The McCormick meatloaf is wildly moist, tasty, and oh-so-easy to make. What more can you ask for?
If you think making meatloaf requires some cooking expertise, you thought wrong. On the contrary, this classic American dish is super newbie-friendly!
In fact, it’s one of the very first dishes I cooked when I was only starting out on my culinary journey.
It amazes me how a simple mix of ground beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, and spices can create the most mouthwatering dish.
There are tons of recipes out there, but this one is one of the easiest. Prep time will only take 5 minutes, and the rest is up to the oven.
Plus, with this recipe, you won’t have to guess the spices and eyeball the amounts to get the perfect flavor. McCormick takes care of all that for you.
This recipe is foolproof. It yields a restaurant-quality meatloaf, 100 percent of the time.
It’s crisp on the outside with a sweet and smoky ketchup glaze. Inside, it’s ridiculously moist and bursting with flavor.
The blend of McCormick seasonings makes it so.
With this recipe, you won’t have to worry about getting a greasy meatloaf or a tough meat brick.
All you’ll need to worry about is how to share it. It’s so good you’ll want it all to yourself!
- Ground Beef: Stick to either 85/15 to 80/20 lean ground beef for a moist meatloaf. Any fattier than 80/20, and the loaf will be too greasy, and any leaner, and it’ll be too dry.
- Bread crumbs: It binds the ingredients such that the meatloaf holds its shape. I use plain here because the McCormick seasonings are already there to give the meatloaf maximum flavor. Seasoned breadcrumbs will make the meatloaf way too salty and spicy.
- Egg: It serves as the glue that holds the meat mixture together. Just one is enough to bind the ground beef and turn it into a loaf.
- Seasonings: this recipe came from McCormick, so naturally, it uses McCormick seasonings, namely, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper. Don’t feel like you can’t use other brands, though.
- Ketchup: to top over the meatloaf. It makes a nice sweet glaze once baked, and also helps keep the meat moist.
Tips & Tricks
- Avoid a dry meatloaf by not over-mixing the ingredients. Stop as soon as the ingredients are well-combined. Over-mixing will cause a tough and dry loaf.
- Again, stick to the right fat/lean meat ratio, which is either 80/20 or 85/15. A bit of fat is needed for flavor, but too much will make the loaf too greasy.
- Use fresh ground meat, not frozen. Frozen and thawed ground meat will have already lost its natural juices and will result in a dry meatloaf.
- You can also a mix of ground meats, like pork and beef or turkey and beef. I’ve never tried it, but I hear sausage works wonders, too!
- Some recipe calls for baking the meatloaf in a loaf pan, others will tell you to shape it yourself. I’ve tried it both ways, and personally, I prefer the second option. If you bake the meat in a loaf pan, you won’t get those brown and crisp edges. If you bake it in a flat pan, however, all the edges will be exposed to heat, giving them that nice, brown finish.
- Let the meatloaf rest for 10 to 15 minutes before you slice. This will allow it time to redistribute its juices, keeping it moist. If you slice it right away, all the juices will flow into the dish. You’ll want the juices in the meat, not on the plate!
- Give your meatloaf an Italian flair by using your favorite spaghetti sauce instead of ketchup as the glaze.
- Or, if you want it to have a hint of smokiness, go for BBQ sauce instead.
- How about some crunch and extra nutrition? Make your meatloaf more substantial with veggies. I’m talking chopped-up carrots, celery, bell peppers, and onions.
- Cheese is always a great idea! Throw in some shredded cheddar to the beef mixture and it’ll turn your meatloaf into a cheeseburger-esque treat.
- Got leftovers? Use the meatloaf as a sandwich filling, and voila – yesterday’s dinner has just become today’s breakfast.
On Meatloaf Cooking Times
Notice how recipes vary in baking times and temperatures? That’s because these two are dependent on the size of your meatloaf. Here’s a simple reference to guide you:
1-pound meatloaf: 45 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2-pound meatloaf: 55 to 65 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit
3-pound meatloaf: 1 hour 20 minutes.
To test for doneness, insert a meat thermometer into the center of the loaf. It should read at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can You Freeze Meatloaf?
Absolutely. Just let it cool completely first before you freeze.
I also recommend slicing the loaf into smaller portions, so you won’t have to reheat the whole thing if you only want a few slices.
Freeze individual slices on a baking pan lined with parchment paper for 1-2 hours, or until frozen solid.
Transfer the slices into a freezer-safe bag, squeeze out as much excess air as you can, and seal.
Reheat in the microwave until warmed through.
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