Cooking for a Crowd,  Dinner,  Meat,  Recipes

Classic Meatloaf

When I was simply a mom of 3, I never would have considered making meatloaf in warm weather. In my mind, I very clearly delineate food into seasons, and it’s not for a noble reason like what produce is fresh for that time of year. It’s simply that when it’s warm outside I want salads, I want to grill…then I became the cook for our blended family of 10. Well, my perspective changed and while I still love grilling, sometimes I don’t feel like dealing with 10 chicken breasts on the grill, I just want to make something and throw it in the oven. Enter meatloaf. The inspiration for this meatloaf comes from Cook’s Illustrated The Best Recipe¬†(another of my top 10 can’t live without cookbooks)¬†and I have been making my version for years. This recipe is Trafford’s favorite meal and the very first dinner I made when we all moved into our new house together…2 1/2 months ago. This meatloaf was a huge hit!

I have been trying to take a great picture of meatloaf for years. I have tried taking pics of it whole and taking pics of it sliced and they just never look great. Trust me, this is amazing!
I have been trying to take a great picture of meatloaf for years. I have tried taking pics of it whole and taking pics of it sliced and they just never look great. Trust me, this is amazing!
Classic Meatloaf
Author: Kate Wagner
Serves: 10-12
I know this makes a lot of food, but consider just making it as is. Before my family was so large, I would still make this meatloaf exactly this way and this big. Because in my opinion, if you are going to the trouble of this many ingredients to make something perfect – why not make enough so you don’t have to make dinner another night this week – you have dinner to heat up! No dishes = happy mom! Happy cooking!
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 large Yellow onion, finely chopped (or blitz it in the food processor like I do)
  • 3 tbsp Minced garlic
  • 3 Eggs, large
  • 2 tbsp Dried thyme
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups Panko or fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup Plain yogurt or whole milk
  • 2 1/2 lbs Meatloaf mix (see note)
  • 1-2 cups Ketchup
  1. Preheat oven to 350, cover a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes longer. Remove pan from the heat and transfer onions and garlic to a small bowl (they will cool so much faster).
  3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, then add thyme, Kosher salt, breadcrumbs, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and yogurt. Mix throughly to combine.
  4. Add the meatloaf mix (do not add sooner, because you want to mix as little as possible). Gently mix with your hands to combine.
  5. Scoop meatloaf mixture out of the bowl, directly onto the foil lined baking sheet. Pat mixture into a loaf shape (you could also make 2 smaller loaves – easier for leftovers).
  6. Cover with ketchup and place on the middle rack in the oven.
  7. Bake for 1 hour, meatloaf is hard to check for doneness, so if you have a digital thermometer this is a great place to use it. You want an internal temperature of 160 degrees (it will continue to cook, adding the last 5 degrees while it rests).
  8. Let meatloaf rest for 15-20 minutes, slice and serve.
[b]Meatloaf mix[/b] – if you are making meatloaf in the spring or summer you will not find the mix out at the grocery store. If that’s the case, then swap 1 package 90/10 ground beef and 1 package ground pork. I created this recipe based on 2 1/2 lbs of meat because most meat is sold in 1 1/4 lb ish increments, so this would mean you are buying 2 packs of meat. Don’t worry if your total meat amount is slightly smaller or larger, the meatloaf will still turn out great.


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