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.
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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.
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
- Diced tomatoes
- Ground black pepper
- Yellow mustard
- Worcestershire sauce
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.
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
- Lipton Onion Soup Meatloaf with Brown Gravy
- Boston Market Homestyle Meals Meatloaf
- Meatloaf Recipe using Heinz 57 Sauce
More Ground Beef Recipes
- Tater Tot Casserole with Hamburger
- Hamburger and Bean Casserole
- The Best Sloppy Joes Recipe
- White Castle Hamburgers Recipe
- Homemade Big Macs
- Seasoned Hamburger Patties Recipe
- Hamburger Quesadillas
- Culvers Butterburgers
- Quick Ground Beef Casserole
- Beefy Mexican Cornbread
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Cracker Barrel Meatloaf
- 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
- 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.
- 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.