Kid-Approved Hidden Veggie Meatloaf or Meatballs Recipe

One of the biggest issues for feeding children is usually getting them to eat their vegetables. While this is not entirely the case for me, I like giving them blended foods so that they get the proper nutrients.

I’m super lazy when it comes to the kitchen and preparing meals so I don’t often cook meals from scratch. But since having kids I want to make sure I’m feeding them right so I try to make an effort here and there.

Hidden Veggie Meatloaf

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Customizing your ingredients

I first made this meatloaf for my daughter, who is pretty much the opposite of most children because she likes vegetables more than meats. I improvised the first time and since then I’ve never stuck to a measured recipe for this so please bear with me.

What I like most about making this meatloaf is that I can pretty much add whatever I want into it depending on what I have in stock in the fridge/freezer. And I always have a lot of frozen veggies because they’re so easy to prepare for whatever occasion. 

I find that the smaller the veggies are within the mix, the easier it is for the kids to actually eat them. They don’t realize what it is, plus we can lie! 

I abuse my food processor for this because it saves me time and makes them even smaller than I could chop by hand.

Sometimes you can find riced veggies at the store (usually in the frozen isle) so that can save you even more prep time.

hidden veggie Meatloaf/Meatballs Ingredients

So here’s what you need:

  • Ground Beef (or Turkey, Chicken or a combination)
  • Meatloaf Pan or Baking Pan
  • Seasoning (salt & pepper as a minimum, plus an Italian blend for added flavor)
  • Veggies (my usuals range between carrots, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower…)
  • Eggs
  • Onions and Garlic (freshly chopped gives it more flavor but powder works too)
  • Sauce for flavor (I mix bbq and ketchup)
  • Topping Options (I use more of the sauce and sprinkle panko breadcrumbs)

Below is the full recipe for the latest one I made, but like I said, this is an improvised “recipe” and sometimes not having all the ingredients or having extra ingredients work just the same.

You could also make this as meatballs, yum!


Kid-Approved Hidden Veggie Meatloaf

Hidden Veggie Meatloaf


  • Ground Beef (or Turkey, Chicken or a combination)
  • Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, Oregano, and Parsley
  • Riced Carrots, Broccoli, and, Cauliflower
  • 1-2 Eggs
  • Chopped Onions (1/4 of onion should do)
  • Fresh Minced Garlic
  • Sauce: BBQ and ketchup
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Panko Breadcrumbs


  1. Preheat Oven to 350 F
  2. Chop all Veggies, Onions, and Garlic. If using frozen veggies, cook them first and then use your food processor to save you time chopping/ricing the veggies.
  3. Mix all ingredients together and place in baking sheet.
  4. Optional topping: spread the top with sauce and breadcrumbs.
  5. Bake for 20-40 minutes, depending on amount of meat or thickness of your meatloaf.

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I love the hidden veggies in this because my daughter has been boycotting eating them. Thank you for sharing, I can’t wait to make it!


Good call on blending those veggies in! I will have to try it out on my three year old. If I put a little ketchup on top, he probably won’t suspect a thing.


This looks so easy and delicious! I’ve actually never made meatloaf before- I didn’t grow up eating it. This makes it look so simple! Can’t wait to give it a try.


My kids hate veggies so I love your idea of making meatballs out of this recipe. With the added sauce they really won’t know what they are eating!


This is a good idea! I too struggle with the vegetable department. Two of my kids tolerate vegetables but the third does not even stand to see them. They do love meatloaf so I should give this a try. Thank you for sharing!

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