Smoky Meatloaf

Smoky Meatloaf

7 Reviews
From the EatingWell Kitchen

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. We've also included a variation with Italian flavors.

Ingredients 6 servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 1½ cups shredded zucchini (about 1 small)
  • ½ cup finely diced green bell pepper
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika, preferably smoked (see Tips)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¾ cup dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see Tips)
  • 1½ pounds lean (90% or leaner) ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup or barbecue sauce


  • Active

  • Ready In

  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.
  • Italian Variation: Substitute ½ 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).
  • Tips: Paprika is a spice made from grinding dried red peppers. Paprika specifically labeled Hungarian delivers a fuller, richer flavor than regular paprika. Smoked paprika is made from smoke-dried red peppers and adds earthy, smoky flavor. It can be used in many types of savory dishes. Look for different types of paprika at some large supermarkets or at or
  • 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 ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs or about ⅓ cup dry breadcrumbs. For store-bought coarse dry breadcrumbs we like Ian's brand, labeled “Panko breadcrumbs.” Find them at well-stocked supermarkets.
  • Easy cleanup: Recipes that require cooking spray can leave behind a sticky residue that can be hard to clean. To save time and keep your baking sheet looking fresh, line it with a layer of foil before you apply the cooking spray.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 277 calories; 13 g fat(5 g sat); 2 g fiber; 13 g carbohydrates; 26 g protein; 22 mcg folate; 105 mg cholesterol; 4 g sugars; 1 g added sugars; 428 IU vitamin A; 17 mg vitamin C; 37 mg calcium; 4 mg iron; 589 mg sodium; 591 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (28% daily value), Iron (22% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: ½ starch, ½ vegetable, 3 medium-fat meat

Reviews 7

February 28, 2019
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By: Roderick Hammonds
I made it for my family and they loved it! I added quinua to it to lessen the meat content and it was perfect tasting!
November 12, 2017
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By: Ruth
Husband is a meatloaf fiend, and he really enjoys this recipe.
September 11, 2017
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By: Jim
We love this recipe!! Excellent, satisfying, rich umami flavors and a great way to add vegetables while cutting calories and red meat consumption.
July 16, 2017
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By: rlocati1
This is one of my favorite ways to make meatloaf, flavor is great. Like the zucchini in it to keep it most with low fat meat.
April 01, 2017
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By: Karen
Delicious and I made this with mashed cauliflower recipe I found on this website and it was hit at our house.
September 21, 2013
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By: newbiebread maker
Definitely a winner Everyone loved it! No one guessed it was lightened and still so yummy. No leftovers! Pros: moist, tasty, easy, low fat
March 14, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Very tasty and moist This was so good! I made it with green bell pepper, Italian seasoning and ketchup. Very flavorful, could not even tell there were so many veggies in it. Would definitely make it again. Pros: Moist, flavorful, delicious, healthy
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