I have been asked many times what the key to a good meatloaf is. My answer is always the same. The trick is to use several kinds of meat.
My favorite combination is ground beef and ground pork. I also often add in some ground venison since my husband hunts and you can usually find some in our freezer, but really beef and pork work nicely.
Some recipes call for veal, but veal is not a common ingredient in most kitchens and it is a bit expensive.
Another tip for really good meatloaf is that I do not use a loaf pan. I find that if I bake it in a loaf pan the meat sits in the grease while it is cooking and the texture is not nearly as good. I prefer to make my meatloaf free form on a cookie sheet and bake it that way.
What are your thoughts on what makes a good meatloaf?
Meatloaf made easy with this simple recipe.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 cup quick cooking oats ( Use gf oats for gluten free version )
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce (divided)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- Combine tomato sauce with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Set aside.
- Combine remaining ingredients and form into a loaf.
- Spread ½ of tomato sauce mixture on top.
- Bake at 325 for 45 minutes.
- Spread remaining sauce on top and bake 15 minutes longer or until done.
- Cool ten minutes, slice, and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 317Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 574mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 27g
Nutritional values are approximate and aren't always accurate.
This looks like a great meatloaf recipe. Good point about the pan. I never cooked it in a loaf pan, not because of the outcome, but because my mom never cooked it in a loaf pan. It’s funny how moms have a lot of influence.
Thanks for the suggestion about cooking the meatloaf on a cookie sheet. I never knew that. Can’t wait to try it. Any suggestions about what to substitute for the soy sauce? I can’t have soy. Should I just omit it?
@Colleen, I think you could just leave the soy sauce out. It adds a little extra flavor, but I think it would be fine without it or you could use something like beef broth in it’s place.
What make a good meatloaf? Bacon and cheese. And, definitely cook it on a cookie sheet or in a pan larger than the actual loaf. I usually form mine in a loaf pan but then turn it out into an 11×7 Pyrex to bake it.
@Lynn, Bacon and cheese always make things better. 🙂 I have added those to hamburgers, but never meatloaf. I am going to have to try that.
Our family cuts back on the ketchup by 1/3 cup by adding 1/3 cup of pureed sweet peas. We make our own bread crumbs with a variety of breads. We also mix meats and cook it in a shallow pan.
hmm who cares about the meatloaf, I want to know how to make those yummy looking potatoes!!!!
I actually have a new favorite recipe for meatloaf and it comes from the Family Feasts for under $75 – it has a sweet and savory combo that is unbeatable. She actually advises using a bundt pan for faster cooking but I’ve used a square pan or cookie sheet. YUM!
@s, The recipe for the potatoes will be coming soon. They were very good.
I also cook my meatloaf in a larger pan (9×13). Something my grandma told me about making meatloaf or meatballs is to combine all ingredients except meat in the bowl first. Then crumble meat over bowl & mix gently just to combine. Do not overmix. This method produces a more tender meatloaf.
@Brenda, I agree with that. I think the same is true with hamburgers also. Overmixing makes the meat less tender. Maybe I should do a whole post on that.
We make our meat loaf out of ground turkey. One egg, gluten free oat meal, sage, thyme and rosemary. Baked on a cookie sheet too. Healthy and super good!
Your recipe looks good. I like the way you add additional topping mid-way through cooking so it doesn’t dry out so much. I frequently use French onion soup mix instead of real onions (and omit additional salt). I usually cook the meat loaf in a round Corningware dish or glass pie plate in the microwave. Cover with plastic wrap or a glass lid and drain every few minutes or the grease will reabsorb into the meat as it cools. Start with 10 minutes and add time as needed to bring temperature up to 165 degrees. It doesn’t get crunchy on top but it browns and stays nice and moist.
I haven’t made meatloaf in ages. This looks so tasty. Last time I made meatloaf I put slices of bacon on top.
I will usually chop up some onion, green pepper, celery, carrot,zucchini, tomato, mushrooms and fresh garlic to mix in with the meatloaf mix of beef and pork along with an egg yoke, seasoned Italian breadcrumbs, seasoned salt, black pepper. Mix together, form into a round loaf and cross hatch the top. I bake it in a smokless broiling pan (the one that comes with the stove – or at least they used to) with some water in the bottom section to make it truely smokeless. Sometimes I’ll top with beef gravey, tomato sauce or just serve it plain. Serve with a salad, mashed potatoes and a veggie of choice. Yum.
You can also cook your meatloaf in a
Broiler pan that has the wire rack that sits
inside the pan and then all the fat and juices
Go into the pan. I just put my cake metal cooling
Rack inside of my cookie sheet and cook like
That so my meatloaf stays out the fat and liquids.
My family’s favorite recipe is one i make with ground turkey and ground chuck, eggs and cracker crumbs but I add a brown sugar and ketchup mixture to the top while it is baking …delicious. It is the special request most of my children make for special dinners. I also make it sometimes in cupcake pans which adds to the fun factor for the kids. Once I made it meatloaf “cupcakes” and topped with mashed potato “frosting” and served them to the kids for an April Fool’s treat.
My family does not like onion pieces. Can I puree some onion or use dried minced onion instead?
Yes, you could easily do that. Or just leave them out.