Kid-Approved Hidden Veggie Meatloaf or Meatballs Recipe

One of the biggest issues for feeding children is usually getting them to eat their vegetables. When kids refuse to eat their vegetables, parents have to pull out their super powers and come up with a good hidden veggie recipe.

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 was struggling to get my daughter to eat meat. She was actually in love with vegetables, so I decided to blend the two together into a hidden veggie meatloaf recipe.

To be completely honest, 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. My freezer is always stocked with frozen veggies because they’re so easy to prepare for whatever occasion. 

A hidden veggie recipe works best with finely chopped or riced vegetables. It is easier for us to hide them into the recipe and also easier for our children to chew them. We can easily convince them it’s just “seasoning” for them to accept it.

I abuse my food processor for this because it saves me time and makes them even smaller than I could chop by hand. A vegetable chopper is also a fantastic tool for this. For other vegetable recipes, like veggie noodles, a spiralizer would also be a fantastic kitchen tool to have.

Sometimes you can find riced veggies at the store (usually in the frozen isle) so that can save you even more prep time but may be a little too watery.

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)
  • Finely Chopped or Riced 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 scoop and roll into meatballs, yum!

Kid-Approved Hidden Veggie Meatloaf or Meatballs Recipe

Kid-Approved Hidden Veggie Meatloaf or Meatballs Recipe

Hidden Veggie Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

Kid-Approved Hidden Veggie Meatloaf or Meatballs Recipe

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Chelsae

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!

Sonja

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.

Dana

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.

Supermompicks

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!

Monica

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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