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Best Meatloaf Recipe

That's what Mom wants for her Mother's day lunch.... help!

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    1. Recipe one:

      1/2 pound lean ground beef
      1/2 pound bulk pork sausage
      1 1/2 cups sauerkraut (drained)
      1/3 cup finely chopped onion
      2 cloves finely chopped garlic
      1 egg, beaten
      1/3 cup fine bread crumbs
      1 Tbsp. dill weed or dill seed (subst. caraway)

      Thoroughly combine the ground meat, dill, garlic, bread crumbs and egg
      Flatten into rectangle approx 1" thick
      Spread sauerkraut evenly over the meat and roll into log shape
      Bake uncovered on rack in roasting pan 350 to 400 degrees until done
      Recipe two:

      1/2 pound lean ground beef
      1/2 pound bulk pork sausage
      2 strips bacon fried and coarsely chopped
      1 Tbsp bacon drippings
      3 Tbsp. horseradish
      1/3 cup finely chopped onion
      2 cloves finely chopped garlic
      1 egg, beaten
      1/3 cup fine bread crumbs

      Thoroughly combine all ingredients
      Shape into loaf
      Bake uncovered on rack in roasting pan 350 to 400 degrees until done

      1 Reply
      1. re: todao

        Interesting... you are the second source I've seen that suggested horseradish... does it impart the horseradish taste/heat?

      2. Meatloaf isn't a *recipe*, it's a technique! Take all her favorites - Mushrooms? Corn? Tomatoes? Bell Peppers? Cumin? Currry Powder? whatever. Mix with one part ground veal, one part ground pork and one part ground sirloin. That's Mother's Day Meatloaf. Serve with mashed potatoes and fresh baby carrots simmered in butter and orange juice, et viola!

        2 Replies
        1. re: KiltedCook

          I might ordinarily agree. But any technique is worthless without some guide for selecting ingredients. Nutmeats are the raw contents of the nut's shell once the shell is removed. Nut meats (walnuts and pecans) do not a meatloaf make.

          1. re: KiltedCook

            nothing personal, but that doesn't sound very good........
            and last time I made meatloaf, I didn't use a recipe, it was way over seasoned, so I just wanted some guidelines as to which would be the best seasonings and what proportions.

          2. Give Mom a hug from me-I miss my Mommy :o(

            I always use beef, pork and veal. May be silly, or old fashioned but it's what we like. If I add onions, peppers, etc I make them very small in the handy chopper. I hate biting into a hunk of something. I use garlic minced fine or crushed, bread crumbs, an egg, handful of grated parm, some water to 'loosen' it up. Mix with your hands. I'll top it with strips of bacon, or maybe some brown sugar-ish type of glaze. Sometimes I'll use a ketchup concoction. I don't make it that often, and don't have a standard recipe. We like heavily seasoned stuff, so mine will have a kick. Husband likes gravy of some kind, so I am then forced into mashed tater duty (which I hate, must be why I don't meatloaf often!)

            If you are trying to wing it & unsure of the spice ratio- just fry up a tiny hunk of it to test... but you prolly already knew that tip.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Boccone Dolce

              thanks, I was thinking of the veal, beef, pork mix. I also have the option of bulk pork sausage..... is it better to use the plain ground pork?

              1. re: janetms383

                it's seasoned? If you wanna try it, go for it, but... If you have something else in mind for the sausage I would lean towards plain ground pork- the control freak in me would want to control the taste (and I'm not that crazy about the fennel seeds in my meatloaf!)
                I usually get 1 pound each. I see Katty did but didn't read all those links that were posted-did anyone else talk about water? I want to stress it, it changed my meatloaf oohs & ahhs - so much moister!

                1. re: Boccone Dolce

                  The last time I made a meatloaf, I measured just to be able to tell how much water if asked. I put about 1/4 cup in addition to the sauce for 1.25 # of meat and it was perfect. Same recipe, I used 1/2 cup of seasoned breadcrumbs. Traditionally, I've used toast soaked in water, but either method works great--just depends what you have on hand. These days I always have breadcrumbs, but not often bread.

                  Other people swear by milk rather than water. I've tried it both ways and don't see a radical difference. Maybe you'd have to do a side-by-side comparison to really tell...and I'm not that curious. ;)

            2. We, too, do the beef/pork/veal combo--a.k.a. meatloaf mix. For an Italian twist, make a layer of genoa, ham (my fave is proscuittini) and provolone in the middle of the loaf. I also add a small can of tomato sauce to the mix--AND water. It's very moist and delicious.

              2 Replies
              1. re: kattyeyes

                Agree with Katty that an Italian meatloaf is tasty. Here is my version which I have posted on other meatloaf threads.


                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 80 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.

              2. This is a major throw-back to my youth, but it's still great: it's the recipe on the back of the Lipton Onion Soup Mix. The only thing I do differently is to substitute an 8-ounce can of tomato sauce for the water. And top it with ketchup. It was one of those meals my mom used to make the same every time: always with mashed potatoes and slightly over-cooked green beans.


                1. I just made this up on a whim one day and it's fantastic.

                  1 lb ground pork
                  1/2 lb ground beef (or you can use all turkey)
                  3 celery stalks
                  3 small carrots
                  1/2 white onion
                  1 green bell pepper
                  3 cloves garlic
                  1 cup barbeque sauce
                  1/4 cup worchestershire sauce
                  1 egg
                  1 tbsp milk
                  1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
                  2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
                  Salt and Pepper

                  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
                  1. In a food processor, pulse celery, carrots, bell pepper, onion, and garlic until finely minced. Saute with a little olive oil until tender, about 8 minutes. Let cool.
                  2. In a small bowl, mix the egg and milk to combine.
                  3. In another small bowl, combine barbeque sauce and worchestershire sauce.
                  4. In a larger bowl, combine meat, veggies, egg mixture, 1/2 of the barbeque sauce mixture, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, a pinch of salt and pepper until thoroughly combined.
                  5. If your veggie mixture is extremely wet, add another 1/4 cup of bread crumbs to the meat.
                  6. On a baking sheet, create a "free form" meatloaf and brush with 1/3 of the barbeque sauce.
                  7. Bake for about 40 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees, basting every 15 minutes.
                  8. Before slicing, let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes to let the juices redistribute.

                  1. I love meatloaf (only those I make!) especially cold in a sandwich the next day. I tried this one from Food Network -- I saw the episode. If you don't like tarragon (I do!) you can either eliminate it or just use parsley, instead. The sour cream in it is a good idea. I use all ground beef (chuck) but you can do whatever you like.


                    1. I love meatloaf, but love the leftovers in a cold sandwich (thinly sliced meatloaf, good white bread, mayo and ketchup) the following day.

                      Here is my family's recipe (adapted from Betty Crocker) for meatloaf:

                      Preheat oven to 350.

                      In a bowl, mix until well combined:
                      1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
                      1/2 cup milk
                      1 egg
                      1/4 cup grated onion (grating means it is small enough that you don't have to saute it first)
                      1/4 tsp. salt
                      1/4 tsp. pepper, dry mustard, celery salt and/or garlic powder
                      1 TBSP worcestershire sauce

                      1 - 1.5 lbs. ground beef (or any mixture of ground beef, veal and/or pork; we can get this already mixed at the grocery store)

                      Mix lightly with hands or a fork until combined. You can put the misture into a loaf pan, but I love the crust on the outside of a meatloaf, so I form mine into a loaf shape on a perforated pan (it goes over a cookie sheet, and lets the fat drain away... aiding with the formation of the crispy crust I love so much). I use a little more worcestershire on top, before baking at 350 for 1 to 1.5 hours.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Foodie in Friedberg

                        I feel it's better to avoid those premixed meatloaf mixes. I buy ground chuck from a great butcher I can trust; before this, I'd buy the chuck meat and have them grind it for me. Alton Brown does his in a cuisinart.

                      2. i made meatloaf last night. along with the conventional ground beef, pork, etc., i added 1/2 of bloody mary mix instead of milk or what have you. i also used a tip from cooks illustrated and added about a tsp of powdered gelatin, whisked into the bloody mary mix. the idea is to provide a mouthfeel similar to that created by using ground veal. i use panko as the crumby ingredient.

                        3/4 lb each, home ground beef, pork--pretty coarse
                        3/4 yellow onion chopped
                        green pepper, seeded, de-ribbed and chopped
                        1 egg, whisked
                        1/2 C commercial bloody mary mix
                        2T worcestershire
                        1 tsp gelatin whisked into mary mix
                        panko to adjust texture--abt 1/2 C

                        3T ketchup
                        1T horseradish
                        1.5 T brown sugar
                        all stirred and brushed on top before baking

                        1. I found a low carb recipe in one of the Atkins cookbooks that I make even now that Atkins is a thing of the past.. Add 1 cup crushed spicy pork rinds, 1 C grated cheddar, 1 egg and 2 T chili powder to your ground meat. Bake as usual ( I used to top with a slice or two of bacon) Sometime I throw in chopped fresh cilantro. Drain fat off as it bakes.
                          When I was Atkins-ing, crushed pork rinds ( 0 carbs) took the place of bread crumbs.

                          1. Pardon me if this has been mentioned - I looked, but...

                            Do not over handle the meat. I generally mix all but the meat and filler (oats, bread crumbs...) add in the filler then add the meat and then mix gently with my hands until just together. No gooshing mercilessly between fingers. Cook slow. Make sure the top is wet with some sort of sauce.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Sal Vanilla

                              I totally agree with Sal - ( I once had a neighbor who's name was Sal Monella... I believe you!)
                              Do NOT over work the meat....

                              Here's my contribution... it's probably in the list of Chowlinks above.....

                              Bison-Chipotle Meatloaf Recipe:

                              2 lbs ground bison meat
                              1/3 cup ketchup (TJ's Organic)
                              1 egg
                              Kosher salt & FG black pepper
                              3/4 cup oatmeal
                              1 Tbsp. canned chipotle peppers in adobe sauce...or more!
                              3 cloves garlic minced
                              2 Tbsp. shredded or grated Pecarino Romano

                              Preheat oven to 375*
                              I don't oil a 9X5X3" loaf pan, but you can if you want.
                              In a bowl combine all ingredients and mix together.
                              Press mixture into loaf pan.
                              Bake for 55 minutes.
                              Let sit for a few then serve....

                              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                I never knew that! I always mush between my fingers!

                                What happens? Does it make the meatloaf tough? I did notice some recipes specifically say to add all the seasonings to the filler and egg and then add the meat last, but they didn't stress not overworking the meat.