Not your Mama’s Meatloaf

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Okay, so you inform your family or whoever completely relies on you for their sustenance, that dinner tonight will be meatloaf.  You eagerly await the roaring response of “YES!”  “Thank you for taking the time to make such a wonderful meal-it’s our favorite!”  Yeah right.  The response used to be the same here.  “What?  Why do we have to have that?  I hate meatloaf.  Can we at least have mashed potatoes with it so we don’t have to taste it?”  Yes, these and other similar replies have been uttered throughout time over this much maligned hunk of meat stuff.

Now to be fair, most meatloaf recipes I’ve tried would make my dog gag or they were just completely devoid of flavor.  We’ve all seen the onion soup mix, ketchup and breadcrumb recipe in many iterations and while easy to prepare; boring tastes boring.  Years ago, I set out on the task of creating a meatloaf that would illicit praise rather than revulsion.  While I’m not quite there with my son (still has to have the mashed potatoes to go along), I’ve accomplished my goal with my wife and daughter.  I actually get that “Yeah, I love meatloaf!” response from my daughter that I had been yearning for all those years.  Success.

Start with 1 onion diced, 1 red bell pepper diced, 3 green onions (white and pale green parts only) diced, 2 carrots finely diced and 6 garlic cloves minced.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a wide fry pan over medium heat.  When the butter has melted, add the vegetables.  Add 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano(preferably Mexican oregano), couple pinches of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme.  Saute until the vegetables have softened and their liquid has evaporated about 15 minutes.  Make sure the vegetables don’t brown; you just want them soft.  Remove to a plate and let cool for 20 minutes in the fridge.

In a bowl, whisk together 3 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon all purpose seasoning such as Emeril’s and 2 large pinches of kosher salt until combined.

To the same bowl add 1/2 cup ketchup, 3 tablespoons chili sauce and 1/2 cup half and half.  Whisk to combine.

In a large bowl combine 2 pounds lean ground beef, 12 ounces reduced fat sausage such as Farmer John’s, 1 cup fresh bread crumbs(2 slices white bread whirled in the food processor), the reserved vegetable mixture and the ketchup mixture from the previous picture.  With your hands, mix thoroughly.  Form into a large elongated oval in a 9×13 glass pan.  Cook uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

In a bowl combine 1/4 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup chili sauce, 2 tablespoons yellow mustard, 3 packed tablespoons brown sugar and 1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce and whisk to combine.  If you prefer to use prepared bbq sauce, that will work just fine.  This is just what my wife likes and she gets what she wants.  Remove the grease from the pan and brush the sauce all over the meatloaf then cook in the oven for an additional 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and let the meatloaf rest loosely covered for about 25 minutes before slicing.  As you can see, my son got his garlic mashed potatoes.  Enjoy!

Not your Mama's Meatloaf
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe will change the minds of "most" meatloaf haters. Not boring by any stretch, it's packed with flavor from all the vegetables and herbs and has just enough heat to notice. I hope it converts someone in your family.
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 8-10
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 green onions diced (white and pale green parts only)
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 2 carrots finely diced
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • ¾ teaspoon dried oregano preferably Mexican oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon all-purpose seasoning such as Emeril's
  • 2 large pinches kosher salt
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons chili sauce
  • ½ cup half and half
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 12 ounces reduced fat sausage such as Farmer John's
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a wide fry pan over medium heat. When the butter is melted add the onion, green onion, red bell, carrot, garlic, oregano, thyme and salt and saute until soft and the liquid from the vegetables has evaporated about 15 minutes. Remove them to a plate and cool for 20 minutes in the fridge.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin, nutmeg, Emeril's seasoning and 2 pinches salt. Add the ketchup, chili sauce and half and half. Whisk to combine.
  3. In a large bowl add the ground beef, sausage, breadcrumbs, the reserved vegetable mix and the ketchup/egg mix. Combine thoroughly with your hands. Form into a large elongated oval in a 9x13 glass pan.
  4. Cook uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes
  5. In a bowl combine the ¼ cup ketchup, ¼ cup chili sauce, yellow mustard, brown sugar and Hoisin sauce to form a glaze for the meat.
  6. Remove the meatloaf when done and pour off the grease. Brush the meatloaf with the glaze and return to the oven for 15 minutes more. Remove and let rest loosely covered for about 25 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!




Not your Mama’s Meatloaf — 3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Cheesy Meatloaf Pockets with creamy onion gravy | FillYourBelly

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