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Substitute for Milk in Meatloaf

Meatloaf is a classic dish that combines comfort food with a sense of the past. According to research, the first documented recipe for meatloaf was published in the 1870s, and it has since proven to be a popular dish among Americans.

Meatloaf is traditionally made with beef and pork, but options range from chicken to turkey and everything in between.

While you may use any beef to prepare your meatloaf, a milk substitute meatloaf recipe is suitable for children and adults who are lactose intolerant or otherwise unable to consume milk despite eating meat.

Moreover, a dairy-free version of the classic home-cooking staple is a crowd-pleaser, especially when paired with dairy-free creamy mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy.

Read on to learn more about milk in meatloaf recipes and the excellent substitutes you can use in place of milk.

Milk Nutrition Facts

Substitute for Milk in Meatloaf

What is Milk

Milk is a nutrient-rich fluid released by female mammals’ mammary glands. It is an ingredient in the kitchen that can add protein, color, and flavor to baked foods while moistening batter or dough. Non-fat dry milk (NFDM), dried skim milk, is the most popular type of milk used in baking.

Milk is frequently used in meatloaf. Before stirring the breadcrumbs into the meat, it’s normal to wet them with milk. Moreover, milk is used in the production of some breadcrumbs. And, of course, some recipes include cheese.

The milk provides the necessary richness and moisture to the meatloaf, while the bread keeps the moisture protected inside and the texture soft. Leaving out the milk will lose the beautiful creaminess and moisture, which is something no one wants. Many other added components can be substituted, such as chicken stock, cream, and butter.

Milk Uses in Recipes

In meatloaf, milk is used to soak the bread crumbs to give the meatloaf the moisture it requires. See some delectable recipes and dishes it works well in:

  • Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes
  • Mini Meatloaf Recipe
  • Homemade Meatloaf
  • Moist Turkey Meatloaf
  • Meatloaf with Oatmeal
  • Traditional Homemade Meatloaf
  • Classic Meatloaf Recipe
  • Homemade Meatloaf Recipe With Jiffy
  • Stove Top Meatloaf
  • Air Fryer Meatloaf
  • Ground Turkey Meatloaf
  • Cheesy Mash-Topped Meatloaf
  • Crock-Pot Meat Loaf Recipe
  • Southern Meatloaf Recipe
  • Meatloaf and Brown Gravy

Substitutes for Milk in Meatloaf

If you are looking for a milk substitute for meatloaf, there are various options available. I feel any options would be an excellent idea to consider whether you’re lactose intolerant or simply seeking to minimize your daily intake.

Let me share my preferred choices for preparing meatloaf without milk.

Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock


Chicken stock, in my opinion, is the ideal milk substitute for meatloaf. Yes, the final flavor may alter a little, but the dish will still come out great.

First, replace 1 cup of milk with ¾ cup of chicken stock and adjust as needed.

Notably, bones are cooked for a long time to make stock. More beneficial things inside the bones will come out as it cooks longer.

Moreover, different substances can be used to make stock. This means that the vitamins and minerals in stock vary based on the components used in its preparation.

However, you may boost the number of nutrients in your stock by adding more veggies and herbs.

Beef Stock

Beef Stock


Beef stock is a remarkable substitute for milk in meatloaf.

Notably, beef stock is a broth that is widely used in sauces, soups, stews, and braised meat. Adding a good splosh of your favorite broth to the food you’re cooking gives you a sense of enormous joy.

If beef isn’t an issue, you may try making your meatloaf with milk instead of beef stock. Although it does not taste like milk, you can use it the same way you would milk.

Contrary to popular belief, broth is not the same as stock. Stock is primarily a reduction of boiled beef bones and vegetables, whereas broth is prepared by boiling and reducing the meat together with the animal’s bone. On the other hand, the stock will have a less meaty flavor and texture.

Vegetable Broth

Vegetable Broth


Vegetable broths are one of the most commonly used meat stock alternatives. And, yes, it will work well as a substitute in meatloaf when the recipe calls for milk.

To give the broth a rich flavor, you can add any flavorful vegetables, such as mushrooms, garlic, onions, carrots, and so on.

While sauteing the vegetables, add some Italian ingredients like bay leaf, rosemary, pepper, and thyme to infuse the flavors.

You can add a dash of red wine and soy sauce to give the dish a taste boost. You may also add some hatch miso to give it another flavor profile.

As we all know, vegetables are quite nutritious, so vegetable broth must be as well. Vegetable broth is high in nutrients that help our bodies work at their best. It aids in nutrient absorption and improves our brain and body functioning.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What’s the key to getting moist meatloaf?

Stale bread is an important ingredient in meatloaf because it helps hold the meat together. You can soak the bread in milk until it becomes thick and mushy before combining it with a more moist meatloaf.

Why is milk used in meatloaf?

Milk is used in meatloaf because it soaks the bread crumbs, which gives the meatloaf the moisture it needs. If you don’t want to use milk, consider low sodium beef stock, chicken stock, water, or a non-dairy milk substitute instead.

What happens if you make meatloaf with too much milk?

Of course, the meat will firm up while it cooks, but a loose, watery, sloppy mixture will result in a soggy, loose meatloaf. That’s what the meatloaf will be if it’s incredibly dense and tight. So, if you used too much milk and the meat combination is too loose, rip up some more bread and toss it in.


Most American meatloaf recipe features ground beef, onion, eggs, breadcrumbs, ketchup, and – yes, of course – milk as their fundamental ingredients. This classic dish is so tasty and good as it can be found as an entrée on many restaurant menus.

However, if you plan to prepare a quick meatloaf dish and you don’t have any milk on hand, you may use any of the substitutions suggested here. Don’t worry. They won’t affect the texture or flavor of your tasty meatloaf.