Magnificent Meatloaf

The fail-proof way to make magnificent meatloaf at home!


Magnificent Meatloaf

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Meatloaf isn’t really sexy. Or at least it is pretty difficult to make it sexy and convince someone that it could be. The recipe in this post though, is the best meatloaf I’ve ever had. The problem with most meatloaf, in my opinion, is that they are either dry, too heavy, or they just taste like hamburger slathered with ketchup.

This meatloaf has none of those problems.

Magnificent Meatloaf

Serves 6
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The fail-proof way to make magnificent meatloaf at home!

Recipe adapted from an Alton Brown recipe.


1 pound ground sirloin
1 pound ground turkey
1 onion, minced
1 carrot, minced
1 red pepper, minced
1 poblano pepper, seeded and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Teaspoon chili powder
1 Teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 Teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt
6 ounces bread crumbs (I like Italian flavored Panko.)
1 egg


1 Cup ketchup
2 Teaspoons cumin
1 Teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Teaspoon hot sauce (adjust to your liking)
2 Tablespoons honey


1) Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

2) To make the glaze, combine all ingredients well. Taste it and adjust to your liking. It should be pretty strong if you are tasting it by itself.

3) For all the vegetables, be sure to mince them very finely. If you have a food processor, it’s easiest to pulse them a few times in that.

4) Add a small drizzle of oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, peppers, and garlic to the pan and cook until veggies soften, just a few minutes.

5) Once veggies are cooked, add them to a large bowl with all the other meatloaf ingredients. Use your hands to really mix everything together well.

6) Pack the meatloaf into a 9×5 loaf pan. Then invert the pan on a baking sheet (I like to line mine with parchment for easy cleanup).

7) Bake the meatloaf free-form for 15 minutes, then remove it and coat it with some glaze every 15-20 minutes. The meatloaf will need to bake for 60-70 minutes to be cooked through.

8) Let the meatloaf cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve it with extra glaze on the side!

Preheat your oven to 325 and then make your glaze. Just combine all that stuff in a bowl and stir it up well. Taste it and adjust to your liking. It should be pretty strong if you are tasting it by itself.

Glaze and sauce. Pretty much the best.
Glaze and sauce. Pretty much the best.

Then get these guys ready:

Simple ingredients.
Simple ingredients.

You need to make sure that these are very finely chopped. I recommend peeling everything and then pulsing it a few times in the food processor. You don’t want it to be a paste, but just really small piece. The only thing I chopped by hand was the poblano because I wanted some larger chunks of that in the final product.

Chopping practice.
Chopping practice.

Cook your veggies. This is really important. Not only does it draw out tons of flavor, but it will also help bind your loaf together later. If you were to put them in raw, it might work, but I wouldn’t trust it. Just saute your very finely chopped veggies (along with your chopped garlic) for about 3 minutes in bit of oil. You don’t want the veggies browned, just softened a bit.

Get a large bowl and combine all your dry ingredients. Mix these up well. If you don’t use Italian bread crumbs maybe add a bit more thyme and some oregano to get the same spices in the mix.

Dry but flavorful.
Dry but flavorful.

Then it is pretty easy. Stir in your veggies and then both your ground meats. Once it is all mixed together, add your one egg. You don’t need more than one.

This is not your normal meatloaf.
This is not your normal meatloaf.

The real trick of this recipe is that you don’t actually cook it in a loaf pan. Instead you use the loaf pan to form it, but then you cook it free form. This is a great change from the normal way to cook meatloaf for two reasons: First, if lets some of the fat drain away instead of just sitting in the loaf pan. Second, you can glaze the entire surface of the loaf!

I’m using a 10 inch loaf pan for this guy.

In my opinion, there is no other way to cook meatloaf.
In my opinion, there is no other way to cook meatloaf.

This needs to cook until it has an internal temperature of 155 degrees. For me this was about an hour of cooking. After it is in the oven for 15 minutes, take it out and give it a complete coat of the glaze mixture. I glazed it again after about 15 more minutes in the oven. Because the glaze rocks.

Glaze it up.
Glaze it up.

Once this is done, let it cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Makes a mean sandwich on day two.
Makes a mean sandwich on day two.

This may not appear to be a very glamorous meal, but it is really tasty. The leftovers are best if eaten over the next day or two. While it will keep for a week probably, it starts to dry out a bit after a few days. Best application for leftovers: Meatloaf sandwich.

I’ve had a lot of meatloafs in my life and dislike most of them. This guy, however, was really packed with flavor and super-moist. For meatloaf, it is pretty freakin’ sexy.

19 Responses to “Magnificent Meatloaf” Leave a comment

  1. No, meatloaf is sexy to me. You know what’s even sexier that caramelized saucy-crust on the top. oh yeah!
    Nice loaf! LOL

  2. How hot is this meatloaf? I’d love to try it, but I am a nursing mom, so I have to limit the heat of my meals for the time-being. I love that you used half turkey instead of all beef. I can’t wait to try it out!

  3. meatloaf is seriously one of the best foods ever. i think we used to have it once a week growing up. i tried making a loaf with sauteed mushrooms one time and it was incredible. can’t wait to try this one.

  4. I'm really not a fan of meatloaf as a rule, they tend to be overcooked, dried out, bland and artificial tasting – bulked up with whatever dubious wilty vegetables and grains happened to be lurking in the kitchen.

    But – this version looks pretty damn good actually. I can almost believe you on the sexy part. Bonus that turkey mince is nice and lean and usually very well priced too.

    I think a couple of slices of pancetta or prosciutto wrapped around the meatloaf wouldn't hurt it either..

  5. Have any ideas for a vegetarian meatloaf like thing? I mean something that is spicy, loafy, and tastes good with ketchup.

  6. mmm This was delicious!
    I used some leftover ground pork that I had instead of turkey, but I think next time I'll avoid that. Too much fat.

  7. Nick (this is so casual because we’re friends in my head),
    This recipe looks awesome! Do you think I could make this into meatballs? I’m thinking of using all turkey – just because I don’t have ground sirloin. My plan is to make them into balls and freeze them. Do you think it will work?

      1. Great! Thanks for the advice!
        I think I’m going to stick with the meatloaf form.

  8. Anyone else have trouble getting the internal temp to 155? I’ve made this twice now and it’s taken me nearly an hour and a half in the oven. Taste is spot on, though!

    1. Hey Jess, it can definitely take that long depending on a number of factors, how hard you pack the meat, etc.. Good on you for using a thermometer to double check it. Most people just pull it and go with it.

      1. Thanks, Nick! I think the packing must have been the issue – I don’t think my loaf pan is quite 10″ (probably 8.5″ or 9″) and I do have to pack it in pretty tightly so that it all fits.

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