Sunday, February 15, 2009

Better-Than-Everyone-Else's Meatloaf

Meatloaf gets a bad rap. It’s perceived as this horrible, unhealthy thing, but honestly if you look at the ingredients, it’s NOT bad. The only questionable ingredient is usually the bread crumbs (though it usually works out to between ½ and 1 tablespoon per serving, so it’s still not a LOT of bread), but other than that, it’s pretty healthy.

This is an adaptation of a recipe that my friend’s mom used to make. The original recipe called for a pound of ground beef and 1/3 pound Italian sausage, PLUS onion soup mix and bacon on the top. Holy cow, it was good. It was also a heart attack waiting to happen! Ha! So after monkeying around with the ingredients and the proportions, I came up with this. I included all the seasonings for Italian sausage, and the ingredients for onion soup mix (well, the non-chemical ingredients, anyway). The bacon stayed, because come on, IT’S BACON. YUM. Since I used ground sirloin (less than 10% fat) and no sausage, I added 2 Tablespoons of cream to compensate for the lack of fat (because that’s what makes it juicy).

I will confess that I TOTALLY FORGOT to take a picture of this, but you know, it's meatloaf. They all pretty much look the same. Oops.

This turned out to be reasonably healthy (all things considered – a little high in salt, but otherwise good), and 99% as good as the original. Woo-hoo!

The Recipe

Approx 1 ¼ lb ground sirloin
2/3 chopped onion (or 2/3 cup of pre-diced onion)
2/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs
½ cup chopped parsley (1 small plastic package from the grocery store, or 1/3 of a bunch)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbs whipping cream
1 clove minced garlic
¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional, if you like slightly spicy food)
1 TBS fennel seed
½ tsp pepper
4 tsp dried onion
1 Tbs beef bouillon
½ tsp onion powder

Top with:
3 strips bacon, cut in ½ width-wise (so you have 6 short fat pieces, not 6 long thin ones.)
1 Tbs ketchup, smeared over top

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Put everything but the ketchup and bacon in a bowl. Squash it up with your hands. (Don’t use a spoon or a fork; your fingers allow more air into the mixture, which makes for a lighter meatloaf.)

Put the mixture in a loaf pan, and top with the bacon slices and ketchup. (You’ll probably have to use your hands to smear the ketchup around evenly, and there won’t be much of it – that’s GOOD.)

Cover and bake at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Remember to share with the other people in the house. ;)

Good with:
Salad and dinner rolls.
Baked potatoes and creamed spinach.
Salad and broccoli with cheese or butter.


  1. My siblings and I are allergic to any kind of loafage made of meat due to my mother's untimely introduction of same.

    Her special recipe included any left-over cereal (including fruit loops or puffed wheat) and at least a dozen eggs per loaf. She liked to stretch her budget. It was more like a refrigerator loaf that sometimes included meat.

  2. I always grate zucchini and throw it into meatloaf too... it totally adds moisture, and veggies! A twofer! use the small grater size and grate up a small zucchini then just mix it in. You can't even tell it's there.

  3. Do you think this will work with ground turkey and turkey bacon?

  4. LOL, POD, I don't think I'd eat meatloaf either if I were you. But this one might change your mind . . . ;)

    Sassy, that's a really good idea. I hadn't thought about it. Do you have to adjust any other ingredients for it? Or just add it to what you've already got?

    Harriet, definitely. Just make sure that if you use ground turkey to check the fat content. Most ground turkey has more than 10% fat in it, because they use both white AND dark meat. If that's the case, leave out the cream. If you're using ground turkey BREAST or some other white meat cut though, leave the cream in, because you'll need a little fat to make it juicy.


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