How Many Calories In Meatloaf

How Many Calories In Meatloaf? Nutrition Of Meatloaf

When it comes to comfort food, meatloaf holds a special place in the hearts and dinner tables across America. This beloved dish, known for its versatility and rich flavors, can vary widely in ingredients and preparation methods, leading to an equally wide range of caloric contents. Understanding the caloric impact of meatloaf is crucial for anyone monitoring their dietary intake, pursuing weight management goals, or simply seeking a healthier lifestyle without sacrificing the pleasures of traditional home cooking. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the world of meatloaf, breaking down the factors that influence its caloric content, including the types of meat used, additional ingredients, and cooking methods. Our expertise in nutritional analysis and passion for delicious, wholesome food enables us to provide you with detailed insights and practical tips to enjoy your favorite comfort food in a way that aligns with your health and nutritional goals. Whether you’re a home cook looking to tweak your grandmother’s recipe or a food enthusiast curious about the nutritional aspects of this classic dish, our article, “How Many Calories in Meatloaf,” promises to enlighten and inspire. Get ready to explore the delicious complexity of meatloaf and discover how you can enjoy this timeless comfort food while staying informed about its nutritional impact. Join us as we embark on a flavorful journey that will not only satisfy your curiosity but also empower you with the knowledge to make healthier choices.

The Basics: Calorie Count of Traditional Meatloaf

A meatloaf made with 80% lean ground beef contains approximately 892 calories per pound.

For a standard 4-ounce serving, which is about the size of a slice, you would consume around 223 calories.

Already we can see that a typical serving of meatloaf, while substantial, does not make up the majority of calories in a day for most adults.

Healthier Preparations Can Further Reduce Meatloaf Calories

Small adjustments make a difference in lightening up meatloaf’s calorie density.

  • Substituting 90% lean ground beef reduces the calorie count to around 828 calories per pound. This brings a 4-ounce serving down to 207 calories.
  • Going beyond beef, you can use ground turkey breast, averaging about 800 calories per pound. A slice of turkey meatloaf would contain 200 calories.

What Else Is In Meatloaf? Examining the Macronutrients

In addition to protein from the ground meat, meatloaf contains fat, carbs, vitamins and minerals.

  • Fat content comes mostly from the meat. 80% lean beef has about 20% fat calories. Lower fat meats reduce total fat grams.
  • Carbohydrates are added via breadcrumbs or oats. A meatloaf may have 15-30g total carbs.
  • Important micronutrients include iron, zinc, B vitamins like niacin from the meat, and selenium from eggs.

How Other Ingredients Boost Calories and Nutrition?

Eggs, breadcrumbs, ketchup, and other additions impact the calorie density.

  • Eggs add protein while minimal fat or carbs. Replace heaviest items like cream.
  • Breadcrumbs can be swapped for lower calorie rolled oats. Or eliminate entirely.
  • Condiments like ketchup and barbecue sauce add sugar. Use sparingly or make your own.

Cooking Technique Influences Nutritional Value

Cooking Technique Influences Nutritional Value

Preparation method also affects calorie content of meatloaf.

  • Baking avoids added fat from frying, keeping calories lowest.
  • Grilling in a pan with olive oil adds some fat but still less than deep frying.
  • Fried meatloaf has up to 169 additional calories per portion from being pan-fried or deep fried.

Watch Portion Sizes for Calorie Control

While meatloaf can be part of a healthy diet, portion control is key.

Stick to a 4-5 ounce serving to keep calories in a comfortable range. Round out the plate with lower calorie sides like a salad, roasted veggies and a whole grain.

This satisfies cravings while providing a nutritious meal that doesn’t break the calorie bank.

How Meatloaf Compares to Other Comfort Food Favorites

When enjoyed in moderation, meatloaf has fewer calories than many comfort food alternatives.

  • A cheeseburger with condiments is around 300 calories, more than a slice of meatloaf.
  • Mac and cheese clocks in at 350-400 calories per serving.
  • Lasagna made with cheese and meat sauce can have 500+ calories per hearty portion.

A Lighter Meatloaf Recipe

This lean turkey meatloaf saves calories using lean ground turkey, egg whites, and quick oats instead of breadcrumbs.


  • 1 lb ground turkey (93% lean)
  • 1⁄2 cup quick oats
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped onion
  • 1⁄2 cup shredded carrot
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1⁄4 cup ketchup or barbecue sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly with hands until well incorporated.
  2. Transfer mixture to a loaf pan and shape into a rounded or rectangular loaf.
  3. Bake for 45-60 minutes until cooked through and browned. Reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
  4. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing to serve.

Makes 4 servings at 219 calories each.

Vegetarian and Vegan Meatloaf Alternatives

Vegetarian and Vegan Meatloaf Alternatives

Plant-based meatloafs mimic the taste and texture of traditional meatloaf with fewer calories.

  • A lentil walnut meatloaf has on average 200 calories per serving
  • A veggie loaf with beans, vegetables, and whole grains provides around 150 calories per portion.
  • Substituting meat for a soy-based ground beef substitute also lightens the caloric load.

4 thoughts on “How Many Calories In Meatloaf? Nutrition Of Meatloaf

    • Winifred Bond says:

      mac & cheese (average; ≈200g) ≈350, meatloaf (traditional; ≈70g) ≈100. running estimate: ≈450 calories! 🙂

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