Gluten-Free Mini-Meat Loaf with Mushroom Sauce
Here’s an old favorite that’s already easy to make, made a little faster. The smaller individual-size loaves cook faster.
Because they’re smaller, they’re also quick to freeze. They thaw quickly for a meal later, so I often double the recipe and make extra.
When I was converting this recipe to be gluten-free, I discovered several different possibilities to use besides the former breadcrumbs — brown rice farina, certified gluten-free oats, garbanzo flour, instant mashed potato flakes or almond flour. The flavor and texture of all of these work well.
Gluten-free breadcrumbs, like Schar’s, for example, work well, too, but I don’t always have them on hand.
Availability is a big consideration with deciding which of these ingredients to use. Finding or ordering gluten-free flours, oats and cereals is not always easy or quick. That can be a problem when I want meat loaf…tonight!
Some of these options are much pricier than others, and I’m always happy to use the most economical ingredients available when I can. Right before payday I try to hold off on a shopping trip — that’s when I especially like using instant mashed potato flakes from my pantry instead of having to buy a new package of almond flour.
Some of the things I’ve also tried that didn’t work so well were rice flour, corn flake crumbs, chopped cabbage, chopped zucchini and various gluten-free breads …but the flavor didn’t seem similar enough to the original recipe to satisfy my family’s expectations.
- ¼ cup Onion, finely chopped, (or Mushrooms, finely chopped)
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Rice Farina or Grits, Certified Gluten-Free Oats, Garbanzo Flour, Instant Mashed Potato Flakes, Almond Flour or Schar GF Bread Crumbs
- 1/4 Cup Water
- 1 Whole Egg
- 2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 1 Tablespoon Parsley (or your favorite herb mix)
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper, freshly ground
- 1 Pound Lean Ground Beef (85% lean works best -- if you use leaner meat it makes too dry a loaf)
- 1 Tablespoon Butter, or drippings from the meatloaf
- 2 Tablespoons Sweet Rice Flour, or Arrowroot Starch
- 5 Ounces Canned Mushrooms, drained (reserve Broth), chopped
- 2/3 Cup Mushroom Broth (add water, if needed, to make full amount)
- Dash Salt
- Dash Pepper
- Dash Thyme, optional
- Milk, or Water, to thin
- (Makes about 1 cup)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, or food processor, mix in order listed, except for sauce/soup ingredients, adding meat a little at a time, until thoroughly mixed.
Shape into three or four individual-serving loaves.
After about 30 minutes, make the mushroom sauce (see directions below).
Remove the meat loaf from the oven and spoon off or drain any excessive drippings from the pan, leaving the crusty brown bits in the pan.
Spread mushroom sauce over the top of each meat loaf (pour it all on).
Garnish with green pepper rings or tomato slices if you like.
Bake another 15 minutes (about 45 minutes total) until done in center and a meat thermometer reads 160 F.
Serve with the sauce from the pan spooned over the meat loaf.
In small heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
Stir in the sweet rice flour (or arrowroot powder); with a wire whisk or a wooden spoon, continue stirring until mixture starts to brown.
Add mushroom broth, stirring continuously until smooth and just thickened.
Stir in chopped mushrooms.
Stir in extra milk or water if needed to bring to desired consistency. Do not boil.
Season to taste.
Spread over meat loaf during the last 10-15 minutes of baking.
This gluten-free recipe is designed for those with celiac (coeliac) disease, gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity. If you are on a gluten-free diet, you can confidently serve it to people who have no food allergies. It is wheat-free, barley-free and rye-free.
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