Sauerkraut Meatloaf Recipe
Sauerkraut and Gut Health
In addition to the flavor, sauerkraut provides to meatloaf, it also improves your gut health. Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage that contains probiotics. According to Well + Good, eating sauerkraut can improve your microbiome. A healthy gut provides:
- Better energy
- Quality sleep
- Boost immunity
- Improves mood
- Enhances digestion
Meatloaf is forgiving and great for using ingredients in the fridge or pantry. I learned that from my mom. Once we were on summer vacation at the cottage, and she ground Quaker Quisp Corn Cereal into the loaf because it was handy. We ate every bite. But after creating this sauerkraut meatloaf recipe, I don’t wing it anymore. Why I use these ingredients:
- Sauerkraut – look for packages that say they contain probiotics or live active cultures – usually in the refrigerated section or from the local farmers market.
- Protein: Grass-fed ground beef, ground turkey or lamb can all be used. The nutrition facts panel below shows this recipe with 90% lean ground beef.
- Garlic, onions, and carrots are prebiotics. Web MD notes that a healthy gut also needs prebiotics. Ingredients rich in prebiotics give food to the probiotics to do their work. Don’t skip these crucial ingredients.
- Binding ingredients keep your meatloaf from falling apart. The binders in this recipe are eggs and uncooked quinoa, or almond flour which also makes it paleo and gluten-free. Toasted wheat or rye bread are options if you are not on a paleo or gluten-free diet.
- Ketchup and mustard add flavor to the meat. Look for condiment brands that comply with your health goals – low salt, no sugar, gluten-free, Whole 30, etc.
- Meatloaf Toppings – Ketchup, tomato sauce, and barbeque sauce are very common toppings for meatloaf. Look for sugar-free products and low-salt products that comply with your nutritional goals.
Meatloaf can be made in the morning and cooked later or the next day. Assemble the meatloaf and form it into the loaf pan (8 ½” X 4 ½”) or a similar size. Cover the meatloaf and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before cooking; remove the wrapping and follow recipe directions. Note: If you make the recipe below using 1 pound of meat, you may have extra room in the pan. Form the mixture toward the middle (making taller slices) rather than covering the bottom.
Cast-Iron Skillet Meatloaf
Cooking meatloaf in a 10” cast-iron skillet works excellent. It provides more surface area for the barbeque sauce on the top and is easier to serve out of the cast iron skillet than a loaf pan. I know it’s called a meat “loaf,” but it does not have to be in a loaf shape. Since making a meatloaf requires a fair amount of prep work and an hour of cooking, I recommend doubling the recipe to take advantage of the skillet’s size and save time for another meal or leftovers. And using your cast-iron skillet makes this time-honored dish even more retro!
Freezer Meal – Eat One and Freeze the Other
Another way to make good use of your time is to triple the recipe. Form the mixture into two loaf pans and cook according to the recipe directions. After the uneaten loaf cools, wrap the container and place it in the freezer or remove the loaf from the cooking pan and wrap it in foil. Follow one of these versions to reheat and set the directions on a freezer label.
- Defrost the frozen loaf in the fridge overnight and cook in a pan at 350º for 1 hour. Add extra BBQ sauce on the top, if needed.
- Defrost the frozen loaf in the fridge overnight and heat in the microwave on reheat setting in 2-minute increments until warm. Add extra BBQ sauce to the top, if needed.
- Forgot to defrost? Place frozen meatloaf in preheated 350º oven for 1.5 hours or until the temperature reads 160º with a meat thermometer.
Prep ingredients for a triple batch that makes two loaf pans serving six.
Mix ingredients in a bowl.
Smooth the mixture into two loaf pans.
Top with the barbeque mixture and cook in the oven.
Remove the cooled meatloaf from the pan.
Wrap meatloaf in foil and date. Place in freezer.
This recipe is a family favorite and has a bit of history. One of my daughters named it “Keep Your Man Meatloaf” because a boyfriend was very impressed with the recipe when she made it. All three of my daughters made this recipe while dating to prove they could cook comfort foods for their boyfriends. Now two are married, and one is engaged!