Easy Meatloaf: Classic Comfort Food Made Simple

Easy meatloaf is a timeless comfort food dish that’s perfect for satisfying cravings and bringing warmth to the dinner table. With a few simple ingredients and minimal prep time, you can create a hearty and flavorful meatloaf that’s sure to please the whole family. Whether you’re cooking for a weeknight dinner or meal prepping for the week ahead, this recipe delivers delicious results with ease.

Preparation Time:

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds (680 grams) ground beef (or a combination of ground beef and ground pork)
  • 1 cup (100 grams) breadcrumbs (plain or seasoned)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) ketchup or barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) black pepper
  • Optional topping: additional ketchup or barbecue sauce for glazing

Instructions:

1. Preheat the Oven:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan or line it with parchment paper for easy cleanup.

2. Combine Ingredients:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, milk, ketchup or barbecue sauce, chopped onion, minced garlic, beaten egg, Worcestershire sauce, dried oregano, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper. Use your hands or a spoon to mix until all the ingredients are evenly combined.

3. Form the Meatloaf:

  • Transfer the meat mixture to the prepared loaf pan and shape it into a loaf shape, pressing down gently to compact it.

4. Optional Glaze:

  • If desired, spread additional ketchup or barbecue sauce over the top of the meatloaf for a flavorful glaze.

5. Bake the Meatloaf:

  • Place the meatloaf in the preheated oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the meatloaf is cooked through and the top is browned and caramelized. The internal temperature should reach 160°F (71°C) when tested with a meat thermometer.

6. Rest and Serve:

  • Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it rest in the loaf pan for 5-10 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute and makes for easier slicing.
  • Slice the meatloaf into thick slices and serve hot, accompanied by your favorite side dishes such as mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or a simple green salad.

Cooking Tips:

  • Avoid overmixing the meatloaf mixture, as this can result in a dense texture. Mix just until the ingredients are evenly combined.
  • For added flavor, sauté the chopped onion and minced garlic in a skillet until softened before adding them to the meatloaf mixture.
  • Customize the seasonings and add-ins to suit your taste preferences. You can experiment with different herbs, spices, and mix-ins such as diced bell peppers or shredded cheese.

Nutritional Information:

  • Meatloaf is a good source of protein, iron, and other essential nutrients. Adjust the ingredients and portion size to fit your dietary needs.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe:

  • Simple and Delicious: Requires basic ingredients and minimal prep time for a satisfying meal.
  • Versatile: Easily customize the flavors and add-ins to create your perfect meatloaf recipe.
  • Family-Friendly: Loved by kids and adults alike, making it a reliable choice for family dinners.

Conclusion:

Easy meatloaf is a classic comfort food dish that’s both comforting and satisfying. With its simple preparation and delicious flavor, it’s a go-to recipe for busy weeknights or whenever you’re craving a hearty meal. Whether served with mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or your favorite side dishes, meatloaf is sure to be a hit at the dinner table. Enjoy the warmth and nostalgia of this timeless favorite!

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