Meatloaf with Saltine Crackers

Prep Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs

Saltine cracker crumbs replace the usual breadcrumbs in this family-friendly meatloaf with a sweet glaze.


  • Olive oil for brushing

  • 30 saltine crackers

  • 2 ½ pounds ground beef (85 percent lean)

  • 1 large yellow onion (10 ounces)

  • 1 large carrot (5 ounces)

  • 2 medium cloves garlic

  • ½ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup ketchup, divided

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided

  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt

  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, then fit the sheet with a wire rack. Brush a 10-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with olive oil and place on rack; set aside. Place saltines in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade; pulse until fine crumbs form. You should have about 1 cup crumbs. Transfer to a large bowl and add ground beef.

  2. On the large holes of a box grater, grate carrot (should measure 1 cup grated) and onion (about 2/3 cup grated). Drain excess juice from onion. Add carrot and onion to meat mixture, then grate garlic on the fine holes of the grater (1 teaspoon). Add to bowl along with parsley, eggs, 1/2 cup ketchup, Worcestershire, 1 tablespoon Dijon, salt and pepper. Use hands to combine thoroughly. Transfer to prepared loaf pan.

  3. Combine remaining 1/2 cup ketchup, 1 tablespoon Dijon and brown sugar in a small bowl. Stir until smooth and no sugar lumps remain.

  4. Spread mixture evenly over top of meatloaf. Place in oven, atop wire rack and bake until a meat thermometer inserted into the center reads 160 degrees, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Tent with foil if top begins to brown too quickly. Remove from oven and let cool 1 hour before slicing. Serve.

    Mike Krautter
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