Meatloaf Cracker Barrel Recipe

Introduction:

Embark on a culinary journey back to the heartwarming flavors of home-cooked meals with our rendition of the iconic Meatloaf Cracker Barrel recipe. This beloved comfort food classic embodies the essence of hearty, satisfying dining, reminiscent of cozy family gatherings and cherished memories. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to recreate the signature Meatloaf Cracker Barrel dish in your own kitchen, allowing you to savor its comforting flavors anytime you desire.

Ingredients:

  •  1 1/2 – 2 lbs ground beef 80/20
  •  3 eggs slightly beaten
  •  1 – 1 1/2 cups Ritz crackers crushed
  •  1 small yellow onion diced small
  •  1/2 green pepper diced small
  •  3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  •  1 tsp dried oregano
  •  1 tsp dried thyme
  •  1 tsp garlic powder
  •  2 tbsp parsley flakes
  •  1/2 cup milk
  •  1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  •  1/2 tsp salt
  •  1/8 tsp pepper

Topping:

  •  1/2 cup brown sugar
  •  1/2 cup ketchup
  •  1 tsp yellow mustard

Instructions:

  1. I preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. I add ground beef to a large bowl and break it up into large pieces.
  3. I add the rest of the meatloaf ingredients from the Meatloaf list to the ground beef and mix well.
  4. I place the mixture into the center of a baking dish or baking pan with a lip covered with parchment paper or lightly sprayed with a cooking spray.
  5. I form the mixture into a loaf shape.
  6. I bake it in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  7. In the meantime, in a small bowl, I add all the topping ingredients and mix to combine.
  8. I pull the meatloaf out of the oven and spread the topping evenly over the top of the meatloaf.
  9. I place it back in the oven for an additional 20-30 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
  10. I remove it from the oven and allow it to sit on the pan for 5-10 minutes before slicing. I enjoy!

Serving Tips:

  1. Slice and Serve Warm: Allow the Meatloaf Cracker Barrel to rest for a few minutes after baking before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful meatloaf. Serve warm slices alongside your favorite side dishes, such as mashed potatoes, green beans, or roasted vegetables.
  2. Garnish with Fresh Herbs: For a touch of freshness and color, garnish the sliced meatloaf with chopped fresh parsley or chives just before serving. This adds a vibrant contrast to the rich flavors of the meatloaf and enhances its presentation.
  3. Serve with Condiments: Accompany the Meatloaf Cracker Barrel with condiments such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, or mustard on the side. These can be used for dipping or drizzling over individual slices according to personal preference, adding an extra layer of flavor.
  4. Make Sandwiches: Turn leftover slices of meatloaf into delicious sandwiches by placing them between slices of bread or rolls along with your favorite toppings, such as lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. This transforms the meatloaf into a convenient and satisfying meal for lunch or dinner.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigeration: Store any leftover Meatloaf Cracker Barrel in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in aluminum foil. Refrigerate promptly and consume within 3-4 days. Reheat individual slices in the microwave or oven until warmed through before serving.
  2. Freezing Option: If you have more leftovers than you can consume within a few days, consider freezing them for longer-term storage. Wrap individual slices or the entire meatloaf tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then place them in a freezer-safe container or resealable bag. Label with the date and store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Thaw frozen meatloaf slices overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  3. Reheat Properly: To maintain the moistness and flavor of reheated meatloaf, it’s best to reheat it gently and evenly. Reheat slices in the microwave on a microwave-safe plate, or in the oven at a low temperature (around 300°F) until warmed through. Cover with foil to prevent drying out, and add a splash of broth or water to the dish for extra moisture if needed.

FAQs:

  1. Can I use ground turkey or chicken instead of ground beef for this recipe?
    • Yes, you can substitute ground turkey or chicken for ground beef if you prefer a leaner option. Keep in mind that the flavor and texture of the meatloaf may vary slightly with different types of meat.
  2. Can I make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free crackers or breadcrumbs?
    • Absolutely! You can easily make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free crackers or breadcrumbs in place of the saltine crackers. Be sure to check that all other ingredients are also gluten-free to accommodate dietary restrictions.
  3. Can I prepare the meatloaf mixture ahead of time and refrigerate it before baking?
    • Yes, you can prepare the meatloaf mixture ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before baking. Simply cover the mixture tightly with plastic wrap or transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Allow the mixture to come to room temperature before shaping and baking the meatloaf.
  4. What can I use as a substitute for ketchup in the glaze?
    • If you’re out of ketchup or prefer an alternative flavor, you can substitute barbecue sauce, tomato sauce, or even a combination of mustard and honey for the glaze. Adjust the sweetness and tanginess to taste by adding more or less brown sugar and mustard.
  5. Can I make mini meatloaves instead of one large loaf with this recipe?
    • Yes, you can divide the meatloaf mixture into smaller portions and shape them into individual mini loaves. Bake them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or in a muffin tin for convenient portioning. Adjust the baking time accordingly, as smaller loaves will cook faster than one large loaf.

Conclusion:

Indulge in the comforting flavors of home with our rendition of the iconic Meatloaf Cracker Barrel recipe. With its savory meatloaf base and sweet and tangy glaze, this dish captures the essence of classic American comfort food. Follow our easy-to-follow recipe and bring the warmth and nostalgia of Cracker Barrel’s famous meatloaf to your dinner table today.