The “Cheesiest” Gluten Free, Dairy Free Meatloaf

meatloafcheesiest2Do you miss having regular, bread crumb based meatloaf? Or are you simply looking for a healthier alternative to the standard wheat & gluten based kind?

As long as you don’t have a tree nut, or specifically, a cashew or almond sensitivity, then I’ve got options for you! I’ve already shared two meatloaf recipes, one almond flour based, and the other “cheesy” cashew based one.

I don’t even make or eat meatloaf that often! But when I do, I like to tweak the recipe a bit.

This time, I wanted to reduce the amount of nut flour and make it cheesier tasting, without the cashews. So, I decided to add in nutritional yeast, which I’d always was interested in trying, but up until now, never did.

Keep in mind that nutritional yeast does not contain active yeast, if you are avoiding it. And it definitely does add a cheesy flavor, without any dairy! It’s a great alternative to those fake, vegan “cheeses,” although I wouldn’t recommend eating it on a daily, or regular, basis. I see it as more of a supplement than a real food.

Anyway, I made a few other tweaks to those other two recipes as well, like adding herbs and playing around with the quantities of a few ingredients, and adding in more spinach. If your children or other family members won’t eat it on its own, then this is a great way to sneak it in.

So here’s the end product, which I think is my tastiest yet!

Even “Cheesier,” Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free Meatloaf


  • 3 lbs ground beef (preferably 100% grass fed, organic)
  • 5 to 6 oz fresh spinach
  • 1 large onion (red or yellow)
  • 2T ground flax seeds (best freshly ground, freeze any excess immediately)
  • 8T hot water
  • 3T Worcestershire sauce (preferably organic and gluten free) or soy-free Coconut Aminos
  • 2T nutritional yeast (for more cheesy flavor)
  • 1 tsp each of dried basil, oregano, and parsley
  • 1 1/4 c almond flour (blanched)
  • 1/4 c arrowroot flour
  • 3T garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
  • Organic ketchup or salsa (optional topping)


  1. Heat water almost to boiling.
  2. Place ground flax seeds in small bowl and add 6T of the water (discard the rest). Stir for a minute, and set aside to thicken, stirring occasionally. After 5 or 10 minutes, it will have a consistency similar to eggs. Alternatively, you can use two eggs if you prefer.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and line 13X9 inch baking pan (I use Pyrex) with unbleached parchment paper. Set pan aside.
  4. Cut onion into 4 pieces and add to food processor. Process into small pieces. Then add in spinach and process until broken down into tiny pieces, like a pesto. Press it all down from sides with a spoon, then add the Worcestershire sauce or Coconut Aminos and process briefly to blend.
  5. Transfer spinach mixture to a big bowl. Add flax mixture, as well as basil, oregano, parsley, and nutritional yeast. Stir until evenly mixed. Break apart ground beef and add to bowl, and mix throughly.
  6. Add almond flour, arrowroot, garlic powder, and Celtic Sea Salt to food processor and process briefly until combined evenly (you don't need to wash it after taking spinach out). Transfer it to bowl and combine until evenly distributed.
  7. Transfer mixture to baking pan, spread until flat, and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, until it's cooked through to your satisfaction. To brown it on top, broil on high for 3 to 5 minutes before you take it out.
  8. Let sit to cool off for a few minutes, then cut up and serve. It tastes great on it's own, but feel free to dip it in ketchup or salsa.

Sorry there aren’t photos of the creative process, but when I made this, I didn’t plan on adding yet another meatloaf recipe to this blog! But after I ate it, I wanted you all to enjoy it as much as I did. So a recipe without photos is better than no recipe at all, right?

Somehow, I don’t think this will be the last of my meatloaf recipes, though. I was able to reduce the amount of nut flour in this one, but can I make it without any nut flour at all, and add in even more vegetables? The wheels are turning in my head, but that’s another project for another day, week, month, or year. Definitely not until 2016!

In the meantime, if you have any favorite meatloaf recipes, or special ingredients you like to add, please let me know in the comments.

It’s good to be back! I have more recipes coming up, but I also have you tell you all about my food experiences in Hawaii this summer. In case you’re new here, I took an extended summer blog break.

More to come soon.

Have a wonderful day! And if you celebrate Halloween and would like to make your own dark chocolate candy or healthy fruit gummies, please check out a previous post here. Have a great one!

Please note that you can find nutritional yeast at Whole Foods and most natural markets, online at Amazon and, better yet, discounted at Thrive Market. I have included my affiliate links for your shopping convenience, and may receive a small commission (pocket change) on any purchases you make through them. You’re certainly not obligated to do so! But if you do, it will offset the costs of my maintaining this blog.


About Dawn

As a Certified Health Coach, I provide motivated individuals with the resources, tools, support and encouragement they need to make the gradual changes in food and lifestyle that could completely transform their lives. Contact me.
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