Is there any better comfort food that this Simple Classic Meatloaf Recipe? Perfect in texture and flavor this traditional meatloaf recipe is just begging for leftover meatloaf sandwiches.
I’m a sucker for a good meatloaf. Something happens when you mix ground beef, herbs, seasoning, bread crumbs, celery and onion. Smear that sweet and tangy glaze over the top and I’ll swat your fork away to get at a slice first. And of course served with mashed potatoes and Kansas Old Fashioned Green Beans.
I make classic meatloaf like my mom did. Toss the ground beef directly in a bowl and start adding ingredients until if seems “right.” Same with the glaze topping on the top to complete the package of yum. Many times my mom would crush up saltine crackers for the breading…for this recipe I used panko.
The Friday before the Christmas festivities began, I got a wild hair to make this version…the one I grew up with and actually write everything down as I went along. So I’d have a documented method to get the texture right, without all the guessing. I guess one would call that a recipe!
We’ve all had meatloafs that are swimming in grease, meatloafs that fall apart and meatloafs that are dry:
Tips For Making Meatloaf
- I’ve never mixed meatloaf ingredients any other way than with my hands. Don’t overwork the meat mixture. Overworking makes for a mushy combination and a touch end result. And coat our hands with a thin layer of oil. This will keep the mixture from sticking all over your fingers.
- Always consistently small dice your vegetables and cook them before mixing with the raw meat. This is one step towards a meatloaf that doesn’t fall apart after it’s cooked.
- Don’t go too lean on the beef. Meatloaf needs a little fat content to help with that moist texture. 15% fat is a good ratio. I’ve never been successful making meatloaf out of lean chicken or turkey.
- Glaze, glaze, glaze. A meatloaf wouldn’t be the same without it. What you see in the recipe below is a traditional meatloaf glaze of catsup and mustard. Make it your, get creative with ingredients, but never cook a meatloaf without it. It’s all about that complimentary flavoring for the end result.
- This recipe calls for shaping the loaf with a loaf pan, sheet pan or casserole. I actually prefer the sheet pan method. You will get that ever so slight crusty effect on the loaf. A loaf pan, with it’s high sides will produce more of a steamed product.
- As with most meat recipes, meatloaf likes to rest before serving. A 10 minute rest will yield a more cut-able product.
Ever thought about dividing that large meatloaf into smaller individual serving meatloaf? Great idea! Use a 1 cup measure to scoop out meatloaf mixture and form into balls, then smash down slightly so they stay in place on the roasting pan. Glaze and cook until meat thermometer reaches 165.
Who needs a cozy blanket when you’ve got comfort food like this.
I’ve made a couple other versions by recipe, like Chef Paul’s Cajun version – killer by the way. A Colorado version with a Southwestern flair, and a friend’s Kentucky version, Lemon Meatloaf. Wow on all accounts. But not as good as Mom’s. I have to admit, I snuck a few shakes of Tabasco in … doubt mom ever did that.
Simple Classic Meatloaf Recipe
I hope you give this traditional meatloaf recipe a try. And if you do, please come back and let me know how you liked it and give the recipe a star rating. Your feedback is valuable to me for developing future recipes.
And if you have a classic meatloaf recipe, let me know, I’d love to give your version a try.
An easy no-fail recipe for classic traditional meatloaf.
- 2 Tablespoons oil
- 2 stalks celery cleaned and diced
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic diced
- 2 pounds lean ground beef 15% fat
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup catsup
- 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon dried thyme
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- For the Glaze:
- 1/4 cup catsup
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard heaping
- 3 shakes Tabasco sauce
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.
- Heat fry pan over medium high heat. Add oil until hot. Add onion and celery and cook until tender. About 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl add the ground beef, salt, pepper, onion, celery, garlic mixture, catsup, mustard, Worcestershire, thyme, eggs and panko. With your hands blend mixture until well mixed.
- In a small bowl, combine the catsup, mustard, Tabasco and brown sugar to make the glaze. Stir well until blended.
- Form the mixture into a loaf using either a loaf pan, sheet pan or oven safe casserole. Smear the loaf with the glaze mixture. Bake 50 minutes or until thermometer reaches 155 degrees.
Simple Classic Meatloaf Recipe …It’s what’s for Dinner.