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ISO Best darn Meatloaf EVER...PERIOD!

Oh please post yours and one you know to be tried and true.
I would be ever so thankful.
Mine the other night simply was a total bust!

Thanks in advance...

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  1. I started making this years ago because of an old Chowhound thread and I love it. It's the only one I make now.

    Paul Prudhomme's Cajun meatloaf


    51 Replies
    1. re: Rubee

      Yes! Yes! It's the best I've ever had -- I adore this recipe.

        1. re: Youffraita

          This is going to sound odd or/and ick but it's what I did. I can't leave a proven recipe alone.

          PP's recipe for cajun meat loaf, but with my remix of the original.

          I didn't add any ground pork because instead, I used FJ's habanero breakfast link sausages and blended those uncooked into the ground sirloin I used for the ground beef. Also, here's the disgusting part, a package of FJ's Liverwurst. Mixed it in with the meat portion of the recipe. I was thinking of White Castles and thinking they have liver in their patties. Because of the heat in the breakfast links, I omitted the cayenne pepper and tabasco. The end result had plenty of heat.
          Although I thought I had plain bread crumbs, I didn't but did have seasoned so I used them. For the condensed milk which I did have but chose not to use because I had heavy cream, I used that. My thoughts there were that it would cut the heat due to its' richness.
          Finely grated carrots in there too that wasn't in the original. Husband said no carrots next time I make this. I didn't tell him of the LW in there tho
          The sandwiches are great made with the cooled meat loaf.
          End result is there are so many things you can do with this meat loaf, in tacos or chili or thinned down and poured over stuffed potatoes, add cheese on top.

          1. re: iL Divo

            liverwurst? just another name for liver pate. ;-).

            your "doctoring" made me imagine adding in ground andouille. i think chef prudhomme would approve --- unless he scolded me for not just grilling up the andouille, and serving it on a french baguette with some spicy remoulade and shredded iceberg lettuce.

            1. re: alkapal

              I was fortunate to meet him. He gave me some tips and was delightful. I was amazed being in his presence since I've been in awe of him and his taste buds since I was a young woman.

              I bet your idea would be wonderful. How would you spice up your remoulade? And if that baguette is very crisp and the lettuce is also, that's a dyno sounding lunch.

              About my additions, you can not taste the liver in the final product but it softens it somehow. I love going out on a limb with recipes and playing with them.

              1. re: iL Divo

                i'd probably use creole mustard, frank's hot sauce, maybe a little horseradish, maybe sriracha, instead. of course, if it's a good andouille, you don't need a whole lot of spiciness in the remoulade -- just enough depth to stand up to the andouille.

                oh goodness, what about john folse's remoulade slaw!? http://www.wafb.com/Global/story.asp?...
                pile that on the baguette with the andouille -- and i'm good to go!

        2. re: Rubee

          I can vouch for this recipe. Been making it for years now.

          1. re: AbdulSheikhMohammed

            I made Paul P's meatloaf tonight for the superbowl. It was fantastic and VERY well received. Although a bit more time consuming than my standard recipe, it will become the new standard. I used more cajun seasoning than called for in the recipe (and used a premixed blend I bought in Louisiana), and less ketchup in the mix; used panko instead of fresh bread crumbs. Also glazed the loaf with a mix of ketchup and hot chili garlic sauce on top. It was moist and delicious. Served with roasted sweet potatoes with Chinese five spice and steamed string beans with garlic.

            1. re: MAH

              I made Prudhomme's meatloaf this Saturday. All gone by lunchtime Sunday. The new standard hereabouts.

          2. re: Rubee

            What do you like to serve with it?

            1. re: onefineleo

              Now I'm hungry. Mashed or roasted potatoes, and Marcella Hazan's braised carrots (link below):


            2. re: Rubee

              How funny, this is the one I use all the time also and it consistently gets RAVE reviews - some people even ask for it for Christmas (and I'm not kidding!)!!

              1. re: Rubee

                To those of you who have made the Paul Prudhomme recipe....when he says "breadcrumbs" are those fresh or dried? I'm assuming dried, but thought I should ask.

                1. re: kwe730

                  gad I just adore the sound of everything about this. I will try it soon. Am confused about the ground sausage meat though as I used sausage patty's in my disasterous one. What does it mean by no seasoning added sausage ground pork.

                  1. re: kwe730

                    Re: the Cajuan Meatloaf - I use fresh breadcrumbs now since I always have some in the freezer, but I'm pretty sure I used dried the first few times I made this and it's always been delicious.

                  2. re: Rubee

                    reading the ingreds in this one, oh my gosh does it ever sound good. bet it's in my really old PP cookbook. when I get off this trip, I'll check out my cook book collection, pull his out and see if it's in there. otherwise, thanks for much for the link, if needed, I'll use that.

                    1. re: Rubee

                      after all the raving about this recipe; i had to try it out...I see what the fuss is about. It's amazing!! can't wait to see what it tastes like tomorrow after it has a chance to settle.

                      1. re: Rubee

                        FWIW, I'm making this tonight and just realized that the link I posted above isn't as detailed, and just a bit different, as the recipe I use:


                        1. re: Rubee

                          Looks really good but... I don't like green bell peppers. Love red ones though, do you think this will make a huge difference?

                          1. re: Lemonii

                            I don't love green peppers either, so I mince them very small. I'm sure it would be good with red - be sure to report back if you try it!

                          2. re: Rubee

                            I've been making this for years as well. It's from his first book which he signed for me at a M & G. After you assemble the mis en place it's all so easy to put together.
                            Ground turkey breast/dark meat has been our meat of choice, but lately I've been using ground buffalo meat. Absolutely delicious!

                            1. re: Rubee

                              funny thing is, that on that recipe source where this is listed, they mention putting in the onions/bell peppers/garlic/celery, but then on the ingredient list, celery isn't listed. I decided to pull it up on google and all same place on recipe source, they have the same recipes with one exception, it's called revised, huh, there, I found the celery mentioned. guess someone got confused like me...it's smells great cooking right now, but I will say, I was rushing doing other things and messed up the method of how to's. same and correct ingredients so hope it still turns out good if not wonderful.

                              1. re: Rubee

                                My husband made this last year after I saw this thread. (He's the meatloaf maker in the house. I love to eat it, but I hate making it -- squishing raw ground beef grosses me out. haha) Anyhow, I can't remember now if the recipe makes 2 loaves or if he doubled it. But we ate one and vacuum-sealed one for the freezer. Both were delicious. And the sauce - mmmmm.

                                I still love my mom's original meatloaf from my childhood (in the Better Homes & Gardens classic red & white cookbook, and it's called something like "Old Fashioned Meatloaf" or something like that). It's my favorite. But if you want something new and a little different from regular meatloaf, I give this an A!

                                If anyone can find a copycat recipe for Copeland's Cheesecake Bistro's meatloaf and sauce, it's amazing.

                                1. re: luv2bake

                                  Luv2bake, did you ever see the episode of "3rd Rock from the Sun" where Sally is trying to make her first meatloaf and then someone tells her that it's ground beef. She takes her hamburger-filled fingers out of the bowl and stares at them. "I have dead cow on my hands?" she shrieks, running from the kitchen in horror; but I think she wipes her hands all over French Stewart who is just standing there before running out of the room. I about died laughing over that scene...and you know what? I don't like squishing the meat together either...I usually use a big fork or 2 of them, heresy, I know but it's just so gross. I haven't tried this cajun meatloaf yet...recently tried Gio's Chipotle Bison meatloaf and loved it, so I guess I could use ground buffalo in this, too.

                                  1. re: Val

                                    I use disposable gloves when I make meatloaf or meatballs.

                                    1. re: Val

                                      Mine is .75 ground bison, .25 ground pork. Anyplace you can use ground beef, you can use ground bison ...

                                  2. re: Rubee

                                    making this for the hubby this weekend. :)

                                    1. re: Rubee

                                      Yes, I tried this last night. So good that I had a piece for breakfast.

                                      1. re: Rubee

                                        This sounds similar to Marcia Adams' recipe in "Cooking From Quilt Country".
                                        I love it because it's moist and the vegetables are sauteed rather than mixed in raw.

                                        1. re: markjbillet

                                          Her Swiss meatloaf is also a delicious recipe. I really enjoy this book, many simple great recipes. The other meatloaf is for a spicy meatloaf, I think that's the one you are referring to.

                                        2. re: Rubee

                                          I just wanted to thank everyone for the Paul Prudhomme love - I tried it not long ago (and bastardized it by adding some diced apple - weird, but really good in meatloaf - it adds a tiny hint of sweetness plus firm moisture) and yep, it's the best recipe out there, period.

                                          My next version will be bastardized again, as I'm low-carbing and will use pork rind crumbs instead of bread crumbs. Which honestly, can only make it better. For some reason, pork rind "crumbs" make ridiculously good meatloaf filler.

                                            1. re: alkapal

                                              The apples or the pork rinds?

                                              Apples stay firm-ish, depending on the variety. Come to think of it, same with pork rinds. They definitely become part of the whole, though.

                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                  It's really very strange but they make excellent "bread crumbs" for most applications. I use a brand that doesn't have many of the "cracklin'" type pieces, so there aren't any surprise hard bits.

                                                  1. re: shanagain

                                                    Reporting back in - as suspected, pork rinds only made it better. SO good. I think the next time I'm going to skip the cayenne, just for a "plain" version.

                                                    1. re: shanagain

                                                      No cayenne? I typed this sacrilege? Was I drinking? (Sober?)

                                          1. re: Rubee

                                            Rubee: FYI , the celery measurement is missing from this recipe link. I believe it is 1/2-cup finely diced celery. Went home at lunch to try this recipe and that was when I noticed it. I'm going to send Recipesource an email to let them know.

                                            1. re: cheereeo

                                              Rubee - OMG!!! I made this last night, and it was SOOOOOO good. I put my usual ketchup, mustard, brown sugar glaze on it which is sweet, so it cuts the spice a bit so my boys could eat it. It was incredible. Better than my mother's classic Quaker Oat Best-Ever Meatloaf from the side of the rolled oat container recipe, which is also really good but this is way better! Thanks for bringing it to many of our attention.

                                              1. re: cheereeo

                                                Thanks for the celery info - I didn't even notice that!

                                                It is sooo good isn't it? Every time I try another meatloaf now, my husband says "why can't you make the Cajun one, it's the best". Glad you liked it! I plan on making it this week too.

                                            2. re: Rubee

                                              I was gonna make a magic meatload recipe I read online yesterday for dinner tonight.
                                              But just read it again and it's lackluster in ingredients. It may be good but its also done in a crock and I don't want that today. So this thread is reminding me of PP's Cajun meatloaf so that's what on the table tonight. Love that I have all the ingredients too, that always helps and makes it a doable dish.

                                                1. re: coll

                                                  any else missprint/type on iphones?

                                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                                    I do!! on my Droid. I guess I should turn it sideways. But I seriously think Meatload will be my new name for that dish.

                                              1. re: Rubee

                                                Made this today for my dad's dinner tonight, but i took all the cajun out of it, i'm afraid. he can't stand any taint of heat in his food. but it looks like a winner anyway! will taste it later on. didn't have green pepper, but did make a mince of carrots and celery to saute with the onions, so it's going to be pretty flavorful. and i used sausage instead of ground pork. and did a very light rub of ketchup on top. so, ok, maybe it's not the same recipe at all!

                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                  This recipe is a good t&t one and has a good following but agree the amount of heat would scare several away.
                                                  When gramps isn't there make it as written just for your family.
                                                  It really is a terrific saldwich the next day.

                                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                                    what is "t&t"? my dad loved it, and i ate it cold last night in a sandwich - really good! i will definitely turn the heat up when i make it for my BF and i!

                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                      "Made this today for my dad's dinner tonight, but i took all the cajun out of it, i'm afraid. he can't stand any taint of heat in his food"

                                                      I thought that meant you didn't add the heat. That you didn't do the recipe as written.
                                                      Ok now I'm confused *~{
                                                      T&T is tried and true.

                                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                                        i didn't add the heat for my dad's - i'll add the heat for me & BF when i make it again. I was saying it was good (the cold sandwich) even without the heat! so i imagine it'll be so much better when I DO add the heat, next time.

                                                2. re: Rubee

                                                  I made this for dinner (actually, took a tiny risk and made two - one for tonight and one to freeze) and it was a huge hit with my husband. He ate a huge slab and asked hopefully if there was more, and then had a second helping. I used the long oven time to roast a head of garlic for mashed potatoes, which made for a great side. Thanks for posting!

                                                  1. re: Rubee

                                                    Years later, I cam across this link and made this last night. Another convert...I will never bother with my old recipe again (and it was no slouch!) Technique is different, but very effective...just about to chow down on some PP meatloaf sandwiches.

                                                  2. I am a big fan of 72 Market Street Meatloaf--I only make this one anymore. It is pretty famous, from an LA restaurant in the 80's. It was pretty famous at the time and was written up everywhere, even made it into The New Basics Cookbook.

                                                    Here's the recipe on someone's blog with pictures. Note: I never make this in a loaf pan--I shape it freeform in a 13x9 pan and I place that in a larger roasting pan that has water in it. I increase the spices a bit, especially if I'm counting on leftover cold meatloaf sandwiches. I make my own breadcrumbs for this.


                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: coconutz

                                                      I make this one too, with fresh breadcrumbs and more spices. I never bake it in a loaf pan, but free form also. 30 minutes before it is done I glaze it with a combo of honey & worcestershire and a little bit of ketchup which I warm up and brush on top and sides. Loved that place back then.

                                                      1. re: budlit

                                                        Great minds... I usually increase the spices too and always use my own bread crumbs. If I'm not serving it with the sauce, I will glaze it too with something similar.

                                                        1. re: budlit

                                                          I love the sound of this glaze, with honey, worchester and ketchup.

                                                          1. re: budlit

                                                            I just use Ketchup and worchestershire sauce and a little chili powder. You can use cayenne if your adventurous. I put it on at the beginning. Because it only has what little sugar is in the ketchup, it doesn't burn. The glaze takes away that gray color and adds substantial flavor.

                                                            The glaze is a huge improvement from Mom's meatloaf where she poured tomato sauce over the top (shudders)!

                                                          2. re: coconutz

                                                            I have this bookmarked now. Personally, I love tons of ingredients, I think mostly I like the hunt of the ingreds at the market, I see people looking at me weirdly. Anyway, I am so thankful for you putting the blog thing in here with the pictures, it looks amazing, thanks again.

                                                          3. I reinvent meatloaf every time I make it, but it's always basically the same. Once in a while I do one that deserves to be immortalized with its own recipe file; this was one of the best. NOT diet food!

                                                            GREAT MEAT LOAF

                                                            1 1/4 lb ground beef
                                                            1 1/4 lb ground pork
                                                            2 large eggs, beaten just to blend
                                                            1 cup cracker crumbs
                                                            1 small onion, minced
                                                            (celery and/or green pepper can also be added, if you want it)
                                                            2 slices good bacon, chopped fine
                                                            1/3 cup ketchup
                                                            2 Tbs horseradish
                                                            2 cloves garlic, minced
                                                            salt, pepper, Tabasco and/or herbs

                                                            All ingredients at room temperature, for best results.

                                                            Preheat oven to 350o. Combine everything in a large mixing bowl. Stir with a fork to distribute ingredients, then use your hands to blend and knead until it's a fairly firm and homogeneous mass that will hold its shape. Form into a loaf, then put into a 2-qt loaf pan, pressing down the sides to eliminate any gaps along the bottom edges.
                                                            Bake uncovered for 1 1/2 to 2 hrs, to an internal temperature of 150o; use a bulb baster to remove accumulated grease as needed during the last half-hour or so.

                                                            For a sweet/savory topping, you can mix some ketchup and horseradish together with a little Worcestershire sauce and brush this over the top of the loaf after the first hour.

                                                            Another thing I keep forgetting to write into recipes but I always do: before you commit the meat to its pan, pull a piece about the size of a walnut and make a patty out of that and fry it in a dry skillet, then taste for seasoning. That way if it needs salt or whatever you can add it.

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: Will Owen

                                                              I have to say, I'm a big believer in Paul Prudhomme's cajun meatloaf. But, I'm like you, and make changes and improvements everytime I cook. I'll give your recipe a try. It looks absolutely fantastic. I especially like the addition of horseradish to the ketchup.

                                                              1. re: dhedges53

                                                                That's how my mom made it: she'd mix about 3/4 cup of ketchup with a heaping soupspoon of horseradish and a big dollop of Worcestershire, and put most of it into the meatloaf, then use the rest to spread over the top about twenty minutes before it was done.

                                                                Here's a thing I think is interesting: my brother and I both follow roughly mom's recipe, but while I use cracker crumbs he uses oatmeal. My meatloaf comes out pretty firm, and when it's cold you can slice it like lunch meat, which is exactly how I like it. His comes out all moist and floppy, practically like a spreadable paté...which is exactly how HE likes it.

                                                                1. re: dhedges53

                                                                  when I was a little girl, we had shrimp often enough to warrant a cocktail sauce. since the stuff you bought in the market was just an added financial burden to an already burdened food budget, I came up with something I've always liked to use with shrimp or as a cocktail sauce. your horseradish reminded me of it. I start with ketchup, then add 1/2 as much horseradish from a jar and 1/2 again of that amount of ball park mustard. stir all together and you've got better than the jarred version of flavorful sauce. it'd be a great addition to a meatloaf maybe too.

                                                                  1. re: dhedges53

                                                                    since I was a little girl, I made my own fish cocktail sauce, I mean I'll bet I was 7 when I came up with this, being home from school and seeing fish sticks in the freezer but nothing to dip them in, we had catsup/mustard/horseradish. I played until it was just right and that's my standard cocktail sauce all these years later. 3-2-1
                                                                    3 parts catsup
                                                                    2 parts horseradish
                                                                    1 part yellow mustard, mix and enjoy

                                                                  2. re: Will Owen

                                                                    Will, what do you put in your sliced meatloaf sandwiches, to add zip? I made this, it's good, but a bit plain (my fault-added only 1 garlic clove & half the horseradish, bad decisions on my part!).

                                                                  3. I normally do just a plain, standard meat loaf with bread crumbs, egg, milk, onions, garlic, and some bell pepper if I have it. Sometimes I will add worcestershire, and occasionally I'll add a spoonful or two of pureed chipotle in adobo, which I keep on hand in the refrigerator for various applications.

                                                                    But this is my very favoritest meat loaf recipe, from my mom. Again, not diet food...

                                                                    Sicilian Meat Roll

                                                                    2 eggs, beaten
                                                                    3/4 c. bread crumbs
                                                                    1/2 c. tomato juice
                                                                    2 tbsp. parsley
                                                                    1/2 tsp. oregano
                                                                    1/4 tsp. salt
                                                                    1/4 tsp. pepper
                                                                    1 clove garlic, minced
                                                                    2 lbs. ground beef
                                                                    8 thin slices ham
                                                                    3 slices mozzarella, sliced diagonnally
                                                                    6 oz. shredded mozzarella

                                                                    Combine eggs, bread crumbs, tomato juice, and spices. Add ground beef, mixing well. On waxed paper, pat meat out to a 12x10” rectangle. Arrange ham slices atop meat, leaving a small margin around edges. Sprinkle shredded cheese over ham.

                                                                    Starting at short end, roll up meat. Seal edges and ends. Place seam side down in 13x9x2” pan. Bake at 350° for 1 1/4 hours. Place cheese slices over top of roll; return to oven for 5 minutes, or until cheese melts.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: revsharkie

                                                                      This recipe sounds great!

                                                                      Normally I hate meatloaf but this recipe is similar to one I made many years ago. I got the recipe from a Progresso bread crumbs ad in a magazine. I threw it away years ago and I'm very sorry I did that.

                                                                      Some of the differences were that you made a trough in the meat mixture and filled it with a ricotta-parmesan-egg mixture. Also, it's baked in a traditional loaf pan - not rolled.

                                                                      Instead of tomato juice, you use tomato sauce. There's no ham, but I put mozzarella on top.

                                                                      You use Italian breadcrumbs instead of plain. Of course it's easy enough to doctor your own plain breadcrumbs.

                                                                      That said, I haven't had meatloaf since (unless it was served to me). I miss this Italian stuffed meatloaf so very much. *cries*

                                                                      I think I found it *cries with joy*

                                                                      CHEESE - STUFFED MEATLOAF

                                                                      1 1/2 lb. ground beef
                                                                      3/4 c. Progresso Italian style or plain bread crumbs
                                                                      3/4 tsp. salt
                                                                      1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
                                                                      1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
                                                                      2 eggs
                                                                      3/4 c. ricotta cheese
                                                                      1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
                                                                      1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley

                                                                      Combine first 5 ingredients with 1 egg. Combine remaining egg with next 3 ingredients. Press 1/3 meat mixture into 9 inch loaf pan. Make shallow well lengthwise in center. Spoon cheese mixture in well. Cover with remaining meat.
                                                                      Pat firmly at sides. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. If desired, top with strips of bacon and grated cheese. Bake 10 more minutes, just so cheese melts.

                                                                    2. Here's the one we like--it's stuffed!

                                                                      1 1/2 pounds ground beef
                                                                      2 eggs
                                                                      1/2 cup milk
                                                                      3/4 cup breadcrumbs
                                                                      salt (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
                                                                      1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
                                                                      Mix all, form loaf, make shallowish trough down center, and fill with:
                                                                      1 cup sliced mushrooms and 1 cup chopped onion,
                                                                      sauteed in 2 tablespoons butter,
                                                                      mixed with 1/2 cup sour cream

                                                                      Cover this filling with meat, seal well, bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                                        oh my gosh, this sounds rediculously sinfuly delightful in it's stuffing. My husband is going to flip being a mushroom lover and me a sour cream lover. this'll be a winner.

                                                                        looking at all of these, I think I may be making several different kinds of meatloaves over the next several months. like you all say, meatloaf sandwiches are one of my favorite, unfortunately, WW doesn't agree that I should eat it a lot :(

                                                                        1. re: blue room

                                                                          had a girlfriend ask me for this and the Claim Jumper copy cat meatloaf recipes today.
                                                                          was glad I could find this stuffed one of here so easily, it was a true winner when we made it.
                                                                          but you gotta love shrooms..................................we do

                                                                        2. I like Martha Stewarts Meatloaf 101. The best thing I learned from the recipe is however I make it, don't overmix and put together the night before.

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: mbfergie

                                                                            This is my favorite of the moment....but I cut the pepper in 1/2.

                                                                            1. re: mbfergie

                                                                              That's my favorite too, with more garlic and with the breadcrumbs soaked in a little heavy cream (a trick I learned on thse boards). Now here is my meatloaf heresy: I use electric beaters to mix this -- I know, I know, Martha and everyone else says not to overmix or overhandle -- but I mix it very thoroughly with electric beaters and the texture is fabulous. I have had friends do "scientific" comparisons and we all like the electric beaters version better.

                                                                              1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                I am curious about this because the recipe I love (linked above, 72 Market Street Meatloaf) which was developed by a French chef for an American bistro calls for heavy cream and kneading of the loaf. Most recipes call for light handling so the loaf is not dense and heavy, but my kneaded one is great. I wonder if the other ingredients in the dish, or maybe the cream, prevent it from becoming overly dense as a regular meatloaf would.

                                                                                What scientific method did your friends use to compare the meatloafs? Did you make side by side meatloafs and taste, or did someone actually find a way to quantify preferences?

                                                                                1. re: coconutz

                                                                                  I was going through Julee Russo's book, and she has the 72 Market Street recipe in there.

                                                                                2. re: GretchenS

                                                                                  tonight, I'm using my KitchenAide to mix the mixture, just based on what you've said here, thanks.

                                                                                3. re: mbfergie

                                                                                  once again, I'm on a mission to find the perfect do's and don't's of making the meatloaf of perfection. this makes sense to me, make it the night before, the flavors marry and it gives the bread/etc. a chance to do what it's supposed to do. Thanks for the remark...

                                                                                4. Is my mom a freak for making meatloaf with oatmeal?

                                                                                  I don't know the proportions and it certainly isn't gourmet, but it is delicious. Beef, oatmeal, an egg or two, and some bbq sauce (I've been liking Sweet Baby Ray's lately.) If I'm feeling more creative and less tired, a layer of baby carrots and pepper jack in the middle, mmmm. Oh yes, and the obligatory brushing of the bbq sauce over the top for the last 10-15 min of baking.

                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: lkhorgan

                                                                                    Oatmeal's fine. You have to have some kind of grain or bread in there, but just what you use is up to you. I mostly use bread crumbs but have on occasion used oatmeal or leftover rice.

                                                                                    1. re: lkhorgan

                                                                                      my mom was an oatmeal lady, too :) sounds like a similar recipe, except she put onions and herbs, and definitely no bbq sauce.
                                                                                      i can't say it was the most stunning meatloaf even (it's really not my thing), but it was always moist and kind of "fluffy". so if that's a good thing, the oatmeal must be a good tip!

                                                                                      1. re: lkhorgan

                                                                                        My mom uses oatmeal too and so do I - our meatloaf is fantastic!

                                                                                        1. re: eastcoastgirl_westcoastlife

                                                                                          I've finally got my meatloaf firm enough for my liking, by adding only 1 egg and 1/4 cup oatmeal and 1/4 cup crushed Ritz crackers. No breadcrumbs. If only I could get the rest of the house to like a couple of hard boiled eggs inside, the way my grandmother made it, I would be very happy.

                                                                                          1. re: coll

                                                                                            Can you put one boiled egg in one end of the meatloaf and mark that as your end?

                                                                                            1. re: foiegras

                                                                                              I always mean to do that, just never get around to it. Maybe next time.....meatloaf mix on sale again this week.

                                                                                      2. Something I tried from Alton Brown recipe which I really like...form the meatloaf in the loaf pan, then turn it out onto a baking sheet. You get the loaf shape but the baking of a free form meatloaf. And his recipe is good too.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                                                                                            we love Alton's meatloaf too... we like the sauce that goes on top of the meatloaf so much that my husband made an extra batch to keep in the fridge for other dishes. we use half ground turkey and half buffalo meat and it comes out awesome!

                                                                                        1. I've made meatloaf with super-lean buffalo meat then put it in a pan lined with bacon, basically bacon-wrapping the whole loaf. The nice thing is that the fat from the bacon absorbs into the lean buffalo, barding it and basically taking the fat content to that of your usual beef-pork meatloaf. Tastes wonderful and makes great sandwiches.

                                                                                          Another thing I've learned is to make double-sauced meatloaf. Basically take a slice of cooked cold meatloaf, put it on a plate and coat the top with spicy barbecue sauce, then put a slice of provolone cheese over it and bake until hot and bubbly. Works very well with the buffalo-bacon loaf.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: Kevin Andrew Murphy

                                                                                            I used to have a housemate who would do this, only he didn't use lean buffalo meat - he used a combination of sausage and ground chuck and the meatloaf basically boiled in fat. Oh, yeah, he topped the whole thing with cheese, too. He would always try to get the rest of us to try it, but there was no way I would. Your version actually sounds good!

                                                                                          2. Caramelize your onions and let them cool slightly before making the mix.

                                                                                            If you caramelize your onions in fat, use fatty beef, a normal amount of breadcrumbs and plenty of liquid (milk), your meatloaf will never be dense, no matter how much you mix it or how vigorously you press it into the pan.

                                                                                            1. My favourite meatloaf is pork and veal, with coarsely chopped onion, fresh tomato and celery in it, bound with egg and breadcrumbs (fresh are best) and with worchestire sauce and (shhh!) tomato ketchup for seasoning. The chunks add a little something to it and make it colourful as well as delicious.

                                                                                              1. Whatever recipe you use, fresh breadcrumbs, rather than dried ones, cracker crumbs or oatmeal, will guarantee a tender meatloaf. Just substitute.
                                                                                                Mix all of the other ingredients together well before adding them to the meat. You'll have to handle the meat less and the meatloaf will be lighter and juicier. Use your hands. Never trust a cook who doesn't use his/her hands.
                                                                                                Make two smaller meat loaves if your family likes "outsides." They cook more quickly as well and stay juicy. Put one away for sandwiches.
                                                                                                Shape the meatloaf around a hard-boiled egg. When you slice it, the egg sections look neat and kids think this is really funny.

                                                                                                1. wow. deb has paul p's cajun meatloaf in the oven even as we speak. will pare with mashed potatoes and a beef stock/mushroom gravy. lots of good smells coming out of the kitchen right now.

                                                                                                  1. I like Martha Stewart's 101 as well, though I haven't tried the other favorites mentioned here so can't compare. I did try several "more interesting" versions of meatloaf at the same time, though, including a tasty mushroom meatloaf, but Martha's All-American was the one I ended up wanting to eat a lot more often. The rosemary is a nice contrast with the sweet ketchupy coating.

                                                                                                    And no, adding oatmeal is not freaky; it's a well-known variant on breadcrumbs.

                                                                                                    1. Tyler Florence's "Dad's ultimate meatloaf" is beyond amazing. I don't like meatloaf, but this is truly fantastic. I cut it in half and hubby and I have it for two dinners. It is so fresh and amazing tasting. you can find the recipe on food network

                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Mel

                                                                                                        I watched that episode of Tyler's Ulitmate, and I have to say, it dod look like one of the best meatloaves ever. I haven't tried it yet.

                                                                                                        My standard meatloaf is based on The New Best Recipe one, baked free-form. I am in love with their glaze of ketchup, brown sugar and apple cider videgar. I cook a 4-pounder just for the sandwiches for the rest of the week!

                                                                                                        1. re: Mel

                                                                                                          I've made a lot of meatloaf recipes and this is, hand's down, my favorite. I love the red pepper/ketchup sauce that goes inside and on top of the loaf. My husband said the search was over after we tried this one.

                                                                                                          I also like Ina Garten's turkey meatloaf when I want to use ground turkey instead of meatloaf mix. All the flavors that go into the loaf really make it taste amazing. Served with Parmesan mashed potoates and roasted broccoli, that's another go-to comfort food meal.

                                                                                                          1. re: SarahEats

                                                                                                            the second time I made Tyler's meatloaf, i subsituted ground turkey for the beef, but still kept the port and it was just as fantastic.

                                                                                                          2. re: Mel

                                                                                                            this is the night. I am doing this one tonight. It's my first of these many replies I've gotten. I don't have a reason why it's first, but have all the ingredients on the island waiting for me to start without the meats that are in the frig till prep time. I promise to report back. Gad I hope it's good, wonderful even.
                                                                                                            Here is one I found just going through my many tons of cookbooks just now looking for my Paul Prud'Cookbook.<< which I finally found after much searching.
                                                                                                            This is from a Woman's Club Juniors cookbook that my Grammie gave to me in '73.
                                                                                                            3 lb gr beef, 1/2 t salt, 1/4 t pepper, 4 eggs, 2 loaves stale white bread, 1 can evap milk, 2 cans cut green beans, 1 lb bacon, 1-2 can tomato soup. Strange ingredients yes?
                                                                                                            My Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen cookbook lists his meatloaf recipe on page 112-113. It does read very spicy, very flavorful, very intense and I will be making it after really getting into this recipe.

                                                                                                          3. i just cook the onions in butter and garlic. add to the meat/egg/bbq/worsheshire/ketchup, shape into loaves on a sheetpan, add some water to the tray, cover with foil, and bake until its 165 in the center. when its almost done, put some bbq sauce/ketchup to glaze the top and remove the foil.

                                                                                                            THE KEY TO MOIST MEATLOAF IS WATER IN THE BAKING TRAY AND USING A KITCHEN AID TO MIX THE MEAT MIXTURE FOR ABOUT 5-10 MINUTES. THIS TENDERIZES THE MEAT. so many recipes for meatloaf, and none mention a kitchen aid. a chef i used to work for taught me how to make it this way, and after eating his, i've never made it any other way.

                                                                                                            if you use bread, use fresh bread, not breadcrumbs. breadcrumbs will dry it out faster.

                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Antonio Montana

                                                                                                              yes, good tips! this is close to the way i make my meatloaf as well. atop of the ketchup glaze add a few strips of bacon and you have my version.

                                                                                                              1. re: Antonio Montana

                                                                                                                this is confusing to me as for meatballs, they say never overwork the meat or they'll be tough little balls. somewhere I read/saw/heard that putting crushed ice in the meat mixture makes it more moist as the water in the ice melts and keeps the meat from drying out.

                                                                                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                  If you can make meatballs,just take that mixture ,and add any of the great tips sent to you! I take my meatball mix,a big blob of ketchup,about a half cup grated cheese,small onion minced,and believe it or not about four or five tlb spoons sweet pickle,or red pepper relish. Mix it all up ,make one heck of a giant meatball .,plop it in a roaste pan ,flatten it like an oval loaf,I top with some type of tomato sauce.I think I'll try Blue Room's idea next time .

                                                                                                              2. In my meatloaf I use freshly ground chuck from a good butcher and sauteed onion & garlic, ketchup, wor. (can't spell it) bread crumbs, 2 beaten eggs. My secret: can of undiluted mushroom soup. all mixed in, lots of chopped fresh parsley, too. Shape it free form, delicious.

                                                                                                                1. Campbell's golden mushroom soup makes a good basis for meatloaf gravy.

                                                                                                                  1. I've posted my favorite recipe before, Barbeque Meatloaf, from my dad: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Katie Nell

                                                                                                                      I just realized that this is really similar to Paula Deen's recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip... My dad has been making it for 25 years, probably more... how funny!

                                                                                                                      1. re: Katie Nell

                                                                                                                        i can't believe my eyes...NO BUTTER in paula deen's recipe???

                                                                                                                        there must be some mistake...


                                                                                                                    2. Food and Wine just had a great pork meatloaf recipe not too long ago. It involved pureeing some prociutto and bacon, mixing that in with the meat which gave the finished product a wonderful meaty, salty flavor. I've made a lot of meat loafs in my day and this one stands out.

                                                                                                                      Four 1-inch-thick slices of Italian bread, crusts removed, bread soaked in 1 cup of milk and squeezed dry
                                                                                                                      4 ounces sliced bacon
                                                                                                                      4 ounces sliced prosciutto
                                                                                                                      1 medium onion, thinly sliced
                                                                                                                      2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
                                                                                                                      4 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
                                                                                                                      1 roasted red pepper from a jar
                                                                                                                      2 large eggs
                                                                                                                      2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
                                                                                                                      1 teaspoon chopped thyme
                                                                                                                      1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
                                                                                                                      1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
                                                                                                                      Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
                                                                                                                      2 1/2 pounds lean ground pork
                                                                                                                      1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
                                                                                                                      1 cup tomato puree
                                                                                                                      1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
                                                                                                                      1/2 cup prepared plain hummus

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: hasday1

                                                                                                                        this sounds very gourmet and very good

                                                                                                                      2. i didn't used to like meatloaf... then i tried this amazing loaf from christopher kimball's cook's illustrated magazine...

                                                                                                                        Brown Sugar–Ketchup Glaze
                                                                                                                        1/2 cup ketchup or chili sauce
                                                                                                                        4 tablespoons brown sugar
                                                                                                                        4 teaspoons cider or white vinegar

                                                                                                                        Meat Loaf
                                                                                                                        2 teaspoons oil
                                                                                                                        1 medium onion, chopped medium
                                                                                                                        2 garlic cloves, minced
                                                                                                                        2 large eggs
                                                                                                                        1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
                                                                                                                        1 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                        1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
                                                                                                                        2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
                                                                                                                        2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
                                                                                                                        1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
                                                                                                                        1/4 cup whole milk or plain yogurt
                                                                                                                        2 pounds meat loaf mix (50 percent ground chuck, 25 percent ground pork, 25
                                                                                                                        percent ground veal)
                                                                                                                        2/3 cup crushed saltine crackers (about 16) or quick oatmeal or 1 1/3 cups
                                                                                                                        fresh bread crumbs
                                                                                                                        1/3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
                                                                                                                        6–8 ounces thin-sliced bacon (8 to 12 slices, depending on loaf shape)

                                                                                                                        1. For the glaze: Mix all ingredients in small saucepan; set aside.

                                                                                                                        2. For the meat loaf: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in medium skillet.
                                                                                                                        Add onion and garlic; sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside to
                                                                                                                        cool while preparing remaining ingredients.

                                                                                                                        3. Mix eggs with thyme, salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, pepper
                                                                                                                        sauce, and milk or yogurt. Add egg mixture to meat in large bowl along with
                                                                                                                        crackers, parsley, and cooked onion and garlic; mix with fork until evenly
                                                                                                                        blended and meat mixture does not stick to bowl. (If mixture sticks, add
                                                                                                                        additional milk or yogurt, a couple tablespoons at a time until mix no
                                                                                                                        longer sticks.)

                                                                                                                        4. Turn meat mixture onto work surface. With wet hands, pat mixture into
                                                                                                                        approximately 9-by-5-inch loaf shape. Place on foil-lined (for easy cleanup)
                                                                                                                        shallow baking pan. Brush with half the glaze, then arrange bacon slices,
                                                                                                                        crosswise, over loaf, overlapping slightly and tucking only bacon tip ends
                                                                                                                        under loaf .

                                                                                                                        5. Bake loaf until bacon is crisp and loaf registers 160 degrees, about 1
                                                                                                                        hour. Cool at least 20 minutes. Simmer remaining glaze over medium heat
                                                                                                                        until thickened slightly. Slice meat loaf and serve with extra glaze passed

                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: scoutie

                                                                                                                          This is my standard recipe too, except last time I made it I think I used 1 lb buffalo, 3/4 lb beef and 1/4 lb veal. And instead of bacon on top, I glazed it with hickory barbeque sauce. OMFG, incredible meatloaf!

                                                                                                                          1. re: scoutie

                                                                                                                            I think this is the same recipe in the Best Recipe cookbook. It is fabulous and tastes even better the next day in sandwiches! I am making this for Superbowl Sunday. Any suggestions what to serve with it?


                                                                                                                            1. re: scudgal

                                                                                                                              I like to serve meatloaf with baked purple potatoes and steamed asparagus.

                                                                                                                            2. re: scoutie

                                                                                                                              scoutie - this is the most delish meatloaf I have ever had thanks for posting! The glaze and the bacon make it, my boyfriend does not like leftovers - well except for this.

                                                                                                                              1. re: scoutie

                                                                                                                                This is the recipe I always use- my husband didn't like meatloaf (his mom just used ground beef + Liptons French Onion Dip Mix- until I made this for him. I use the bacon/glaze on Barefoot Contessa's Turkey Meatloaf and it's also delicious!

                                                                                                                                1. re: scoutie

                                                                                                                                  all right, so this'll be my next attempt.
                                                                                                                                  if these folks also like it, it's our turn to try right? :)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: scoutie

                                                                                                                                    Let's say it's me, we'll say it's my mistake.
                                                                                                                                    I'm sure I did something wrong. Ratio between meat and filling filler less veg ingreds made it too dry. And I made extra batches to use for sammies and frozen whole leftover loaves. We've been on vacation and didn't put in freezer, I forgot, so, only in frig when I get home it's in the round file as now it can't be saved. Sorry Scoutie about my post but apparently we like much more moisture that more ground up veggies provide.
                                                                                                                                    Again it may have been the cook that night, that cook being me :(

                                                                                                                                  2. I am thrilled to see that this has received so many replies. I thank the CH Mods for making sure I saw where this post of mine has landed. Now on to dynomite meatloaves, all via you fine folks. Thanks again.............reading reading reading away......

                                                                                                                                    1. I am a HUGE fan of the Barefoot Contessa turkey meatloaf. You can find the recipe online at Recipe Zaar.

                                                                                                                                      1. This meatloaf has brought people to tears! It's quite impressive, if I may say so. I came up with it several winters ago. The sausage really boosts the flavor, and the jack cheese binds deliciously.

                                                                                                                                        TAKE-NO-PRISONERS MEATLOAF

                                                                                                                                        Nearly every cook has his or her very own meatloaf recipe. This has a lot of “traditional’’ meatloaf touches. It’s very rich, no small thanks to all that cheese, and, like any meatloaf worth its ground beef, it does well hot, cold, or in between. The texture is unusually supple, fluffy, and tender, especially if you don’t manhandle the meat mix before baking it. For a smokier and spicier loaf, finely chop and add 2-3 minced canned chipotle peppers in adobo to the meat mixture. Start this a good two hours before serving. And do use a meat thermometer—don’t let this loaf ooze too little or too much.

                                                                                                                                        4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

                                                                                                                                        3 garlic cloves
                                                                                                                                        4 scallions, white and light green parts only,
                                                                                                                                        halved lengthwise and sliced into 1 1/2’’ lengths
                                                                                                                                        2 large or 3 medium onions, peeled and quartered
                                                                                                                                        1 medium red bell pepper, quartered, stemmed, and seeded

                                                                                                                                        2 eggs, beaten
                                                                                                                                        1/3 cup beef broth
                                                                                                                                        1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
                                                                                                                                        hot sauce to taste (vaguely optional)
                                                                                                                                        1 Tbsp. soy sauce

                                                                                                                                        1 pound ground beef (chuck)
                                                                                                                                        1/2 pound ground pork
                                                                                                                                        1/2 pound ground veal
                                                                                                                                        1/2 pound sweet sausage, casings removed
                                                                                                                                        8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, finely grated (about two cups)
                                                                                                                                        1 cup fresh bread crumbs (you may need somewhat more)

                                                                                                                                        1/2 cup ketchup
                                                                                                                                        5-6 slices of thick-cut bacon, halved crosswise

                                                                                                                                        First, if you need to, make the fresh breadcrumbs in the workbowl of your food processor by pulsing torn chunks of bread. (You might as well make plenty of extra crumbs and freeze them in a sealed plastic bag. They keep for months.) Rinse out the workbowl.

                                                                                                                                        In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat.

                                                                                                                                        Pulse the next four ingredients in the workbowl of your processor, in order of appearance, until minced, but not mushy. The onion mixture will be fairly wet. Add it to the hot butter in the skillet. Cover and sweat the mixture for five minutes. Uncover and stir, still over medium-low heat, for 5 minutes, or until the mixture begins to brown lightly and the liquids have evaporated. Remove from heat and let the mixture approach room temperature.

                                                                                                                                        Heat the oven to 350 degrees, with a rack at the middle level. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, optional hot sauce, and soy sauce until well blended.

                                                                                                                                        Line a shallow baking dish or jelly-roll pan with edges at least 1 inch high with heavy-duty aluminum foil. In a large bowl, lightly combine the ground beef, pork, veal, sausage, cheese, and bread crumbs with your squeaky clean hands. Don’t overmix—use a light touch. Then add the egg mixture and the onion/pepper mixture and blend well, still with a light touch. Transfer the mixture onto the prepared baking pan. Shape the meat into an oval mound about 2 1/2” high at its thickest, smoothing the top. With a rubber spatula, spread the ketchup evenly over loaf, and arrange the bacon strips over ketchup, tucking the strips under the loaf.

                                                                                                                                        Bake about 70 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the center registers 160 degrees. Let the loaf rest in its formidable juices for 10 minutes before slicing.

                                                                                                                                        Yield: about 6 servings

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Tom Steele

                                                                                                                                          all I can say is gad I wish I was home and not on the road. just look at this flavor filled concoction......

                                                                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                            Yep, I'm going to have to make that one soon too. Looks great - If I had the ingredients, I would be trying it this weekend.

                                                                                                                                        2. I just made a new meatloaf last night that combined aspects of my two favorite recipes for meatloaf (Paul Prudhomme's Cajun Meatloaf and Marthat Stewards Meatloaf 101). It was very quick to put together and very delicious.

                                                                                                                                          Celeste's New Meatloaf
                                                                                                                                          1 1/2 pounds ground round
                                                                                                                                          1/2 lb ground pork
                                                                                                                                          1/2 pound ground veal
                                                                                                                                          1 cup fresh bread crumbs
                                                                                                                                          2 eggs lightly beaten
                                                                                                                                          1/2 cup (plus a dab more) ketchup
                                                                                                                                          1 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire
                                                                                                                                          1 tsp cayenne
                                                                                                                                          1 tsp fresh ground cumin
                                                                                                                                          1 tsp Penzeys Cajun seasoning
                                                                                                                                          1 Tbsp salt
                                                                                                                                          2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
                                                                                                                                          2 large carrots
                                                                                                                                          2 peeled celery spines
                                                                                                                                          1 bunch scallions
                                                                                                                                          1 large onion
                                                                                                                                          5 cloves garlic
                                                                                                                                          (note: i would normally put chopped parsley in but I didn't have any last night. I didn't really miss it but next time I'll probably put in 1/2 cup chopped parsley like normal)

                                                                                                                                          Cut carrots, celery and scallions into large pieces then put in food processor with standard blade with onions and garlic. Pulse in food processor until finely chopped.
                                                                                                                                          Put meat in bowl with all other ingredients and smoosh like normal until well blended. Form into log in baking dish. Glaze with ketchup mixed with a little brown sugar and worcestorshire and bake at 400 degrees until 160 degrees in the center (this took about 70 minutes last night in my oven).

                                                                                                                                          1. The Alton Brown meatloaf that several folks mention above is now my household's standby: so much so that I no longer need a recipe to make it. The following is my adaptation, from memory:

                                                                                                                                            Start with six ounces, by weight, of dry bread crumbs. Add 1.5 tsp. kosher salt, 1 tsp. each of dried thyme and chili powder and 1/2 tsp each of ground black pepper and cayenne pepper. (I often substitute either dried ancho or aleppo pepper for the cayenne, according to whim.) Stir to combine.

                                                                                                                                            In the food processor, chop 1 small onion, 1 carrot, 2 cloves garlic and 1 small green pepper until almost but not quite a puree. Add to bread crumbs and spices.

                                                                                                                                            Add 36 ounces of ground meat of your choice: meatloaf mix, turkey, pork, or as AB recommends, a 50/50 blend of chuck and sirloin. Add 1 egg. Mix with hands into a homogenous mass.

                                                                                                                                            Either form by hand into a loaf shape or use a loaf pan to mold. Place molded loaf onto a sheet of parchment paper in a half-sheet pan or other flat pan with a lip. The idea is that the grease expressed by the loaf will run off onto the pan, leaving a nicely browned crust on the loaf and nice juicy meat without a lot of slimy grease all over everything.

                                                                                                                                            Place loaf into a 350 degree oven. Meanwhile, mix together a glaze consisting of half a cup of ketchup, big splashes of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco, a squirt of honey and a tablespoon of cumin. When the loaf has been in the oven for about 10 minutes, take it out, glaze it and pop it back in the oven until it's hit 150 in the center. Honestly, I only cook this with a thermometer, so I don't really know how long that is. Let rest for 10 minutes, then slice and serve.

                                                                                                                                            A variation, when I'm nostalgic for the Furr's Cafeteria meatloaf of my youth: skip the glaze and make a creole sauce: sweat an onion and a green pepper, both diced, in olive oil until limp and translucent. Add a can of diced tomatoes in sauce, turn heat to low and simmer until liquid is reduced by half. Add a pinch of sugar, a half-teaspoon of dried thyme and salt to taste. Serve over sliced meatloaf.

                                                                                                                                            1. I never use a recipe for meatloaf, but rather, a set of guidelines to make sure it cooks up moist. I nearly always use ground turkey.

                                                                                                                                              Here are my tips:
                                                                                                                                              -add about 1 egg per pound of meat
                                                                                                                                              -always use some sort of finely-processed bread, croutons, or bread crumbs. or oatmeal, if you're so inclined. basically, the meatloaf NEEDS a starch to lighten up the texture.
                                                                                                                                              -put in a generous splash of Worcestershire, a good squeeze of ketchup, and a couple glugs of milk. these'll serve to hydrate the loaf, as well as add enough salt to season it. I'll sometimes add a tablespoon or so of Dijon mustard as well
                                                                                                                                              -use whatever herbs you prefer (I like sage in mine, as it goes very well with ground turkey. I also often add thyme, oregano, marjoram, mustard powder, ground black pepper . . .).
                                                                                                                                              -if you like it glazed on top, either use your own recipe or do what I do, and zigzag some ketchup over the whole thing
                                                                                                                                              -cook it at 350 degrees until it looks done

                                                                                                                                              1. I worship at the foot of James Beard for his recipe. I've made it for over 20 years and never gotten tired of it although I'll have to give Paul's a look-see. Beard called it Old-Fashioned Meat Loaf and made it with beef, pork and veal (optional of course). He gives variations such as adding ham, beef liver, minced clams, olives and hard boiled eggs. It's in The New James Beard c1981.

                                                                                                                                                I serve meatloaf with potatoes steamed in their own jackets, peeled and left whole, then smashed/squashed, while still hot, into fry pan in which a half a diced cooking onion has been sauted till glassy, in vegetable oil. Let the potato get lovely and crispy on the bottom than turn it.

                                                                                                                                                And pickled beets. Always, pickled beets. You put so much work into the potates, you deserve a break on the side dish.

                                                                                                                                                Its fine dining. God bless James Beard.

                                                                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: veloute

                                                                                                                                                  OMG - I used to make James Beard's meatloaf years ago then we moved and lost the cookbook that has the recipe in it. I remember he had a fabulous sauce made with tomatoes that he served on the side. Can you post the recipe? I so wish I still had this cookbook! If you know where I can find a copy - pls let me know. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: scudgal

                                                                                                                                                    here's the link for it.
                                                                                                                                                    at least I think this is what you're looking for.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: scudgal

                                                                                                                                                      the first link wasn't the one, only called for beef.
                                                                                                                                                      this is maybe closer but on this one I see no tomato sauce as mentioned.


                                                                                                                                                    2. re: veloute

                                                                                                                                                      I love James Beard's meatloaf!

                                                                                                                                                      Is the "New James Beard" cookbook the one where he changed recipes to be a bit healthier? I still use the original cookbook! :)

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: veloute

                                                                                                                                                        I just reread this whole thread.
                                                                                                                                                        I just bought last week in Hatboro Pa the James Beard pasta book.
                                                                                                                                                        I could read that thing forever and never bore of it.

                                                                                                                                                        Last week I did the meatloaf in here with the ortega chilies/onions/garlic/peppers and stuffed with mashed potatoes. Oh and a little crumbled bacon in there too. Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                          How do you get the mashed potatoes inside?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                            hi Coll, well, the recipe calls for you to make a batch of mashed taters and form a well using the sides of your hands in the middle of the raw meatloaf, put in the taters and close the seam..........it's a nice surprise inside the already rediculously delicious meatloaf, those Ortega chilis are a nice addition and with the onions/garlic/bell peppers, very moist

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                              Reminds me of the first time I made meatloaf in my family's traditional way, with hard boiled eggs entombed inside, my husband almost fainted when I cut it open. Wonder what he'd think about this? It'd be a surprise alright ;-) he'd be saying where's the potatoes, and then, there they are!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                We've done the hard boiled eggs inside entombed. Maybe it was Paula Deen who did 'em first timeI saw 'em that way on tv. Either way, husband almost croaked and said "in the future, no thanks." :( That way may be good if you do a small meatloaf, so not really long cooking time required with about 3 eggs just cracked inside then sealed up. You'd almost get poached eggs :)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                  So how did he like the mashed potatoes? I like the egg idea because of the lower calorie factor, as well as memories of my grandmother. But we just put in hard boiled eggs, already done.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                    I'll tell ya, he's no liar when it comes to if he likes something I make or not. He's very verbal, either it's "honey, let's make that the last time you do this recipe" or "that was a winner babe, fantastic!" He loved the mashed potatoes in the center as a surprise, but then, what man doesn't like mashed potatoes? hahahah

                                                                                                                                                      2. Thanks for this thread! I used a combination of 4 recipes discussed here (Alton, Epicurious, Cook's, Will Owen's) to make a wonderful turkey meatloaf the other night. My first meatloaf! Here's what I did:

                                                                                                                                                        1/2 cup catsup
                                                                                                                                                        1 tablespoon ground cumin 

                                                                                                                                                        Worcestershire sauce 

                                                                                                                                                        Hot pepper sauce
                                                                                                                                                        1 T honey
                                                                                                                                                        1 T brown sugar

                                                                                                                                                        Mix all ingredients in small saucepan. Set aside

                                                                                                                                                        Meat loaf:
                                                                                                                                                        Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
                                                                                                                                                        2 teaspoons olive oil
                                                                                                                                                        1 medium onion, diced
                                                                                                                                                        3 garlic cloves, minced
                                                                                                                                                        10 oz. mushrooms, chopped fine in food processor
                                                                                                                                                        1 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                                                        1/2 teaspoon black pepper
                                                                                                                                                        1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
                                                                                                                                                        3 T. ketchup

                                                                                                                                                        Saute onion and garlic in oil in a skillet over medium heat until soft. Add mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Stir occasionally, cooking until liquid that the mushrooms give off has evaporated and they are tender (about 10 minutes).

                                                                                                                                                        Stir in Worcestershire sauce and 3 T. ketchup, then set aside (off heat) to cool.

                                                                                                                                                        about 2 1/2 lb ground turkey
                                                                                                                                                        2 c. fresh bread crumbs
                                                                                                                                                        2 large eggs

                                                                                                                                                        1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

                                                                                                                                                        1 teaspoon salt

                                                                                                                                                        1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

                                                                                                                                                        2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

                                                                                                                                                        1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce

                                                                                                                                                        1/4 cup milk
                                                                                                                                                        6 bacon slices

                                                                                                                                                        Beat eggs lightly with a fork. Add thyme, salt, pepper, mustard, pepper sauce, and milk. In a large bowl, combine egg mixture, meat, bread crumbs and cooked vegetables.

                                                                                                                                                        Put in metal loaf pan, then unmold into baking pan. Brush with half of reserved glaze, then stripe bacon slices over the loaf

                                                                                                                                                        Bake until internal temp. is 160 degrees, about 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes while you heat remaining glaze over moderate heat.

                                                                                                                                                        Serve meatloaf sliced with remaining glaze on the side.


                                                                                                                                                        This was a great meatloaf. It was very, very moist. I think the finely chopped mushrooms were an excellent addition. However, the glaze had a little too much cumin for me, so I'm going to vary the glaze recipe next time. I'd also love to try some of the other recipes (like the stuffed meatloaf) or other vegetable additions (carrot, green or red pepper, more onion, etc.).

                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Neuromancer

                                                                                                                                                          Probably a dumb question, but is the dijon mustard powerded or the liquid sort you find in a spreadable bottle?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: broncosaurus

                                                                                                                                                            This might be a dumb answer, but the original recipe didn't specify, so I used dijon mustard from the bottle. I have dry mustard powder in my spice cabinet, but it isn't dijon.

                                                                                                                                                        2. Yeah, with those extra ingredients, the full tablespoon of cumin in the glaze would be overpowering. It's just right in the original recipe, but I think you'd do well to drop it down to no more than a teaspoon if you were going to do that again.

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                                                                                                                            I'm going to change the glaze entirely, I think. I have a favorite turkey meatball recipe and think I might try that glaze.

                                                                                                                                                          2. Here's mine, adapted from a recipe from my friend Elaine about 20 years ago . . . I vary it a bit each time, but the peanut butter always stays in (personally I like crunchy, but my husband says the nuts are too out of place). Personally, I don't like tomato sauce or paste in the meatloaf, but the tomato preserves just add a bit of background flavor.

                                                                                                                                                            2 lb. very lean ground turkey, or beef, or combination
                                                                                                                                                            2 t Dijon mustard
                                                                                                                                                            2 T tomato preserves (Knott's, usually)
                                                                                                                                                            3/4 to 1 cup dry oatmeal
                                                                                                                                                            1 cup crushed cornflakes
                                                                                                                                                            1 egg
                                                                                                                                                            3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk
                                                                                                                                                            1/2 onion, grated or minced very fine
                                                                                                                                                            2 cloves garlic, minced
                                                                                                                                                            2 T snipped fresh basil, or other herbs
                                                                                                                                                            1 T peanut butter
                                                                                                                                                            salt and pepper
                                                                                                                                                            Greek seasoning

                                                                                                                                                            1. I must confess up front I am no meatloaf afficianado.
                                                                                                                                                              Yet I made the variation on marcella's meatloaf that turned out so delicious that me, the uncarnivore, was picking at it as it cooled

                                                                                                                                                              1-1/2 oz dried porcini, soaked in 2 c. warm water for ½ hr
                                                                                                                                                              3 oz fresh oyster mushrooms (I would have used ½ # shitake if they were in stock in my crummy supermarket)
                                                                                                                                                              1 c. soft fresh bread crumbs (hand-shredded insides of semi-stale tuscan bread)
                                                                                                                                                              ½ c. heavy cream
                                                                                                                                                              1 med-large onion, chopped finely
                                                                                                                                                              2 garlic cloves, minced
                                                                                                                                                              1 whole egg plus one egg yolk, lightly beaten
                                                                                                                                                              1 T worcestshire sauce
                                                                                                                                                              1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
                                                                                                                                                              1 t dried thyme
                                                                                                                                                              1 T kosher salt
                                                                                                                                                              black pepper – until my hands got too tired grinding – ideally 1 t
                                                                                                                                                              1 # local humane ground beef
                                                                                                                                                              1 # ground veal
                                                                                                                                                              1 # ground pork
                                                                                                                                                              3 slices pancetta

                                                                                                                                                              1. Remove dried mushrooms from water soak, and drain (strained in sieve w/ dampened paper towel), reserving liquid. Rinse dried mushrooms and let dry on paper towels, squeeze out moisture. Chop both fresh and reconstituted mushrooms, and set aside.
                                                                                                                                                              2. Put mushroom liquid in pot and reduce to 1/3 c. Set aside.
                                                                                                                                                              3. Soak bread crumbs in cream in bowl.
                                                                                                                                                              4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute onions in large skillet w/ a bit of olive oil until soft, about 5 mins. Add garlic and stir a lot for a minute or two. Remove and set aside in large bowl.
                                                                                                                                                              5. Add more oil, and saute all mushrooms, stirring almost constantly until liquid is released and then evaporates. Add reduced soaking liquid, and cook until evaporated. Add mushrooms to bowl of onions.
                                                                                                                                                              6. Add to bowl: eggs, worcestshire, parsley, thyme, S&P. Mix well. Add ground meats and soaked bread crumbs w/ liquid. Knead together with your hands and plop onto foil-lined baking sheet, shaping and patting down into ovalish shape. Then as you’re admiring your loaf and it starts sagging out, mush back together tucking underneath. Put pancetta on top.
                                                                                                                                                              7. Pop into oven w/ Polder thermometer stuck in center, set for 155 degrees. Plan to cook for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, but then your non-functioning thermometer (which reads 87 degrees out of the drawer in a cool kitchen) goes off after only 45 minutes. Call your sister and ask how to tell when a meatloaf is done. Press down on meatloaf after 1-1/4 hours with a fork and find that it feels firm. Remove from oven and place aluminum foil on top and let rest for 20 mins, trying not to take yet another fork taste from the side while you prepare side dishes.

                                                                                                                                                              1. My current fave is from Molto Italiano - called Polpettona Ripieno - big stuffed meatball. Anyway, the meat is patted out into a rectangle, then blanched carrots, spinach leaves, slices of prosciutto and cheese are layered on top. Then it's rolled up and baked. The meat part is a combo of ground pork and beef mixed with ground pecorino, eggs, bread crumbs and salt and freshly ground black pepper. It's heavenly AND beautiful when sliced.

                                                                                                                                                                Anybody wants more exact recipe, let me know.

                                                                                                                                                                1. Well - after reading the many votes for Paul Prudhomme's meatloaf recipe, I tried making it last night. I liked it a lot, but found it quite spicy. I admit to being somewhat of a traditionalist with meatloaf.

                                                                                                                                                                  I suspect I might have overdone the cayenne (maybe read TBSP in stead of TSP - darn it, gotta to wear those reading glasses) but not sure. Even so I am thinking I may try it again with a few modifications. I did substitute fat free evap and that was fine.
                                                                                                                                                                  I am thinking to cut back on the ketchup also, maybe decrease the hot stuff a bit, and go with finer dice (mince actually) on the green pepper, and celery.

                                                                                                                                                                  Has anyone else modified this, and how?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. I just got an e-mail from Arthur Schwartz, the Food Maven

                                                                                                                                                                    Arthur posted the recipe for Bill Blass' Meatloaf, which is reputed to be the all time best great meatloaf. Arthur got the recipe from the master himself. I ordered this at Mortimer's many times, and loved it. I am happy to share the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                    BTW, Arthur has a great website, with some of his wonderful recipes posted.


                                                                                                                                                                    Bill Blass' Meatloaf
                                                                                                                                                                    Serves 6

                                                                                                                                                                    1 egg
                                                                                                                                                                    1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
                                                                                                                                                                    4 tablespoons butter
                                                                                                                                                                    1 cup chopped celery
                                                                                                                                                                    1 cup chopped onion
                                                                                                                                                                    2 pounds ground sirloin
                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 pound ground pork
                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 pound ground veal
                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
                                                                                                                                                                    1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
                                                                                                                                                                    Salt and pepper to taste
                                                                                                                                                                    Pinch of dried thyme (I actually use ½ teaspoon
                                                                                                                                                                    )Pinch of dried marjoram (I use ½ teaspoon of this, too)
                                                                                                                                                                    1 12-ounce bottle Heinz Chili Sauce
                                                                                                                                                                    5 strips uncooked bacon

                                                                                                                                                                    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

                                                                                                                                                                    In a small bowl, beat egg, stir in Worcestershire sauce and reserve.

                                                                                                                                                                    In a large pan over low heat, melt butter and sauté celery and onions, stirring occasionally, until onions become translucent.

                                                                                                                                                                    In a large bowl, combine onion-celery mixture with sirloin, pork, veal, parsley, bread crumbs, beaten egg mixture, salt and pepper, thyme, and marjoram.

                                                                                                                                                                    On a baking sheet, form mixture into an oval loaf shape. Top with chili sauce and bacon strips.

                                                                                                                                                                    Bake 75 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                    Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

                                                                                                                                                                    Note: Some versions of the recipe also include 1/3 cup sour cream in the meat mix.

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Fleur

                                                                                                                                                                      I made the Bill Blass meatloaf tonight, and it was incredible! Since it was the first time I tried the recipe, I made it exactly as written,

                                                                                                                                                                      I have to say, it is the best Meatloaf ever. Our new favorite.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. My veal meatloaf is a recipe that I have been perfecting for a couple of years now and I have found that fresh ingredients and simplicity work best. It consists of:

                                                                                                                                                                      2lbs. lean ground veal
                                                                                                                                                                      1 medium onion, diced
                                                                                                                                                                      2 cloves garlic, minced
                                                                                                                                                                      1 package FRESH thyme, minced
                                                                                                                                                                      1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan
                                                                                                                                                                      1 cup homemade bread crumbs
                                                                                                                                                                      2 eggs
                                                                                                                                                                      salt&pepper to taste

                                                                                                                                                                      I'm sure you know how to cook a meatloaf, so no need to bore you with the details.

                                                                                                                                                                      BTW, when I reheat slices in the oven, I wrap each one with a slice of veal bacon to keep moist.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Here's a recipe from my immersion blender cookbook, YOUR KITCHEN'S MAGIC WAND. The pork really rounds out the veal nicely, and the (optional) apricot coulis is nice and pungent.

                                                                                                                                                                        Veal Meat Loaf with Dried Apricot Coulis

                                                                                                                                                                        This is another recipe that actually came to me in a dream. I woke up and scribbled in the dark what I could remember.

                                                                                                                                                                        This results in a remarkably tender loaf, and apricots and saffron go together so ironically well.

                                                                                                                                                                        2 tablespoons butter
                                                                                                                                                                        1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
                                                                                                                                                                        1 cup heavy cream
                                                                                                                                                                        3/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
                                                                                                                                                                        1 cup chicken broth, low sodium, if canned
                                                                                                                                                                        1 1/2 cups dry breadcrumbs
                                                                                                                                                                        1 1/2 lbs. ground veal
                                                                                                                                                                        1/2 lb. ground pork
                                                                                                                                                                        2 eggs
                                                                                                                                                                        2 egg yolks
                                                                                                                                                                        1/2 cup salted and roasted pistachios (optional)
                                                                                                                                                                        2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
                                                                                                                                                                        1 tablespoon capers, rinsed thoroughly
                                                                                                                                                                        Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
                                                                                                                                                                        10 dried apricots, cut into 1/4-inch pieces with oiled scissors
                                                                                                                                                                        1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
                                                                                                                                                                        1 tablespoon Cointreau
                                                                                                                                                                        1/2 cup Marsala wine
                                                                                                                                                                        1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
                                                                                                                                                                        1 teaspoon finely chopped orange zest

                                                                                                                                                                        Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion just until it begins to take on some color, 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

                                                                                                                                                                        Heat the heavy cream in a small skillet or in a glass measure in a microwave oven just until it simmers. Stir in the saffron and set aside to cool.

                                                                                                                                                                        In another small skillet, reduce the chicken broth to 1/2 cup. Set aside to cool.

                                                                                                                                                                        Combine the cooled saffron cream and the reduced broth with the breadcrumbs and set aside for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the cooled onion, the veal, pork, egg, egg yolk, optional pistachios, thyme leaves, capers, salt, pepper, and the breadcrumb mixture. Mix well with your hands. Shape the mixture into a 9” x 4” loaf on a large foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until the center of the loaf registers 160 degrees on a meat thermometer, about 1 hour.

                                                                                                                                                                        Meanwhile, make the coulis: Place the apricots in a medium saucepan with the orange juice, Cointreau, Madeira, and 1/2 cup of filtered water. Bring just to a boil, simmer for 15 minutes, or until the dried apricot bits are flabby-tender, then set aside to cool. When the mixture has cooled, add the ginger and orange zest, tilt the saucepan, and puree the mixture until smooth with an immersion blender. Taste carefully and add water if you think it’s needed.

                                                                                                                                                                        When the meatloaf is done, be sure to let it rest for 10 minutes to let it firm up, then carve it into attractive slices. Drizzle the coulis around the slices and serve.

                                                                                                                                                                        Yield: 6 servings

                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. My ex-gf made meatloaf with frosted flakes. I was initially skeptical, but it was delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                          17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: azhotdish

                                                                                                                                                                            Frosted Flakes? Now that is one recipe I'd like to see in some detail...

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: broncosaurus

                                                                                                                                                                              Let me try to get it for you...may take a couple days (as I said, ex-girlfriend).

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: azhotdish

                                                                                                                                                                              oh that's hysterical. not because of the sound of it but because I've been given the recipe before, years ago. I was working with a man of size, and he is the cook in his family. he is young and when I asked him if he had kids, he said no because he wife is too large to have children. I am not saying this to be offensive at all, it's the truth of our conversation. when he gave me his famous meatloaf recipe and I read it and twitched with the inclusion of frosted flakes, I more understood his pre-comments. {?} Oh and I never made that recipe, but would I supose, Im up for anything.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: azhotdish

                                                                                                                                                                                Crushed frosted flakes make a nice coating for fried foods too.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm sure it would be a fun change for something that is maybe a sweet and needs a crust, like um, a deep fried snickers bar :)

                                                                                                                                                                                  More that I think about it though, frosted flakes in meatloaf, ummmmm, not so sure...

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                    No, I wouldn't use in meatloaf either, but regular corn flakes might be GRRRRRReat! The frosted crumbs are good where you would use coconut breading. Personally I like my newest rendition with the oatmeal and Ritz.

                                                                                                                                                                                    PS I just realized you started this quest almost 2 years ago! You should write a book!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh Coll, how kind of you. It's just that it's really hard to find a perfect meatloaf and many I've tried fall short or flat. But conversely, many I've tried are sooooo good that my husband promises to stay married to me :).
                                                                                                                                                                                      Also, I'm not alone in trying to locate the perfect meatloaf as you see by how many are also searching. With the ones I've posted that I gave good reviews on, they are magnifico, while others are poo poo, so to speak. Tonight, I'm going to do Scouties and see how that one fairs. Should be interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                      And about the book, I am writing one but it's about blessings in my life, not cooking, which by the way, is one of my biggest blessings on earth, it's a true passion.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I agree with you about the regular corn flakes, they'd be good, and the frosted ones, I'm thinking as a dredge on prawns instead of the coconut, yumm, thanks ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                        I know what you mean, I thought I had it down finally, but now I'll have to try adding a spoonful of horseradish next time. Getting close, just tweaking at this point!
                                                                                                                                                                                        The most perfect meatloaf I ever had was my room mates Mom's meatloaf that he would bring back from Philadelphia. I used to eat most of it upon arrival (which I think annoyed him) and it had the most perfect texture. What I remember is she always cooked it in a metallic loaf liner, I guess for transportation issues, but I never spoke to her so who knows what ingredients went in the loaf itself. I was only 18 so had other things on my mind! Wish I could go back in time.

                                                                                                                                                                                        When I first met my husband, one of the first things I made him was a meatloaf, and I was so careful about removing all the fat while it baked that the whole bottom half burned. But since he was in the polite stage, he wanted to eat it anyway. Well when he cut into it and saw hard boiled eggs embedded inside, he lost his appetite. Meanwhile I couldn't believe anyone would make it without. Anyway I didn't try again until 30 years later, which is a few years ago, and I think I'm getting somewhere finally. He definitely eats it up now.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Wow I just had a flash, I think my Mom used to put Campbells tomato soup in hers instead of ketchup, I'll have to ask her later.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                          No she said no Campbells soup, it had ketchup. It was my father's mother's recipe, which she said she has somewhere, but she always swears that my grandmother was the type to leave out the one most important ingredient....since it never tasted like hers. But there could be other reasons, knowing Mom.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                            How funny! My mom's has Campbell's soup AND ketchup! =) I'll have to go grab it out of the kitchen and post it.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MrsJTW

                                                                                                                                                                                              That'd be great, because I asked Mom and she doesn't remember Campbells being in it. She doesn't remember a lot of things lately though.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                Mom's Meatloaf (Sue)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1 1/2 lbs ground round or ground chuck
                                                                                                                                                                                                1 egg
                                                                                                                                                                                                1 can tomato soup or mushroom soup (great either way!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                1 onion, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                garlic powder or fresh garlic, to your liking
                                                                                                                                                                                                1 1/2 cups oatmeal (sprinkle in more if needed)
                                                                                                                                                                                                black pepper (doesn't call for it, but think that was always a given in our home)

                                                                                                                                                                                                Combine meat, egg, soup, onion, garlic and pepper in large bowl. Gradually mix in oatmeal with wooden spoon or using hands. It will turn into a large ball. If it does NOT, add more oatmeal, a little at a time until it all sticks together nicely. Spread into a pan. (We always used an 8" metal square pan or a round one, but any pan you like will do.) Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Last 15 minutes spread ketchup on top. It's really good with garlic mashed potatoes on the side! Hope you enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MrsJTW

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I will definitely try incorporating one of the soups into my next 'loaf, I do use both for a couple of things and always keep a few cans on hand. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, I always have it on hand, too. I learned well from my grandma that I lived with. That's when I really started cooking and baking by myself. I was bored the first summer I lived there when I was 12 and I would stay up all night going through her cookbooks. I would cook a bunch of stuff and leave it for her and my dad to eat when they got up in the morning. I swear, just about any ingredient you needed, it was in her pantry! =) I guess I hoard canned goods and toilet paper, etc. because it's a security thing for me. When I see a good deal on soup, etc. and have coupons, I buy it. Plus I just have to have tomato soup when I am sick.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                      my sister makes an "oven-fried" fish with corn flakes -- but not frosted.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I adapted this from Alton Browns meatloaf recipe. Mine uses ground beef and Jimmy Dean Pork sausage. Ground turkey can be substituted for ground beef.
                                                                                                                                                                                    For the record, this is my recipe adaptation and in my own words.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Beef and Pork Sausage Meat Loaf

                                                                                                                                                                                    CRUMB MIXTURE:
                                                                                                                                                                                    6 ounces Milton's Garlic & Herb Crackers or garlic flavored croûtons
                                                                                                                                                                                    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                    1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
                                                                                                                                                                                    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                    1 teaspoon chili powder

                                                                                                                                                                                    VEGETABLE MIXTURE:
                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                    1 carrot, peeled and broken up
                                                                                                                                                                                    3 whole cloves peeled garlic
                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 bell pepper, seeded

                                                                                                                                                                                    MEAT MIXTURE:
                                                                                                                                                                                    1 lb. ground beef
                                                                                                                                                                                    1 lb. package of Jimmy Dean - Sage Pork Breakfast Sausage

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 egg
                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Tbs cream or milk

                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce

                                                                                                                                                                                    Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

                                                                                                                                                                                    In a food processor, combine crackers, black pepper, salt,
                                                                                                                                                                                    cayenne pepper and chili powder. Pulse until the mixture is
                                                                                                                                                                                    fine crumbs. Place this CRUMB MIXTURE into a large bowl.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Combine the onion, carrot, garlic, and bell pepper in a food processor.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Pulse until the VEGETABLE MIXTURE is finely chopped, but not pureed.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Combine ground beef with pork sausage in a bowl and mix well.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Add the VEGETABLE MIXTURE and MEAT MIXTURE to the CRUMB MIXTURE. Mix well.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Add the egg and cream and mix thoroughly, but avoid squeezing the meat.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Place the meatloaf mixture into a 2-piece meat loaf pan and press down to evenly fill pan.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Coat top of meat loaf with 1/2 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Bake 60 minutes at 350 F, or until center, internal temperature reaches 165 F.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. If you want a spectacular presentation you can put your meatloaf on serving platter and frost it with whipped mashed potatoes. Your guests won't know if it's dessert or what?
                                                                                                                                                                                      You can add some vegetable all around it.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. The recipe I loosely follow is from a church fundraising cookbook I worked on in high school, from the mother of a friend. It calls for soft wheat bread crumbs, egg, and sour cream, and I believe thyme. I make it with ground bison and ground pork (it calls for the usual beef, pork, and veal). My grocery store doesn't keep ground pork in the case, so my proportions usually vary as I buy the smallest amount of packaged ground pork available. I put lots of veggies (onion and celery) and breadcrumbs in mine, so it's not heavy. I don't use a loaf pan ... I shape it by hand into an oval and cover the entire surface with bacon strips. The glaze is chili sauce, dry mustard, and brown sugar (heavenly). I'd be happy to dig up the recipe if anyone wants it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Now you guys have really put me in the mood for meatloaf. Btw, I call this "Not Your Mother's Meatloaf."

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Okay, it's done, I did it. I made the meatloaf that is stuffed with shrooms and sour cream/onion stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Gosh it's been a month since I made it and so sorry for reporting this so late.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Bottom line, as per the husband, best by far, meatloaf I have ever made just plain period, gad it was sooooooooooooooo good. I tweaked the recipe a bit to make it my own, changed the glaze a bit and added 2 ounces of deli sandwich turkey meat to it too. The results, rediculous, so stupid good.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Wanted to thank whoever it was that posted it to begin with. Superb!
                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, fyi, I had some of the stuffing left, so I steamed some fresh green beans and added the sauce to that. Soooo good.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Next one on my list from here to make, TAKE NO PRISONERS MEATLOAF, after that, it'll be Paul Prudhommes out of his cookbook.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                            I decied to go with Prudhomme's recipe at the top of this thread. OMG, I was never a fan of meatloaf until I made this. Outstanding.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I'm very tempted by the Paul Prudhomme meatloaf. I'm wondering though, what is the flavor difference between white and black pepper? I only have black. Do I need to get some white pepper before I make this?

                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rmperry

                                                                                                                                                                                              I have been meatloaf challenged for some time now until this thread guided me to Paul Prudhomme's recipe. It deserves all the praise it gets and I am meatloaf challenged no longer! However, recently a new recipe using bison crossed my radar screen and I just had to try it. I still love Prudhomme's, but this comes together much easier and the flavors are outstanding. Use fresh herbs because it really does make a difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                              The link I'm posting is for a complete meal with the meatloaf, roasted potatoes and sauteed spinach.


                                                                                                                                                                                            2. here is another cajun meatloaf variation, with great detailed step by step photos: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/20...

                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                that looks mouth-watering - gonna make it tomorrow night - I LOVE that website.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                                                                                                  isn't she the greatest?!! food, humor, photography, photog lessons, the great west, animals, family, love!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  chowhound should do an award each year for the best all-round food blog. i rise to the floor and hereby nominate mrs. ree drummond, pioneer woman!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                                                                                                      bayoucook, i did start the thread for the "golden chowhound award," so.... checky checky.... http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6312...

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I'm not in search of the best meatloaf, but I am in search of the best one without ketchup/catsup/tomato byproducts. Don't give me wrong, I love tomatoes, I just don't like tomato based meatloaf (I think I ODed on ketchup as a kid, I don't really like it anymore). Is what I'm asking for still meatloaf? Probably not, I'd wager.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I've tried the mustard dill loaf and the butter schnitzel from Epicurious. Both were good, but didn't have very complex flavor. Any other recommendations?

                                                                                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: blkery

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I can't see why you couldn't make a typical meatloaf but just omit the ketchup. Use another liquid to get the same moisture you need to hold it together. I'm going to look in my cookbooks to see what I can find. 12 of them are on my table waiting to be looked through. Then I post if I find what I'm thinking of. While I'm thinking of it, not sure of the name but Dawn mushroom mix comes to mind. Its a yellow can of mushroom and gravy mixture that you could substitute. I'll check further for you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: blkery

                                                                                                                                                                                                    ok blkery here you go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    also I've found a few and guess I'll type them out for you here.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    if it's not ok to reference the original cookbook or credit it, please CHOW mod fix it for me to make it legal. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    From the Best Recipes from American Kitchens
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Anne London 1988
                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Master Meat Loaf"
                                                                                                                                                                                                    page 582

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 lb g beef
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 lb g pork
                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 beaten eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                    2/3 cup soft bread crumbs
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 cup milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/4 cup minced onions
                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 tsp salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/8 tsp pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                                    12 tsp sage
                                                                                                                                                                                                    combine all ingredients and pack lightly into meat loaf pan. Bake 350 1 hr.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    This one is from a guy I work with on occasion. It's his recipe as told to me in haste and sounded very weird but hey, he says it's the best.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Frosted flake cereal Meatloaf"

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mix 2 eggs with a cup of milk pepper salt onion powder garlic powder, 1/2 TB worchester sauce 1/4 small onion minced, tsp maple syrup. Set aside. Crush 2 12 cups of frosted flake cereal in a zip bag using a rolling pin.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Put the crumbs in bowl with 1 lb g beef and 1/2 lb g pork, mix. Now add the liquid and mix well just to combine, don't overmix.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Put in a buttered loaf pan bake 350 1 hr. Let rest before slicing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I know it does sound odd but it works according to him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Here is one from The Redbook Cookbook
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1960 original date page 308
                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Our Best Meat Loaf"

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 c fine soft bread crumbs made from enriched or whole grain bread
                                                                                                                                                                                                    2/3 c finely chopped peeled onion
                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 tsp salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/4 tsp pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/3 c milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 lb g beef chuck
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 lb g lean pork
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 lb g veal
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Heat oven to 350.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Crumbs onions salt pepper milk in bowl, combine using rubber spat.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Add eggs combine.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Break 1/4 pieces of the meats and scatter over the crumb mix. Using big fork or hands, gently mix until thoroughly mixed in and repeat with remaining meat until blended. Place meat in loaf pan and with hands pack firmly forming a rounded top. 1 hr to 1 hr 20 min
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pour off excess fat and let stand 10 min for ease in slicing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've made the Collucci Bros meatloaf recipe twice now. It's from Throwdown with Bobby Flay his meatloaf show.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      All I can say is I'm not surprised it won. its wonderful. my husband gets real sad when it's all eaten up.You can get that recipe by google and typing in Colucci Bros
                                                                                                                                                                                                      meatloaf recipe. I ground up the 3 vegs in food processor cause husband doesn't want to know there's carrots in there, just my FYI

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Do you have a link to the Collucci Bros meatloaf recipe? Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Not using my iPhone:( unfortunately, I don't know how to do much of anything on it. I will try now for you tho and if I find and can copy I'll post it for you.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          I googled it and put in Collucci Bros meatloaf recipe and it pops up. Also it's on tvfoodnetwork.com under throwdown Bobby Flay Meatloaf :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: blkery

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I often prefer my meatloaf with a brown gravy - so yes it's still meatloaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: blkery

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mine has no tomato in it, only in the glaze. I think tomato sauce makes the finished product look really odd ... well done meat should not have a pinkish tinge!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. The meat loaf from Leonard Schwartz (72 Market Street, Maple Drive & Zeke's BBQ restaurants) is outstanding and it became the most popular dish on his menus. It isn't the only one I ever make but it definitely deserves a place on the very short list of best meat loaf recipes. You can find it here:


                                                                                                                                                                                                        One caveat: DON'T use sausage. The original recipe called for 1/2 lb of lean ground pork, NOT sausage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Sam D.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks Sam, this is next one I'm going to try and will post results.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Last one I made off of here was only good, for sure NOT great, too dry :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. There are so many right answers to this one, I am sure, but I just had to add my hands-down fave for a classic meatloaf: Marion Cunningham's "American Meatloaf" from "The Supper Book." it is cooked freeform in a baking dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oven 350
                                                                                                                                                                                                          finely chop the following and sautee in 2 Tbs butter over medium heat until soft:
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 large onion
                                                                                                                                                                                                          2-3 med. carrots
                                                                                                                                                                                                          2-3 stalks celery
                                                                                                                                                                                                          In a large (very large) bowl, combine:
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1/2 lb ground pork
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 lb ground beef
                                                                                                                                                                                                          the sauteed veggies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 cloves minced garlic (I increase this amount a bit)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 tsp. salt or to taste
                                                                                                                                                                                                          black pepper to taste
                                                                                                                                                                                                          3/4 tsp. nutmeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1/8 tsp. cayenne
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1/4 cup ketchup
                                                                                                                                                                                                          2/3 cup water
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thoroughly combine the above with your hands and pat into shape in a baking pan. Don't press together too firmly--use a light touch and it will be tender. Bake 45-50 mins in 350 degree oven. Good when baked with potatoes and onions, carrots, or any other such winter veggie. Makes fabulous sandwiches the next day. Meatloaf sandwiches are my fave! This makes a TON of meatloaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I've never once used a recipe for meatloaf, but the real key is to use a TON of chopped vegetables in it, roasted if possible. There's absolutely no need for lots of fat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I always keep extra ratatouille for meatloaf. It makes the leanest meat moist and flavorful. In fact, I've made delicious renditions with ground turkey breast and bison -- and they're so low in fat and carbohydrates (no bread or cereal fillers) that they'd qualify for Adkins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Make your mix saucier than you think it needs to be, and lean heavy on the stewed/braised tomato and onion. And most of all, don't overthink it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: dmd_kc

                                                                                                                                                                                                              "And most of all, don't overthink it."
                                                                                                                                                                                                              amen to that...and don't overWORK it either!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: dmd_kc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                i love the idea of ratatouille leftovers to blend in to the mix. alton brown suggested grated carrots for meat loaf -- and he shapes it on the pan, rather than using a meat loaf pan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I like it either way, loaf pan or free form. This time, just because I made enough for two loaves [on purpose] I used a Le Creuset 8" round and free formed it in that. The ratatouille is smart, again, it's about the moisture content that it lends

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Now I am going to have to try the Paul Prudhomme one as well as the 72 Market Street one but thus far, this has become our standard:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Michael Chiarello’s Italian Meatloaf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 red pepper, seeded, small diced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 onion, diced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                6 teaspoons (about 9 cloves) chopped garlic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 pound ground beef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 pound ground pork
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 pound ground veal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                5-6 eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 1/4 cups bread crumbs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 ½ cups grated Parmesan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                6 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 – 3 teaspoons salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 ½ - 3 cups marinara sauce

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the peppers, onions and garlic. Sauté until just soft, remove to a plate and cool.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                When the peppers and onions are cool, combine all of the remaining ingredients together except for the marinara. Add more breadcrumbs if necessary. Pack the meat mixture into an oiled loaf pan or two, depending on the size of your loaf pan. If you do not have a loaf pan, form the meat mixture into a loaf shape on an oiled oven tray or baking dish. Top with the marinara making sure to spread evenly over the top.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bake for approximately 70-90 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees F in the middle of the meatloaf. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Great with pesto mashed potatoes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Serves 6-8

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jawinfree

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That looks like a winner. I love MC and all his things grab me when I watch his show.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I like the sound of the ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, make PP's. His is masterful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. My best ever meatloaf used leftovers. I had some leftover pot roast and I whizzed up the carrots, onions, potatoes, and beef in the food processor until mushy but still a little chunky and added that as my "other" meat to my ground beef. It had the best flavor ever!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: dartwalker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    sometimes the best dinners are out of things found.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    leftovers are something I love to try and use up in ways not
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    example, I've used the filling from stuffed peppers [my kids won't eat 'em by the way]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    in tacos and in chili. they ate that up, so you just never know what'll work

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ha ha! taquitos can solve a number of problems! ;-)).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh yea, surprise taquito's at that (what "is" that filling) :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          someone wrote that the chinese buffet where they worked would grind up all the leftovers (from the buffet line) to make filling for their "canton dumplings" or some such thing, served the next day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          yeah, what IS that filling?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. although I told my husband to expect chicken pot pies tonight for dinner, individual ones using puff pastry on top like NL makes, I made the mistake of reading a new [to me] cookbook while under the dryer at the salon. big mistake for poor husband who probably has his mouth all ready for the CPP.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    the cookbook, is an old one I just got via a friend in Vancouver BC. how it ended up there I have no clue and don't care, it's now mine. :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    this is what's for dinner tonight:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "The California Farm Cookbook"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Donna Mae's Meatloaf"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    page 179
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ingredients only, as you all know how to make meatloaf:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    chili sauce/regular or quick oats/egg whites/onion flakes/salt and pepper/ground beef/ground turkey.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    it sounds good and straight forward to me and minimal ingreds too, which I like the sound of. hope it works

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I made meatloaf last night and by coincidence saw this thread today. My recipe goes in a different seasoning direction to M. Prudhomme with the use of fines herbes, oregano, bitters (Angostura or Italian), ground toasted fennel and a curry ingredient or two. Last night it was cardamon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I use dried very fine breadcrumbs. They absorb the juices from the meat and the finer particle size seems to help the meat bind. I also cook it low and slow at an internal temperature of 160 before transferring it to a hot oven to glaze it and stop it looking so anaemic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nuts make an interesting addition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. going through a lady's magazines the other day, it was BH&G and had a multitude of meatloaf recipes so of course, I couldn't resist reading the ingredients.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I took a photo of the pages instead of ripping them from her mag and gazed at them later.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I made one a few nights ago but only as best as I could read from the page that was soooo blurred. It seemed like a Greek or Mediterranean recipe with inclusions of::
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        feta cheese/oregano both dried and fresh/fresh mint leaves/greek yogurt/fennel seeds etc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Really really good, but I'm sure I didn't make it as according to directions because hard as I tried I really could only barely read it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Last time I made meatloaf, I had maybe a quarter cup of ricotta that I wanted to get rid of and for some reason threw it in the mix. I have now finally acheived my own personal meatloaf nirvana, it made the texture exactly what I was dreaming of. Never would have thought of cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            and that's what I thought too. the Greek yogurt in there intrigued me and although I had to go to Trader Joe's to get it, it's only down the street. I had the feta and all else, & thought what the heck. Also combined [in this one] ground turkey and ground chuck because I didn't have enough of either and it called for ground chuck and ground sirloin. My bread of choice was sourdough as that's what I had for the binder instead of the white fresh they called for. Yes, it made a lovely texture certainly and since I love the freshness of the yard herbs I grow, that really helped make it special and fun cause I actually had 'em on hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Anyone else grow shallots in their yard? I buy them at the market and stick 'em in under the roses. Love being able to yank 'em as needed. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I ended up with 6 bunches of scallions once, and stuck most of them in a big pot on the porch. They came up the next few years in a row. So instead of freezing leftover root vegetables, let just stick them in some dirt. Be fruitful and multiply!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                AMEM! I did that with a batch of radishes that were headed south, I'm waiting waiting waiting in hopes I'll get wonderful radishes.........................
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Gen 1:28

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Meatloaf is one of those things that you can have fun with. I would rather have guidelines than a strict recipe. There is nothing fancy or cast in stone about meatloaf.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Here are some general rules:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          use 2-3 different types of ground meat. the classic is ground chuck, ground pork and ground veal. Its hard to find veal nowadays. I usually use ground sirloin instead. Some people just use 2 meats. I have heard of people using ground turkey instead of veal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Saute your veggies. The meatloaf doesn't get hot enough long enough to get the veggies soft. I saute some chopped onions, garlic and chopped red bell pepper. Red is much sweeter than green. Once they are cool, just toss em in. carrots and or celery would work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Add bread crumbs or cracker crumbs or 2-3 slices of bread chopped up. I usually use about 1 1/4 cups in a 3 pound loaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Add some dairy like milk, evaporated milk, buttermilk gives a nice tang, or yogurt does the same. Maybe some sour cream. I go by feel on this one. I add it last and add what i need to make it wet but holds together enough to pull away from the sides of the bowl and not stick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I add some ketchup and some worchestershire sauce. go light on the worchestershire.it is a strong flavor and there will be more in the glaze.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Add whatever herbs and spices turn you on. Thyme, italian herbs...whatever. I would check a few of the recipes on the web and get a general idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have grated a small potato into a meat loaf before. It adds flavor and moisture. It is a little strange to find a little string of potato but you will get used to it. This is optional.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I use 2 eggs to bind the meatloaf because I make a big loaf...3 pounds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I form a loaf with my hands rather than use a pan because I don't want a gray meatloaf. I put a glaze of ketchup, worchestershire and chili powder and put it on at the beginning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I use a jelly roll pan with a drip rack. I wrap the drip rack with aluminum foil then poke holes in the top layer of foil but not the bottom layer. Excess grease drains into the holes and is trapped by the lower layer of foil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Bake at 350 degrees for 90 minutes or use a digital thermometer and set it for 150 - 155 degrees then take loaf out to rest for 10 minutes. Keep it loosely covered with foil while it rests.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't use bacon but if you want use bacon and then remove it for the last half hour and then glaze the loaf or turn the heat up a little the last half hour if you are going to leave the bacon on so it crisps and then don't use a glaze.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          With these guidelines, you will have a moist, flavorful meatloaf. There are endless combinations so experiment until you find the one you like the best or make a different one every time and keep your family guessing. The worse thing that is going to happen is you aren't going to like it near as much as the last one....so what??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tonka11_99

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            these are all good tips.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            tips to go by if not sure what goes in.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I did a meatloaf a month ago at our kids house.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            the little ones don't care for meatloaf but I made it anyway and hoped.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            not typical, ground beef and ground pork, fine polenta meal, basil pesto from the yard that I'd made, parsley, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, egg and a crumbed slice of garllic bread from the night before dried out and a dab of sour cream. draped bacon slices over it and free form baked it. the kids all ate it, and liked it, we were all surprised.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i'm imagining il divo made a loaf shaped with hands and not in a loaf pan....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ah, thanks. I've only ever done the former so the term didn't mean anything to me. I like the crunchies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yep I did... sorry for not answering sooner didn't see the post until midnight Christmas Eve.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No loaf pan. Formed on cookie sheet like football shape without pointed ends.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Well, my family just finished dinner. Food Network chef/host Marcela Valladolid's Mexican Meatloaf. If you like a bit of spice, you should give it a try. Really flavorful and moist.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I mostly followed the recipe as written, but with a couple of changes. I'm not a fan of really sweet savory dishes, so I cut the brown sugar in the salsa/glaze down to a little less than half of the 1/4 cup called for. I also cooked the glaze on the meatloaf for about twenty minutes rather than spooning it on after as a salsa. I used some leftover canned tomatoes instead of fresh, since tomatoes are out of season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'd definitely make these changes again. The glaze on top really complemented the meatiness of the loaf. I'll be making this often since we all loved it.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bear

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That goes on the list for next week. Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hope you enjoy it. I doubled the recipe, and the leftovers reheated well. It made a tasty cold meatloaf sandwich, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I made the bacon-wrapped bison and blue cheese meatloaf a few weeks ago (the one on the cover of a recent Fine Cooking). It was the best meatloaf I've ever had or made. I think I'll make it for the BF's birthday next month, placing a few candles on top.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nofunlatte

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Listen nofunlatte *}

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I REALLY didn't need another recipe (to delve over making) of yet another meatloaf. But I CAN'T resist the recipe for this. We are meatloaf lovers. I've tried so many of these on this thread just because I knew there'd be so many ways of creating this comfort food my husband adores as do I.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thank you for posting this. ;-}

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bleu cheese=yum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bison=uh, I'm willing to try it and there's a farm to market right over my hill plus our local winery sells it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Buffalo wing flavor=yum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think you hit a winner.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Saturday night seems the perfect time for a bacon bleu cheese buffalo meatloaf, thanks again

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sorry :) My suggestion would be to up the blue cheese a bit--I used the 1/4 cup, but next time I'll add another 2 Tablespoons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. The current favorite meatloaf in my household is Ming Tsai's Asian Meatloaf:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Meatloaf: http://www.ming.com/foodandwine/recip...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Spiced Panko: http://ming.com/foodandwine/recipes/s...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't bother with a loaf pan and just free-form it on a foil-lined sheet pan (next time I may try a rack in a sheet pan) and even with only two of us eating this large loaf, it barely gives us any leftovers. I love the flavor of the sambal in this recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am going to have to try the PP recipe - too many raves to ignore it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Elysabethe


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've heard the word before and read recipes just now on how to make it, but, I know I won't make it so where does one buy such a thing as sambal?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sambal Oelek is an Asian Chili Paste/HotSauce that can be found in the Asian Food section in most supermarkets:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Norm Man

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sure appreciate you posting that for me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Maybe I can find it in an Asian market in Philly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I can't imagine any chain grocery store in this country not carrying it. You won't have trouble finding it. I'm not an experienced Asian food cook and I've been using it for probably 30 years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I recently bought it from Amazon.com, along with curry and lime leaves, tamarind paste and other assorted delicacies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sambal Oelek is Very Easy to make...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          (200 grams is a little less than 8 oz.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: Elysabethe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That IS a big loaf! And it sounds terrific; like the sambal/panko riff. I've never used a loaf pan. I like the little crunchies around the edges.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Assembled my first meatloaf this morning. Directed my husband to bake it tonight for dinner. I am working late. Actually, this is my second one. I made my first one years ago and baked it in a loaf pan. It was sweimming in fat and I was completely off put. I did a free form one today. I am hoping it looks more appetizing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: lilmomma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Paula Deen made a meatloaf on her show that I watched years ago.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              She put bread slices on the bottom of loaf pan then put the meat mix on top and patted.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Guess it was supposed to sop up the grease. If memory serves me she
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              likes to eat the bread on the bottom. How could that be right \@^@/
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              anyway I tried it and meatloaf still contained a lot of grease. Maybe free form (for that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              reason alone) is best. How about on a broiler pan so it goes through holes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i did the Prudhomme one free-form on foiled baking sheet and grease was not an issue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's always been my experience. When it has the "space to spread out" it doesn't accummulate all around the meat. Doesn't need to drain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: lilmomma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think it depends on the quality of the ground meat. The market I buy the ground chuck from has just enough fat, not too much. II also prefer the free form one that gets well browned all over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Agreed. I recently made a Mexican meatloaf with chorizo and very lean ground beef, cooked in a loaf pan. There was surprisingly little fat, although I had expected it to be swimming.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: bear

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Plus two. The Mexican chorizo I buy is so lean, I have to add a little lard to the skillet when browning it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. meatloaf for dinner tonight.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              using the au jus from last nights' dinner to moisten the panko in the mixture.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              those flavors were from: ginger, garlic, soy, seasoning, blackberry syrup, rice vinegar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I've made Prudhomme's meatloaf a couple dozen times, always with tremendous success. Family and friends always ask when I'm making it next. If you stick to the recipe, and all of the ingredients and steps, it will be simply amazing. I skipped the pork once, opting for ground chicken, and it was nowhere near as good. I like it with the very hot cajun sauce for beef, but it's too hot for most. By the way... I hate meatloaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Lasrocas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh yes. Totally agree. Add me to the masses who adore this recipe. It is probably not the formula to use if you prefer traditional meatloaf or don't like spicy food. Prudhomme recipes in general are very delicately balanced, so I don't have the guts to change anything - I do exactly as he says. But if you want to tone down the spice, mix up the whole spice mixture as directed and then just use less - otherwise the balance will be off. Also agree that the very hot cajun sauce for beef is great. DH hates meatloaf (or so he said) but he devours Prudhomme's and dumps the cajun sauce for beef all over it. BTW, this meatloaf recipe makes KILLER cold meatloaf sandwiches the next day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I do not have a recipe with amounts I do the following:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In a small bowl, put two slices of white bread cubes, crust removed, diced small, add 1 egg, 3-4 tablepoons of ketchup, 1/8 cup of milk. Let sit for 30 minutes until it all becomes a sludgey mess. Add this to 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef which has 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning, 1 teaspoon of Hungarian paprika, form into a loaf. (Do not overmanipulate or over compact the meat as it will get tough.) Put sliced onions on the top of the meatloaf, into the oven at 350 lower rack cook 1.5 to 2 hours watching to make sure that it does not burn. My family and friends love my meatloaf, but self praise is no recommendation, so you'll have to try it to see. Why was yours a total bust?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I must have been watching tv 417 days ago because I typed this out but without details. why I'd even consider this I don't know as it doesn't appear very appealing looking at the ingredients now but still, can you tell by this what part of the recipe is missing. this is exactly how I typed it out on my phone. it's all I wrote. any clue what to do with any of this?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "pasta meatball meatloaf"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 c dry penne
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 long rolls
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 med onion
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 c yellow or orange bell peppers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 garlic cloves
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 T olive oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3/4 c milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2/3 c bread crumbs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 t Italian seasoning
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 1/4 lb gr beef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/4 c parm cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    garlic butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 jar prego

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      How did we get from the search for "...the Best darn Meatloaf EVER - PERIOD..." to THIS?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Joebob

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the word on my phone included meatloaf, sorry if I messed things up for you Joe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Don't mind me, but that recipe messed up the word "meatloaf"!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Joebob

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            do you ever copy a recipe and later wonder why? who knows where I was or why I'd care about this but maybe I was simply hungry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Looks pretty close to this. Can't say I'd want to go for it though, despite being a carb addict.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bear

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          thank you bear, that's the one. I hadn't finished reading it just copied until I got called away.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          had I known what it really is (a sandwich) I'd have not bothered any further. I am a spaghetti freak so anything remotely tied in catches my eye.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Altho this post is more than 6 years old, I thought that I'd mention this book, "The Great American Meatloaf Contest Cookbook" by Kaufman and Woods, published in 1994, Hearst Books in hardcover. It has 287 pages of recipes, side dishes excluded.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Buon appetito e mangia bene!