A traditional American meal where families gather around the dinner table enjoying a variation on a classic meat & potato dish. Tender, juicy ground meat seasoned up with some spices pairs perfectly with mashed potatoes & fresh veggies. You can’t walk into a diner without there being meatloaf on the menu.
Everyone seems to make there meatloaf a bit differently whether it’s the type of ground meat used or spices added in. There’s those claims to fame, “My mama makes the best meatloaf” or “This diner has the best meatloaf in town”. I have to admit, I passionately claimed my mama’s meatloaf being the best you could eat growing up so you would’ve never caught me ordering meatloaf at a diner in faithfulness to my mama’s. Taking her recipe as a starting point, I played around with different meat combinations & spice add-ins to give you the Good Ole Meatloaf.
- MEATS: I like to use a combination of lean ground beef as well as lean ground turkey. I’ve tried making the meatloaf with all beef & all turkey but having both meats offers the best balanced flavor between the dark & light meat. Use equal amounts of each ground meat: 1lb & 1lb.
- SPICES: This is where meatloaves vary a lot. You have your base meat so there are endless options in how to season the loaf up. Add in some parsley, garlic, onion, paprika, & then take it to the next level with some dijon mustard, parmesan cheese, & worcestershire sauce. The mustard, cheese, & worcestershire are the less traditional spices that add a hearty depth to the flavor being complimentary to the ground meat combo.
Forming it Into a Loaf/Loaves
There are a couple different ways to get our ground meat mixture into the loaf shapes. The different methods offer varying side textures after being cooked so pick your preference!
Option 1: Use actual loaf pans & evenly separate the meat among two loaf pans to make two 1lb loaves. Doing it in the loaf pan will keep the sides of the loaf moist.
Option 2: Use a sheet pan covered with foil. Divide the meat into two 1lb sections & hand form two loaves onto the sheet pan. It will have a more organic shape with slightly crispy sides. This is my preferred method as I like the texture contrast of the crispy bits on the outside with the juicy, tender meat on the inside of the loaf.
Good Ole Meatloaf
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
- 5 garlic cloves
- 10 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 1 1/2 Tbsp dried parsley
- 2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup whole grain breadcrumbs
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan
- salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a large baking sheet pan with foil.
- In a skillet over medium heat, sauté chopped onion until opaque in color. About 8 minutes. Using a fine grater or zester, grate garlic cloves into pan with onion. Continue to sauté for a few more minutes until garlic softens & is aromatic. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, mix together both of the ground meats, crushed tomatoes, & spices. Stop mixing when mostly incorporated.
- Whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Add eggs, breadcrumbs, parmesan, garlic & onion to meat. Mix by hand until ingredients are evenly incorporated being careful not to over knead.
- Separate the meat mixture into two 1lb mounds onto the prepared baking sheet. Form the meat into loaf shapes about 1in. to 1 1/2in. thick.
- Bake in oven for about 30 minutes until the top in browned & juices are bubbling around the loaves. The inside temperature should be at about 160 when pulled out of the oven.
- Let the loaves sit for 5 minutes before slicing. Pair with fresh veggies & mashed potatos!