I can’t say that I have always been a fan of meatloaf. Meatloaf is basically the opposite of how I eat meat. In our house, feeding 6 or 7 people every night, I rarely use more than a pound of meat (if any) for all of us. Meat is never really the focus of our meal – it’s more like an enhancement. Stir fries, soups, crockpot meals – the focus is usually on the veggies.
But, once in awhile, when I need something really easy and really tasty, meatloaf fits the bill. It only takes a few minutes to mix together a few key ingredients, toss the pan into the oven, and walk away. Since I have a programmable oven, this meal is perfect for busy afternoons driving kids around to sports practices. We can walk back in the door, the oven is off, and dinner is ready. It almost feels like cheating…
When I make meatloaf, I always use more than one kind of meat – usually something seasoned like pork sausage or Italian sausage – and then something simple like ground beef or ground bison or even ground turkey. The combination adds more flavor and moistness – I don’t recommend straight up ground beef meatloaf. Since we get all of our meat from farmers around North Carolina, I use whatever I’ve got in my fridge that month. This recipe is very, very flexible!
If you want to make tasty meatloaf that your friends and children will love, it only takes a few simple additions. I change up my kid friendly super delicious meatloaf recipe just about every time I make it but I always put in at least one egg, either breadcrumbs, corn meal, or dry stuffing mix, lots of barbecue sauce and lots of seasoning. If I have any kale in my crisper, I always add chopped kale (either raw or sauteed with onions) but I will leave that optional for you… For my finishing touch, I brush it with more barbecue sauce and coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper. If all the ingredients that go into your meatloaf are tasty, you can’t help but to have a delicious final product.
Foolproof, Kid-Friendly, Super Delicious Meatloaf
- 1 lb ground beef or ground bison
- 1 lb ground pork sausage - any flavor
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup ketchup or barbecue sauce (plus more for the top)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup breadcrumbs or dried stuffing (I use gluten-free)
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
- 1 cup chopped kale (optional)
- Generous dried herbs - parsley , thyme, rosemary
- Salt and pepper
Combine all the ingredients in one large bowl using your hands.
Form one large meatloaf in a 9 x 13 baking pan or make smaller meatloafs in mini bread tins. (Great for freezing!)
Wash hands very well.
Brush additional barbecue sauce over the top. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Bake at 375 degrees for at 60 to 75 minutes. Cook the meatloaf on a lower rack to prevent the barbecue sauce on top from getting overcooked.
Serve with your favorite veggies and a green salad. For a true comfort food meal, serve with mashed potatoes and peas! Enjoy!