It doesn't have to be complicated--simple meatloaf recipes make great dinners. Learn how to make a meatloaf no one can resist!
What Is Meatloaf?
Pressed together into a long rectangular shape, meatloaf consists of ground beef or pork and a variety of spices. Some recipes call for ground sirloin or ground turkey. Breadcrumbs and an egg hold the ground meat together. When mixed by hand, these blended ingredients form a succulent meat that can be sliced to serve with mashed potatoes and gravy. Some cooks say that anything can go into a meatloaf. Perhaps that is why the joke about grandma's mystery meatloaf continues to thrive.
Simple Meatloaf Recipes That Are Delicious
The preparation time for the simple meatloaf recipes below takes 10-15 minutes. Baking the loaf is where time is needed since most meatloaf dishes take about an hour to cook.
Ingredients for Meatloaf With Sweet Sauce
- 1 slice of plain bread torn into tiny pieces to form bread crumbs (premade plain bread crumbs may also be used)
- 1 small onion, chopped fine
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup of chopped celery
- 1/2 cup of chopped green pepper
- 1/2 cup of carrots, grated
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef or 1 1/2 pounds of ground turkey
Recipe for the Sauce
1/2 cup of light or dark brown sugar 1/4 cup of vinegar 2 teaspoons of mustard 2 teaspoons of tomato sauce or ketchup 1/2 teaspoon of paprika 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, fresh or bottled
- Mix the breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, celery, green pepper, and carrots together.
- Add the egg, salt, pepper, and ground beef.
- Blend well with fingers.
- Place in a 9x9-inch loaf pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Mix the ingredients for the sauce in a small saucepan.
- Heat for 5 minutes on low heat.
- Spoon onto the top of the meatloaf during the last thirty minutes of baking.
- Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing to serve.
- Serve with mashed potatoes and a side of cole slaw.
Variations on Meatloaf With Sweet Sauce
For an Italian-style meatloaf, substitute the plain bread crumbs in the recipe above for Italian-seasoned. Add 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and omit the sweet sauce on the top. Instead, mix 1 cup of tomato sauce with salt, pepper, 1/4 cup of Italian dressing, and fresh or dried parsley. Pour this sauce over the meatloaf before the last thirty minutes of baking. This is a zesty variation.
Ingredients for Meatloaf With Cheese
- 2 pounds of ground beef or ground turkey
- 1 cup of cheddar cheese (use your favorite kind)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 small green pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup of red pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup of celery, chopped
- 1/4 cup of plain bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon of mustard
- 3 tablespoons of ketchup
- Mix the beef or turkey, onion, red and green peppers, celery, bread crumbs, mustard, and ketchup together well.
- Press half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9x9-inch baking pan.
- Add the cheese by pressing it onto the top of the mixture.
- Add the remaining meat.
- Seal the edges with your fingertips.
- Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes.
- Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Other Variations on Meatloaf
Besides the breadcrumbs, egg, and ketchup, there are other common ingredients used for baking a meatloaf such as a package of onion soup mix, a packet of beef soup, or a beef bouillon cube dissolved in a tablespoon of hot water. A dash or two of Worcestershire sauce can be added to any meatloaf recipe as well.