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Smoky Meatloaf

Smoky Meatloaf

In this lightened-up meatloaf, healthy low-calorie shredded zucchini keeps very lean beef moist but doesn’t take away from the meat itself. The flavor gets a boost from a touch of smoked paprika, Worcestershire and a sweet ketchup glaze.


6 servings

Prep Time

25 minutes

Total Time

1 1/4 hours


  • 1 1/2cups shredded zucchini (about 1 small)
  • 1/2cup finely diced green bell pepper
  • 1medium shallot, minced
  • 1tablespoon water
  • 1large egg
  • 2tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 4teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 3/4teaspoon salt
  • 1/2teaspoon paprika, preferably smoked
  • 1/4teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4cup dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat
  • 1 1/2pounds lean (90% or leaner) ground beef
  • 2tablespoons ketchup or barbecue sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Place zucchini, bell pepper, shallot and water in a medium microwavable bowl, cover and microwave on High until the vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes. Carefully uncover and drain the vegetables in a sieve, gently pressing out as much moisture as possible; spread out on a large plate to cool slightly.
  3. Whisk egg, tomato paste, mustard, Worcestershire, marjoram, salt, paprika and pepper in a large bowl. Add the vegetables and stir to combine. Add breadcrumbs and toss to combine. Add beef and gently knead with clean hands to combine with the vegetable mixture; do not overmix. Form the meat mixture into a loaf shape (approximately 10 by 4 inches) on the prepared baking sheet. Spread ketchup (or barbecue sauce) over the top of the loaf.
  4. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 160°F, 40 to 45 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.


To make your own fresh breadcrumbs, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. To make fine breadcrumbs, process until very fine. To make dry breadcrumbs, spread coarse or fine breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until dry, about 10 to 15 minutes. One slice of bread makes about 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs or about 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs.

Smoked paprika is made from smoke-dried red peppers and adds earthy, smoky flavor to food. It can be used in many types of savory dishes.

For an Italian-style twist, substitute 1/2 cup diced fennel bulb for the bell pepper, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning for the marjoram, regular paprika instead of smoked and marinara sauce in place of the ketchup (or barbecue sauce).

Nutrition Facts

Per serving (recipe makes 6 servings)

Calories 276kcal
Carbohydrate Total 12g
Total Sugars 4g
Added Sugars 1g
Fiber 2g
Total Fat 13g
Saturated Fat 5g
Mono Saturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 105mg
Sodium 595mg
Protein 26g
Potassium 596mg
Calcium 37mg
Folate 22mcg
Omega-6 1g
Trans Fatty Acid 1g
Vitamin E 1mg
Zinc 6mg
Vitamin B3 6mg

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