How to Make Meatloaf

Two Parts:Making Basic MeatloafMaking Creative Meatloaf

Do you like to be creative with your food? Try making some meatloaf. This recipe is really easy, and yet with so many different things you can add to meatloaf, dinner won't taste bland and be the same! This recipe will serve 6.


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 3 slices white bread, torn into small pieces OR 1 cup breadcrumbs/crackers/oatmeal
  • 1 cup tomato juice or milk
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Part 1
Making Basic Meatloaf

  1. 1
    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It's best to preheat the oven, because then your oven will be ready to go when you've finished putting the ingredients together and it will take less time to cook.
    • That's 175 degrees Celsius.
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    Mix bread pieces, onion, salt and pepper. The bread pieces (or breadcrumbs, crackers, or oatmeal) act as binders and make sure that you meatloaf hangs together well. To this end you want the bread pieces to be well torn up.
    • If you're using oatmeal, it is best to use a food processor to grind it up, so that it is in smaller bits, because that will act as a better binder. However, it isn't entirely necessary, so if you can't grind it, your meatloaf will still come out fine (just a bit more crumbly).
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    Crack egg into a different bowl. It's best to do this so that if you get a little bit of shell in with the egg you can easily get rid of it. You'll then want to lightly beat the egg in preparation for adding it to the ground beef mixture.
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    Mix beef, tomato juice and egg. You want to mix these ingredients enough so that they are blended well, but not too much. Be gentle with the meat otherwise it will get tough and no one wants tough meatloaf.
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    Add bread mixture to ground beef mixture. It's best to do this with your hands, since you'll need to shape the mixture into the meatloaf shape. Again, be gentle and only mix so much as you need to have everything nicely blended together.
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    Shape into bread shape in pan. Instead of using a bread pan, it is best to use a cookie sheet without sides, so that the fat can run off from the meatloaf. If you do use a bread pan, you'll have a greasier meatloaf.
    • On the cookie sheet, form the meatloaf into the shape of a bread loaf (like you would if you were making it in the bread pan).
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    Bake 1hour and 30 minutes or until the meatloaf is cooked through. The juices will run clear when the meat loaf is fully cooked.
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    Remove pan from oven with oven mitts and drain off fat. You'll want to let it cool for a bit beforehand (you can cover with a bit of tinfoil). This way the meatloaf will be much easier to cut and serve without crumbling everywhere.
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    Serve and enjoy! You can serve it with mashed potatoes, baked cauliflower, a nice fresh salad, anything you want.

Part 2
Making Creative Meatloaf

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    Add unusual fillings to your meatloaf. Try mixing in thin slices of potato, peppers, mushrooms, celery, beans, carrots, etc. You'll want to make sure that they are well sliced, by hand or in a food processor.
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    Add cheese. You can either put cheese in the mixture of the meatloaf itself, or over the top. You can even spread the meatloaf mixture out flat on a non-stick surface and put cheese in the middle and roll the meatloaf around the cheese, so that you'll have a super cheesy inside to the meatloaf.
    • Try good old cheddar mixed with pepper jack cheese for a spicier flavor.
    • Blue cheese is great if you want a smokier taste.
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    Make a glaze for the top. You'll want to let the meatloaf cook for at least 10 minutes before adding this on top. There are lots of different glazes you can make, from something as simple as brushing a little Worcester sauce over the top, to more complicated versions.
    • One version is to mix ketchup, Worcester sauce, honey, cumin seeds and a little tabasco together and brush over the top of the meatloaf. If you do this to a basic meatloaf it will give it a little more flare.
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    Spice it up. Add fresh or dried herbs to the mixture, or add red pepper flakes, and garlic. Experiment with different herb and spice combinations to see what you like the best. Make it spicier with more peppers, or add a little fresh rosemary.
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    Try different meats. You can try adding different kinds of meats to the ground beef for different flavors and fat content. Just replace that 1/2 pound of ground beef with whatever meat you want to try.
    • For a spicier version add some spicy sausage to the ground beef mixture.
    • Adding ground pork makes for a higher fat content and adds a nice, different taste to the meatloaf.


  • Instead of onion powder, add some freshly chopped white onions to your meatloaf instead.
  • For better meatloaf toast bread and crumble into the mixture!
  • If you want meatloaf that's juicier and more moist, you can add 1/2 a cup of vegetable/chicken broth or tomato juice. You can also soak your breadcrumbs in milk beforehand, but don't soak them in soy milk, it tastes really bad.
  • You can also use any kind of crackers. I love using garlic crackers for flavor.
  • Breadcrumbs can be replaced with bits of unsweetened cereal.


  • Don't forget to check the oven occasionally, you else you will get burnt meatloaf.

Article Info

Categories: Meat