Here’s a revamped take on a classic meatloaf recipe that’s low in carbs and skips the usual suspects like oatmeal, ketchup, and BBQ sauce. It’s a healthier version, swapping in cauliflower and ground beef for a delicious and satisfying dinner option, perfect for those looking to cut down on carbs.
Until I smoked a meatloaf, I never quite enjoyed it. It’s a total game-changer—the flavor is incredible compared to the traditional method. Everyone who has tried it has been dumbfounded by how good they are!
This time, I opted for cauliflower instead of bread, and I won’t look back. Keeping a bag of cauliflower rice in the freezer as a bread substitute has become my go-to trick. In a meatloaf you really can’t tell the difference and makes a great low carb option.
This time I actually used venison and lean ground beef and it was amazing!
Ingredients for Smoked Meatloaf
You’ll need just a few simple ingredients to make this low carb meatloaf…
- Ground Beef, Pork, Turkey, Chicken, or Venison: Typically, a lean ground beef works well for meatloaf. It’s the primary protein in the dish, providing the base and texture. But you can easily use any type of ground meat.
- Cauliflower: This versatile vegetable will be used to create cauliflower rice. It adds moisture and a subtle flavor while reducing the carb content often found in traditional meatloaf recipes.
- Eggs: Eggs act as a binder, holding the meatloaf together and preventing it from falling apart during cooking. They also contribute to the texture.
- Onion: Finely chopped onions add flavor and moisture to the meatloaf. They also offer a mild sweetness when cooked.
- Garlic: Minced garlic enhances the savory flavor profile of the meatloaf. It provides a pungent, aromatic taste.
- Seasonings: This might include a mix of salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, or other preferred herbs and spices. They add depth and enhance the overall taste.
- Worcestershire Sauce: A small amount of Worcestershire sauce adds umami and a hint of tanginess to the meatloaf.
- BBQ Sauce (Optional): If desired, a sugar-free or low-carb BBQ sauce can be used for added flavor. It should be chosen carefully to align with dietary preferences.
- Wood Chips for Smoking: Depending on the type of smoker being used, specific wood chips, such as hickory or applewood, can impart a smoky flavor to the meatloaf.
- Bacon Strips (Optional): Bacon strips can be wrapped around the meatloaf for added richness and flavor. They also contribute to a smokier taste when smoked.
Each ingredient plays a crucial role in flavor, texture, and moisture in the final dish, resulting in a unique smoked meatloaf with cauliflower that’s both flavorful and lower in carbohydrates.
What Foods are Good to Pair with Meatloaf?
Meatloaf is a versatile dish that pairs well with various sides to create a balanced and flavorful meal. Here are some great options to serve alongside meatloaf:
- Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes complement the heartiness of meatloaf.
- Roasted Vegetables: Oven-roasted carrots, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts add color and nutrition.
- Green Beans: Steamed or sautéed green beans offer a fresh and crisp contrast.
- Macaroni and Cheese: A comforting classic that goes well with meatloaf.
Salads and Veggies:
- Caesar Salad: The tangy dressing pairs nicely with the richness of meatloaf.
- Mixed Green Salad: A light salad with a vinaigrette dressing can balance the meal.
- Grilled Asparagus: A simple, elegant side that adds a touch of sophistication.
- Baked Potatoes: Top them with sour cream, chives, or cheese for a filling option.
- Rice Pilaf: Fluffy rice with herbs and vegetables makes a great companion.
- Quinoa: A nutritious alternative to rice that complements the flavors of meatloaf.
Sauces and Condiments:
- Gravy: A savory gravy drizzled over meatloaf enhances its taste.
- Homemade Tomato Sauce: A tangy tomato sauce adds zest to the dish.
- Dijon Mustard: A dollop of mustard can add a tangy kick to each bite.
Bread and Rolls:
- Garlic Bread: Slices of garlic bread can be a delightful addition to the meal.
- Dinner Rolls: Soft, warm rolls are perfect for soaking up meatloaf juices.
Feel free to mix and match these sides based on your preferences or create a balanced plate with a combination of starches, veggies, and a salad or two. The versatility of meatloaf makes it a great centerpiece for various side dishes!
How to Make Smoked Meatloaf
Prepare your smoker for cooking, aiming for a temperature around 250°F.
In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix the beef bouillon packet, Worcestershire Sauce, seasoning, and cauliflower rice. Set it sit so the cauliflower soaks it up some. NOTE – don’t use beef stock or add any liquid. You can omit the bouillon with no change we just like the added flavor!
Add in the meat. Use your hand to combine it but don’t squish it – the looser it is the better the meatloaf will turn out!
Mold the meatloaf mixture into a loaf shape suitable for the smoker’s rack or place it in a loaf pan.
Place the meatloaf in the smoker and cook at 250°F for approximately 1 to 1.5 hours, or until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 160°F when checked with a meat thermometer.
Once done, remove the smoked meatloaf from the smoker and allow it to rest for a few minutes before serving alongside your preferred sides. Enjoy!
More sides to smoked with Meatloaf…
- Smoked Brussel Sprouts w/ Bacon
- Cast Iron Smoked Potatoes Au Gratin
- Smoked Baked Potatoes
- Cast Iron Succotash
Low Carb Smoked Meatloaf Made w/ Cauliflower
- Prepare your smoker for cooking, aiming for a temperature around 250°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly mix the boullion, worcheshire sauce, seasoning, and cauliflower rice. Set it sit so the cauliflower soaks it up some.
- Add in the meat. Use your hand to mix it up
- Mold the meatloaf mixture into a loaf shape suitable for the smoker’s rack or place it in a loaf pan.
- Place the meatloaf in the smoker and cook at 250°F for approximately 1 to 1.5 hours, or until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 160°F when checked with a meat thermometer.
- Once done, remove the smoked meatloaf from the smoker and allow it to rest for a few minutes before serving alongside your preferred sides. Enjoy!