How many calories in a homemade Meat Loaf sandwich?

A homemade meatloaf sandwich can be a delicious and satisfying meal. However, like all foods, it’s important to be mindful of the calorie content. This article will provide a detailed breakdown of the estimated calories in a typical homemade meatloaf sandwich, looking at the different components that make up this classic sandwich. We’ll also offer some tips for lightening up your meatloaf sandwich and making healthier choices when constructing your own. Knowing the calorie count can help you balance your overall diet and make informed decisions about portion sizes.

Calories in Bread

The type of bread used can significantly impact the calories in a meatloaf sandwich. Here is a look at estimated calories for bread options:

White Bread

– 2 slices of white bread = 150 calories

White bread is lighter and lower in fiber and nutrients than wheat breads. The soft texture makes it a popular choice for sandwiches.

Wheat Bread

– 2 slices of whole wheat bread = 140 calories

Wheat bread has more fiber, making it more filling. The nuttier, denser texture also holds up well to moist sandwich fillings.

Sourdough Bread

– 2 slices of sourdough = 160 calories

Sourdough has a chewier texture and tangy flavor. The higher calorie count comes from additional oil and eggs often used in sourdough recipes.

Rye Bread

– 2 slices of rye bread = 120 calories

Rye bread is made with rye flour, which gives it a distinctive flavor and dense texture. It tends to be lower in calories than other bread options.

Mini Buns or Rolls

– 2 mini sandwich buns or rolls = 180 calories

Small slider-style buns or rolls are a popular choice for meatloaf sandwiches. But the smaller size can pack a lot of calories.

So when choosing your bread, opting for a whole wheat or rye bread can help lighten your sandwich. Mini buns should be enjoyed in moderation.

Calories in Meatloaf

The meatloaf itself contributes a significant portion of calories to the sandwich. Here’s how homemade meatloaf stacks up:

– 1/4 pound (4 oz) serving of meatloaf = 230 calories

Meatloaf is a mixture of ground beef and other ingredients like eggs, breadcrumbs, vegetables, and seasoning. The beef provides the majority of the calories.

You can adjust the balance of ingredients to lighten up your recipe. For example, using leaner ground turkey or chicken instead of higher fat beef can reduce the calories while still providing juicy flavor.

Going easy on high-calorie mix-ins like cheese and limiting breadcrumbs can also help control calories. Baking instead of frying forms lighter meatloaf. And smaller portion sizes around 3-4 oz will save calories compared to large 6-8 oz servings.

Calories in Cheese

Adding cheese can provide creamy flavor but also packs on the calories. Here’s how much cheese contributes:

American Cheese Slice

– 1 slice American cheese = 50 calories

American cheese is a processed cheese known for its creamy, melty texture. It’s a popular choice for giving meatloaf sandwiches the classic diner flavor.

Cheddar Cheese Slice

– 1 slice cheddar cheese = 115 calories

Sharp cheddar adds more robust, complex flavor. But cheddar is higher in fat and calories than American cheese.

Swiss Cheese Slice

– 1 slice Swiss cheese = 106 calories

Swiss cheese has a mild, slightly sweet flavor. The calories are similar to cheddar when enjoying a 1-oz slice.

To lighten up, limit cheese to 1 slice or skip it altogether. Also, look for reduced-fat cheese options which contain less fat and calories for a given portion size.

Calories in Condiments

Spreading some condiments on your meatloaf sandwich can add flavor, but they also add calories. Here are some common options:


– 1 Tbsp ketchup = 20 calories

Ketchup is a sweet and tangy sandwich favorite. A typical tablespoon only adds about 20 calories.


– 1 Tbsp mayo = 90 calories

Rich, creamy mayo packs a lot more calories – around 90 per tablespoon. Light mayo has only 35 calories per tablespoon.


– 1 Tbsp mustard = 0 – 15 calories

Most mustards have little to no calories. Spicy brown, yellow, and Dijon mustards are very low-cal options.


– 1 Tbsp sweet pickle relish = 20 calories

Relish adds pleasant pickle flavor and crunch without many calories.

Using condiments sparingly or choosing lower-calorie options like mustard and relish over mayo is an easy way to trim sandwich calories.

Calories in Vegetables

Don’t forget vegetables! Adding some veggie toppings is an excellent way make your sandwich more nutritious while keeping calories in check.

Lettuce Leaf

– 1 large leaf lettuce = 2 calories

Crisp lettuce gives a refreshing crunch and tons of volume and fiber for negligible calories.

Sliced Tomato

– 3 slices tomato = 10 calories

Fresh tomato adds moisture and flavor for few calories.

Sliced Onion

– 1/4 cup onion slices = 15 calories

Onions give sandwiches a nice bite. A quarter cup adds flavor without spiking calories.


– 3 small dill pickle slices = 10 calories

Pickled cucumbers are low in calories and high in flavor.

Fill your sandwich with a pile of lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and other fresh veggies you enjoy. It maximizes nutrition and satisfaction while minimizing calories.

Putting it All Together

Now let’s add up the calories for our meatloaf sandwich:

– Bread (2 slices wheat) = 140 calories
– Meatloaf (1/4 pound) = 230 calories
– Cheese (1 slice American) = 50 calories
– Condiments = ~50 calories (for ketchup, mustard, mayo)
– Veggies = ~20 calories

Total calories for entire sandwich = Around 490 calories

This gives you an estimate for a reasonably sized homemade meatloaf sandwich with standard ingredients.

Of course, calorie totals can vary more widely depending on your specific recipe and ingredient choices, portion sizes, and any additional add-ons.

Here are some examples of higher and lower calorie versions:

Higher Calorie Meatloaf Sandwich

– Thick sourdough bread: 200 calories
– 1/3 pound meatloaf: 300 calories
– 2 slices cheddar cheese: 230 calories
– Mayo and ketchup: 180 calories
– No veggies

Total = ~900 calories

Lower Calorie Meatloaf Sandwich

– Rye bread: 120 calories
– 1/4 pound turkey meatloaf: 150 calories
– No cheese
– Mustard: 10 calories
– Lettuce, tomato, onion: 25 calories

Total = ~300 calories

As you can see, there’s a wide range of 200 to 900 calories depending on the specifics. In general, opting for lighter bread, leaner meats, easy on the cheese, mustard or relish instead of mayo, and lots of veggie fixings will add up to a lighter, more nutritious meatloaf sandwich.

Tips for Lightening up Your Meatloaf Sandwich

Here are some easy ways to enjoy a homemade meatloaf sandwich while controlling calories:

– Choose whole wheat or rye bread over white bread
– Select leaner meats like turkey or chicken
– Load up on lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and other veggie toppings
– Use one slice of reduced-fat cheese or skip the cheese
– Spread mustard, relish, or a thin layer of mayo instead of slathering with mayo
– Opt for a side salad rather than fries or chips
– Split your sandwich in half and save one half for later
– Drink water or unsweetened tea instead of high-calorie soda

With some simple substitutions and smart choices, you can still enjoy the classic flavors of a meatloaf sandwich without going overboard on calories.


A homemade meatloaf sandwich contains around 490 calories on average for a reasonably sized sandwich with standard ingredients. The bread, meatloaf, cheese, condiments, and vegetable toppings all contribute to the total calories. Making healthy choices like using lean meats, avoiding extra cheese, limiting mayo, and including generous amounts of fresh veggies can significantly lighten up your sandwich. Other easy tweaks include splitting the sandwich in half, pairing it with a salad, and drinking water instead of sugary soda. By understanding the calorie breakdown and making smart swaps, you can still enjoy all the delicious comfort of meatloaf sandwiches without the high-calorie overhead.

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