for the true-to-form worcestershire sauce Lea and Perrins, though it might be a bit more expensive, to avoid “junk” ingredients and to maintain the best flavor.
  3. You can use ground turkey, instead of ground chicken, if you’d prefer.
  4. I used unsweetened almond milk, but you can use any milk or milk substitute.
  5. If you want to make individual meatloaves, you can bake this recipe in a muffin tin, instead of a loaf pan, to create chicken meatloaf muffins. Adjust the baking time so that they don’t overcook. Bake until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees. For an added twist, top the chicken meatloaf muffins with this delicious garlic mashed cauliflower potatoes, just like you would frost a cupcake.
Keyword Chicken, Dinner Recipe, Healthy Chicken Recipe, Healthy Recipe, Weeknight Meal

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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight and I don’t think I’ll go back to beef meatloaf. This meatloaf was packed with flavor and I loved the added vegetables to make this dish healthier. Definitely saving this recipe for future meals!

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