Meatloaf is a standard comfort food for many of us, however not all meatloaf  recipes are created the same.   Just like there are many ways to boil an egg, there are a countless number of recipes for meatloaf, each promising you award-winning results. 

meatloaf
Nothing beats the taste of homemade meatloaf!  photo : AS Food Studio / Shuttestock

However you prefer to season your meatloaf, there are a few helpful hints to make sure that you end up with a moist and delicious meal that the whole family will love. 

Tips For The Perfect, Moist Meatloaf:

  1. Choose your meat carefully: It is best to use a blend of meat in your recipe. A mixture of beef and pork sausage is ideal to produce a moist and delicious meal. However, if you choose to make meatloaf with a low-fat cut of meat (especially turkey or chicken) you must add more liquid to your base recipe because these cuts of meat don’t have as much fat or liquid content and therefore could produce a dry and crumbly meatloaf. 
  2. Saute your veggies: Whatever vegetables that you choose to use in your meatloaf, be sure to saute them in olive oil or butter before adding them to your meat mixture. This allows the vegetables to break down and add moisture rather than seeking out the moisture if used raw.  meatloaf
  3. Bread/Breadcrumbs: Here is where the biggest debate comes in when it comes to making moist meatloaf. The only thing that can be agreed upon is that stale bread is needed to help bind together the mixture. The problem is that the bread will absorb the moisture when baking. Additional moisture is needed to prevent this from happening. Either soak your bread/breadcrumbs in milk for 15 minutes before adding them to your recipe or my preferred method to solve this problem is to add about 3 tablespoons of chicken stock to the recipe. 
  4. Don’t overmix!: Most people like to combine meatloaf with their hands. This is a great method but most tend to squeeze and mash together the ingredients.  Combine the mixture lightly, just until incorporated, and stop! I prefer to use a fork to prevent the urge to squeeze the mixture too hard between my fingers. 
  5. Don’t use a loaf pan: Instead, place your lightly formed loaf on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. This will allow for even baking, leaving you with a crispy exterior and a moist interior. 
  6. Let it rest: Just like other meats, the meatloaf needs to rest after removing it from the oven. Cover it with foil and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute so that you don’t end up with all the juices on the pan and not back in the meat. 

Many of you have your own meatloaf recipe that just made need a little tweaking to provide that extra moisture to truly make it award-winning.  However, if you are starting from square one, below you will find a classic meatloaf recipe to get you started in the right direction!

meatloaf
Make sure to saute your vegetables to allow for extra moisture in your meatloaf
meatloaf
Don’t over mix the meatloaf or it will become too dense.
meatloaf
Another secret: don’t use a loaf pan for even cooking both inside and out.

 

Classic Meatloaf Recipe

INGREDIENTS:
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons of chicken broth
1 ½ teaspoons tomato paste
3/4 pound ground chuck (80% lean)
3/4 pound of ground sausage
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 extra-large egg, beaten
1/4 cup ketchup or barbecue sauce

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F.
  2. In a medium pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onions, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not brown.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Allow to cool slightly.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, sausage, onion mixture, bread crumbs, and a beaten egg  and mix lightly with a fork.  
  5. Shape the mixture into a rectangular loaf on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Spread the ketchup/barbecue sauce evenly on top.
  6. Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, until the internal temperature is 160° F and the meat loaf is cooked through.

Enjoy!

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Mary and Jim



Classic Moist Meatloaf Recipe

Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon of thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of chicken broth
  • 1 ½ teaspoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 pound ground chuck 80% lean
  • 3/4 pound of ground sausage
  • 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 extra-large egg beaten
  • 1/4 cup ketchup or barbecue sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F.
  2. In a medium pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onions, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not brown.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Allow to cool slightly.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, sausage, onion mixture, bread crumbs, and a beaten egg and mix lightly with a fork.
  5. Shape the mixture into a rectangular loaf on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Spread the ketchup/barbecue sauce evenly on top.
  6. Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, until the internal temperature is 160° F and the meat loaf is cooked through.

Recipe Notes

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

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