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Meat Loaf Tips and Tricks

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There are a few tried and true, as well as, fresh new tips and tricks that will help you prepare the perfect meatloaf. This is a page about meat loaf tips and tricks.


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By 8 found this helpful
June 4, 2011

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.

By Snoonie from Baltimore, MD

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July 13, 20060 found this helpful

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.


By Fisher

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By 1 found this helpful
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.

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July 20, 20050 found this helpful

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.

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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.

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By 1 found this helpful
March 18, 2010

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

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By 0 found this helpful
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, 20050 found this helpful

Tips for making great meatloaf. Post your ideas.

Spicing Up Meat Loaf

Spice up your meat loaf by adding a tube of Jimmy Dean spicy breakfast sausage. Makes it so spicy, the kids will love it.

By Michelle Draveski

Add Zucchini

Grate zucchini (about 3/4 cup) into any meat loaf recipe. It guarantees the loaf will be moist. Kids can't taste the zucchini either.

By Anne

Add Salad Dressing

Put either Sweet and Spicy French Dressing, or Russian Dressing in your meatloaf, instead of catsup. Mmmmmgood! (03/17/2005)

By Darla Bradley

Top With Mashed Potatoes And Cheese

To get my kids to eat meatloaf I put mashed potatoes on the meatloaf as soon as it came out of the oven. Then I put 2 slices of cheese on top of that, put it under the broiler till the cheese melted. They loved it and didn't know until they were adults that it was meatloaf. The idea wasn't mine, I saw a recipe somewhere that did it that way.

By Jeane Howell

Use Rice And Spaghetti Sauce

My meatloaf never ever tasted special. I always used oats to make it go further. Now I use rice instead and spaghetti sauce instead of ketchup. Big improvement! The other ideas sound great and thanks for the tips.

By Anonymous

A1 Steak Sauce

I add A1 to mine.. it always adds that right amount of kick!

By Ladywilde

Sneak In Wheat Germ

I always "sneak" some wheat germ into my meatloaf in place of some of the bread crumbs, to add nutrional value without tasting like health food! I also use up the last dibs and dabs of any condiments -- BBQ sauce, steak sauce, etc -- by pouring a little milk or water into the bottle, capping tightly, and swishing vigorously -- then add that to the meatloaf mix.

By Becki in Indiana

Add Milled Flax Seed to Meat Loaf

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 in great nutrition into my families dinner, but they don't even know it.

By Bonnie

Perfect Topping

Put combo of catsup and brown sugar on meatloaf. Then top with 2 slices of bacon. Once baked immediately drain grease and let sit 5 minutes or more before serving. Awesome everytime!

C Robinson

Making Meatloaf

When making a meatloaf, use Ground beef, Worcestershire Sauce, onions, fresh garlic, tomato sauce, ketchup, pepper, salt, bread crumbs, and an egg. About 20 minutes before it's done, pour a stream of tomato sauce down the center top of the meatloaf and let it finish cooking. It will be the best meat loaf you've tasted. Serve with a salad and homemade macaroni and cheese. UMMMMM GOOD.

By Vicky

RE: Meatloaf Tips

I never liked meatloaf made by anyone but my mom. Then I learned why. She never put tomato sauce or ketchup in it. Here is her recipe: Mom's Meatloaf Mix all ingredients, put in loafpan, and bake for 30 minutes in 350 degree oven.

By Deb

Add Honey Catsup On Top

This all sounds good. I put Honey then catup on top of mine before I bake. It it is sooooooooooo good, it gives it a sweet taste.

By Shirley

Use Muffin Tins Instead

These are good ideas. I use oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs and I parboil grated potatoes and grated carrots, then mix as usual, but I put them in muffin tins to cut down cooking time. Cooks more evenly too. Make great leftover, pop two in a sandwich bag and take to work the next day. Cooks in about 20-25 minutes.

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By 0 found this helpful
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.

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August 26, 20090 found this helpful

Mine is here:

http://corene-m  ge-meatloaf.html

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August 26, 20090 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.

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August 28, 20090 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.

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August 28, 20090 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.

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August 28, 20090 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.

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August 28, 20090 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!

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Read More Answers

October 3, 20050 found this helpful

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



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, 20131 found this helpful

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.

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June 13, 20131 found this helpful

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

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December 9, 20160 found this helpful

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.

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

August 25, 20090 found this helpful

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.

Maggie from Virginia


New Ideas for Meatloaf

I use half ground beef and half pork sausage, then what ever else you like. Some garlic, onion, ketchup, egg, and fine bread crumbs. The meat loaf will stay together for sandwiches.



New Ideas for Meatloaf

Use 2 different types of meat. That made a difference for us. I don't have a recipe right now to send as my MS Word is acting up. (07/02/2007)

By Holly

New Ideas for Meatloaf

I make mine different every time I make it, depending on what I have on hand. I mush together ground sirloin, 2 eggs, breadcrumbs (enough to make it form), garlic salt, onion soup mix, and Nature's Seasoning. Then I either:

By laura bucalo

New Ideas for Meatloaf

I use ground turkey and miller's bran (from the health store) diced carrots, chopped onion, 1 egg, salt pepper, and horseradish (the kind that comes in the bottle) it gives it a nice zippy taste. I cook the meat loaf in a cast iron frying pan.

By Liz

New Ideas for Meatloaf

I love meatloaf. The best things I've found for flavor are instead of bread or breadcrumbs use Stovetop stuffing cubes/mix and cream of mushroom soup mixed in with the meatloaf, also some cream of mushroom soup on top of the meatloaf before cooking it. Also the dry Lipton beef and onion or other varieties of soups are great mixed in with the meat. Also maybe a package of taco seasoning for beef or ranch mix for dips. Feel free to experiment. If you don't like cream of mushroom try using other Campbell's soups to mix in, there are many to choose from. (07/02/2007)

By Kim

New Ideas for Meatloaf

I don't use any recipe when I make meatloaf at all, I just wing it. This is how my mom always made it and it always turns out delicious.

I just use a mix of whatever ground meat I have on hand (usually beef/turkey), throw in an egg, a handful of rolled oats, veggies diced or shredded (onions, carrots, celery, garlic, mushrooms), spices like pepper, steak seasoning, thyme, whatever. I also add in a variety of condiments from the fridge: Worchestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, A1, soy sauce. I mix it all up with my hands and put it in a loaf pan. It is great to make when cleaning out the fridge, you can put about anything in it.

I bake it for about an hour at 350 degrees F, usually with some baking potatoes in at the same time. Add a salad or some fresh fruit and it is a favorite dinner at my house.

Jess (07/02/2007)

By Jess (TF Editor)

New Ideas for Meatloaf

Try a can of sloppy joe sauce. Put most of it in the meatloaf and about a quarter of it on top before baking. Do the same with spaghetti or pizza sauce, adding a little Parmesan cheese with the bread crumbs or oatmeal, or salsa, for a Mexican meat loaf. In all honesty, the very best recipe for meatloaf is on the back of the Quaker Oats box. (07/02/2007)

By M

New Ideas for Meatloaf

For a moist meatloaf that people love, I mix 1 egg per pound of meat and take about 12 soda crackers, per pound, crushed in your hands. Mix well by hand and put into pan. Cook at 350 degrees F. It takes about an hour to cook. Check at 45 minutes and drain off grease. When meat pulls away from pan it's done. (07/02/2007)

By Linda H.

New Ideas for Meatloaf

I got sick of the old tried and true and tried something different. I added Durkee's Onions crushed and Chili Sauce to the hamburger and bread crumb mixture along with anything else you want and topped it with a mixture of chili sauce, more crushed onions and brown sugar. Wow, it was very successful. Cooks well, slices well for sandwiches and leftovers. (07/02/2007)

By Carolyn

New Ideas for Meatloaf

I have made this for years and it usually turns out good. Be sure your ground beef is lean. To 1 lb. add 1 egg, 1/4 onion and 1/4 green pepper, chopped, 1/2 cup oatmeal, season with Mrs. Dash, salt, and lemon pepper. Mix 1/4 cup catsup and BBQ sauce together. Mix all thoroughly and form in loaf. Top the loaf with more catsup and 3 strips of bacon. Bake about 1 hour @ 350 degrees, covered with foil. Uncover and broil for about 5 minutes. (07/02/2007)

By ruthvalleygal

New Ideas for Meatloaf

I make meatloaf three ways and switch them up so we get some variety. I make the one I grew up on.

Mix all together and make into a loaf shape on a broiler pan, coat entire top and sides with more ketchup. I make all mine on broiler pans unless I make them in the muffin tins, but if you do it in the muffin tins only cook for 20 minutes. One hour on broiler pan.
I also make the one that's on the Campbell's Pepper Jack soup can inside the label. I love the spicy cheesiness of it. I also make Paula Deen's Bacon Cheeseburger meatloaf. Absolutely wonderful we love this one.

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

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.

Recipe Summary


By christi

New Ideas for Meatloaf

Try substituting some ground chicken for the meat, it adds a moistness and less fat (make sure to either ground your own or get a high quality ground), make sure to spice a little extra as chicken needs it. (07/02/2007)

By Michawn

New Ideas for Meatloaf

Whatever mixture you use for the basic meatloaf, put half of it into the loaf pan. Peel three or four hardboiled eggs and lay horizontally on top of the meat. Cover with second layer of meat. Bake as usual, this looks neat when sliced and add the goodness of eggs as well. The eggs can be replaced by hotdogs for the kids or for the pickle lover, large dills or a line of gerkins. These three techniques look especially good if you make meatloaf for potluck, picnics, or reunions. I always add ketchup, mustard and HP sauce to my basic recipe to add moisture and a little zip. (07/09/2007)

By Mary Lou

RE: New Ideas for Meatloaf

New Ideas for Meatloaf

You all are making me hungry. All of these recipes sound wonderful and I am going to try them. Here are some variations on meatloaves I have made for my family:


Any meat loaf baked, but right before it is done overlap crescent rolls (Pillsbury that you would open up) over the top and side and bake until brown.

The next one my kids loved:


Any meat loaf recipe, but instead of making a loaf I would make a cup, basically the size of a cup cake, put down the center to make it a "cup". After it is baked I would fill it with mashed potatoes and mix cheddar cheese soup mix, milk and left over vegetables and this would be poured over all. (07/09/2007)

By Lois

New Ideas for Meatloaf

My favorite delicious, very easy, and fun-to-make meatloaf recipe:

Mix the ketchup and brown sugar; add half to the beaten eggs (save the rest to top the meatloaf). Mix in the onions, bread cubes, and pepper, and mix well.

Put the chopped meat in a large bowl, and break it up with your hands; pour the egg mixture over it and mix well. Shape into a loaf; place in a rectangular baking dish or press into a loaf pan after spraying the pan with cooking spray first. Using your finger, poke rows of holes about an inch apart in the top of the meatloaf. Drizzle the ketchup/brown sugar mixture into the holes to fill them, and spread the rest of the ketchup/brown sugar mixture over the top.

Lightly cover the meatloaf with aluminum foil to keep the brown sugar from burning. Cook at 350 degrees for an hour. Halfway through, remove any grease that's collected in the cooking pan. Leave the aluminum foil off for the rest of the cooking period.

We always have this meatloaf with baked potatoes and sweet-and-sour beets. I make more than we'll eat in a meal so we have enough for cold-meatloaf sandwiches.


By Nancy in FL

New Ideas for Meatloaf


Cook vegetables slightly, cool. Combine all, but ground meat. Add meat; mix gently. Bake in
350 degree preheated oven for one hour (internal temperature 145 degrees) or until done. If needed, drain any excess grease after about 30 minutes in the oven. Drain again after meatloaf is cooked. Let rest 15 minutes before slicing.

I substitute the peppers with my own roasted red peppers for a change. Also, sometimes I use Stove Top stuffing, prepared according to the directions for something different. Put half of the meatloaf mixture in the pan, and then place the stuffing on top, and then top with the other half of the meatloaf mixture.

I use different types of bread or rolls for extra flavor. We love rye bread so I always use part rye bread with any other bread I have on hand. (07/10/2007)

By Laura

New Ideas for Meatloaf

My recipe for meatloaf is always a hit, so try it.

Mix it all, place in greased pan on a tray or you can use an upside down saucer placed in the pan. This allows the grease to go to the bottom. Pour a mixture of half cup ketchup and 1 teaspoon mustard on top of meatloaf. Bake 350 degrees F for 1 hour. (07/22/2008)

By Maureen B.

New Ideas for Meatloaf

I add salsa, Italian bread crumbs, an egg, to the basic recipe, wrap it twice in heavy duty foil and BBQ it, turn it every 10 minutes for about 45 minutes on med-hot heat, it's moist n yummy. Note, I wrap a lot of meats this way, always turn often and even the toughest cuts come out tender. Try it. (09/13/2008)

By Sharon

New Ideas for Meatloaf

My favorite way to make meatloaf is, instead of a whole loaf, I make it into individual patties. Maybe slightly larger than a hamburger patty. Grill them in my George Foreman Grill and they are wonderful.

Linda (01/24/2009)

By Linda

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February 3, 20090 found this helpful
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