Meatloaf with oatmeal is something the health conscious are turning to because oatmeal provides so many more benefits than bread crumbs.

Meatloaf with OatmealAny meatloaf recipe that calls for dry or fresh bread crumbs as your binding agent is a candidate for oatmeal.

With the right conversion you can easily add the health benefits of oatmeal to your favorite meatloaf recipe.

There are a lot of people that don’t care for the look of cooked oatmeal, and my Dad is one of them, so it’s great when you can disguise it as something else for any finicky eaters.

When you use oatmeal as a substitute for bread crumbs in a simple meatloaf recipe, it will help keep your meatloaf together but will not add to its flavor or compete with other ingredients.

Oatmeal by itself is pretty bland so your meatloaf flavor will come from the recipe seasonings.

The Conversion Factor for Meatloaf with Oatmeal

To replace bread crumbs in your recipe with oatmeal, use the following:

  • 1 cup of GROUND oatmeal is equal to 1 cup of dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup of GROUND oatmeal is equal to 1 SLICE of fresh bread

If you are using oatmeal right out of the box, you will need 30% more oatmeal in your recipe than you would if you choose to grind it in your food processor or blender. When you grind oatmeal you get the equivalent of what is known as “oat flour”.

Some people may prefer the meatier texture you get from oatmeal right out of the box in lieu of the smoother texture when you process it. The smooth texture of ground oatmeal is not as noticeable when making meatloaf with oatmeal and ground beef as it is with ground chicken or turkey.

The Oatmeal Variety that Works Best

I realize common sense kicks in here but you should not use the individual serving packets of flavored oatmeal when making meatloaf with oatmeal as it is will likely conflict with the other seasonings in your recipe.

Meatloaf with Oatmeal

Old Fashioned, Steel-Cut, Quick Cooking

Your healthiest oatmeal variety is made from whole-grain, steel-cut oats. It is also known as coarse-cut or Irish oats, because it retains more of the oat’s nutritious bran layer.

You will find that this bran layer is much more chewy and a little tougher than “rolled oats” that are process steamed, flattened and lightly toasted.

You will not lose any of the nutritional benefits of oatmeal by grinding it either. In fact, when making meatloaf with oatmeal you’ll be getting twice the fiber, feeling fuller faster and hopefully consuming less calories.

As you can see, adding oatmeal to your meatloaf recipe is a smart option providing hidden health benefits not only to those who enjoy the taste as well as those who would prefer not to know it is there!

My Favorite Meatloaf with Oatmeal Recipe

One meatloaf I make frequently, using oatmeal is a Fennel and Apple Turkey Meatloaf. The recipe is below. This meatloaf has a good flavor and texture. You not only get the benefit from whole grain in the oatmeal but turkey is a healthier option than beef.

Fennel & Apple Turkey Loaf
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
This turkey loaf has a lot of flavor, texture and the added benefit of whole grain by using oatmeal in lieu of bread crumbs.
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/3 cups diced fresh fennel
  • ½ cup tart green apple, peeled and diced fine
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • ½ cup oatmeal, ground
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a skillet, sauté onion, garlic, fennel, and apple in olive oil over medium-high heat until onion is soft (about 6 minutes).
  3. Add lemon zest and coriander, kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
  4. Sauté one additional minute.
  5. In a large bowl, combine turkey, Gruyere cheese, ground oatmeal, milk, and beaten egg.
  6. Add sautéed vegetables to meat mixture and stir to combine.
  7. Place mixture into a lightly greased 9x5 inch loaf pan and then place loaf pan on a rimmed baking sheet.
  8. Bake 50 minutes or until meat thermometer reaches 165°F. Let meatloaf rest 10 minutes before slicing.