Healthy Italian Meatloaf

Healthy Italian Meatloaf

This Healthy Italian Meatloaf is just 296 calories and packed with 30.5g of protein per large serving. The nutrition is based off ground beef, so you can easily reduce the calories even more by making this low calorie meatloaf with ground turkey.

Healthy Italian Meatloaf

Healthy Italian Meatloaf

This Low Calorie Italian Meatloaf has been a longtime reader favorite. It’s been in a compilation post for a few years, and readers are starting to write in often that they are looking for it. So I wanted to create a post just for the popular recipe.

Ingredients in Low Calorie Meatloaf

  • Onion – I like yellow onions in this recipe. They are milder than white and stronger than red onions.
  • Red bell pepper – I used red bell pepper as it is easier to “hide” in this meatloaf.
  • Garlic – I like to get fresh garlic for this recipe, but you can swap it out for garlic powder if you don’t have fresh.
  • Olive Oil Spray – Gives off a fine mist, so you use less and save more calories.
  • Lean ground beef – You can really use any ground meat you prefer, including turkey. But I already have a low calorie turkey meatloaf recipe, so I wanted to keep this one with beef. You get to choose.
  • Eggs – These help bind the meat together and as a bonus, they increase protein too.
  • Parmesan cheese – Adds lots of flavor and it’s baked inside the meatloaf. So it also helps bind the meatloaf together.
  • Bread crumbs – Another binding agent, breadcrumbs hold the meatloaf together. I like traditional breadcrumbs in this recipe.
  • Worcestershire sauce – Boost flavor in a big way with this amazing sauce. I realize it seams strange in an Italian recipe, but I assure you it makes it so yummy and rich.
  • Balsamic vinegar – Brings out the richness of the recipe without adding calories.
  • Italian seasoning – Boost flavor with this pantry staple. Plus it brings all the flavors together to make the perfect Italian meatloaf.
  • Salt and pepper – I have supplied low sodium tips below in the “Healthy Tips and Swaps” section.
  • Low Calorie Marinara Sauce – I like to make my own sauce. And my Low Calorie Marinara Sauce is 100% all-natural and 100% delicious. I know you’ll love this reader favorite recipe!
  • Part skim shredded mozzarella cheese – It’s not meatloaf parmesan without a cheesy topping.
Healthy Italian Meatloaf

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Red bell pepper – Use any color of bell pepper you like. Or swap them for chopped tomatoes. You won’t need to cook them if you go that route.
  • Olive Oil Spray – You can swap out for olive oil or butter.
  • Lean ground beef – Swap out for your favorite ground meat, or “Impossible” meat.
  • Eggs – If you don’t like eggs, you can swap them for vegan eggs.
  • Bread crumbs – Swap out traditional breadcrumbs for gluten-free breadcrumbs. You can also use Panko breadcrumbs if that’s all you have.
  • Worcestershire sauce – You can skip this, or double the balsamic vinegar.
  • Italian seasoning – You can swap out for fresh chopped basil.
  • Low Calorie Marinara Sauce – Feel free to get store-bought marinara sauce. It will change the nutrition a bit though.
  • Part skim shredded mozzarella cheese – If you prefer provolone, you can swap provolone slices for shredded mozzarella.

Healthy Tips and Swaps

Low Carb Italian Meatloaf

This recipe is already low carb, but you can lower the carbs more by cutting the marinara sauce by 1/2.

Gluten-Free Italian Meatloaf

To make this Italian Meatloaf gluten-free simply swap out the breadcrumbs for gluten-free breadcrumbs.

Low Sodium Italian Meatloaf

To make this a low sodium meatloaf, omit the salt and Worcestershire from the recipe. Then make your own marinara sauce (I supplied a recipe in the card below) and skip the salt from that recipe.

High Protein Italian Meatloaf

This recipe is already high in protein, but you can boost the protein more by swap-out the breadcrumbs for unflavored collagen powder.

Low Sugar Italian Meatloaf

To make this a low sugar meatloaf, make your own marinara sauce. Store-bought is packed with sugar. The recipe I supplied you with does have a pinch of sugar, and you can omit that if you like.

How to Make Low Calorie Meatloaf

To make this meatloaf you’ll start by cooking the onion, bell pepper, and garlic in a skillet. Once soft you can add them to a large bowl and add in the remaining meatloaf base recipe (everything but the sauce and mozzarella). Mix the base together and then mold into a meatloaf before topping with marinara sauce and baking.

Halfway through baking you’ll want to top the meatloaf with mozzarella and then finish baking until hot and bubbling. Then you’ll rest the meatloaf before cutting into 6 big portions, and serving. It’s such an easy recipe, I know you’ll love it!

Healthy Italian Meatloaf

Helpful Tips on Making Meatloaf Parmesan

  • Individual Meat Loaves – Instead of making this into a big loaf, make 6 large meatballs. Add each to a ramekin, top with sauce and cheese. Place all 6 ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet (this helps catch spillage and makes moving them easier too). Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  • Adding the Cheese Early – If you get ahead of the recipe and add the cheese when you add the sauce to the top of the meatloaf, that’s ok! Bake for 30 minutes, then loosely cover with foil and continue baking an additional 30 minutes. This will ensure the cheese doesn’t burn.
  • Catch the Spillage – Making this in a loaf pan is perfectly fine, but it will spill over. So place the loaf pan atop a rimmed baking sheet to catch any spills. Ideally this should be made in a casserole dish to avoid the issue.
  • Serve This With – I like to add 1 cup of baby spinach to a plate and then add the meatloaf to the top. This make it a filling meal that suits all diets.

Meal Prep and Storage

Meal Prep

  1. Prep – Mix the meatloaf and add to a loaf pan or baking dish. Do not add the cheese (though you can measure it out and add it to a bag or container).
  2. Cover – Cover with plastic wrap, or a casserole lid.
  3. Refrigerate or Freeze – Will hold for 4 days in the fridge. And in the freezer for 1 month.
  4. Cook – Defrost overnight in the fridge if frozen. Uncover and cook as directed below (you can print out the recipe card and tape it to the top).

Leftover Storage

  • Cook – Cook as directed below, rest and slice.
  • Individual or Family Servings – Add one slice to a container for single serve. Or as many servings as you need for the full family for family servings. Cover and store for later.
  • Refrigerate or Freeze – Will hold for 4 days in the fridge. And in the freezer for 1 month.
  • Reheat – Defrost in the fridge if frozen. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or the microwave for 3 minutes.

Healthy Italian Meatloaf Recipe

Healthy Italian Meatloaf

Low Calorie Meatloaf Parmesan

Lose Weight By Eating
This Low Calorie Meatloaf Parmesan has been a long time reader favorite. For a while it has lived on a beef recipe compilation post, but I have gotten a lot of requests for it so I thought it should have it's own post.
This healthy Italian meatloaf is packed with flavor, and can be made with any ground meat you prefer.
Special Tip: You can use my low calorie marinara sauce in this recipe, or get store-bought. Though it will change the calories and sugar a bit.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Resting time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 296 kcal


  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • 1 lb lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ¾ cup bread crumbs or gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup Low Calorie Marinara Sauce
  • ¼ cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, and spray a loaf pan or casserole dish with olive oil.
  • Heat a skillet over medium high and spray with olive oil.
  • Add the onions and bell peppers to the hot pan and cook for 5 minutes until they are starting to soften.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Remove the onions from the pan and add to a large bowl to cool.
  • Once cooled, add the beef, eggs, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
  • Mix the meatloaf ingredients with your hands until just combined, don’t over mix it will make the meat tough.
  • Mold into the prepared loaf pan or casserole dish. And top with marinara sauce.
  • If using a loaf pan, place it atop a rimmed baking sheet to catch any spillage.
  • Add the meat loaf to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Top with cheese and bake an additional 30 minutes.
  • Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Slice into 6 portions and serve hot.


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 296kcalCarbohydrates: 17.9gProtein: 30.5gFat: 10.9gSaturated Fat: 3.9gCholesterol: 133mgSodium: 744mgPotassium: 493mgFiber: 1.9gSugar: 5.5gCalcium: 123mgIron: 16mg
Keyword Healthy Italian Meatloaf, Healthy Meatloaf Parmesan, Low Calorie Italian Meatloaf, Low Calorie Meatloaf Parmesan, Skinny Meatloaf Parmesan
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Nutrition and Calories in Meatloaf

The nutrition is based off using lean ground beef and my low calorie marinara sauce.

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Healthy Italian Meatloaf