Meatloaf, The Blue Plate Special

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I love meatloaf.  I grew up with my mom making meatloaf for dinner and I made it for my family and I continue to do so today.  I find, or it seems, not too many people talk about making meatloaf really, but you can find a number of different varieties of recipes out there.   I have fond memories of having meatloaf.  My mom would make it and serve it with hearty mashed potatoes with butter or if time allowed a nice beef gravy.  We would have it once a week or minimally twice a month.  Meatloaf reminds me of by gone days when you had that one great diner you loved to go to all the time and meatloaf would be on the menu as the day’s special.  Of course, you had to get the special.  It also reminds me of small town America.  I don’t know why it just does.  Make meatloaf  anytime of the week and even for Sunday dinner. 

The only thing I find hard about making Meatloaf is making sure it stays together when you slice it.  That is key.  Oh, by the way, I grew up having meatloaf sandwiches too with the leftovers.  I know, I think my friends thought that was crazy but it was delicious.  Just have good hearty bread, use some of the chili sauce, add provolone cheese and lettuce.  Believe me it’s good.  

Anyway, you can really make meatloaf your own and I have definitely made it in different ways – just depends on what ingredients, spice and herbs you want to put in it or have in the refrigerator and pantry.  Over the years what I have found is whatever ingredient you include I would recommend having the ingredients finely chopped, like onions.  

So go ahead, make meatloaf.  It’s hearty and good and may even bring you back to a time of fond memories and bygone days.



  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
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  • 2 pounds of good lean ground  Beef
  • ½ pound of ground Pork or ground mild Sausage 
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 4 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped or mashed
  • ½ Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Red Pepper finely chopped
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasonings
  • ¼ cup Parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • ¼ breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup Panko crumbs
  • 1/3 – ½ cup Milk, more or less

Topping:  optional

  • I use a good Chili Sauce.  I don’t want too sweet of a nice topping for the meatloaf
  • If you want to make your own chili sauce – 
  • ½ cup ketchup, ¼ cup of Pickle Relish, 1 Tbsp of Apple Cider  Vinegar, 1Tbs Worcester, 1 Tbsp brown sugar



  • Preheat oven 375 degrees
  • In a small bowl add the eggs and with a fork mix until completely broken and mixed well 
  • In a large bowl combine the meat and mix with your hands.  I find this a better way to mix instead of with a fork.  Add the eggs and mix.  Add in the onions, red pepper, garlic, salt and pepper, smoked paprika, parsley, Italian seasonings, Worcestershire sauce, and Parmesan cheese and mix until thoroughly combined
  • In a small bowl mix together breadcrumbs and the milk until the breadcrumbs have soaked up the milk and are thoroughly combined.  Add the breadcrumbs to the meat mixture and mix with your hands.
  • Lightly grease a bread loaf pan to prevent sticking.  Feel free to form the meat by hand into a loaf if desired.  I prefer a loaf pan because it helps keep all the ingredients together.   Either way will work.   Add the meat mixture into the loaf pan and gently press down and even it out.  Run a knife or cake spatula around the edge.  This will help in cooking and to drain, if any, grease after cooking.
  • Add the chili sauce on top (optional)
  • Bake for about 1 hour and 20-30 minutes.   When done cool slightly before slicing.
  • Serve this meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy and a green vegetable and/or salad.