Three Meat Loaf Recipes

I've tried several meat loaf recipes over the years but keep coming back to three that always turn out delightful with basic ground beef, though lean at least 80% or ground chuck or ground sirloin is recommended. 

 I've never made the types of  loaves with meat combinations, (veal, pork etc.), just plain ground beef like I remember from growing up or when raising kids.  

It's always a welcomed meal, and considered "comfort food."
Cheese Stuffed Meat Loaf
1 pound ground beef
1/3 of medium onion diced
1 clove minced garlic
3 or 4 Tabs. tomato juice or ketchup
1 tsp. Worcestershire
salt & pepper to taste
3/4 cup dried oatmeal
1 Egg
Cheese of choice: American, Cheddar, Velvetta

Mix all ingredients then pat 1/2 the mixture into loaf pan, making an indentation down the length of the middle about 1 inch deep and 2 inches wide.  Slice cheese into thick slices laying in to fill middle of the meat indention, then spread the other half of meat mixture on top to seal. More cheese can be add on top. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. 

Cheeseburger Meat Loaf
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
 8 oz. Cheddar, grated or cheese of choice.
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup bread crumbs, I use seasoned crumbs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tab. Worcestershire
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Optional: dash or two of liquid smoke

2/3 cup ketchup
4 Tabs. mustard
Canned French fried onions, optional
Preheat oven to 350 

Combine beef and remaining ingredients except topping, mixing well. In separate bowl, combine the ketchup and mustard. Stir 1/2 cup ketchup mixture into meat mixture, saving the remaining ketchup mixture to spread over shaped loaf.

Press meat mixture into a loaf pan, or shape into a loaf and place on baking pan or dish. Spread remaining ketchup mixture over loaf.  Bake 55-60 minutes if not using onion topping; otherwise, bake 40 minutes, then top with French fried onions; bake another 10 to 15 minutes, until onions are crispy.

Old Fashioned Meat Loaf
1 pound ground beef
1/2 medium onion, minced
1 medium carrot, minced
1 stalk celery minced
1 large egg
3 slices of bread, crusts off and processed for fresh crumbs, or 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
2 tsps. minced garlic
4 tsps. dry mustard
1/4 cup parsley flakes
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tsp. each salt and pepper
tsp. or two to taste of hot sauce: red pepper, green  Tabasco
1/2 tsp. rosemary
3 or 4 strips of bacon cut in half
Glaze: BBQ sauce, bottled or homemade using mixture of brown sugar, mustard  & ketchup.
Set oven to 400.

Process celery, garlic, onion, carrot in processor to mince. (Veggies, help make a moist loaf)  In a mixing bowl add beef, egg, mustard, parsley, ketchup, crumbs, remaining seasoning, and minced vegetables. Mixing with hands knead to combine all ingredients.

For free-form, shape on into oval or round on rack in baking pan, brush with glaze, layer top with bacon and brush with more glaze. This will be crustier all around than using a loaf pan.  Bake 55-60 minutes, rest 15 minutes and serve. Internal temperature should be 165 degrees.

For loaf-form  pat in pan, brush with glaze, layer top with bacon width-wise tucking ends down sides, brush with glaze.  Bake 55-60 minutes, rest 15 minutes and serve. Internal temperature should be 165 degrees.

Estimated cost $3.60 or less; .90 cents a serving or less


  1. I love the sound of the cheese stuffed meat loaf. My problem with meat loaves is always that they wind up with a texture a little like meat porridge, which doesn't go down well with the men in my family at all. I wonder if making a loaf the free-form way might help with that?

    1. I've never done free form, but it seems it would brown on all sides and be exposed to heat all around and therefore be drier or hold together more - worth a try ;) I do check mine in the dish about half way through, and if I see lots of juices or fat, I drain it off, then continue cooking. Letting it rest, too before cutting or serving helps.

    2. It's a difficult choice though, isn't it! You don't want to drain off all the moisture and wind up with a dry old meatloaf that goes around and around in your mouth while you gasp for breath, yet it's difficult to stop them from being too gooey. What I liked about the cheese stuffed version was that there was very little to it - so fewer things to affect the outcome! I thoroughly agree about letting it rest - that is such an important stage that gets forgotten about in the hurry to get it onto the plate!

      Thanks for your thoughts - I'll let you know how it goes. :)

    3. Hiya Gail! I made your meat loaf on Tuesday evening and apart from slightly overcooking the outside, it was very successful. I've blogged the results - with links back to you - at

    4. Jenny,
      Your blog looks great, thanks for the mention. Glad your family enjoyed the meat loaf. I may try the free form method myself.