Bop’s Favorite Meatloaf Recipe

Bop’s Favorite Meatloaf Recipe is a super savory and easy comfort food that’s generously flavored with onion, green bell pepper, spices, and of course, ketchup. An easy meatloaf recipe that’s sure to become a family favorite!

Bop's Favorite Meatloaf Recipe is a super savory and easy comfort food that's generously flavored with onion, green bell pepper, spices, and of course, ketchup.

Easy Baked Meatloaf Recipe

The internet is such a fun place! I’ve met so many amazing people over the years, and as I’ve shared an assortment of my favorite tried-and-true recipes, many have shared some of their favorites with me, too. I made friends with a lovely woman (whose kids call her “Gram”) and this is her husband, Bop’s favorite meatloaf.

Here’s what Gram said about it: “It was originally from Redbook Magazine, January 1986, and I’ve been making it ever since. It makes for a great sandwich, too.” So, this recipe has been around a long time, and we love it just as much as Gram and Bop! It’s a great classic recipe and one you’ll make again and again. Thanks for sharing the recipe with me, Gram!

Meatloaf is a great, timeless ground beef recipe. It’s classic, it’s simple to put together, and all of my family really likes it. This easy meatloaf recipe is made with tomato sauce in it, which I never did before but ended up adoring! It makes the texture great, and makes sure everything stays really moist.

Bop's Favorite Meatloaf Recipe is a super savory and easy comfort food that's generously flavored with onion, green bell pepper, spices, and of course, ketchup.

How do you make the best homemade meatloaf?

  • Spray: Set your oven to 350 degrees F., and grease a baking dish with cooking spray. You can line your dish with foil or parchment paper for easier clean up; just make sure you spray the lining.
  • Combine: Mix together almost all of your ingredients in a large bowl to combine them thoroughly. You’ll mix up the ground beef, cracker crumbs, tomato sauce, onion, bell pepper, eggs, crushed bay leaf, salt, thyme, and black pepper.
  • Shape: Form the beef mixture into a 9- to 10-inch loaf shape. Place it in the center of the baking dish.
  • Brush: Brush ketchup over the top of the loaf evenly.
  • Bake: Bake the meatloaf for an hour, uncovered, or until the internal temp reacher 160 degrees F. After removing from the oven, let it sit for 5 minutes before serving hot.

Why does my meatloaf always fall apart?

The various components of meatloaf should make it stay together fairly well when you make it. Traditionally, bread crumbs are used in many recipes, but I love the consistency and extra salty punch from cracker crumbs. The eggs and veggies will also keep things molded together.

You also want to make sure the loaf isn’t too dry and crumbly when you form it, or too saturated with liquid that it can’t hold its shape. It should be a very dense consistency when you form the loaf, and make sure you press it into its shape firmly.

How long does meatloaf last?

Meatloaf will last for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge. You can also freeze it for up to 2 or 3 months to extend its shelf life. This is a great dish to make ahead of time and freeze for a future crazy night when making dinner is the last thing on your mind.

Bop's Favorite Meatloaf Recipe is a super savory and easy comfort food that's generously flavored with onion, green bell pepper, spices, and of course, ketchup.

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Bop's Favorite Meatloaf Recipe is a super savory and easy comfort food that's generously flavored with onion, green bell pepper, spices, and of course, ketchup.

Bop’s Favorite Meatloaf Recipe


  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8 1x

Description

Bop’s Favorite Meatloaf Recipe is a super savory and easy comfort food that’s generously flavored with onion, green bell pepper, spices, and of course, ketchup. An easy meatloaf recipe that’s sure to become a family favorite!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup soda cracker crumbs (Saltine crackers)
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 bay leaf, finely crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup ketchup

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F., and spray a large rectangular baking dish with cooking spray. You can also line the pan with foil or parchment, if you like, for easier clean up (spray any lining with cooking spray).
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, cracker crumbs, tomato sauce, onion, bell pepper, eggs, crushed bay leaf, salt, thyme, and black pepper. Stir well to combine everything evenly.
  3. Shape the ground beef mixture into a long oval loaf that is about 9 to 10 inches long. Place the loaf in the center of the baking dish.
  4. Brush the top of the loaf with ketchup.
  5. Bake, uncovered, for one hour, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
  6. Remove from the oven, and allow the meatloaf to rest for 5 minutes before serving hot.

Notes

  • I had never added tomato sauce to meatloaf before this recipe, but I love it! You can’t taste it much, but it makes the meatloaf extra moist. You’ll love it.
  • If you aren’t crazy about green peppers (or if your kids are going to fuss about green flecks in the dish), you can omit them, though they add a great brightness to the dish.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: meatloaf recipe, meatloaf recipe best, how to make meatloaf, easy meatloaf recipe, how long to cook meatloaf, best meatloaf

Bop's Favorite Meatloaf Recipe is a super savory and easy comfort food that's generously flavored with onion, green bell pepper, spices, and of course, ketchup.

Other ground beef recipe you’ll love:

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Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.

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