Thomas is an award-winning chef with 40+ years of experience. He loves to cook and share recipes.
The World's Best Meatloaf Recipe
Here is one of the most delicious recipes for meatloaf and tomato gravy that you will ever make and enjoy. Once you taste it, I think you'll agree that it truly is the best.
Meatloaf, to most Americans, is a comfort food. Most of us remember our grandmother or mom making that oh-so-special, delicious meatloaf. I know I do. Both my grandmother and my mom made delicious meatloaf that I still remember. I merged their recipes with mine and that is how I came up with this wonderful version.
No matter how you prepare this recipe, it's wonderful. I personally think it deserves the title "world's best meatloaf."
I've got a lot of information to share with you here. Here's what I want to teach you:
- How to make meatloaf
- Making a killer sauce from scratch
- Tips and tricks
- Using the right materials
- Leftover ideas
Before You Start
- Chop veggies finely. Be sure that your celery, onions, and bell peppers are chopped into very small and even pieces. You don't want any large chunks of vegetables in your loaf. I get the best results by chopping my vegetables in my food processor so that all the small pieces are the same size. You want the pieces to be as small as possible—with my food processor, they come out to be about the size of a grain of rice.
- Wet your hands. You should wet your hands when you are working with and shaping your meatloaf. If you do this, you'll find that the loaf is less likely to stick to your hands. You'll also find that cleaning your hands up afterward will be much easier.
- 2 and 1/2 pounds of ground beef
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons of half and half
- 2 teaspoons horseradish
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1/2 cup of finely diced celery
- 1/2 of finely diced onion
- 1/2 of finely diced green pepper
- 1 and 1/2 cups plain bread crumbs
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- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, half and half, an egg, and the seasonings. Spray your hands with vegetable cooking spray and get right in there, mixing your meatloaf up well.
- Now add in the rest of your ingredients and mix them up very well.
- Shape your meat mixture into a loaf and place it onto a baking pan that you have sprayed with vegetable cooking spray. Be sure to smooth out the top part of the loaf with your hands. You can choose either to dome the top part or make it flat, whatever your preference is. After it's smoothed or domed, spread the ketchup over the outside.
- Bake for about 45 minutes or until your meatloaf reaches an internal temperature of 160°F in its center at the thickest part. Allow it to cool slightly before you slice and serve.
Delicious Tomato Gravy Recipe
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 (10-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 1 (16-ounce) can of tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, for one minute.
- Whisk in the remaining ingredients and cook for five minutes, or until thoroughly heated. Serve on the side with your meatloaf, and wait for others to be wowed and beg you for the recipe.
Tips for Your Best-Ever Meatloaf
- Pans: I like to use a loaf pan or loaf pans to cook my meatloaf in. If you like to use baking paper, take the time to find the kind that has tinfoil on one side and parchment paper on the other side. Cut pieces of this paper to fit the bottom of your pans and put the tinfoil side of the baking paper down. This will help to ensure that your cooked meatloaf will come out of the pan just perfect.
- Room-Temperature Ingredients: Let all your ingredients acclimate to room temperature before you start to mix everything up. This way, it will mix up a lot easier, and it will always go together and come out of the oven looking pretty.
- Internal Temperature: Always cook the loaf until it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F (70°C). Measure the temperature at the thickest part of the meatloaf. It's best to use an instant-read meat thermometer to get the right temperature.
- Lean Version: To make a healthier rendition, start with lean beef or pork and place the loaf on a rack over a roasting pan so the excess fat can drain off as the loaf bakes. You can also replace half the ground meat with ground turkey or use an egg substitute. That is, if you feel like being healthier. I like it made just as the recipe dictates.
- Super Moist Meatloaf: Some recipes call for a 1/2 cup of milk in addition to the cream, which makes the loaf even more delicious and moist.
- Cook It the Day Before: Most people will find they can make and cook their meatloaf on the day of or the day before serving and store it in the refrigerator overnight, covered. Many claim that the flavor is enhanced this way. Try it and see what you think. I like to make it and cook it all in one day. Then I like to store the finished version overnight in the refrigerator, heating it up and serving it the next day.
- Side Ideas: This meatloaf is amazing served with homemade mashed potatoes, brown gravy, and green beans. You won't find a more delicious combination.
- Incorporate Other Meats: In case you don't know, meatloaf is any ground meat mixture that is shaped into a loaf and baked. Meatloaves can be made from beef, veal, lamb, or pork, and usually contain onions, breadcrumbs, eggs, and various seasonings. No recipe is written in stone. If a recipe has something in it you don't like, then, by all means, take it out and use something else. You never know what kind of tasty meatloaf you may end up with. Be sure to thinly slice your leftover meatloaf and try it in sandwiches (see below for instructions on this).
Yummy Add-In Ideas for Your Meatloaf
- Italian seasoning
Ideas for Leftover Meatloaf
How About a Delicious Sandwich?
Have you ever had a meatloaf sandwich? If not, you need to make one!
- Cut the leftover meatloaf into thin slices for open-faced sandwiches. Add an egg on top for an interesting touch!
- Take two pieces of toast and heat up two thin slices of your leftover meatloaf.
- Then, put brown gravy with cooked, thinly sliced sweet onions in it over the meatloaf and toast—you'll have one of the most delicious sandwiches ever.
More Leftover Meatloaf Ideas
If you get tired of the tried-and-true leftover meatloaf sandwich, here are a few unconventional ways to use your leftover meatloaf.
- Spaghetti with meat(loaf) sauce
- Shepherd's pie
- Meatloaf tacos
- Stuffed bell peppers with meatloaf, cheese, and rice
- Breakfast skillet with eggs, hash browns, and meatloaf
© 2010 Thomas Byers