Meatloaf and Meatballs are classic favorites and comfort-food picks for many people. Easy to prepare and packed with protein, they are good items to make ahead and both store well in the refrigerator or freezer. Meatloaf served steaming hot from the oven is just as delicious served cold in a sandwich. The recipe that follows is made with low-fat ingredients for a healthy weight loss program.

Meatloaf or Meatballs from the Same Basic Recipe

One easy-to-prepare recipe makes both delicious ground meat dinners. Making them at once is an excellent strategy to plan ahead for another occasion. To have enough for both variations, just double the recipe below, make half into the meatloaf shape, and the other half into golf-ball sized meatballs. It is sure to be a winning main course whenever either presentation is served!

Basic Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground meat (extra lean ground beef, turkey, sausage, or pork in any combination)
  • 2 eggs (or 4 egg whites)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup salsa, optional
  • 1 cup tomato sauce, divided into half
  • crumbs made from 1 slice whole grain bread
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Preparation of Meatloaf

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Stir basic ingredients together saving one-half cup of tomato sauce to be added later.
  3. Spray baking dish lightly with PAM or use a large loaf pan, if desired.
  4. Form meatloaf mixture into loaf shape on baking dish or turn into loaf pan.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes in center of oven.
  6. Remove from oven to spread 1/2 cup of reserved tomato sauce onto the top of the meatloaf.
  7. Return to oven.
  8. Bake 15 minutes longer.
  9. Remove and cool slightly before serving.

For Meatballs now follow the simple instructions below.

More Ingredients for Meatballs

  • Basic Ingredients listed above, plus
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced fine
  • 2 cups of pasta sauce of choice (homemade, Paul Newman brand, Ragu, or other favorite variety)
  • 1/2 cup red wine, optional

Preparation of Meatballs

  1. Stir basic ingredients together, saving one-half cup of tomato sauce to be added to the pasta sauce while simmering.
  2. Form meatball mixture into golf-ball sized balls, and set on a plate or waxed paper.
  3. In an extra-large saute pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 cloves of minced garlic on medium heat until sizzling hot, but not browned.
  4. Add the meatballs to pan, and brown over medium heat, turning once to get a well-browned color on both sides.
  5. Add reserved tomato sauce plus the 2 cups pasta sauce of choice to saute pan.
  6. Add wine, if desired.
  7. Bring sauce-covered tomatoes to a boil, and lower heat to its lowest setting.
  8. Cover pan and simmer for one-half to one hour.
  9. Serve over favorite pasta, cooked spaghetti squash, or julienne-sliced steamed vegetables.

There are many great ways to prepare low-fat ground meat, a choice that’s easy on the budget. Chili with vegetables is one that’s sure to please, and low-fat stroganoff is another appetizing way to make healthy eating easy and fun for all.