Hands down, meatloaf is one of my favorite comfort foods and is also inexpensive. For example, meatloaf reminds me of childhood and an easy meal we had in our house on a Sunday for dinner. Meatloaf goes well with anything from steak fries to vegetables to salad. You can make it ahead, store it in your fridge, or whip it up quick for a family meal. My trick to a good meatloaf is to add 1-pound of pork sausage to the beef. In addition to an egg and breadcrumbs, seasoning add such a special personal touch to your own recipe.
Published October 19, 2021
Updated March 18, 2022
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A History of Meatloaf
“By the 1950s, meatloaf was here to stay. Betty Crocker had recipes, which home cooks tweaked. A 1958 book, 365 Ways to Cook Hamburger, included 70 recipes for meatloaf, and while you won’t find nearly that many in our book, that’s because some of those 70 went a bit wild, advocating smashed bananas, for example, or ketchup-filled peach halves.” A History of Meatloaf by Bon Appetit.
Meatloaf has its history going way back to the 5th century in Medieval Europe, where they mixed meat with chunks of fruit, nuts and seasonings. The origins of meatloaf all surround using whatever food was left over, as a sort of mash-up of anything to cook.
In the 1870’s, meatloaf was a breakfast staple, used to stretch proteins when the cold winters in America were long and harsh. During this time, they soaked bread chunks in egg and mixed them with meat, onions, vegetables and seasonings. Check out Bon Appetite’s website for more on A History of Meatloaf.
Bon Appetit is not a sponsor for this blog.
Cost breakdown for this recipe
As recipes go, this one is generally straightforward. Meat, eggs and seasoning come together to make this recipe on the lower end of cost for dinner. However, I am honestly shocked at the rising cost of ground beef. A year ago, for example, 2-pounds of ground beef was well under $10. Now, for instance, the same beef is over $11.
2-pounds ground beef $11.40
1-pound ground pork sausage $2.39
1 egg $0.08
1/2 cup breadcrumbs $0.40
1 tsp Italian seasoning $0.05
1/2 tsp salt/pepper $0.02
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce $0.05
russet potatoes $2.00
The total cost to make this meatloaf was only $19.18.
When all was finished, this meal came to only $2.39 per serving, including a lunch for Tyler the next day. Not too bad for a 3-pound meatloaf with potato wedges and broccoli as sides.
Ingredients for Meatloaf
2-pounds ground beef
1-pound ground pork sausage
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Directions for Meatloaf
1. Begin by preheating your oven to 375 degrees.
2. Firstly, spray a 4 X 8 baking dish with a non-stick spray. Glass pans work great for meatloaf, as it cooks the meat evenly while providing for a quick clean-up after you are done.
3. Secondly, put 2-pounds of ground beef and 1-pound of ground pork sausage in a large bowl. This blend is not something I read or found a recipe for, but it does make the meatloaf taste great. The pork sausage adds a great flavor while lowering the cost significantly if you need a 3-pound loaf to feed more people. While grocery shopping, I could not believe the cost of ground beef right now!
When researching The History of Meatloaf, I read that a lot of recipes from 1800’s and on listed using pork, beef or anything that was available. So technically I am not breaking any moral codes or causing any cooking violations by using two different meats.
4. Thirdly, add 1 egg to the beef in the bowl, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.
This is the perfect time to completely customize your own Meatloaf recipe. For example, you can choose to add different spices, ketchup, BBQ sauce, more Italian seasonings or even French-Fried Onions. In the past, we have added French Fried Onions and it adds such a great flavor, give it a try some time but be sure to add breadcrumbs and an egg to help it come together.
5. The easiest way to mix meatloaf is with your hands, really get in there and mix it up! Finding a great bowl with a silicone non-slip bottom is amazingly helpful while mixing this recipe, as you will find it easier to mix with your hands while not needing to worry about keeping your bowl steady.
6. Place the meat mixture into the prepared baking dish, then press it down firmly to each edge and making sure it gets molded into the corners.
I always get into the habit of pressing down the center of any raw burger that I cook, as this is to allow for the meat to fully cook in the middle and not rise up but stay flatter.
7. Bake until the internal temperature of the meatloaf reaches 165 degrees.
8. Remove from the oven and serve with any sides that you have made. It may honestly not look that appealing, but the flavor is SO good! Our boys like it with ketchup like Tyler, but I really enjoy meatloaf with BBQ. yummmmm….
I have tried some recipes where ketchup was slathered onto the top of the loaf while cooking the last 10 minutes or so. I have not done this in a long time, as it just dries out and I really do not like the taste of ketchup on my meatloaf.
What way do you eat yours? Leave a comment and let me know!
9. Additionally to the meatloaf, we had steak fries made from russet potatoes and broccoli roasted in the oven. Make sure to wash the potatoes and broccoli before prepping them.
Cut them on a cutting board and then place them in a medium bowl and drizzle with oil.
10. Place the prepared vegetables on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray then drizzle with oil and sprinkle with Lowry’s Seasoning Salt.
11. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees until the potatoes are tender.
Serve and enjoy!
Recipe for Meatloaf
- 4 X 8-inch bake dish
- Non-stick spray
- Medium Bowl
- 2 pounds Ground Beef
- 1 pound Pork Sausage
- 1 Egg
- 1/2 cup Plain Breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- Preheat an oven to 375 degrees.
- Spray a 4 X 8-inch baking dish with a non-stick spray and set aside.
- Put 2-pounds of ground beef and 1-pound of ground pork sausage in a medium bowl.
- Add 1 egg to the beef, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.
- The easiest way to mix meatloaf is with your hands, really get in there and mix it up!
- Place the meat mixture into the prepared baking dish and press it into the sides and corners.
- Bake until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, around 30-45 minutes.
- Finally remove the meatloaf and vegetables from the oven and serve with ketchup, BBQ or any other sauces you desire. Enjoy!
10 responses to “Meatloaf – the Best Comfort Food Recipe”
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