What could be more comforting to come home to than moist and tender homemade meat loaf? "This one retains its shape in the slow cooker and slices beautifully," reports Marna Heitz from Farley, Iowa. "Because potatoes and carrots cook along with it, the entire dinner is ready at the same time."
This is one of my favorite entrees for two. I found this tender meat loaf recipe in a supermarket’s cookbook almost 20 years ago and have enjoyed it ever since. Sometimes I substitute ground turkey or chicken for the ground beef or make extra loaves to freeze for later meals. –Lois Kinneberg, Phoenix, Arizona
My family enjoys meat loaf, but sometimes I can't spare the hour or more it takes to bake in the traditional shape. A quick alternative is to divide the meat mixture into muffin cups for individual servings that are ready in less than 30 minutes. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
A spin on a classic meat loaf, I love this because I can sneak spinach in on my meat-and-potatoes family. Serve it with Greek-style potatoes or a Greek salad. I also get to make a whole other meal the next night with the leftovers—gyros. —Mandy Rivers, Lexington, South Carolina
“This is one of my personal favorites. I'm often asked for the recipe.” A dinnertime classic gets lightened up and easier to make, but keeps its tried-and-true flavor. Laura Burgess - Mt. Vernon, South Dakota
Stop searching for a go-to meat loaf recipe. This is it! Your family will be delighted with this mixture of beef, pork and sauteed onion, with a sweet- and-tangy sauce baked onto the top. Cheese crackers are the secret ingredient in this one. —Simple & Delicious Test Kitchen
My daughter likes the cheese stuffed into this tasty meat loaf made with a blend of ground beef and Italian sausage. Served with a salad and sourdough bread, the meal is special enough for company. —Laura Lawrence, Salinas, California
"Oven-roasted tomato sauce is a nice addition to this traditional meat loaf," says Joan Airey, a grain and cattle farmer from Rivers, Manitoba. "To bake it, I line my broiler pan with foil, with holes poked in so the fat drains through. It browns beautifully."
Craving the homey taste of mom's kitchen? With this recipe, your kitchen will soon fill with the aroma of great dinnertime memories, and you can enjoy this traditional favorite in under an hour. Meat loaf is economical and great for leftovers. Never made it before? No need to worry, it's simple to prepare using the following recipe from our Test Kitchen.
Here's a lower-in-fat-and-salt take on my mother's original recipe. I substituted fresh ingredients like garlic, mushrooms and onions for dried onion soup mix and garlic powder, etc. It's still dense, hearty and tastes like home. —Brenda Moehringer, Gansevoort, New York