Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon parsley leaves, dried
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the onion is tender, frequently stirring to avoid burning. Add the minced garlic to the onion, and continue sautéeing for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, egg, sautéed onion, milk, Worcestershire sauce, bread crumbs, Ritz crackers, parsley, salt, and pepper with your hands. Place the mixture in a lightly greased 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, patting down into an even layer.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, light brown sugar, and red wine vinegar. Mix well and spread evenly over the top of the meatloaf.
  5. Cover the meatloaf with aluminum foil and place it in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, uncover and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

Supplies

  • skillet
  • large bowl
  • 9-by-5-inch loaf pan
  • cooking spray
  • small bowl
  • aluminum foil

Recipe Notes

If you don't have a loaf pan on hand or would prefer not to use one, form the meat mixture into a loaf and place it into a lightly greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Meatloaf has been a staple for American families for generations. This hearty and flavorful dish is great for just about any occasion. If you're thinking meatloaf isn't your thing, think again -- there are plenty of alternatives to the classic meatloaf recipe. Everything from the type of meat used to the toppings and side dishes can create big changes in the flavor department. Here's how you can turn your meatloaf into a unique family favorite.

Switch Out Your Meat

ground beef

While meatloaf is usually made from ground beef, it doesn't have to be. In fact, there are plenty of meat options that create a juicy, succulent, and downright addicting meatloaf. If you're one of those people who doesn't care for traditional meatloaf, try some of these meats instead, and you may see meatloaf in a different light:

  • turkey
  • pork
  • veal
  • chicken
  • lamb
  • venison
  • bison
  • sausage
  • seafood

It's even possible to create a blend of meats for even more flavor possibilities. Some of the best meatballs are a blend of ground pork and ground beef, so don't be afraid of a little experimentation.

Stuff Your Meatloaf With Flavorful Fillings

bell peppers and garlic cloves

If you really want to take your meatloaf to a new world of flavor, you'll want to consider trying out some fillings. The fillings you use can create surprise pockets that are bursting with flavor. Try some of these filling options for a unique and exciting meatloaf:

  • cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, feta, or Parmesan)
  • bacon
  • mashed potatoes
  • tomato jams
  • carrots
  • celery
  • spinach
  • pancetta
  • chorizo
  • onions
  • bell peppers
  • diced tomatoes
  • mushrooms
  • chopped olives
  • chile peppers

Add Toppings Or Glaze

bacon wrapped meatloaf

Keeping your meatloaf moist is essential. Nobody wants to sit down to a dry meatloaf. Adding a topping or glaze to the meatloaf will help it retain moisture and add some extra flavor. Toppings and glazes can add sweet notes, a spicy kick, or more savory goodness. Next time you make a meatloaf, give some of these toppings a try:

  • bacon
  • barbecue sauce
  • chipotle mayo
  • honey barbecue
  • pizza sauce
  • various cheeses, melted
  • chutney
  • maple glaze
  • hot sauce
  • apricot glaze
  • cranberry sauce
  • garlic sauce
  • honey bourbon glaze
  • bacon jam

Choose The Right Side Dishes

mashed potatoes

How can you talk about meatloaf without discussing the sides? Excellent main courses deserve outstanding side dishes. Prepare a great side for your spruced-up meatloaf, and you'll have a new family favorite in no time. Roasted potatoes and colorful root vegetables are a great start. Here are just a few side-dish ideas for meatloaf:

If you go the sweet-potato mash route, try creating meatloaf muffins by cooking the dish in a muffin pan, then topping the finished meatloaves with dollops of creamy sweet-potato mash.

Meatloaf is a simple and quick meal that should be in everyone's repertoire. It can be very flavorful and delicious, and adding different meats, fillings, toppings, or sides can be a great way to keep the dish from becoming boring.

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