Meatloaf Rebooted – We Don’t Need No Stinking Breadcrumbs

Last year I posted my gyro meatloaf recipe. It mimics the flavor profile of gyro meat in convenient meatloaf format. Unlike commercial gyro meat, my recipe is 100% gluten free. I discovered you don’t need bread crumbs. A single egg is enough to bind the meatloaf. However, I started experimenting with bread crumb substitutes to thicken the meatloaf.

The first thing I used was instant potatoes. It works very well and I’ve made probably 10 meatloaves with instant potatoes. But I got a better idea recently. I was reading a Persian cookbook I got from the library. The book was terrible, as every recipe required way too many ingredients and at least 2 hours. But I did get one good idea. Mixing cooked rice into meatballs. If it works for meatballs, it should work for meatloaf. And it did.

I am now mixing cooked white rice into my meatloaves and it works great. I’m still working on the optimal mix. My first meatloaf, I underdosed using 1 cup for 3 pounds. Below is a photo using 3 cups of basmati for 3 pounds. Probably a little too much. Will use 2 cups next time.


Gyro Meatloaf with Basmati rice

Another brilliant thing about this idea, is I don’t need to cook up a starch side dish. It is literally baked in the meatloaf. Wrap some foil around it and you have a perfect portable meal.


Add yours

  1. The idea with the white rice makes sense.

    Personally, I really like using rolled oats to thicken things up. I dont know how your body reacts to the proteins in oatmeal, but I seem to be doing fine with them.

    It tastes really well. You could even soak them in some raw milk beforehand. That’s a Polish way of doing it with old rock-hard buns to soften them up and add to the minced meat.

  2. My mom used to make meatballs rolled in white rice and called them porcupine meatballs. I’d forgotten all about them until you posted this. They were dang good.

  3. My wife & I often use dried mushrooms (pulverized in a blender) as a substitute for breading. It works great on chicken, livers, etc.

    It might be worth trying in meatloaf. Thanks for the great ideas!

  4. We use steel cut oats. They don’t bind quite as well as rolled oats, but we like the texture better. So we use an extra egg.

    Crushed corn chips or taco shells are another possibility, but that probably adds vegetable oils depending on how they were cooked.

    My mom also made porcupine meatballs. If they were in tomato sauce, she called them Italian. If they were in gravy, she called them Swedish.

  5. I’ve never heard of using bread crumbs in meatloaf. My mother always used oatmeal, but to soak up the fat, not to bind. I always figured that was what the egg was for.

    I’ve made it with cooked chopped kale instead of oatmeal. That actually worked fairly well.

  6. @Amenone – The most common binder for meatloaf is breadcrumbs. It is in most recipes and you can be almost certain this is what most restaurants are using.

    @All – Lots of great ideas. Especially liked the dried mushrooms.

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