I don’t know what a meatloaf ever did to my Mama, but whatever happened…it had a lasting impact. My early, middle, and late childhood memories absolutely NEVER included meatloaf on any table. Mama just didn’t make it. Ever. And I still to this day do not understand her ill will towards the humble meatloaf. Perhaps she will enlighten us in the comments section below.
The first time I truly discovered meatloaf was in Athens, Ga. Becky (one of my BFFS who also happened to be my college roommate) introduced me to her mother’s recipe. Here’s Becky (with me at my wedding):
Yep, she’s beautiful. And super smart. And obviously makes a MEAN ‘ol meatloaf.
I’ve tried NUMEROUS meatloaf recipes and I have to say that her recipe continues to be my favorite. There’s just something about it. And it is super simple. I made a few tweaks this time (added sauteed onions/peppers and substituted ground turkey for beef) and it didn’t let me down. Only caveat is the turkey makes it fall apart a little, so you may want to add a few more breadcrumbs to the mix.
Here’s the recipe:
2 lbs meat (ground beef or turkey or whatever you choose)
1 cup of breadcrumbs
3/4 cup of ketchup
1/2 cup warm water
1 pkg Lipton Onion Soup mix
8 oz can tomato sauce
garlic powder/seasoning (to taste)
Optional: diced green peppers, onion (Quick note: I added sauteed onion and red/yellow peppers because I don’t mess around with green bell peppers. Blech. Anyway, I sauteed the onions and peppers first to get them good and tender. Hey! I’ll try anything to get a few veggies in this 1.5-year old of mine. No, he didn’t TOUCH them, thank you very much)
Mix all ingredients except tomato sauce. **Warning: Meatloaf Mix Shots Aren’t the Prettiest Shots in the World**
Shape mixture into loaf, sprinkle with garlic powder, and pour tomato sauce on top. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Because I used ground turkey, I aimed for the internal temperature to register 170 degrees.
And now for the finish photo (not to mention the world’s largest meatloaf EVER — I really didn’t expect it to “expand” quite so much). Perhaps I should simply call this a meatloaf casserole:
Here’s the great thing about this meatloaf: You can cook it by itself. You can add potatoes, carrots, and onions around the side of the meatloaf and bake together to make it a full meal.
Or, you can do what Becky taught me: Make a sandwich. Yep, you heard me right.
Take two pieces of white bread, spread mayo on one side and ketchup on the other slice. Add a room temperature (or cold) meatloaf slice, sprinkle with a little garlic powder if you’d like, and eat! My husband likes hot, open-faced meatloaf sandwiches with smoked provolone, etc. I mean the list is endless.
Hope you enjoy. The best thing about this recipe is that I think about Becky every single time I make it and isn’t that what recipes are supposed to be all about? Uh-huh.