The Rice Krispies used in this recipe are my mom’s secret ingredient. While they may seem odd or out-of-place, they serve to help hold the meat loaf together. Once cooked, no one realizes they were even there. —Kelly Simmons, Hopkinsville, Kentucky
The colorful vegetables give this loaf a festive look—and they add so much goodness! Baking it in a casserole gives my meat loaf a unique shape, too, just for something a little different. Our family likes mashed potatoes, soup or salad and biscuits with it.—Audrey Armour, Thamesford, Ontario
Mom made this scrumptious meat loaf recipe frequently when I was growing up. When I first met my husband, he wasn't fond of meat loaf. This is the first meal I prepared for him, and now he requests it often.
—Michelle Beran, Claflin, Kansas
MY SISTER-IN-LAW shared this recipe years ago and it became our family's favorite meat loaf. The addition of ham and mozzarella is a colorful surprise and adds terrific flavor.
This is always a big hit with company, and the leftovers are good either hot or cold.
-Mrs. W. G. Dougherty, Crawfordsville, Indiana
I first tried this savory meat loaf recipe more than 30 years ago after seeing it demonstrated on a local TV cooking program. Since then, I've served it time and again to family and guests. The flavorful stuffing sets it apart from the ordinary.
-Shirley Leister, West Chester, Pennsylvania
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."
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