I've never understood why meatloaf is such a polarizing dish. The picky eaters of the world seem to have collectively clung to a terrifying school-lunch memory of meatloaf as lumpy, gray mystery matter. But this homespun American meal has worked hard to regain street cred, thanks in part to the high-end comfort-food trend that's taken off in recent years.
The beauty of meatloaf lies in its ease, affordability, and versatility. The basic formula calls for three inexpensive components: ground beef or other meat, binders such as eggs and oatmeal, and seasonings. Use this rudimentary recipe to expand your meatloaf combinations — and dinner horizons — when you read more.
- 1 pound ground beef
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
8 ounces canned diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Mix all meatloaf ingredients well and place in a baking dish. Shape into a loaf.
- Mix ingredients for topping and spread on loaf. Bake for 1 hour.
- To enhance the flavor, use a blend of beef with pork — and take it to another level by topping the loaf with slices of bacon before baking.
- Increase the tenderness of the meatloaf by using veal, which has more gelatin than beef.
- Slim down your recipe by adding in shredded carrots, finely chopped spinach, and subbing turkey for beef.
- Make it gluten-free by using flax seed instead of rolled oats or breadcrumbs.
- Main Dishes, Beef
- North American
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