|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 servings|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 30g||39%|
|Saturated Fat 11g||53%|
|Total Carbohydrate 65g||24%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||11%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
It's hard a resist a good meatloaf, especially on a cold day. This ultimate comfort food is a great meal to make when your want to fill the house with some good savory smells and go about your business doing something else while dinner cooks away.
The ultimate side dishes to serve with this old-fashioned meatloaf might as well be mashed potatoes, but green beans or corn are great choices, too.
It's not hard to make a good meatloaf—flavor and moisture are the key factors to prevent a dry, lackluster meatloaf. The vegetables in this mix will add flavor (along with the ketchup and/or barbecue sauce). But if your beef is quite lean, add some ground pork to the meat mixture to keep it moist.
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (80/20 or 85/15)
- 20 saltine crackers, crushed
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- For Topping:
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup ketchup or barbecue sauce
Gather the ingredients.
Heat the oven to 350 F.
Grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan or line it with foil and then lightly grease it. Alternatively, for a free-form loaf, line a rimmed baking pan with foil.
Pack the meat mixture into the loaf pan or shape it and place it on the baking pan.
Bake the meatloaf for 1 hour. Carefully pour excess grease into a can or jar (dispose of it in the trash after it cools).
Spread the meatloaf with 1/2 to 3/4 cup of ketchup or barbecue sauce and continue baking for 15 minutes longer, or until the meatloaf registers at least 160 F on an instant-read food thermometer inserted into the center. (If you have instead swapped ground turkey or chicken for the beef, cook the loaf to an internal temperature of 165 F.)
Let the meatloaf rest for ten minutes before slicing so it holds together well. Then, serve and enjoy!
What Can I Use in Meatloaf Instead of Milk?
If you don't have or can't use milk in this meatloaf recipe, feel free to swap out equal parts of any of these following ingredients:
- Nondairy milk such as soy, oat, or almond
- Beef, vegetable or chicken stock
How Do You Keep Meatloaf Moist?
There are several factors that keep a meatloaf moist. First, using ground beef with a higher percentage of fat, as this recipe calls for, is key. Egg, milk, and Worcestshire sauce also add some liquid, and the veggies in the mix will add some moisture as well. Using ketchup and/or barbecue sauce also contributes flavor along with moisture—especially the last bit that gets brushed across the top while baking.
- Meatloaf can be tough if overmixed, so mix it lightly with your hands or spoon.
- If you want to make sure the seasoning is to your taste, fry a small amount of the mix. Taste and adjust the seasonings in the raw mixture.
How to Store and Freeze Meatloaf
If well-wrapped in foil or an airtight container, meatloaf will keep for up to 5 days. Reheat individual slices gently on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a little more barbecue sauce or ketchup to keep it moist.
You can freeze individual slices of meatloaf in foil to defrost and reheat for sandwiches or quick meals, or freeze the rest of the loaf. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in a low oven until completely heated through, adding more barbecue sauce and/or ketchup if desired.