My Favorite Meatloaf Recipe

My Favorite Meatloaf Recipe | #recipe

I’ve talked a lot about Sunday dinners at my grandma’s house, where there was always an abundance of pasta and traditional Italian foods. However, we would often eat dinner at grandma’s at random times throughout the week. If she knew my parents were particularly busy, or happened to be making something she knew we’d like, she would call and tell us to come over. One of my favorite non-Italian meals that she made was meatloaf with mashed potatoes. It’s such a comfort food, and it reminds me of walking into her house on chilly fall and winter evenings, when it was already dark at dinnertime.

Not long after my Chief Culinary Consultant and I began dating, I found out that meatloaf was one of his favorite meals. It took me awhile, but I finally found a meatloaf recipe that we both love and that’s incredibly easy to make.


My Favorite Meatloaf Recipe | #recipe

I love that this recipe uses a mixture of ground beef, pork and veal, which keeps the meatloaf from tasting like a giant hamburger; it also keeps the final texture nice and moist, and not at all crumbly. There are quite a few notes on possible ingredients and pan substitutions in the recipe below, so be sure to check them out. The ability to play around with the ingredients makes this a very forgiving and adaptable recipe.

Without exception, I serve meatloaf with my favorite mashed potatoes; you can’t have meatloaf without the mashed potatoes as far as I’m concerned!

This meatloaf is husband-approved and making it always reminds me of cozy dinners at my grandma’s house, so it’s a definite win-win for me.

My Favorite Meatloaf Recipe | #recipe

One year ago: Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats with Dark Chocolate
Two years ago: Alton Brown’s “The Chewy” Chocolate Chip Cookies
Three years ago: Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats
Four years ago: Cheese, Olive and Ham Bread
Five years ago: Lemon Burst Cookies

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My Favorite Meatloaf Recipe

After years of experimenting with various meatloaf recipes, I’ve finally found my favorite!


For the Glaze:

  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cider vinegar

For the Meatloaf:

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • ½ pound ground veal
  • 16 saltine crackers, crushed
  • ⅓ cup minced fresh parsley


  1. Make the Glaze: In a small saucepan, whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar and vinegar; set aside.
  2. Make the Glaze: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool while preparing the remaining ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, thyme, salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne and milk. Add the ground meats, crackers, parsley and cooked onion mixture; mix with a fork until evenly blended.
  4. With wet hands, pat the mixture into a 9-by-5-inch loaf shape. Place on a foil-lined rimmed baking pan (you could also use a 9×5-inch loaf pan with a perforated bottom). Brush with half of the glaze.
  5. Bake loaf until it is cooked through (it should register 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer), about 1 hour. Cool at least 20 minutes. Simmer the remaining glaze over medium heat until thickened slightly. Slice the meatloaf and serve with extra glaze.

Recipe Notes:

Note #1: The whole milk can be replaced by ½ cup plain yogurt.

Note #2: The crushed saltines can be replaced by ⅔ cup quick oats or 1⅓ cups fresh bread crumbs.

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(Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)

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