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Kalyn's Kitchen

Low-Carb Grain-Free Meatloaf with Tomatoes, Fennel, and Flax Seed

This Low-Carb Grain-Free Meatloaf with Tomatoes, Fennel, and Flax Seed is delicious and easy to make! Use the Oven Dinners to find more recipes like this one.

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Low-Carb Grain-Free Meatloaf with Tomatoes, Fennel, and Flax Seed found on KalynsKitchen.com

This Low-Carb Grain-Free Meatloaf with Tomatoes, Fennel, and Flax Seed has lean ground beef, turkey Italian sausage, roasted tomatoes or drained canned tomatoes, and flax seed meal instead of bread crumbs to bind the meatloaf together.  This recipe makes two meatloaves, but it freezes well, and this delicious meatloaf will probably get gobbled up pretty quickly.

I’m  fan of meatloaf, so when I set out to make a lower-carb meatloaf recipe, I came up with the idea of using flaxseed meal instead of bread crumbs so the meatloaf would be grain free. Flax seeds are very rich in nutrients, and the oil is popular as a nutritional supplement.But flax seeds are more nutritious than merely the oil because besides omega-3 fatty acids, the seeds are rich in both kinds of fiber and they also contain a phytoestrogen called lignans. And of special interest to carb-conscious eaters, flax seed meal has equal amounts of carbohydrates and fiber, which means no net carbs. The amount of flax seed meal I used in this recipe seemed perfect to bind the meatloaf together, but you could certainly use more.

(Low-Carb Grain-Free Meatloaf with Tomatoes, Fennel, and Flax Seed was updated with better photo January 2013.)

Low-Carb Grain-Free Meatloaf with Tomatoes, Fennel, and Flax Seed found on KalynsKitchen.com

How to Make Low-Carb Grain-Free Meatloaf with Tomatoes, Fennel, and Flax Seed:

(Scroll down for complete printable recipe.)

  1. I used all dry seasonings so they could help hold the meatloaf together.  In a bowl, combine dried onion, garlic powder, dried basil, dried parsley, Vege-Sal (affiliate link) or salt, ground fennel, and flax seed meal.
  2. Those wonderfully flavorful slow roasted tomatoes that I make and freeze every summer add a lot of flavor to this, but you could use well-drained roasted canned tomatoes (which would have less carbs). Chop the tomatoes very finely.
  3. Add the lean ground beef, turkey Italian sausage, chopped tomatoes, and egg to the bowl and use your hands to combine the mixture.  (Don’t overmix.)
  4. I have a couple of mini roasting trays from the thrift store that I love to use for meatloaf because any fat from the meat drips down.  (Be sure to spray with non-stick spray!)
  5. Jake did a nice job forming two good looking loaves.
  6. We cooked this for about 1 hour 30 minutes to get the internal temperature to 165F, which is the safe temperature for mixed meat.  This was in my giant Thermador oven, and when I originally used a toaster oven on the convection setting, it took less time. 
  7. If you don’t have an Instant Read Meat Thermometer (affiliate link), you can cut one meatloaf open to see if it’s done.

Low-Carb Grain-Free Meatloaf with Tomatoes, Fennel, and Flax Seed found on KalynsKitchen.com

Make it a Low-Carb Meal:

Serve hot, with a low-carb vegetable and something like Low-Carb Kale and Romaine Caesar Salad for a delicious low-carb meal.

More Low-Carb Ground Beef Recipes for January:

Ground Beef Gyro Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki and Tomatoes
Low-Carb Sriracha-Beef Lettuce Wraps
Kubideh: Grilled Ground Meat with Mediterranean Spices
Greek Meatballs

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Low-Carb Grain-Free Meatloaf with Tomatoes, Fennel, and Flax Seed

This Grain-Free Meatloaf with Tomatoes, Fennel, and Flax Seed has healthy ingredients and tastes good too!


  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef (less than 10% fat)
  • 1 pkg. (19.5 oz.) hot turkey Italian Sausage
  • 2 T dried chopped onion
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 T dried basil
  • 1 T dried parsley
  • 1/2 cup flax seed meal (I used Bob’s Red Mill Flaxseed Meal)
  • 1 tsp. Vege-Sal (or 1/2 tsp. salt)
  • 1 T ground fennel (I used Penzeys)
  • 1 cup finely chopped slow roasted tomatoes
    (or use well-drained roasted canned tomatoes)
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Spray roasting racks or loaf pan with non-stick spray.
  3. Remove ground beef and turkey sausage links from refrigerator and let come to room temperature.
  4. In bowl, combine dried onion, garlic powder, dried basil, dried parsley, flax seed meal (I used Bob’s Red Mill Flaxseed Meal),Vege-Sal or salt, and ground fennel. (I purposely used dried herbs since I wasn’t adding much binder to the meatloaf and I didn’t want added moisture.)
  5. Squeeze turkey sausage out of casings in small pieces into the mixing bowl.
  6. Break ground beef into pieces and place in same bowl.
  7. Add slow roasted tomatoes, and eggs to meat mixture and use your hands to combine well.
  8. Try to mix the meat enough to get spices and eggs evenly distributed without over-mixing.Shape meat into two loaves.
  9. I prefer to bake meatloaf on a roasting rack as shown, so the fat can drip out.
  10. This meatloaf doesn’t have a lot of fat, but using a rack also browns the meatloaf well on three sides.
  11. Bake until the meatloaf is well done, 165F on the meat thermometer.


When I originally baked this in my toaster/convection, it was done in 1 hour 15 minutes.  This time it took about 1 hour 30 minutes in my large oven.  Cutting one meat loaf open is the still a good way to see if the inside is done to your liking! (Remember this contains turkey and needs to be fairly well done.)

Recipe created by Kalyn.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This Low-Carb Grain-Free Meatloaf with Tomatoes, Fennel, and Flax Seed with no breadcrumbs or oatmeal would be approved for any phase of the South Beach Diet and most other low-carb diet plans. For the South Beach Diet, they would recommend that you use lean ground beef and low-fat turkey Italian sausage. If you’re following a strict low-carb plan, you might want to use less tomatoes.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into this nutrition analyzer, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

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    52 Comments on “Low-Carb Grain-Free Meatloaf with Tomatoes, Fennel, and Flax Seed”

  1. So glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  2. I cooked this last night for me and my boyfriend. We decided to go back to Phase 1 for a little as a post-holiday "detox." WELL I never thought that I'd be able to have a delicious & juicy meatloaf without a breadcrumb binder! I've never had flaxseed meal before and I was worried my boyfriend would know something strange and foreign was added. Boy was I wrong! He said this was one of the best things he's ever eaten! Thanks so much for helping us enjoy SBD and not feel deprived!

  3. Yes I think the Muir Glen roasted tomatoes would work for this, but I'd drain them well before adding to the meatloaf.

  4. Great recipe…can I use Glen Muir Fire roasted tomatoes? I can't wait to try this…I love your Greek Meatballs.

  5. Nice site, nice and easy on the eyes and great content too.

  6. Marie so glad you enjoyed it. I agree that more vegetables would be good if you added extra flax seed.

  7. Made this the other night, with some pureed cauliflower and some steamed broccoli. I swear I was eating a full-blown, high-carb, fatty meal. And I wasn't!!! It was incredibly filling, though…which I guess is a good thing, since I had no desire for dessert afterward 🙂

    I used a little extra flax (about 1.5 times the recipe amount) and it came out kind of dry. Flavor was still excellent, so I think next time I'll add some extra veggies for moistness.

  8. Nikki, so glad you liked it. Yes, two pounds of ground beef would be about 8-10 total servings.

  9. Made this tonight, and we loved it. I'm hoping that I didn't misinterpret – it's 4-5 servings per loaf, 8-10 servings in all? In any event, it was delish, and we're not really "meatloaf people" per se. Thank you!

  10. Luana, that sounds great! So glad it worked out well for you.

  11. Hi Kalyn,
    Last week I was looking for ideas for a low-carb meatloaf. Years ago I made one, and without breadcrumbs, it was just too meaty; the texture was not right at all.

    I saw your recipe had flax seed meal in it and decided to add that to mine. I also grated 1 small zucchini to include for moisture. The meat was ground turkey, 93% lean, which can be a bit dry. I'd never used flax seed meal in meatloaf before and was hoping it would yield a nice meatloaf.

    It was outstanding! I don't know if it was the flax seed meal that added moisture, or the zucchini (maybe both?)but it was the most moist and flavorful meatloaf not only that I've made, but had. No one would ever know about the flax seed, that's for sure and it did result in a meatloaf identical to one made with breadcrumbs and/or oatmeal.

    Thanks so much for this idea! I was surprised that I did not see it on more low-carb sites. Flax seed meal in meatloaf is a keeper for me.

    Best regards,

  12. Marcie, thanks! (And I don't think I've ever heard 'you rock my socks' before, love it!)

  13. OMG! This was so awesome!

    I have tried meatloaf with pork rines and hated it. I have tried soy and was sorely disapointed. I've tried omitting a binding ingredient all together and ended up with a mess. I just knew that there had to be something else I could use.

    Today when I was at the store I spotted flax meal and thought to myself, "surely, someone has come up with a meatloaf recipe that uses flax". One simple Google search later and here you are. 🙂

    Unfortunately, I wasn't willing to go back to the store for some of the ingredients so I had to make a few modifications, but it still turned out delicious and moist and everything meatloaf should be. I can't wait to try this recipe with all the proper ingredients!

    This site is a gold find and as a long term south beach dieter you can bet I will be back for more! Thanks again! You rock my socks!

  14. Although from different places, but this perception is consistent, which is relatively rare point!

  15. Anonymous, thanks for letting me know you liked it and for the nice comment about the blog.

  16. I made the meatloaf. It was very good. Used the Red Mill regular ground flaxseed and dried sun dried tomatoes. Also couldn’t find hot ground turkey sausage so used regular turkey sausage and threw in a tablespoon of paprika. My husband loved it. Cooked it for an hour at 375 in a regular oven, I think 50 min would have been enough. This is a great site and I’ve recommended it to my friends.

  17. I’m happy that people are liking the looks of this! Anyone who tries it, don’t skimp on the fennel!

    Thinking Pricess, fun hearing you have a little girl named Kalyn!

    I just got my bottle of flaxseed meal out of the freezer to check and it. I cut the label off the bag and tape it on a bottle and it just says “Organic Whole Ground Flaxseed Meal.” From the color I’d say it’s the darker type, but I’m not completely sure.

  18. I hope this isn’t a sillhy question but I’m getting to order flax seed from your recommended source. Question – did you use the “regular” (darker)meal or the most expensive, but supposedly better tasting “golden” flaxseed?

    Can’t wait to try this and can’t wait to have a glass of iced tea on your new porch this summer.

  19. I originally ran across your site when I was playing around on the computer one day with my little girl who is also named Kalyn.

    And I am so glad I found it. I’m currently reading The South Beach Diet book and am planning to start next week. I can imagine I will be camping out here trying to get some ideas, especially for the phase one portion. I hope you don’t mind.

    Also, I love the oven and those tomatoes do look good!

  20. Meatloaf is one of my all time favorites. I’ve been curious about uses for flaxseed, so I’d really like to give this a try.