Some rules about meatloaf making:
- Don't handle the mixture too much. Excess handling will compress the meat, making the meatloaf tough.
- For a nice crusty exterior and moist interior, don't use a loaf pan to hold the meat during baking. Form the loaf and place it on a broiler pan or rack so the fat can drain away as it bakes. When meatloaves are placed in a loaf pan, they tend to steam instead of bake.
- Any meatloaf recipe can be made into individual meatloaves; cut baking time in half and check the internal temperature to make sure the meat is cooked properly. These tiny meatloaves can be reheated in the microwave.
- Cook chopped and diced vegetables before adding to the ground meat. The internal temperature of a meatloaf, while safe to eat, doesn't get hot enough to cook vegetables so you'll get a strong taste of raw onions, garlic, and carrots unless they're cooked first.
- Use an instant read thermometer! (You know why!) Cook beef and pork loaves to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F; ground chicken and turkey to 170 degrees F.
- For best texture, don't use more than 3/4 cup of filler ingredients per pound of meat. Filler ingredients include chopped vegetables, bread crumbs, crushed cereal, oatmeal, etc.
- Let the meatloaf stand, covered, for 15-20 minutes before slicing. Some fancier meatloaves, especially layered recipes, just won't hold together no matter what. Just enjoy them and don't worry too much about perfect presentation.
Easy Meatloaf Recipes
- Microwave Meatloaf
This recipe breaks the rule about not cooking meatloaf in a loaf pan. The microwave cooks this meatloaf recipe to perfection; it remains very moist and juicy.
- Sour Cream and Onion Meatloaf
This delicious recipe makes a moist and tender meatloaf with a fabulous flavor. It makes wonderful grilled meatloaf sandwiches.
- Crockpot Turkey Meatloaf
A spicy turkey meatloaf cooks to perfection in your slowcooker. Serve it with instant mashed potatoes for an excellent work night meal.
- Individual Meatloaves
A ketchup and brown sugar mixture glazes these tiny meatloaves for added flavor and color.
- Southwest Slow Cooker Turkey Loaf
Since turkey has less fat and can be drier than beef loaves, the crockpot is the perfect place to cook it. This moist loaf is low in fat and high in flavor.
- Brown Rice Meatloaf
Instant brown rice adds flavor and moistness to traditional beef meatloaf, along with red bell peppers and Parmesan cheese.
- Garlic Meatloaf
Sauteed garlic and garlic croutons add a wonderful depth of flavor to this easy meatloaf recipe.
- Salmon Loaf
This classic recipe is pure comfort food. Serve it with peas and carrots, a molded gelatin salad, and some crisp dinner rolls.
- Danish Mini Meatloaves
Club soda is the secret ingredient in these super tender individual meatloaves. Serve them with sauteed red cabbage and roasted asparagus.
- Ranch Chicken Meatloaf
Ranch flavored taco chips and ranch flavored salad dressing adds moisture and flavor to this simple meatloaf recipe.
- Stuffed Meatloaf
Waxed paper or foil makes it easy to roll this meatloaf around its savory stuffing; just be sure not to roll the paper into the loaf! This pretty recipe is very delicious.
- Pizza Meatloaf
The flavors of pizza in meatloaf form! Or is it meatloaf in the form of pizza? Your kids will love this simple recipe; let them top their portions with their favorite pizza toppings.
- Russian Meat Patties
Oh yum. These tender little individual meatloaves are coated in sour cream, rolled in bread crumbs, then browned until crisp.