Good meatloaf -- with super creamy mashed potatoes, of course -- is about as comforting as comfort food gets. Thankfully, meatloaf doesn't have to be complex to be good. It just needs to be tender (from breadcrumbs soaked in milk and gentle handling) and flavorful (from onion, garlic, and ketchup). That said, it's fun to jazz it up a bit by baking with a topping of smoky bacon, sweet onions, or tangy cheese. Just be sure to save some for sandwiches the next day!
Classic Meatloaf Recipe
Tips for Masterful Meatloaf
Favorite Meatloaf Toppings
Before baking, lay 8 slices bacon crosswise over meatloaf, slightly overlapping. Using a thin metal spatula or dinner knife, tuck ends of bacon under meatloaf.
Before baking, toss 1 halved and thinly sliced small onion with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Sprinkle on top of meatloaf, pressing in slightly (onions will be piled quite high).
Before forming meatloaf, gently mix 1/2 cup finely grated cheddar into meat mixture. Before baking, sprinkle another 1/2 cup cheese on top of meatloaf.