Meatloaf is an old-school recipe that everyone should know how to make. It might not be the sexiest piece of food, but damn is it delish. Especially in a sandwich the next day OR with a fried egg on top. Here’s what to remember:
1. Cut your veggies small. And cook them first!
Big chunks of vegetables will ultimately lead to a crumblier meatloaf. Also, chunky meatloaf isn’t the most appetizing. You could get away with mixing raw onion, carrots, and celery into the meat before baking (they’ll technically cook in the oven), but you’ll get way more flavor by sautéing them first.
2. You need eggs.
Trust us, don’t skip them. The eggs help bind the meat, bread crumbs, and vegetables. They also make the meat moist (sorry!) and tender. Without them, the beef would be dense and dry.
3. You can substitute the bread crumbs.
Ground beef can be overwhelming heavy, especially when baked in a loaf pan. Bread crumbs help lighten it up. We usually use plain bread crumbs, but seasoned, panko, and fresh work too. You can even use almond flour, like we did in our Bacon-Wrapped Keto Meatloaf.
4. Season generously.
Under-seasoning food is very common kitchen mistake. Generally speaking, you want about 1 teaspoon salt per pound of meat. Just keep in mind that you’re seasoning your mirepoix (cooked carrot, onion, and celery medley) too!
5. Use a meat thermometer.
Meatloaf tends to look done on the outside before it’s actually ready. And it won’t hold together properly unless it’s fully cooked! So even if you like a medium rare burger, you do not want a medium-rare meatloaf. Use an instant read meat thermometer and don’t pull the meatloaf until it reaches 155°.
6. Let it rest.
Before slicing your meatloaf, let it rest for at least 15 minutes. Otherwise, it’ll be harder to get clean slices. Since it was in the oven for over an hour, you won’t risk it going cold too quickly.
- Cooking spray
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 lb. ground beef
- 1/2 c. bread crumbs
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 c. ketchup
- 2 tbsp. packed brown sugar
- Freshly chopped parsley, for serving
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- Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9″-x-5″ loaf pan with cooking spray. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 minutes. Add thyme and garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Turn off heat and stir in Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste. Let cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, combine vegetable mixture, ground beef, bread crumbs, and eggs. Press into prepared loaf pan.
- In a small bowl, whisk together ketchup and brown sugar.
- Brush meatloaf with half the ketchup mixture and bake for 45 minutes. Brush with remaining ketchup mixture and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes or until the middle of the loaf reaches 155°. Let cool 15 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley to serve.
You can read full here: https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipes/a50262/meatloaf-recipe/