Meat Loaf Tips and Tricks

Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 216 Posts
June 4, 2011
Meat Loaf

A dear friend of mine and I agree - we never make meatloaf in quite the same way twice. The last time I made it, I added one cup Brocco-Slaw per pound of meat, along with all the other ingredients, plus oats instead of some of the bread crumbs. It turned out to be very flavorful and sliced really well.


The Brocco-slaw was unnoticeable, except for a few tiny shreds of carrot here and there, so this is a good way to add vegetables for your kids. They might pick out a little carrot, but they'll eat the broccoli and red cabbage without knowing it.

Just make your meatloaf as usual, adjusting the amount of bread crumbs/oats and eggs to account for the extra liquid when the veggies cook. For 3 lbs. of ground meat, I used 1 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs, 1 1/2 cups oats (the kind that cook for 5 minutes), 2 eggs, and 3 cups slaw, and all my usual ingredients (herbs, onions, Worcestershire sauce, etc).

In addition to adding more veggies, this really stretches your meal. It made 3 nice meatloaves, 1 to eat and 2 to freeze for a lazy-day meal. It's healthier, and it tasted great!

Another good way to stretch meat loaf is to drain a can or two of beans (depends on the size of the meat loaf), mash them thoroughly, and mix them into the meat. I prefer kidney beans for the color and taste.


Brocco-slaw is sold here in the States in the produce section. It is shredded broccoli stems with a little carrot and red cabbage for color and flavor. It makes a delicious alternative to cabbage in your slaw.

By Free2B from North Royalton, OH

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February 9, 2009

I have found that one way to prevent meat loaf fats from settling on the bottom of your loaf pan is to place a piece of bread on the bottom. The meat loaf is not only easier to remove, but once the bread is removed your loaf is a little less fat-laden.


July 20, 2005

To add nutrition to meatloaf and other foods, I add milled flax seed to it instead of oatmeal or bread. This way I am sneaking great nutrition into my families dinner, but they don't even know it.


Silver Answer Medal for All Time! 424 Answers
August 25, 2017

Try baking meat loaf in a muffin tin instead of the usual loaf pan. It will bake in half the time and you will have individual portions.


July 13, 2006

Here's a tasty way to keep meatloaf from sticking to the pan. Line your pan with a couple strips of bacon before putting the meatloaf in the pan. It's not cheap, but it sure tastes good.


March 18, 2010

You take string cheese and mold your meatloaf around it. You can also make mini ones.


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 355 Posts
June 17, 2015

Everyone has their own old fashioned meatloaf recipe, usually handed down in the family. I know my mom taught me how to make my first meatloaf.

Mix Beef, Pork and Veal for Best Meatloaf

September 11, 2008

Line a broiler rack with heavy duty foil, with a knife make slits through the slits in the rack. Place on top of broiler pan. Now form your meatloaf on this rack, it will take care of the grease!



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June 11, 2005

Tips for making great meatloaf. Post your ideas.



Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

August 25, 2009

I am looking for a good meatloaf recipe. If anyone has one they would like to share please do. I do not have one.

By Jaimie from Toledo, OH


August 25, 20090 found this helpful

Here's our current favorite:

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 egg, beaten
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 C. seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 Tbsp. steak sauce


1/4 C. ketchup
1-1/2 Tbsp. prepared mustard

Mix well and bake at 350F for 40 minutes or until juices run clear.

August 26, 20090 found this helpful

Mine is here:


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 168 Feedbacks
August 26, 20091 found this helpful

My main ingredients in my meatloaf is ground beef, chopped onion, 2 eggs, crushed saltines and mixed well by hand. After placing in loaf pan ketchup was coated over the top of it before baking. I sprinkle salt to taste after it's served on my plate.


To this meatloaf recipe, I've tried different things and they all tasted good in it. One was to use rice instead of bread broken up. toast, crushed saltine crackers or Ritz crackers and oatmeal. I've added finely grated carrots or chopped up bell pepper too.

My favorite way is to prepare meatloaf is using the main ingredients I listed first.


Bronze Recipe Medal for All Time! 52 Recipes
August 28, 20091 found this helpful

I have three that I switch up. The first is a lb to lb and half of ground beef, thats in all three, about 1/4 cup ketchup, half cup seasoned bread crumbs, egg, mix and put into muffin pan cover with more ketchup or bbq sauce. Now when you use a muffin tin to cook your meatloaf you only have to cook it for 20 minutes as opposed to an hour. Also if you use those cupcake liners that have a metal liner use them with your meatloaf meatballs, makes it so much easier to cleanup. The second is with campbells pepperjack soup and I use the recipe behind the label. The third is our favorite and its a Paula Deen recipe.


Bacon Cheeseburger MeatloafRecipe courtesy Paula Deen
1 pound ground chuck
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 (8-ounce) package sharp Cheddar, grated
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup bread crumbs, toasted
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 (3-ounce) can French fried onions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck and next 8 ingredients, mixing well.

In a small bowl, combine the ketchup and mustard. Stir 1/4 cup ketchup mixture into meat mixture, reserving remaining ketchup mixture.

Press meat mixture into a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan, or shape into a loaf and place on a rack in a broiler pan. Spread remaining ketchup mixture over loaf. Bake 40 minutes. Top with French fried onions; bake another 10 to 15 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink


I dont use the french fried onions, and I dont put the bacon on the inside. I make up the meatloaf, put it on a broiler pan in a loaf shape, cover it with slices of raw bacon then cover witih ketchup/mustard mixture, but I add about a tablespoon full of brown sugar to ketchup/mustard mixture, makes like a bbq sauce. This is absolutely delicious.
Also sometimes I make up meatloaf, any recipe and pat it out into burger shapes and broil for 15 minutes till done, then pour a beef gravy over.

August 28, 20091 found this helpful

I never cared for it, but Mom always put a row of hard boiled eggs in the middle of the meatloaf. I usually put as much onion, parsley, green, red, orange and yellow bell peppers, spicy seasoning, etc. as it can take, but I'm from New Orleans
Mixing in some spicy sausage is different.

August 28, 20091 found this helpful

Great ideas here! Also since it's garden time, why not a cup of grated zucchini? Just pat it dry on paper towels. Also I use a package of stove top stuffing in my meat loaf mix. This works out well for something a little different. I make this mixture up and put it in paper lined muffin pans, which I freeze. When the muffins are solid I put them in zip lock bags and have a quick dinner with little mess. Add a baked potato, and apple sauce and you're set to go. Good for small families, portion control, and best of all you can cook them in a toaster oven. 350 for like 25 minutes.


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 102 Feedbacks
August 28, 20091 found this helpful

I don't use a recipe, but instead of bread or cracker crumbs, I use a package of Stove Top Stuffing mix and 1/2 cup water. I use different flavours, depending on my mood. My family loves it!

August 29, 20090 found this helpful

I had an old friend come for dinner who loves meatloaf. To make it a bit different I make the regular mixture adding about half cup of salsa. Then roll it out on some waxed paper. Then I place thin slices of black forest ham and mozzarella cheese on top of the meat. Roll it up like you would a jelly roll, the waxed paper makes it easier. Make sure to seal the ends and place the meatloaf with the seam down. You can put some ketchup, BBQ sauce, or any of your choice. When you slice the meatloaf it has a great look and tastes divine!


Bronze Recipe Medal for All Time! 52 Recipes
August 31, 20091 found this helpful

I read a recipe that I havent tried yet but just might very soon. You just make your meatloaf recipe, put half in loaf pan lay those mozzerella sticks on top filling up space, then add other half of meat mixture, cook as normal. Yummy I bet.

September 2, 20091 found this helpful

Here is a couple of ideas for the meatloaf. When forming the loaf add some chunks of American cheese inside it, before you bake it, taste yummy! Also my sister-n-law makes up her meatloaf recipe and then forms them into patties and cooks them like hamburgers.Be careful they very delicate. Barbara from Illinois

March 1, 20120 found this helpful

Use a metal muffin pan, make the meatloaf how you usually would, but don't cook it. Leave it raw. After it is all mashed together, put meat into each section of the muffin pan. Then you lightly press your thumb about halfway down the raw meat. Now you can put whatever you want into that "indent." You can do spaghetti sauce and mozz. cheese. Salsa and cheddar cheese. or even barbecue sauce and cheddar. They're called bite size fiesta loaves:)

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October 3, 2005

When baking more than one meatloaf, how much longer should I cook them? Should the temperature change?



Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 174 Feedbacks
October 3, 20050 found this helpful

If you are using a conventional oven, there is no need to change the cooking time or temperature.I fill an 8 x 4" loaf pan with the meatloaf mixture, than unmold it onto a broiler pan and bake for about l hour and 10 minutes at 350 degrees. This method allows the fat to drip into the pan. The baking time is the same for one or more meat loaves.

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July 8, 2013

This is a page about stretching meatloaf. Recipes for meatloaf are easy to stretch by adding some type of filler, such as rice, to the meat mixture.


June 13, 2013

These cute single serving meatloaves are great for kids, parties and freezing. This page contains muffin tin meatloaf recipes.

Mini Meat Loaf - cooked min meat loafs, still in the cupcake pan

December 9, 2016

This is a page about making meatloaf for kids. Kids can be either easy or difficult to cook for depending on how picky they are.

A tasty meatloaf for kids.


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

August 25, 2009

Please help. My meatloaf recipe needs updating. Our family loves leftover meatloaf for sandwiches, but my recipe needs help. It falls apart and just isn't that tasty.


February 3, 2009
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.

July 2, 2007
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
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