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Need a great meatloaf recipe

Anyone got one? thanks!

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  1. Here's my favorite:


    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

    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.

    ...and a close relative:

    Last Night's Three-Pound Meatloaf

    1 lb each of ground beef, pork and lamb
    2 med. yellow onions, chopped fine
    2 stalks of celery, chopped fine
    2 lg/x-lg eggs
    1/4 to 1/3 cup catsup
    1 Tbs Tabasco
    1 1/2 cup crumbs (cracker, bread, panko, whatever)

    2 Tbs salt
    1 Tbs dried herb(s) of choice - I used Herbes de Provence
    lots of freshly-ground pepper

    Mix meats, onions, celery and seasonings thoroughly with hands or fork. Beat in eggs, catsup and Tabasco, then add crumbs and mix until it's pretty much an undifferentiated mass. It should hold whatever shape you mold it into - if it's too goopy for that still, mix in more crumbs a small handful at a time.

    Press into a 2-quart loaf pan, preferably glass, and let it sit, covered while the oven preheats to 350º.When the oven is hot, set the pan on a center shelf, with a small baking sheet under it on a lower shelf to catch any drips. After the first half-hour, check every so often to see if there's excess liquid; suck this out with a bulb baster. Bake abt. 1 1/2 hr, or until internal temperature is 150º. Let sit 1/2 hr before removing and slicing.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Will Owen

      love the recipe with the ground lamb. Wth fall just around the corner, this will be put on my rotations! Thanks

      1. re: Will Owen

        Campbell's golden mushroom soup mixed with pan juices makes a nice gravy for meatloaf, especially if there is lamb in it.

        1. re: Will Owen

          Wow, that "last night" meatloaf looks wonderful. I usually do 1 1/2 lbs beef and 3/4 lb Italian sausage, more or less. I never put catsup in mine, because I worry that it will be too sweet. I put in a couple eggs, bread crumbs, Worcestershire, minced onion, s & p, a dash of thyme and oregano. It comes out the way I like it!

          1. One of my faves, it has ham and cheese in it:


            1 lb. ground beef
            1/2 lb. ground veal
            1/2 lb. ground pork
            2 eggs, lightly beaten
            3/4 cup bread crumbs (panko crumbs are okay too)
            1 cup spaghetti sauce or homemade marinara, divided in half
            1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
            2 garlic cloves, minced
            1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
            1/4 teaspoon salt
            1/4 teaspoon pepper
            16 slices mozzarella cheese, sliced thin, divided
            4 ounces baked ham or prosciutto, sliced thin


            1. In a large bowl, combine meat, eggs, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup of the sauce, parsley, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.
            2. On a piece of plastic wrap (at least a few inches longer than meat mixture), pat the mixture into a 12 x 10 inch rectangle.
            3. Layer six cheese slices, ham, and six more cheese slices on top of the meat.
            4. Roll up jelly roll-style, starting with a short side. Remove plastic wrap and seal seam and ends. Place seam side down in a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Cover with remaining half cup sauce.
            5. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 60 to 90 minutes or until cooked through. Top with remaining cheese slices and bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

            5 Replies
            1. re: TrishUntrapped

              Ohmagawd, this is exactly what I was going to post. The only difference is we call it Sicillian Meat Roll. This is my favorite meatloaf and really, the only one I care to eat. It reminds me of meatballs.

              Just curious, where did u get the recipe, Trish? I found it years ago in the Pennsylvania Grange.


              1. re: lynnlato


                In the early 1990's I was the editor of a cookbook for my church here in Connecticut. One of the recipes submitted by a member was this meatloaf one and it is one I have made for my family lo these many years.

                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                  That's too funny. I thought I was alone in my meat roll world. Glad to know I have company. ;-)

              2. re: TrishUntrapped

                I made one of these (Italian Pinwheel) last night and thought it was excellent. I used panko italian style crumbs and they worked really well. Next time, I might just use Penzey's garlic powder and leave out the fresh. Thanks for the recipe.

                1. re: grampart


                  Glad you enjoyed the recipe. I vary it all the time myself depending on what I have on hand. Ahhh the beauty of meatloaf.

              3. I've liked Ina Garten's turkey meatloaf recipe. You can find it on the Food Network site.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Miss Needle

                  I completely agree. My husband Loves Ina's meatloaf and swears we never need to buy ground beef again! It's wonderful!

                  1. I think you ought to try Gio's Bison-Chipotle Meatloaf, link below...we recently did try it and it is just awesome--you should be able to find ground bison in your supermarket, ours sells "Maverick" brand for about $5.99 per pound, much healthier than ground beef:


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Val

                      Thanks for that Val!! Lately I've been drizzling some ketchup amped up with a couple of dashes of Schiracha over the top of the loaf just before putting the pan into the oven. Mmmm, Mmmm Good!

                    2. I actually love my mom's notoriously inept method (among many of her methods) of using an oven-safe mixing bowl for prep and using that for the baking dish - completely uneven result. practically raw in the middle and crispy on the outside.

                      for some reason, very few people are attracted to the idea. go figure.

                      6 Replies
                        1. re: alkapal

                          ahh, but in fact, I'm deadly serious.

                          1. re: hill food

                            "practically raw in the middle"

                            well, hillfood, i guess if it is good quality beef, i guess i could understand if you love it.....

                            1. re: alkapal

                              she was using largely grass-fed black-angus from a small-herd, a side purchased directly from a local farmer and butchered by a small regional processor once a year.

                              this started in the 70's - the parents weren't being green or gourmet - just cheap. the quality was a happy after thought and certainly helped make the mangled results a bit more palatable.

                              1. re: hill food

                                hill food, i don't know if i've had grass-fed beef, but growing up in florida during the late 60's and 70's, i probably have eaten my share.

                                do you recall how the flavor compares with the beef you're eating these days?

                                1. re: alkapal

                                  alkapal: for refernce, once in high school or early college, I boosted some chunks from the freezer labeled "stew meat" by the packing house (they weren't very discerning in naming the cuts) we cooked 'em like s'mores on sticks and 2 ovo-lacto vegetarians were wolfing them down.

                                  I'd guess I'd say a rounder flavor, a better marbled taste even if the flesh is not (marbled).

                                  'course I don't remember seeing a fat% on ground beef until the very late 80's.

                                  Store bought angus doesn't quite compare, not eating much beef these days, but that's a different thread.

                      1. Whatever recipe you use, try schmearing this all over the outside of it before you put it in the oven: dark brown sugar moistened with ketchup, plus a little nutmeg. It makes a wonderful crust on the meatloaf as it bakes.

                        1. I like this Martha Stewart Meatloaf 101, but I use all beef. Simple and good.


                          1. My very favorite meatloaf (and my husband loves meatloaf!) is Julia Child's recipe in The Way to Cook. I have modified it over the years by adding celery, and sometimes red bell pepper. I sometimes modify the seasoning to be more "Cajun" or "Italian", but I like it as is equally well. I think the 2 secrets to how great this meatloaf tastes comes from browning the onions and other vegies before mixing them into the meatloaf, and baking it free-form (like french bread) so most of the fat drains out, and the loaf browns on the sides as well as the top. This meatloaf also makes the best sandwiches ever.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: dkenworthy

                              Pam Anderson's recipe in Perfect Recipe (she is a former editor of Cook's Illustrated and has several super duper cookbooks). Like Julia's she browns onions and garlic and she highly recommends freeform; has a strong preference for "meatloaf mix" of meats. I'm in a mixed marriage: I hate meat loaf and my husband adores it. This is the first I've made that BOTH of us are crazy about. (You can glaze it with the ketchup or chili sauce, brown sugar and cider vinegar blend, or you can glaze it and then cover it with bacon strips for baking. Bacon is even better!)

                            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 (or ground turkey)
                              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. In making meatloaf over a lifetime, I learned a couple of things. No matter what your recipe consists of....there are a couple of guidelines to follow.

                                1. If you use breadcrumbs, don't use the fine type that is used for breading. The coarser, the better. I find that is best to use fresh white bread (like Italian) pulled apart by hand, soaked in either water or milk, squeezed out with your hands. Your finished meatloaf will be moist, and not dry.

                                2. Mix with a *light hand*....don't mix everything together into a tight cohesive mass. This would make a dense, heavy meatloaf. I use my KA with paddle attached to do the job. Seems, just as with making some baked goods....the less handling and squishing together - the better.

                                3. Too much egg makes for a rubbery meatloaf.

                                4. Don't pack your meatloaf together too tightly when forming to get ready for the oven

                                1 Reply
                                1. I love meatloaf. I used to make my own, but have started buying three pounds of meatloaf mix (beef, pork, and veal) from a local independent market with a great butcher department. I form it into a loaf and put it in a greased pan. I slather the top with Pearl River Bridge Soy Sauce (if you can't find that, regular soy sauce is fine) and ketchup (has to be Heinz because I'm from Pittsburgh). I bake it at 350 degrees for about an hour and 15 minutes, take it out of the pan (and out of the fat) and let it sit, covered loosely with foil, for about 10 minutes. It's great hot or cold, it's easy, and everyone loves it!

                                  1. We love this meat loaf:

                                    Meat Loaf

                                    2 eggs
                                    3 oz tomato paste
                                    ½ cup water
                                    1 tsp salt
                                    15 grinds fresh black pepper
                                    ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
                                    2 lbs ground beef, 85-90% lean
                                    ½ cup plain breadcrumbs
                                    1 small onion, finely chopped
                                    1 garlic clove, pressed

                                    Preheat the oven to 350. Whisk together the eggs, tomato paste, water, salt, pepper and cayenne in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and work together completely until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

                                    Place the meat mixture into a baking pan and shape into a loaf about 11” x 4” wide. The loaf should be in the middle of the pan.

                                    Blend some ketchup, a little chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder and a little bottled BBQ sauce and spread over the meatloaf. Cover with foil.

                                    Bake 45 minutes, then uncover, and remove as much liquid as possible. Return to oven uncovered and bake another 15 minutes. Great with whipped potatoes.
                                    Source: I adapted this recipe from Dave Lieberman’s recipe, “Bubby’s Meatloaf”. You can cut back on the onions and cayenne pepper a bit.

                                    1. Any of these, try using oatmeal (regular, not instant) instead of crumbs.

                                      1. I kid you not...this is called the "Cadillac" of meatloaves:


                                        4 Tbs. butter (can use less butter if desired)
                                        2 C. sliced fresh mushrooms
                                        1 small onion, finely chopped
                                        1-2 Tbs. fresh minced garlic (or to taste)
                                        1 small red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
                                        1 tsp. dried thyme (can use more)
                                        1 1/4 lb. lean ground beef
                                        1 1/4 C. Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
                                        1/2 C. grated parmesan cheese
                                        1/2 C. plain yogurt
                                        1 large egg, slightly beaten
                                        1/4 C. ketchup or chili sauce
                                        1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
                                        8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded or finely diced
                                        2 tsp. season salt (or to taste)
                                        1-2 tsp. black pepper (or to taste)


                                        Set oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. In a skillet melt butter over medium heat, add in mushrooms, onion, red bell pepper, garlic and thyme; sauté for about 6 minutes, then transfer to a large bowl. Add in all remaining ingredients; using clean hands mix thoroughly. Place mixture into the prepared loaf pan, then place them onto a baking sheet to catch any spills. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Using 2 forks remove the meatloaf from the pan. Let rest 5-7 minutes before slicing.
                                        Cooking Time

                                        50-60 minutes

                                        1. I use the meatloaf recipe from The Fannie Farmer ccokbook and adapt per her suggestions after the recipe. On top I spoon over some stewed tomatoes and parsley. Its simple and gets raves every time.

                                          1. I like both Ina Garten's and Alton Brown's recipes for meatloaf, but Paula Deen has s great hint for baking the meat loaf.

                                            We do not like meatloaf made in a loaf pan, but baked on a flat pan , so the sides are crusty. Paula Deens suggests placing 2 pieces of bread underneath the meatloaf to catch all the fat that comes from the baking. I like to use ground chuck and ground pork for my meatloafs which means a fair amount of fat accumulates in the pan. The bread slices are perfect for "slopping" up the fat. Also, a guilty pleasure is eating the bread after baking. Fat soaked bread--yum, yum

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: corabeth

                                              corabeth, you after my heart in severally interpretible ways.

                                              1. re: hill food

                                                hill food,

                                                "corabeth, you after my heart in severally interpretible ways."

                                                Does your comemnt mean that "fat soaked bread" is one of your guiltyn pleasures, also?

                                                1. re: corabeth

                                                  that and (see upstream) is the idea of baking it in a pan so wide the edges are crusty and he middle mushy.

                                            2. The "Market Street Meatloaf" from the Silver Palate's New Basics Cookbook is a truly great meatloaf. It is made with 2 pounds of ground beef and 3/4 pound of sausage (with casing removed). It is far and away my favorite meatloaf

                                              1. You know what's a good recipe? In Dawn Wells' cookbook. Yes, Maryann from Gilligan's Island. I forgot the exact recipe, but instead of breadcrumbs you use oats, and instead of a tomato or ketchup mixture on the outside, it's mayo mixed with mustard. Really really good.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: italia84

                                                  My kid brother has always used rolled oats for the breading in his meat loaf. It makes for a much moister, looser-textured loaf, which he likes, whereas I want mine firm enough to slice. He also just stirs his ingredients instead of the forceful kneading I give it, and spoons or pours it into the loaf pan. Different strokes …