Last updated September 8, 2020 by Lisa Richards, CNC

Quinoa Meatloaf

Quinoa meatloaf

Quinoa is a pseudo-cereal, not a real grain. It tends to cause much less irritation to the gut than glutenous grains like wheat and rye, which can contribute to issues like Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Quinoa is a complete source of protein, easy to digest, and a very useful ingredient on your Candida diet. You can use it whenever you would have used rice, and you can also incorporate it into your baking. It’s a staple ingredient on the Candida diet that should always be in your pantry.

Many meatloaf recipes call for milk, bread, sugar and even ketchup – all loaded with refined carbohydrates, added sugars, and other ingredients from the foods to avoid list.

This savory meatloaf recipe contains none of those ingredients, but still has lots of flavor thanks to the thyme and other herbs. The quinoa makes it extra filling, satisfying, and of course very nutritious!

4.23 from 70 votes
Quinoa meatloaf
Quinoa Meatloaf
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr
Course: Main Course
Author: Lisa Richards
  • 1/3 cup quinoa
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 brown onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp. thyme
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • ½ tsp. chilli powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 14 oz. jar chopped tomatoes
  • ½ tsp. dried basil
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  1. Cook the quinoa in boiling water according to the packet’s instructions. Put to one side.
  2. In a medium pan heat the oil over a medium heat and cook the onion until soft and translucent. About 3-4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes until soft.
  4. Pre heat the oven to 180C.
  5. In a large bowl mix together half the onion, garlic, mince, eggs, cooked qunioa and herbs, as well as salt and pepper.
  6. Grease a 1lb loaf tin or line with baking paper.
  7. Press the mince mixture into the tin and bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes until cooked through. If the meat begins to brown to quickly on top, cover with a little foil.
  8. Whilst the meatloaf is cooking, in a large pan simmer to tomatoes with the other half of the onion, oregano and basil for 15 minutes, then blend until smooth.
  9. Once the meatloaf has cooked, leave it to rest in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a serving plate. Re heat the sauce, pour over the meatloaf and top with freshly chopped parsley.

Nutritious, tasty meals like this are what the Candida diet is all about. If you’re looking for more ideas, check out our Ultimate Candida Diet program. It includes more than 100 tasty recipes for every meal and every stage of the Candida diet.

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  1. Jen says:

    Love this recipe! It’s delicious.

  2. Anne Marie says:

    My whole family love this recipe. I add some ground cumin and smoked paprika – works a treat!

  3. Joel says:

    Hi, I’m confused. Ingredients say uncooked quinoa but instructions say cook as directed ( without directions) and to then add cooked quinoa…. Are there missing directions?

    1. anna says:

      Quinoa expands as it cooks. That’s why Lisa used the uncooked amount in the ingredients. If your quinoa doesn’t come with cooking instructions, here are some generic instructions I found online:
      Combine 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Quinoa holds lots of water, so you have to make sure you drain it thoroughly after it’s cooked.

      1. Theresa says:

        5 stars
        It should absorb the water…like rice does. If you cook 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups water and use 1/2 cup since it does expand, it’s perfect. And you can use the rest of the quinoa in some veggies. I’m confused that the recipe doesn’t tell us to chop the garlic and chilies. Are they left whole for flavor? And is the oil listed for greasing the pan? Or is there a T. in the recipe AND some used to grease the pan? I have made this several times; chopped everything and have done the oil both ways….we just love it, love it, love it!!

    2. Joe says:

      The directions are on the bag the quinoa comes in. Usually two cups of water and one cup of quinoa.

  4. Kate says:

    Joel–I find the 2 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa to be too much water. Here’s the best way I’ve found to cook quinoa:

    1 cup quinoa to 1.25 cups cooking liquid

    Start off by soaking your quinoa. You can soak for an hour or more but 15 minutes will do fine. After soaking, rinse for two or three minutes in a fine metal strainer. (If you are using pre-rinsed quinoa you can skip this step although I’ve never seen pre-rinsed quinoa.)

    Add one part quinoa to one and a quarter parts liquid. Bring to a simmer and then reduce to low. Cover and cook for between 30 and 35 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit covered for an additional five minutes. Fluff and add to your favorite dishes.

  5. Amanda mc Donald says:

    What a gorgeous loaf,reminds me of my grandmothers recipe so full of flavour,
    Very quick to make too,we look forward to eating this tomorrow for our dinner
    Thanks for such a simple dish

  6. Renee says:

    Do the chili peppers make the meatloaf spicy? I was going to make this for dinner tonight, but I’m afraid it will be too spicy for my 4 year old. Is there any other vegetable I can add instead?

    1. Theresa says:

      5 stars
      No. You can use milder peppers, but actually the chillies are not a very hot pepper. You could also mix them in one half of the meatloaf.

  7. Jen says:

    Really does have a lot of flavor. My picky eater 6 year old loved it! thanks.

  8. Milou says:

    5 stars
    Hello there,

    Does the meat have to be raw when its mixed with the rest and when it goes to the oven, or can I pre-bake the meat? Just to be sure it won’t burn or overcook if I pre-bake and then leave it in the oven for 1 hour?

    Looks great!

  9. Kara says:

    I’ve never used chili peppers. What kind should I be buying? Are these dried or is this from the produce isle? Help! LOL!

  10. Katie says:

    5 stars
    Ok, I make one of Lisa’s recipes almost every night. This is the ONLY one my husband and kids actually like. It is an honestly great meatloaf recipe regardless of whether or not you are on an anti-Candida diet.

  11. Kristina says:

    Is “lean beef mince” the same as ground beef?

    1. Lisa Richards says:

      Yes it is!

  12. Jackie Hanson says:

    5 stars
    My almost one year old loves this except I use turkey and add chopped spinach and grated carrot.
    Could you freeze it?

  13. Bota says:

    5 stars
    This was marvelous. I doubled the recipe to fill up the loaf pan and it was deliciously juicy (i accidentally added twice the onion). I cooked it longer than 50 min by raising the temperature to 200C for additional 8 minutes to get the top of the meatloaf to brown.

  14. Monique says:

    I make this at Christmas with ground turkey as I am the only turkey eater in my family. This is just the right size for me and some leftovers for a few days!

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