UnFoodie Makes Meatloaf

By Karen

My meatloaf, which I throw together and never make the same way twice, is usually delicious, but it falls apart, so I’m always collecting meatloaf recipes.

“Mom’s Amazing Meatloaf” came from the paper, but I never followed it too closely because some ingredients seem weird (milk, parsley, and parmesan cheese). But this weekend, I had just about everything on hand and decided to give Mom’s recipe a fair shake. Here are the ingredients…

1 ½ lbs. 93% lean ground beef

2 eggs
½ cup low-fat or whole milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 slices toasted hearty whole-wheat bread (for 2 cups cubes)
1 large onion (for 1 cup chopped)
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper

½ cup ketchup (or more, to cover)

Preheat oven to 325° and cook for 1 hour, 15 minutes (for medium) or until done.

I’m not giving the nitty-gritty of assembling a meatloaf. You guys know the drill.

Anyway, I did make a few slight adjustments: My meat was roughly a pound’s mixture of ground beef, pork, and veal, so I used a tad less of everything. I used half and half instead of milk, and dried parsley instead of fresh. And I added half a cup of diced green bell pepper.

I mixed the wet ingredients first (noticing for the first time that it called for 2 eggs — I usually only use one — has that been the fatal flaw?), then dumped in everything else, with the bread last.

My 2-piece meatloaf pan is great. I cover the bottom with tin foil so I can toss the grease into the trash. And I tuck the meat in on the sides so the grease can drain down through the holes.

Anyway, this meatloaf came out PERFECT and stayed intact. It didn’t even fall apart when I lifted the whole thing to store it.

So, Mom’s meatloaf truly is amazing — and delicious! I feared the parmesan cheese would make it meatballish, but it didn’t.

Now, what are your favorite meatloaf recipes?


15 Responses to UnFoodie Makes Meatloaf

  1. Zappa's mom says:

    Same here…tastes great,falls apart.Im trying this recipe,I got a 2-piece loaf pan for Christmas.
    This recipe reminds me of America’s Test Kitchen,my fave cooking show.

    I bet Adele has a great recipe


  2. adele says:

    Karen, that does look good,and it reminds me of how I used to like cold meal loaf sandwiches the next day.I really like the idea of the Worcestershire and Dijon.

    I haven’t made meatloaf in years, since I don’t eat much red meat, but I had a pretty foolproof recipe from a very old Fanny Farmer cookbook. ZM, I’ll look it up. My mother used to make a good meat loaf, which I think had Quaker Oats as part of the filler — I feel a meatloaf coming on.

  3. Bacardi1 says:

    Since I LOVE anything with olives &/or feta cheese, I developed this recipe after trying several versions. I have literally hundreds of turkey meatloaf recipes of every possible type/ethnicity, but this is one of my hands-down favorites.


    Approx. ½-3/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
    1 medium fresh tomato, cut into bite-size pieces – OR – 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated dried or in oil, chopped
    1 bunch or bag fresh spinach – OR – approx. ½ a bag frozen chopped spinach
    ¼ cup chopped onions
    Approx. ½- ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
    One egg, beaten
    One package (usually 1 to 1-1/3 pounds) ground turkey
    1 cup quick or old fashioned rolled oats – uncooked
    Approx. 1 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
    Approx. 1 tsp dried oregano
    Approx. 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasonings
    Approx. 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
    1/2 cup milk (any fat content) or ½ & ½

    1. Preheat oven to 400° F
    2. In small skillet, cook spinach & onion over medium heat until spinach is wilted (or thawed) & onion is tender, but not browned.
    3. Remove from heat & allow to cool slightly.
    4. When spinach/onion mixture is cool, stir in feta cheese; set aside.
    5. In a large bowl, combine beaten egg, turkey, oats, garlic powder, oregano, Italian seasonings, red pepper flakes, milk, chopped olives, and tomato. Mix lightly but thoroughly. (Your very clean hands are the best tool for this.)
    6. Place 1/2 of turkey mixture into 9X6 loaf pan.
    7. Layer on spinach/cheese mixture.
    8. Top with remaining turkey mixture to completely cover spinach filling.
    9. Bake 40-45 minutes or so, or until internal temp registers around 170 -180 degrees with a meat thermometer.
    10. Let stand 5-10 minutes before slicing.

    This recipe doubles nicely, which is handy since it also freezes very well. If doubling, free-form the loaf in a large ceramic loaf pan, baking dish, or rimmed baking sheet, as it won’t fit in a regular loaf pan.

    Oh – & a great hint for storing leftover meatloaf? Wrap individual slices snugly in plastic wrap, put all wrapped slices in a Ziploc bag, & pop into the freezer. Then you can remove individual portions when you need them – just run the wrapped slices under warm water to loosen the wrap, unwrap, & pop into your microwave until thawed/heated through.

  4. catsworking says:

    Bacardi1, that is a very interesting recipe. I usually make meatloaf with ground turkey, and have a different recipe for that. I like that yours has spinach in it. Makes it seem healthier.

    My turkey meatloafs also fall apart. I see that your recipe uses only 1 egg. I think most of them do, which is where I learned it, and I think that may be the problem.

    When Food Lion has “Meatloaf meat,” which is the mixture I mentioned, I always pick up a pack. I never make meatloaf out of ground beef alone anymore. If you buy it really lean, it turns out dry. If you buy it with higher fat content, it shrinks to nothing. It’s a no-win.

    ZM, I’ve never seen America’s Test Kitchen. I think you’ll love your new meatloaf pan. I used to cook meatloaf in a Pyrex pan, but one day the damn thing just broke in half for no earthly reason. I wasn’t even using it. But I’ve read that they don’t make Pyrex like they used to and it breaks unpredictably. Corningware, ditto. I was lucky it didn’t split just as I was taking a hot meatloaf out of the oven.

  5. Zappa and Zappa's mom says:

    America’s Test Kitchen is one of the highlights of my Saturday afternoons. They ponder the how and why through repeated attempts with basic recipes,and also give great shortcuts for more intimidating ones. They teach you how to get the best crisp,golden brown skin on your baked chicken and the proper fudgy-ness for your brownies. I watch it on PBS,I don’t think it’s shown elsewhere.


  6. Bacardi1 says:

    Ugh – I STRONGLY dislike “America’s Test Kitchen”. The host (producer/owner/whatever), Christopher Kimball, is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. In addition, an “expose'” some time ago showed him up to be the behind-the-scenes bastard to work for you would expect someone with his personality to be.

    While I love the PBS cooking shows lineup, the channel gets changed when ATK comes on. You’re better off subscribing to “Cooks Illustrated” & not having to watch/listen to CK.

  7. adele says:

    I kind of like Americas Test Kitchen. While I admit that Chris Kimball is kind of short on charisma, I like the working out of the recipes to find the best possible result.

    As my craving for meatloaf grows, I must ask, where did you find that pan? I’ve never seen one, and I now feel it’s a must for making meatloaf.

  8. catsworking says:

    OK, now you guys have me hooked on checking out America’s Test Kitchen, but I never watch PBS (or anything else) on Saturday afternoons, which is why I’ve only caught Avec Eric once or twice. Maybe I can find some clips of ATK on YouTube.

    Adele, I don’t remember where I found that pan, but I’ve had it for years. I really like that the grease drains off. Afterward, I put the pan in the fridge to harden the grease, then lift out the foil, ball it up, put it in a plastic bag, and toss it in the trash. No muss, no fuss.

    I remember, 30+ years ago, when I was dating my ex-husband, he got a hankering for meatloaf. He never did anything in moderation, so he bought 6 LBS. of ground beef, veal, and pork (that’s where I learned that trick) and made this HUMONGOUS meatloaf. Of course, it wouldn’t fit in any loaf pan, so he put it in a big roasting pan, where it proceeded to ooze enough grease that it splashed over the top when he tried to pull it out of the oven to check on it. What a MESS! And guess who got to clean it up?

  9. Bacardi1 says:

    See, in my case, since my husband doesn’t eat any red-meat products, I never have those greasy meatloaf problems that require a “special” pan. I only use ground turkey &/or chicken, & while there is (& should be!) some juices present, grease has never been a problem whether I use a regular metal loaf pan, a decorated ceramic loaf pan, or make a free-form loaf on a baking sheet. In fact, I even make a “Mexican-style” meatloaf in a plain old glass pie plate & STILL don’t have anything oozing out of it. And using the pie plate allows me to cut the meatloaf into neat “pie wedges” for serving.

  10. catsworking says:

    Bacardi1, I usually use ground turkey, but it does sometimes come out a bit dry. The beef/pork/veal mixture really doesn’t put off a lot of grease, and having it drain away is even better.

    Sometimes I make a Mexican variation myself, using more green pepper and onions and salsa instead of Worcestershire sauce.

    Oh, and I just watched a bit of America’s Test Kitchen where some woman showed Chris Kimball how she makes St. Louis-style ribs. He’s like a nerdy parody of a cooking show host. Ugly, devoid of personality. Only on PBS.

  11. Britta says:

    My laptop has died but I snagged one of my husband’s to catch up on a few things internet…amongst those, Cats Working. And before you surmise that my husband is both territorial and mean with his devices, they are both owned by other entities. Have to respect the property and don’t want to spend the bucks right now on a new laptop for me.

    All these meatloaf posts have made me comfort-food hungry. For me, it has always been a close cousin to my Mom’s recipe and very similar to some of your standard receipes. Good ground meat (another topic all together) spices, eggs (or not) onions, diced canned tomatoes, bread crumbs, perhaps milk and depending on whether or not my husband is following our sometimes low sugar lifestyle, a criss-cross smattering of ketchup on top. Of course, meatloaf comfort comes with mashed potatoes of some variety and then there is the gravy when you don’t really have much more than a pan of grease with which to try and make it. But the leftovers are great, meatloaf sandwiches…just yummmm.

  12. Bacardi1 says:

    Ooooh – nothing was better than getting sent to school with a meatloaf sandwich in one’s lunchbox! 🙂

  13. catsworking says:

    Britta, you have raised the age-old meatloaf question: brown or red?

    For years, I longed to make a brown meatloaf, but because I always used ketchup or tomatoes or salsa, or even BBQ sauce, mine always came out red.

    The one I just blogged about I would call a brown meatloaf because it had Worcestershire sauce and no red ingredients inside (except I did use red onions, but I don’t count those).

    Bacardi1, lunchbox sandwiches are another matter. For me, the ultimate was bologna on Wonder Bread — just like everybody else. My mother used to make abominations like salami on pita, which would cause the other PBJ-eating kids to go, “Eewww! Whose lunch STINKS?” And “Eeewww, you call that BREAD?”

    Meatloaf would have been a step in the right direction, but I don’t really remember my mother ever making it because she doesn’t like things that are mixed together.

  14. Britta says:

    Karen…the receipes are so varied and all good. I think our individual taste buds define what meatloaf is. I don’t venture much from my Mom’s recipe in that it tastes good to me. My father was a busy executive with european roots who dined at 9p..us sibs were fed much earlier and homey meals like meatloaf or roast weren’t on the weekday menu. Until the age of 12 or so when my parents divorced, I never had meatloaf as a child . Thereafter, it became a comfort staple for dinner. For a working single Mom, easy to fix and put on the table and nonetheless, really enjoyed. So, with much fondness, I pursue the meatloaf tradition.

    On an aside, taking in Bourdain’s lamentations about pink stuff and other additives, we have taken to grinding our own meat for dinners such as meatloaf, spaghett sauce, burgers, etc. So, when I plan a meal with grinded meat, it always starts with a process of selecting good cuts, from whatever source, grinding them in our kitchen and freezing for future use.

  15. catsworking says:

    Britta, my grandmother used to grind her own pork to make sausage from scratch. She was Italian. But after seeing what a mess cleaning the grinder afterward was, I’d never go there myself.

    Our diet was very limited at home because my mother never made things she didn’t like, and she doesn’t like much. I learned there is such a thing as French dressing, coleslaw, mac & cheese, and more from school lunches.

    Since being out on my own (for decades now), I have embraced many things my mother never fixed, like meatloaf, fish, casseroles. The list goes on and on. And I soak and cook dried beans because they have almost no sodium and tons more fiber than canned. I should have showed you guys the big pot of chili I made a few weekends ago. It came out great. Maybe next time…

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