Give me your best meatloaf recipe

I’ve gotten into the habit of having dinner with friends every other weekend, where I make the entree and they do the sides and dessert. I gave them a list of things I would like to make and they opted for meatloaf next weekend. I have several different recipes that I’ve used over the years, but let’s see what the Teeming Millions have to say on the matter. Bread, breadcrumbs or oats? Glaze or gravy? Bacon wrapped or naked? What say you all?

This one has been really popular with my family of late - it’s actually the only one I’ve made using a recipe. Mostly I just threw stuff together:


  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 packet dry onion soup mix
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 cups plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef

Mix the first 5 ingredients together till blended. Add the ground beef and mix thoroughly.

Shape into a loaf, bake at 350° for 75-90 minutes, depending on how thick you form your loaf. We eat it with ketchup or BBQ sauce on the side.

Quick, easy, and good, plus any leftovers make good sandwiches.

Recipe? What is this “recipe” thing you speak of? When we make meatloaf, it’s ALWAYS a “what do we have around the house?” type thing. How much of this do you add? To taste. How much of that? To taste. Yeah, doesn’t make for an easy translation. That being said, we just had meatloaf last night. Bigger family, and we actually like leftovers, so bigger recipe, along the lines of…

5 lbs ground turkey
2 lbs italian sausage
2 large onions (or three or…), diced
2 large green peppers, diced
3 eggs?
1 cup? 2 cups? breadcrumbs. If the mix seems too wet/loose, add more.
2 tbs? Italian seasoning
2 tbs? Chili Powder
3 cloves (or more - you can never have too much) garlic, finely diced
1 tbs? salt
1 jar spaghetti sauce

Mix half of the spaghetti sauce in with all other ingredients. form loaf in large roasting pan (keep off of side of pan). bake 60 min. or so; spread other half jar of sauce on top. Bake until done (30 min? 60 min? depends on how thick the loaf is).

Possible garnishes -
add fried onion straws with the spaghetti sauce glaze
add cheese for last 15 min or so

This. I love meatloaf, but I don’t think I’ve ever made it the same way twice. In general, I prefer using a pan that allows drainage. I usually roll out the meat/breadcrumbs/seasonings/eggs then add spinach/cheese and roll lit up.

I don’t go by specific recipes either, but mostly not far from the basic.

1 1/2-2 lbs. ground beef (if i have other ground meats i’ll add some in)
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 eggs
finely diced or grated onion
1/2 cup beef broth
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tbsp worcestershire
chopped parsley
salt and pepper

put in pan, flatten out, leave room around the edges
slather A-1 sauce or similar over the top.

I might add just about anything finely chopped like garlic, celery, carrot, peppers, mushrooms or other flavors like sri racha, miso paste, fruit preserves, grated parmesan, etc.

Aunt Sissy’s Delightfully Different Meatloaf

2 lbs ground turkey (or hamburger)
1 whole onion & 1 whole green pepper, processed, or diced very fine. ( I use the processor… it comes out almost like a relish)
1/2 C Parmesan cheese,
1 C Stove top stuffing, crushed or processed fine
1 egg,
2-3T French Dressing,
salt, pepper, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, to taste.
Glaze with honey mustard.
Bake at 375 for 1 hour.

Janis Nevvy # 1’s favorite…

I am also a graduate of the “wing-it” meatloaf school, but if I were to write it down, it would probably look like:

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork (sometimes I’ll use sausage meat)
1 small onion, diced (or about half of a larger one)
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1 large egg
splash of ketchup
splash of beer
dry mustard
smoked paprika
garlic powder

Sorry, I don’t measure spices, I just sort of sprinkle them on until it looks right, like a few good shakes until I can clearly see it. I’d estimate there’s somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 teaspoon of each, but I’m totally just guessing.

Anyways, throw it all in a big bowl, and mix it together with your hands. I suppose a spoon or other tool might work, but hands are best (hint: let the meat warm up a little first; meat right out of the fridge is really cold). Once it’s mixed up real good, dump it all into a loaf pan, cover with foil and bake at 350F for about an hour. After it’s cooked, drain off the fat, spray the top with a little more ketchup, then stick under the broiler uncovered for a few minutes.

PAUL PRUDHOMME’S CAJUN MEAT LOAF is a favorite of mine.

Meatloaf on the smoker is one of the favorite things up my chef’s jacket sleeve. I’ve been using Ole Man Jim’s recipe from the Virtual Weber Bullet forum for years.

However, if I’m making it in the oven, I usually roughly follow Ina Garten’s Food Network recipe. Don’t disregard the fresh thyme, it really punches up the flavor. I do like to mix in a bit of chopped bell pepper and jalapeno for some color. A link or two of Italian sausage mixed in is nice. A pinch of rosemary and sage is also good.

This method results in a nice, rather light loaf:

2 slices bread
1/2 c milk
2 eggs
1 apple
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce (I like a lot; use at your discretion)

Mix in a processor until it’s more or less a liquidy slurry. Pour onto:

3 pounds ground meat: equal parts beef, pork and turkey is good.

Mix with your hands and form into loaf on a baking sheet, or better, a setup like this “crisper pan” if that’s the right name:

(if you use a regular sheet, you’ll have to drain the fat during baking.)

Top with ketchup or bacon, then bake at 350 for 90 minutes.