Cracker Barrel Meatloaf

The Cracker Barrel Meatloaf is one of the dishes that represent a classic American family meal. This is especially true when the meatloaf is served up at one of America’s quintessential restaurant, Cracker Barrel. You can prepare this Cracker Barrel Meatloaf recipe from start to finish in under an hour and a half, and your family will thank you and gladly ask for seconds!

two slices of homemade meatloaf on a plate

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 of the other recipes add cheese when there is no cheese in their meatloaf.

There are no special ingredients in this recipe, what I love about this recipe, 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 meatloaf in a long time, this is the perfect recipe to bring back this familiar flavor.

How to make meatloaf

Lots of people simply dismiss a meatloaf as a lump of ground beef. Don’t be one of them. A good meatloaf is so much more than just an oversized burger. Make this recipe, and you will prove to yourself 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.

ground beef, onions, green bell pepper and more to make meatloaf

What types of seasonings should you use in meatloaf?

Some meatloaves call for garlic powder or cumin, but they can sometimes wind up being overpowering. But seasoning with just 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 a bit of flavor and texture to each forkful. What really 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 glaze contains just enough Worcestershire sauce and yellow mustard to tamper 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 flavor.
  • Eggs
  • Ritz crackers – Buttery Ritz crackers are the perfect binder
  • White onion – yellow onion is ok 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

How to Make Cracker Barrel’s Meatloaf

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil, this prepared baking sheet will make clean up a breeze
  • In a large bowl beat the eggs well, then add cracker crumbs, onion, green pepper, milk, salt, and drained diced tomatoes, and ground black pepper. Mix well.
  • Add ground beef and mix well. Turno ut the meatloaf mixture into a loaf pan
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Prepare the delicious glaze by combining ketchup, brown sugar, yellow mustard, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl.
  • Spread glaze over meatloaf and cook for another 30 minutes or until the center is 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 ground chuck on the packaging.
  • Get the right grind. Most grocery stores selling 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 for some reason you have a bit of meatloaf leftover, cold meatloaf sandwiches are a must. Serve a cold slice between on toasted bread with lettuce, tomato, and a bit of extra glaze mixture. It is so delicious you will want to make leftovers on purpose!

How to store leftover meatloaf

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

sliced homemade meatloaf that tastes like Cracker Barrel Meatloaf

I hope you give this copycat recipe for Cracker Barrel’s meatloaf a try 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 are going to be the hero at your dinner table!

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

More Ground Beef Recipes

Take a 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 2 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cracker Barrel copycat recipe, Meatloaf
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10
Calories: 253kcal

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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.

Equipment

Meatloaf pan or loaf pan

Nutrition

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 CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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