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."
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
I CAME UP WITH this recipe after being challenged to find different ways to cook this plentiful summer vegetable.
At first, I decided to add zucchini to my meat loaf recipe...then it occurred to me to reverse the process and put the meat loaf into the zucchini! It was an instant hit.
-Ruth Fluckiger, Tolland, Connecticut
"Instant stuffing mix makes this nicely seasoned meat loaf simple enough for beginners to make," says Betty Braswell of Elgin, Pennsylvania. "I often combine the mixture in a resealable plastic bag instead of a bowl," she suggests. "Then I toss the bag for easy cleanup."
Meat loaf cooks in less than half an hour? It's true--with Becky Bolte's speedy stovetop recipe. "This is the best and fastest meat loaf I've ever tasted," she assures from Jewell, Kansas. The moist, mild slices are great served with mashed potatoes.
"I love to experiment with all kinds of recipes," relates Debra Jane Webb of Muskogee, Oklahoma. A dash of chili powder gives her meat loaf fun Mexican flavor that's complemented by zesty picante sauce poured over the top.
When in a hurry, I substitute canned potatoes and green beans for the fresh. I like the fact that I can pop this meat loaf into the oven in the late afternoon and forget about it until dinnertime. —Florence Dollard, Grand Island, New York