Comfort Food: Meatloaf

by Cate on November 8, 2010


I love picking people’s brains when it comes to things they make in the kitchen, or little tips and tricks they’ve picked up along the way.  When I was out for dinner on Saturday night, the topic turned to food and everyone shared little things they did that were a stray from the norm (at least to me, anyway).  Joy uses chicken broth when boiling pasta, instead of water.  I’ve swapped out the water for chicken broth when I make rice, and it makes a huge difference, but had never thought to do the same when making pasta.  (As an aside, after a trip to Costco this weekend, I learned that they made their mashed potatoes with chicken broth, instead of water or milk too, and for instant potatoes, they were delicious).  Joy also uses Progresso tomato soup when making sausage and peppers, instead of tomato sauce.  Another swap I hadn’t thought of. Beth poaches her meatballs, instead of pan-frying or baking them.  Who knew? And Lisa, well, she doesn’t like to cook or bake and only has five spices in her kitchen (salt and pepper amongst the five), so she’s more of our consumer.

At the time of our food discussion, I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner Sunday night, and Beth suggested meatloaf.  I haven’t made it in ages because although I love meatloaf (and especially meatloaf sandwiches the next day), the kids aren’t big fans.  I usually reserve meatloaf for when we have company over, so Sunday night was perfect.  I also promised a neighbor dinner (in return for them generously blowing all the leaves on our steps, not once, but twice), so I could kill many birds with just one bake (doubling the recipe got me three meatloaves; two for dinner, one for the neighbors).  Beth mentioned that her husband loves the Lipton Onion Soup version of meatloaf.  I usually don’t use a recipe when making meatloaf, but figured I’d give it a whirl.

When I brought the meatloaf to the table, everyone handed me their plates, one by one, to load up on meatloaf, fresh fruit and Garlic Spinach Balls.  When it comes to sitting down at the dinner table, Madeline is a bit of a challenge.  She is still for a very small window and then she is in and out of her seat, no matter how much begging, pleading or cajoling I do.  And if she doesn’t like what’s for dinner, it’s even harder.  Fruit is always a good sell and gets her to stay put for a bit.  She looked at the meatloaf and started to tell me that she didn’t want any of it.  I convinced her to at least try it.  Just a few minutes later, I checked back in on her, and she had polished off the whole slice.  This is monumental for her, trust me.  And Nick?  Same deal.  Ate his entire piece.  He who does not like meatloaf.   Out of the two meatloaves that hit the table for dinner, there was half of one left. Five out of six kids had seconds.  Gotta love those stats.

I don’t know what made this recipe so much more likable for the kids than the others I’ve made, but it definitely is one of the more moist versions we’ve had.   I followed the recipe for the most part, although I swapped out the bread crumbs for oatmeal (as Beth suggested), so the end result was something that was pretty darn healthy and loaded with fiber to boot.

This one’s a keeper.  Meatloaf haters be darned.

Need more meatloaf recipes?
This one from Martha Stewart back in February was mighty tasty.
Then there was this one from my chef crush, Tom Colicchio.
And lastly, Sunny Anderson gets in on the action with her turkey version.

Project 365
November 8, 2010, Photo #206 and 207

After School Warmth

As soon as Nick walked in the door after school today, he went looking for hot chocolate.  The weather has seriously turned overnight, and with it came hail, crazy wind, spots of snow and cold.  Darn you, Mother Nature.

Leftover Meatloaf Sandwich

I’ve always liked leftover meatloaf sandwiches better than the first day’s version of meatloaf.  Whole wheat bread, toasted, thin slice of Cheddar, horseradish, delish.

Souperior Meatloaf
Recipe courtesy of Lipton Onion
1 envelope Lipton® Recipe Secrets® Onion Soup Mix
2 lbs. ground beef
3/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs (I used oatmeal instead)
2 eggs
3/4 cup water
2/3 cup chopped green and/or red bell pepper (I skipped)
1/3 cup ketchup
added: small can of tomato sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Combine all ingredients in large bowl.
2. Shape into loaf in 13 x 9-inch baking or roasting pan.  Top with tomato sauce.
3. Bake uncovered 1 hour or until done. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne November 9, 2010 at 7:17 am

I could talk about cooking all day every day so I’m constantly trying to pick people’s minds. Meatloaf is a staple that everyone needs a good recipe for. I never liked meatloaf growing up but I do now! Definitely will be trying this. And yes, the sandwiches are the best part.


The Sister In-Law November 9, 2010 at 7:35 am

I use the lipton soup mix in burgers. I’ve never made meatloaf since I don’t care much for ground beef but the b/f loves it. I must try it.



Kris #40 November 9, 2010 at 7:58 am

This is the perfect recipe for the ground beef sitting in my refrigerator! Can’t wait for dinner tonight!

The sandwich looks heavenly! mmm, mmm! I know I shouldn’t read your blog before breakfast!


beth November 9, 2010 at 9:37 am

hooray! i’m glad you liked it. and that the kids liked it. i don’t know what it is about that soup mix, but it’s magic in the meatloaf. and in beef stew, by the way.


Kris #40 November 9, 2010 at 9:57 am

It is now in the oven – have a football booster club meeting tonight – so getting an early jump on dinner


Ramona November 9, 2010 at 10:39 am

I luv meatball, it looks good.


Casey November 9, 2010 at 10:46 am

This one looks much easier than the one I typically use. (PW’s) And, that sandwich looks divine!


darla November 9, 2010 at 1:38 pm

My family loves meatloaf, but I stay away from most recipes that include Lipton soup mixes. They are LOADED with salt. I finely chop a fresh onion and use corn flakes (not the crumbs, reg. cereal – a big handful for every pound of meat). That’s my secret ingre…corn flakes instead of bread crumbs. It gives the meatloaf a really different and delicious flavor. And – mashed potatoes and peas are a MUST w/meatloaf!!!!


cathy November 9, 2010 at 9:37 pm

have you ever tried the Tempo mixes? I used to use the lipton but it was causing me “issues” – a friend had me try the Tempo and I’ve never looked back!


Cate November 9, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Cathy – haven’t heard of that brand before – in regular grocery store?

Darla – you’re right, a little high on salt, so definitely not an every day thing. Wouldn’t have thought to add cornflakes – interesting twist!

Casey – haven’t tried hers yet, but did just print out her mushroom and swiss sliders with spicy fry sauce – yum!

Kris – you don’t waste any time! what’d ya think?

Ramona – us meatloaf lovers need to stick together. :)

Beth – tonight was perfect stew weather… have a 2 hour oven stew – haven’t made it in forever, just might be time this weekend…

SIL – but meatloaf vs. burgers … just a different shape. :)

Joanne – the sandwiches are totally the best part.


Kris #40 November 10, 2010 at 8:06 am

It was yum-o! My daughter didn’t like the onion soup in it, but the others in the family inhaled it. It went really well with another new recipe – Hash Brown Casserole (shredded hash browns, sour cream, cheese, and cream of chicken soup).


cathy November 10, 2010 at 11:39 pm

Yep – SR has them – can’t remember which aisle tho – very small box. If I remember I’ll double check when I’m in SR tomorrow.


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