Cracker Barrel Meatloaf

The Cracker Barrel Meatloaf is one of the dishes that represent a classic American family meal. This is the best meatloaf recipe you will ever try. Serve this up with your favorite sides from Cracker Barrel, and you will soon have a meal your whole family will love.

two slices of homemade meatloaf on a plate

What makes the Cracker Barrel Meatloaf so good?

This meatloaf is all about nostalgic home-style comfort. The classic hearty taste reminds you of home, enjoying dinner with the whole family. This meatloaf is dense, perfectly seasoned, slightly crisp outside, and topped with a tangy tomato sauce.

Why is this the copycat Cracker Barrel meatloaf recipe you must try?

Many copycat recipes for this famous meatloaf contain sharp cheddar cheese. If you look at the ingredients on the recipe website, there is no cheese in the meatloaf. Many other recipes add cheese when there is no cheese in their meatloaf. So to have an authentic Cracker Barrel meatloaf copycat recipe, we must omit the cheese.

There are no unique ingredients in this recipe. What I love about this recipe is that it contains common ingredients you can find easily in your local grocery store. Again, no secret ingredients are required for Cracker Barrel’s meatloaf. If you haven’t had a moist meatloaf in a long time, this recipe is perfect for returning this familiar flavor.

How to Make Meatloaf

Lots of people dismiss a meatloaf as a lump of ground beef. Don’t be one of them. A good meatloaf is so much more than just a big burger. Make this recipe, and you will prove that a hot slice of meatloaf is possibly the ultimate comfort food.

Besides quality meat, a great meatloaf requires the correct amount of spices, the right mix of vegetables, a suitable binder, and the perfect glaze. This Southern meatloaf recipe has all that and more.

What types of seasonings should you use in meatloaf?

Some meatloaves call for garlic powder or cumin, but they can sometimes be overpowering. But seasoning with salt and pepper won’t overpower the taste of the other ingredients.

The finely diced green peppers, onions, and tomatoes in this Southern Meatloaf recipe add flavor and texture to each forkful. What kicks this Cracker Barrel meatloaf up a notch is the substitution of Ritz crackers for the breadcrumbs.

Top it all with a classic brown sugar and ketchup glaze. This is a wonderfully tangy meatloaf glaze. This glaze contains enough Worcestershire sauce and yellow mustard to tamper with the sweetness. There you have it, a meatloaf no one can resist.

ketchup, brown sugar and more to make a meatloaf glaze

Ingredients You Will Need for Cracker Barrel’s Meatloaf

  • Ground chuck – you can use leaner meat, but ground chuck is full of lots of flavors.
  • Large eggs
  • Ritz crackers – these buttery crackers give more texture and flavor than plain bread crumbs
  • White onion – yellow onion is okay to use, but I think the white onions are sweeter and taste better in this recipe.
  • Green bell pepper
  • Milk
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Ground black pepper
  • Ketchup
  • Yellow mustard
  • Worcestershire sauce
ground beef, onions, green bell pepper and more to make meatloaf

How to Make Cracker Barrel’s Meatloaf

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, cooking spray, or aluminum foil; this prepared baking sheet will make cleaning a breeze.
  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs well, then add cracker crumbs, onion, green pepper, milk, salt, drained diced tomatoes, and ground black pepper. Mix well.
  • Add ground beef and mix well. Turn out the meatloaf mixture into a loaf pan.
  • Place meatloaf into the preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, prepare the delicious glaze by combining ketchup, brown sugar, yellow mustard, and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Spread glaze over meatloaf and cook for another 30 minutes or until the center has an internal temperature of 160 degrees. You can check the temperature with a meat thermometer.
  • Remove from oven and let it rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

Tips on How to Cook and Serve Cracker Barrel Meatloaf

  • Be gentle with the meat. Squeezing ground beef is an excellent way to get rid of tension, but it will also ruin the texture of the meatloaf. Resist the urge to over-mix, and use just the tips of your fingers when you combine the ingredients.
  • Fat is your friend in this Southern meatloaf recipe. Yes, you can make meatloaf with ground turkey or lean beef, but if you do so, you should expect a dry meatloaf. For the best flavor, use 80 percent lean ground beef. You can sometimes find it labeled as a ground chuck on the packaging.
  • Get the right grind. Most grocery stores sell only one size of ground beef. Get it. Don’t worry. Your meatloaf will turn out just fine. But, if you are lucky enough to buy meat where the butcher will grind it fresh, ask for a coarse grind.
  • Leftovers make a great sandwich! If you have a bit of meatloaf leftover, cold meatloaf sandwiches are a must. Serve a cold slice between toasted bread with lettuce, tomato, and extra glaze. It is so delicious you will want to make leftovers on purpose!

What to Serve with Meatloaf

You may wonder what you should serve with a delicious homemade meatloaf. One word: Potatoes. Here are some potato side dishes that will work well with your meatloaf.

How to Store Leftover Meatloaf

Store your leftover meatloaf in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to five days. For up to three months, you may freeze leftover meatloaf stored in an airtight container or a freezer bag.

What’s the best way to reheat meatloaf

The best way to reheat meatloaf is to preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the meatloaf on a baking sheet. Cover it with aluminum foil to help retain moisture and heat for about 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). You can also reheat meatloaf in the microwave, but it may dry out faster, so be sure to cover it with a damp paper towel to keep it moist.

sliced homemade meatloaf that tastes like Cracker Barrel Meatloaf

I hope you try this copycat recipe for Cracker Barrel’s meatloaf the next time you want to make a traditional meatloaf. Cracker Barrel’s meatloaf is one of those comfort foods everyone craves, and with this easy copycat recipe, you will be the hero at your dinner table!

Can’t get enough meatloaf? Check out these favorite meatloaf recipes

More Ground Beef Recipes

Look at more of my copycat restaurant favorites and easy beef recipes.

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two slices of homemade meatloaf on a plate

Cracker Barrel Meatloaf

Save money and learn how to make Cracker Barrel Meatloaf at home with this easy copycat recipe. Enjoy a classic meatloaf with a rich tomato sauce.
5 from 22 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cracker Barrel copycat recipe, Meatloaf
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10
Calories: 253kcal


Meatloaf Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup crushed Ritz crackers
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper
  • 14.1 ounces diced tomatoes 1 can – drained
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Meatloaf Glaze

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce


Meatloaf Glaze Preparation

  • In a small bowl combine ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce.

Meatloaf Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350 ℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy removal if desired.
  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs well, then add the cracker crumbs, onion, green pepper, milk, salt, drained diced tomatoes, and pepper.  Mix well.
  • Add the ground beef and mix well. Turn out the meatloaf mixture onto the prepared pan; shape into a loaf.
  • Bake for 30 minutes then spread topping on top of the meatloaf. Bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the center is 160 ℉.
  • Let stand for 5-10 minutes to rest, then slice and serve.



Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 472mg | Potassium: 347mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 180IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Ms Laura E Sears

    5 stars
    Never been to Cracker Barrel but always looking for a good meatloaf recipe and this is definitely a 5-star recipe regardless.

  2. Jean

    5 stars
    Just delicious. I usually don’t like meatloaf, but my husband loves it. This recipe is just delicious. I will make again.

  3. Crystal Anderson

    5 stars
    Stephanie, When I left a comment in Sept I forgot to click on the star to rate this recipe, I would like to do that now. I have now made this meatloaf twice and we like it more each time I make it. I did double the glaze is all I did differently. Thanks Stephanie so much for this recipe, it is so good

  4. C Andereson

    My favorite meatloaf is Cracker Barrel’s and I made this for the first time last night and was very impressed, it was really good. I have tried other copycat meatloaf recipes and was always disappointed but not this time. It may not be entirely like Cracker Barrel’s but it is real good. I will use this recipe from now on.

  5. Cara Rogers

    5 stars
    The best meatloaf recipe I have ever made! My daughter absolutely loves the Cracker Barrel Meatloaf and she loved it. She did not like the tomatoes, but the rest of the family did. I will need to double the recipe next time to have leftovers.

  6. Keith Isaman

    I’ve viewed many many versions of this copycat recipe and no one puts tomatoes in their versions. I don’t remember having them in any that I’ve ordered at Cracker Barrel either. However, the ratio of the other ingredients appear to be correct. Some call for 3 eggs and 2 full sleeves of Ritz crackers which seems a bit much with only 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef. My main issue is that almost all versions vary with the ingredients. I can’t determine which one is actually a true recipe. What are your thoughts?

    • Stephanie Manley

      My biggest beef with most of the copycat recipes I have seen online for this recipe contains cheese. Here is what they say about their meatloaf. “Our special recipe Meatloaf with tomatoes, onions, and green peppers.” If you look at their pictures of how they promote the meatloaf it has tomatoes. It does not have cheese.

      Copycat recipes by nature are not the real recipe, they are good approximations. Here was my best approximation of the recipe. I try to go with measuring ingredients out more than others do. I am not going to tell you to chop an onion, you could have a small onion, I could have had a large one, so I give you what I used.

  7. Sue

    Do you have a copycat recipe for avocado toast ? I have eaten it at Dave and Buster’s in New Orleans. But I just would like a food one that you have from somewhere. Thank you.

  8. Pam

    I used a loaf pan and it did not bake well. Even though it temps 160 degrees it was very mushy and not firm at all. I will try again on a cookie sheet and not a loaf pan

  9. Lauren Kelly

    5 stars
    I just made this for my family last night and they devoured it! No leftovers! I will have to make a double order next time.

5 from 22 votes (15 ratings without comment)

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