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5 Meatloaf Recipes That Even Your Grandma Would Approve of

5 Meatloaf Recipes That Even Your Grandma Would Approve of

meatloaf recipes
ID 78534056 © Olena Danileiko | Dreamstime.com

Though comforting and filling, meatloaf is one of those dishes that often fails to impress. After all, how inviting can a pile of ground beef be? But with the right add-ins and swaps, this otherwise basic dish can turn into a crowd-pleasing course that can win even the pickiest of eaters.

So, to remind you of everything that's good about the nostalgic dish (and perhaps help you discover new sides to it), we rounded up our five favorite meatloaf recipes just in time for Meatloaf Appreciation Day(1) (October 18th). Beware, though: These meatloaf recipes are a far cry from the classic version (even though they'd get grandma's stamp of approval).

1. Honey BBQ Meatloaf

It's true: Honey BBQ is the perfect dressing for chicken wings. But, in this version, the savory sauce gives plain ole meatloaf a giant jolt of flavor. Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard also add a pinch of flavor that's reminiscent of the summer days when grilling meat on an open fire was the highlight of the week.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups textured soy protein beef bits
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 ½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¾ tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Add the beef to a bowl along with 3 cups of warm water. Soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, squeeze the faux meat to remove excess liquid and transfer it to a bowl.
  2. Add the breadcrumbs, 3 tbsp of BBQ sauce, ½ tbsp of Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and pepper, and mix with your hands until everything is combined.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350oF and oil a baking dish.
  4. Shape the mixture into a long, thick log and place it onto the greased dish.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the remaining BBQ sauce, honey, and Worcestershire sauce and spread it onto the meatloaf evenly.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes or until the center of the loaf is cooked through. Serve on its own or with a cup of cooked basmati rice.

2. Turkey Meatloaf with Tomato Sauce

Using turkey instead of beef, this meatloaf recipe is slightly leaner than the original version. But a generous dollop of homemade tomato sauce makes it just as hearty and comforting as the OG you used to enjoy as a kid.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Add the mushrooms and onions to a bowl along with 3 cups of warm water. Soak for 15 minutes. Squeeze away excess liquid and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sautée the mushrooms, onion, and garlic for 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms are cooked through. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside.
  3. In the same saucepan, add the tomato flakes along with ½ cup of water and a pinch of dehydrated garlic and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5-6 minutes until the flakes dissolve and you have a slightly thick tomato sauce. Transfer 3 tablespoons of the sauce to the bowl and set the rest aside.
  4. Stir in the remaining ingredients and season to taste. Gently mix with your hands until the ingredients are evenly combined.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400oF and oil a baking sheet. Transfer the mixture to the sheet and form a long, thick log.
  6. Top the meatloaf with the remaining tomato sauce.
  7. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the thickest part of the loaf is cooked through. Remove from the oven, slice, and serve.

3. Asia-Inspired Chicken Meatloaf

In this meatloaf recipe, the American classic gets the Asian-inspired treatment with the addition of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and ginger. Although unique and strong-flavored, this twist will excite everyone in your family (even those who have never tasted umami(2)).

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Add the chicken bits to a bowl along with 5 cups of warm water. Soak for 15 minutes. Squeeze away excess liquid, transfer to a bowl, and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Sautée the garlic, onion, and ginger for 3-4 minutes. Transfer to the bowl.
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients (except for the hoisin sauce and jam). Mix with your hands until the mixture is combined.
  4. In the same saucepan you used before, add the hoisin sauce and jam and simmer over low heat. Cook until the glaze is runny (7-8 minutes) and set aside to cool.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375oF and grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan with butter. Place the mixture in the pan and smooth out the top.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and top with the hoisin glaze. Return the pan to the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until the thickest part of the meatloaf is cooked through. Remove from the oven, slice, and serve.

4. Vegetarian "Meatloaf"

As the name implies, meatloaf is usually reserved for carnivores. But what about vegetarians? Since we don't think plant-eaters should be deprived of this soul-soothing dish, we're sharing our favorite vegetarian "meatloaf" recipe for everyone to enjoy (yes, that includes meat-eaters).

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup cashews
  • 1 cup dried mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup dried onions
  • 1 tsp dried garlic (dehydrated)
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¾ cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 ½ cups Swiss cheese, grated
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning (optional)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375oF. Place the nuts on a baking tray and toast for 10 minutes until fragrant and slightly brown. Remove the tray from the oven and set aside to cool.
  2. Then, heat the olive oil in a saucepan and sautée the onion, garlic, and mushrooms for 7-8 minutes. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of water and simmer for 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms are fork-tender. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix with your hands until everything is well combined.
  4. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan and pour the mixture into it. Bake for 1 hour until the meatloaf turns golden brown. Remove from the oven, slice, and serve.

5. Cheesy Chicken Meatloaf Muffins

Muffin tins may be synonymous with cupcakes – but this meatloaf recipe proves that the cooking tool can do much more than that. Portable, easy, and delicious, the mini meatloaves are the answer to Sunday night (and even weekday) conundrums. You can even make a big batch on the weekend and enjoy them as a snack or light meal all week long.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Add the chicken to a bowl along with 2 cups of warm water. Soak for 15 minutes. Squeeze away excess liquid and transfer to a bowl.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350oF and grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
  3. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan and sautée the onion, garlic, and bell peppers for 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
  4. Stir in the remaining ingredients (except for ¼ cup tomato sauce and 1/3 cup cheese). Mix with your hands to make sure the ingredients are well combined.
  5. Divide the mixture into the 12 muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Then, remove the tin from the oven, top with the remaining cheese and sauce, and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven, slice, and serve.

Which of these meatloaf recipes would you add to your weekly meal rotation? Let us know in the comments down below!

References:

  1. National Meatloaf Appreciation Day, October 18. Dinner time, by Holiday Insights
  2. https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/what-is-umami-plus-why-you-should-definitely-have-it-on-your-plate/
  3. https://www.andiemitchell.com/honey-barbecue-meatloaf/
  4. https://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/recipes/a3689/turkey-meatloaf-spicy-tomato-jam-recipe-clx0311/
  5. https://www.justataste.com/hoisin-glazed-chicken-meatloaf-recipe/
  6. https://www.acouplecooks.com/vegetarian-meatloaf/
  7. https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/cheesy-chicken-quinoa-enchilada-meatloaf-muffins/