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Classic Meatloaf

Good meatloaf 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).

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

Photography: José Manuel Picayo Rivera

Source: Everyday Food, October 2007


  • 3 slices white sandwich bread
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 medium onion, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Place bread in food processor; pulse until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a small bowl; stir in milk. Set aside, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine beef, pork, onion, garlic, egg, 1/4 cup ketchup, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add bread-milk mixture, and mix very gently with a fork (do not overmix).

  3. Place meat mixture on prepared baking sheet, and form into a loaf about 9 inches long and 4 to 5 inches wide.

  4. Bake, brushing twice with remaining 1/4 cup ketchup during baking, until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees, 45 to 55 minutes. Let meatloaf rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Cook's Notes

If you usually bake meatloaf in a loaf pan, you'll be surprised to see what a nice crust it gets when it's shaped free-form and cooked on a baking sheet.


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