Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

meat loaf 101

★★★★★ 2
a recipe by
Fran Miller
Parkersburg, WV

Or is it Meatloaf? However this classic comfort food is spelled, most families have THEIR WAY of fixing a meat loaf and no other way will do. If you grew up without the comfort of meat loaf, it's truly easy to make. You simply need ground meat, eggs (1 per pound of meat), some sort of breading, chopped veggies, and some sauces or spices that add flavor. I'll start you off with a basic recipe and you can play around with the ingredients until you come up with YOUR family's WAY of making meat loaf. The fun is in the discovery! =^..^=

★★★★★ 2
serves 6-8, depending on serving size
prep time 10 Min
cook time 1 Hr 15 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For meat loaf 101

  • 2 lb
    of ground beef (or mixtures of ground beef, ground turkey and/or ground pork)
  • 2
    large eggs
  • 1/2
    medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4
    medium green pepper, seeded & chopped
  • 1 c
    or so canned bread crumbs or dry uncooked oatmeal
  • 2 Tbsp
    worcestershire sauce
  • 15 oz
    can tomato sauce, divided
  • some
    green pepper strips, optional
  • sprinkle
    parmesan cheese, optional
  • 1 pkg
    onion soup mix, instead of chopped onions
  • 1 or 2 clove
    minced garlic
  • some
    sliced mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp
    a-1 sauce, instead of worcestershire sauce
  • 1 c
    of ketchup (or so), instead of tomato sauce, in & on the meat loaf
  • 1/2 c
    bbq sauce, instead of tomato sauce topping
  • some
    canned tomatoes, instead of tomato sauce topping
  • 1/2 c
    salsa, instead of tomato sauce topping
  • 1 c
    shredded cheese, some in & some on the meat loaf

How To Make meat loaf 101

  • 1
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. There are different schools of thought when it comes to baking meat loaf. Some people like using loaf pans. Maybe it's because I often use "cheaper" ground meat, but I find that the grease soaks into the meat loaf too much when I use loaf pans. Instead, I cover a 13 x 9" baking pan with foil and set aside.
  • 2
    Put the ground meat, eggs, chopped veggies, bread crumbs/oats, worcestershire sauce, and 1/2 of the tomato sauce into a large bowl.
  • 3
    Mix all ingredients together. Some people try to do this with a large paddle spoon, but I just smoosh it together using one hand, keeping the other hand clean so I can add more bread crumbs, if necessary. The mixture should be firm, so it will stick together while baking, but not stiff.
  • 4
    While the mixture is still in the bowl, begin shaping it into one or two oblong "loaves."
  • 5
    Put the loaf or loaves into the prepared baking pan. I like to top the loaf/loaves with the rest of the tomato sauce, leftover green pepper strips, and parmesan cheese. Like this for one loaf...
  • 6
    ...or maybe this, for two loaves.
  • 7
    Bake at 350 degrees F for about 75 minutes or so. (I've been known to cut into a meat loaf, if I really can't decide if it's done in the middle. I'm sure there's a rule about NOT doing that, but I'm a rebel that way...)
  • 8
    Once you decide your meat loaf is done, remove it from the oven & take it out of the pan. (You really don't want it soaking up any grease, you know?) Allow it to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  • 9
    TOMATO GRAVY, anyone? This southern accompaniment is easy to make in the last few minutes of baking the meatloaf. Check it out here:
  • 10
    Serve with your favorite side dishes. That would be mashed potatoes & corn, as shown here, or and maybe (These recipes can also be found in my personal recipe section.) Now wasn't that easy? =^..^=