What to Do With All That Zucchini? Make a Meatloaf!

Are you up to your ears in zucchini from your garden or CSA?  I am.  Take a look at exhibit A.  Um, that is only *half* of the zucchini.

what to do with all that zucchini

I'm a beast!

This monstrous mutation of a zucchini and squash grew in our garden.  Looks like a pumpkin, I know.  The flesh is bright orange like a pumpkin, so maybe?  My husband let it

grow this large  in order to save lots of seeds.  Then, he plopped it on the counter for me to “do

something with.”  :)   I’m ignoring two other large zucchini sitting on my kitchen counter that are waiting for someone to eat them.  I had to deal with this beast first!

For kicks, I measured it.  I only wish we’d done so before he cut into it to save seeds.  It measures 22″ around, 7″ across, and 8.5″ long.  That means that the whole stinkin’ thing was around 17″ long!  After getting over my feelings of being overwhelmed, I dove into that thing like a mad woman and began grating it for various recipes.  I have only made it through one half of it and already have 8c of grated zucchini.

I like to put it into small ziploc bags, 2c (or 3c if I want to make zucchini bread later) at a time and freeze it for later use. After grating the rest I should have somewhere around 16c of grated zucchini.  Guess what we’ll be enjoying through the fall, winter, and spring?!

I’ve already shared recipes for zucchini pancakes, squash casserole, and creamy quinoa primavera.  But you have to try this recipe for the best meatloaf ever!  Admittedly, I never cared for meatloaf growing up.  But I love this recipe.  Even if you or someone in your family is not a meatloaf fan, I can almost guarantee that they will like it.  This is not your ordinary meatloaf!  Everyone I’ve made it for has enjoyed it.  And do you know what I love best about it?  It is chock *full* of vegetables.  It is a great way to get veggies into your diet.

I am a “treat meat as a side item” kind of gal, so this is a great main dish.  We had it for dinner last night with homemade sweet potato fries and creamy garlic cauliflower.  I should warn you that the texture is a bit, well… mushy.  It kind of falls apart as you take it out of the pan.  We don’t mind it, but I’ve found that baking it longer helps firm up the loaf.

Garden Meatloaf

1 lb ground beef (preferably grass-fed!)

2 c grated carrots

2 c chopped onions

2c grated zucchini

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 eggs

1 c bread crumbs

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 T parsley

1 tsp thyme

1/2 – 1 tsp sage

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Saute onion until golden brown.  Add remaining veggies and cook until softened.  Remove from heat and set aside.

look at all those veggies!

Look at all those veggies! This is a 10-inch cast iron skillet!

2.  In a large bowl, combine beef, eggs, salt, pepper, and herbs.  Add in cooked veggies and mix well.

3.  Place in a 9×13 glass baking dish and shape into a loaf.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes (I often leave mine in longer).


Before baking - this would fit into a loaf pan, but we don't like feeling like we are eating straight grease (not that it's bad for you!). This way, it all stays on the sides.

This is a great dish to fix ahead of time and freeze.  You need only to thaw and re-heat in the oven! Enjoy!

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday hosted by Kelly the Kitchen Kop

This entry was posted in Design for Health, Dinner- Beef, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to What to Do With All That Zucchini? Make a Meatloaf!

  1. I can’t wait to try this on dh and the kids. We have a ton of zucchini right now and like everyone else I’m looking for ways to use it up. I also looked at the quinoa recipe. I might try that one tonight since I am already defrosting chicken thighs for dinner.

  2. Kelly @ Domestic by Design says:

    We love them both! My son, who just turned one, ate lots of the meatloaf last night! I LOVE that it’s chock full of veggies. I had extra veggies and only about 1/2 c of bread crumbs so I cooked it closer to an hour and a half-45 minutes. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment!

  3. carmen says:

    Hi, how about chocolate zucchini muffins? When we have too much zucchini, we shred it and freeze it so that we can use it for muffins later on.

    blessings ~ Carmen

  4. Kelly @ Domestic by Design says:

    Yes! One of our faves – in fact, that sounds like a winner for later this weekend. :) I still have the whole other half to freeze.

  5. This looks like a great idea! We’ve never done meatloaf, but hey — we’re overrun here with zucchini, so why not try it!

    And I like the idea of zucchini chocolate muffins, too!


  6. Kelly @ Domestic by Design says:

    I hope you like it! :)

  7. Kelly, this post made me laugh. It is so true that when the zucchini comes in you are completely overrrun with it!!

    Would love it if you would consider sharing this post or another of your insightful blogs at Monday Mania. Hope to see you there!

  8. Kelly @ Domestic by Design says:

    Sarah, glad I could humor you. :) It was one of those things where I kept working in disbelief and had to get stats on the gigantic thing. My husband has now added THREE MORE large zucchini (thankfully not THAT large) to my counter top…

    I’d love to join you at Monday Mania. :)

  9. Wendy says:

    I found your blog from Real Food Wednesday. I am always looking for more ways to use up my zucchini. Thanks for the meatloaf idea….I can’t wait to make it.

    I hope you’ll stop by my blog and link up for my new carnival…Tip Day Thursday.


  10. Michelle says:

    This sounds like a great recipe! My 3 yo is refusing to eat, “the green stuff” anymore and I need ideas to get rid of it. :) Do you have the garlic cauliflower recipe posted anywhere? That sounds fabulous as well.

  11. Kelly @ Domestic by Design says:

    We love it! I’ve not posted the cauliflower recipe yet. Honestly, we weren’t thrilled with it! It was so easy though–simply steam a medium bunch of cauliflower until it’s soft, then puree it with 3 oz cream cheese, 2 T butter, 1 clove garlic, 1/2 T herbs of your choice, and 1/2 tsp salt.