I used to have a catering business, and my specialty was comfort food. I once needed a gluten-free meat loaf, and my clients went nuts over this recipe. I often use an 8x8-in. pan or a loaf pan, but a muffin tin really cuts the cooking time. —Vangie Panagotopulos, Moorestown, New Jersey
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."
IT'S FUN to make miniature meat loaves instead of one big loaf...and they cook up quickly in a skillet rather than in the oven.
The unique combination of flavors gives the ground beef zip. This recipe is one of my old standbys for a speedy supper.
-Paula Martin, Paxinos, Pennsylvania
You can't top a hearty helping of meat loaf with creamy mashed potatoes on the side," writes Karen Laubman from Spruce Grove, Alberta. "This tender, moist meat loaf with a hint of cheese is a big hit at our house. The addition of oats boosts its nutritional value."
Looking for a great way to give leftover meat loaf a whole new taste? Try this simple stuffed peppers variation sent in by Greg Greinke from Round Rock, Texas. "The tasty filling in these tender peppers gets its zip from salsa and cumin," he comments.
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.
Craving meat loaf but not wanting to turn on a hot oven forced Jennifer Sheller to come up with this yummy recipe. “It’s a huge time-saver and the scrumptious sauce drizzled over the top keeps the patties wonderfully moist,“ she reports from Lebanon, Pennsylvania.