(Super) Healthy Italian Loaf

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 25 min
Serves: 8

This is one loaf you never have to feel guilty about indulging in. Super nutritious oatmeal baked into high protein ground chicken along with a tomato sauce creates a nutrient packed loaf – and with a fraction of the fat and calories that come with most meat loaves. But perhaps the best news – it’s incredibly easy to make, flavour packed and ideal for packing in lunches.


2 lbs (1 kg) ground chicken
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups (440 mL) flavorful thick tomato-based pasta sauce
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tsp (10 mL) Italian seasonings
1 tsp (5 mL) each of dried leaf basil and dried leaf oregano
1 tsp (5 mL) dried leaf sage (optional)
1 tsp (5 mL) dried chili flakes (optional)
3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt
3/4 cup (175 mL) old fashioned oatmeal (not instant)
1/2 cup (125 mL) shredded fresh basil (optional)


1 Preheat oven to 350°F (175 C). Spray or oil a 9x5 inch (1.5 L) loaf pan. Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in 1 cup (250 mL) spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle with onions, seasonings and salt. Stir in oatmeal. Add chicken and sprinkle with basil if using. Work with your hands until evenly mixed. Let sit 10 minutes.
2 Turn mixture into the loaf pan and roughly smooth the surface, mounding slightly in the centre. A wet hand works well. Bake in a 350°F (180°C) oven for 45 min. Pour off juices. Spoon ¾ cup (175 mL) sauce over top of loaf. Spread almost to the edges. You don’t want it running down the sides. Continue baking until crusty on the top, from 20 to 30 more min.
3 Let sit 10 minutes to firm up. Drain whatever liquid you can from the pan. Then run a knife around the sides of the pan. Loosely lay a piece of waxed paper over the loaf. Place a small baking sheet on top and invert loaf onto the sheet. Then turn the loaf, sauce-side up, onto a platter. Peel off waxed paper. If making ahead it will keep well in the refrigerator for at least 2 days.