Comfort food alert: 7 excellent recipes for meatloaf

Comfort food alert: 7 excellent recipes for meatloaf
A reader favorite from The Overland Cafe. Turkey meatloaf (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

When you're craving comfort food, it may not get any better than meatloaf. And what's not to love? Perfectly spiced, moist and tender — maybe wrapped in bacon, like a gift — and baptized with gravy. Meatloaf is a beautiful thing. Sigh. You see how just the thought of meatloaf gets some of us worked up?

Prepare the meatloaf in the morning if you prefer, so all you have to do is throw it in the oven when you come home. Because comfort food, like love, should be easy like that.


Wild game meatloaf: This is one heckuva meatloaf. The recipe starts out tame enough with ground hamburger, but then Wildcat Willies in Springdale, Utah, tosses some ground bison and elk into the mix. The restaurant spices it up with steak seasoning, folds in a little marinara to keep it moist and gives it festive color with diced red and green peppers. Then the restaurant lines the creation with beautiful strips of bacon. (Sigh.) It's a meat lover's dream come true.

Ammo meatloaf and gravy: Ground turkey and chicken sausage make up the base of this version of the classic. Drown each serving under a ladle of rich gravy and you're good to go.

Turkey meatloaf: Chalk up the moist texture in this meatloaf to a little extra love in the form of marinara sauce. Along with the traditional ground meat, egg, bread crumbs and flavorings, the Overland Cafe in Palms folds in marinara with the mixture before it is baked. It's also slathered over the meatloaf when it is done.

Ed Debevic's meatloaf: Remember Ed Debevic's Short Order on Restaurant Row in Beverly Hills? If you're jonesing for nostalgic diner food, give this meatloaf a try.  We've run it as a Culinary SOS more than once over the years, it's proved so popular.

H.T. Grill classic meatloaf: The secret to this meatloaf? It's the roasted tomato sauce.

Greek-style turkey loaves: For a slight twist on the classic, combine ground turkey with kalamata olives, garlic, spinach, lemon and a touch of nutmeg. You'll never look at meatloaf the same way again.

Knudsen's cottage cheese meatloaf: Yup, it does have cottage cheese in it — and that's one ingredient that helps to make this meatloaf so tender and moist. Did we mention it's been a favorite with our readers for years? You can find the recipe below.


1 1/2 hours . Serves 4 to 6

1 egg

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 cup cottage cheese

1/2 onion, minced

1/2 cup cracker crumbs


1/4 cup minced celery

1/4 cup minced green bell pepper

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

1/2 clove garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup ketchup

2 teaspoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons prepared mustard

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Beat the egg lightly in a large bowl. Crumble the beef and add to the bowl, along with the cottage cheese, onion, cracker crumbs, celery, green pepper, sesame seeds, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt, basil and pepper. Toss lightly with your hands to mix; do not overmix. Shape the loaf and place in a (9x5-inch) loaf pan.

3. Combine the ketchup, brown sugar and mustard. Spread over the loaf.

4. Bake the meatloaf until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees on a meat thermometer and the loaf pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 1 hour. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Each of 6 servings: 227 calories; 568 mg sodium; 80 mg cholesterol; 11 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 13 grams carbohydrates; 17 grams protein; 1.11 grams fiber.

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