Instant Pot Low Carb Meatloaf

There are some foods that evoke memories. Meatloaf is one dish that immediately brings me back to memories of the kitchen in Fort Lee, New Jersey. I was on a 2 year postgraduate fellowship in Columbia University and had dragged my 3 year old son and infant daughter to the US. With 2 young children in tow and trying to straddle laboratory work and clinical work, I didn’t have much time to spare. The child care in the day actually fell to my long suffering husband and parents who literally flew in and out of the States every few months, alternating babysitting duties. And the higher cost of living – paying for the rent of the townhouse and kid#1’s preschool actually took up most of the stipend I received and in the 2 years I was there we didn’t save anything and scrimped on even the basics. We slept on mattresses on the floor and lived with second hand furniture that our landlady managed to find for us. Despite these constraints we were really happy. It was a time of new experiences and discoveries. For one, I had started to cook for my young family and learning how to do this cheaply and effectively was one of the fun things I got to do.

Meatloaf of course is a super cheap meal for a family on a budget. I remember this was one of the easy meals that somehow became a Sunday dinner treat for the kids. I used to use a brown sugar meatloaf recipe from the Allrecipes website which they adored. Strangely enough over the years after coming back to Singapore I had only occasionally made meatloaf. And when I went low carb, the brown sugar and sweet barbecue sauce was not something I could envision eating with the restriction of 30 g of carbohydrates a day.

But recently I had discovered All Day I Dream About Food’s BBQ sauce. This is an amazing sauce with sweetness and zing and a generous glug of bourbon whisky. What’s not to like about that? The other puzzle I had to work through was the meatloaf itself. Meatloaf would be rock hard with ground beef only and usually needs a binder as well as something like breadcrumbs to break up the solidness of meat. In the past I had learned to use flaxseed meal and almond flour as bread substitutes and so I replicated this in the meatloaf.

And of course I had to try this out with my trusty Instant Pot. The meatloaf took just an hour to prepare with only 20 minutes cook time in the pot and finished off in the oven. When I served this for dinner, there was a collective nostalgic sigh as each one of us remembered those days in Fort Lee.

1. Place the trivet and 1 cup of water into the pot. 2. Place the meatloaf into the pot with an aluminum foil sling for ease of removal later. 3. Pressurecooked meatloaf. 4. Place the meat loaf into an oven-proof dish and coat with the BBQ sauce.

Instant Pot Low Carb Meatloaf

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


For BBQ sauce

  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sugar substitute
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely minced 
  • 1/4 cup Jim Beam bourbon whisky
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili

For Meatloaf 

  • 750g ground topside beef
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup golden flaxseed meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 cup of low carb BBQ sauce


  1. Place the BBQ sauce ingredients into a saucepan and cook over low to moderate heat for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure that the sauce does not burn.
  2. When done, place in a food processor and blend. Set aside.
  3. Mix the ground beef, onions, almond flour and flaxseed meal together.
  4. Beat the eggs, then add to the beef mixture together with the salt, pepper, garlic granules and onion powder. Mix it all in with your hands and place into a springform pan that can fit into the Instant Pot.
  5. Place a trivet into the inner pot (see picture above). Add 1 cup of water to the pot. Make an aluminum sling and place it under the springform pan and place on top of the trivet. 
  6. Seal the pot and put on manual high pressure for 20 minutes. Allow normal pressure release for 10 minutes.
  7. Place the meatloaf into an oven-proof dish. Spoon the BBQ sauce over the meatloaf.
  8. Place under the grill for 5 minutes. Serve hot with the extra BBQ sauce to serve on the side.


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