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Cracker Barrel Meatloaf Recipe | The Novice Chef


Everybody loves Cracker Barrel Meatloaf, so why not make it at house? With zesty inexperienced bell peppers, buttery Ritz crackers, and tangy ketchup glaze, you’ll have a deliciously savory meatloaf.

Lifting a slice of meatloaf on a serving utensil.

Moist, Flavorful, Homestyle Meatloaf – Simply Like Cracker Barrel’s!

Cracker Barrel would possibly simply be America’s favourite Southern restaurant, and their meatloaf recipe is likely one of the greatest. Moist, tender, and savory, it’s topped with a candy but tangy ketchup glaze that may’t be beat. So after all, I needed to attempt to make it at house, proper? It took a while, however I believe this recipe is nearly excellent.

To make it genuine, I referred to as Cracker Barrel and requested about totally different substances. Whereas my model just isn’t equivalent I’m certain, it does embrace diced tomatoes, onion, inexperienced pepper, eggs, and milk, identical to Cracker Barrel’s. They talked about that theirs additionally incorporates gluten, so therefore the crackers, though they could have used bread. I believe the buttery style of Ritz crackers is nice right here, however bread would additionally work. There is no such thing as a cheese and no oatmeal of their recipe, so I didn’t use them both, though you can if you happen to like.

For those who love this meatloaf, you’ll love this Loaded Potato and Meatloaf Casserole!

Two dinner plates served with food on a tabletop.

What Is Cracker Barrel Well-known For?

Cracker Barrel is a restaurant that you simply’ll discover in nearly each state within the US, typically simply off of the interstate. It is a nice enterprise technique, by the way in which. In any case, touring is tiring and generally all you need is to really feel such as you’re “house” for a bit. That’s the place Cracker Barrel’s specialty – old school, homestyle American meals with a country, welcoming environment – comes into play.

Go into any Cracker Barrel and also you’ll discover their beloved Normal Retailer, filled with old-school toys, knickknacks, and sweet. The restaurant itself is all the time embellished with a singular assortment of native antiques, like classic washboards and Coca-Cola ads. There are checker tables and peg board video games to maintain you busy when you wait to your meals, and the meals itself? Hen fried rooster, rooster fried steak, pork chops, salads, barbecue, greens, beans… you identify it. All-you-can-eat biscuits and all-day breakfasts are favorites as properly. (To not point out meatloaf.)

From top: Diced tomatoes, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, milk, black pepper, garlic powder, cracker crumbs, eggs, diced pepper, ground beef.

The Substances You‘ll Want

This record of substances could seem lengthy, however there’s actually not a lot to prep right here. Simply chop the bell pepper, drain the tomatoes, after which measure out the spices and condiments. Simple!

For the Meatloaf 

  • Floor Beef: You need pretty fatty floor beef, no less than 85/15. I take advantage of 80/20.
  • Canned Tomatoes: Plain are fantastic, however the diced tomatoes with onion and inexperienced pepper give this recipe much more taste. Drain them properly.
  • Bell Pepper: Take away the seeds from half a inexperienced bell pepper, and cube it up.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: So flavorful! A bit of goes a great distance, so measure fastidiously away out of your mixing bowl to keep away from spilling further into the meatloaf.
  • Eggs: Massive complete eggs, calmly crushed.
  • Milk: Complete milk provides moisture and richness.
  • Black Pepper
  • Crackers: Crushed Ritz crackers as an alternative of breadcrumbs? Good day, buttery perfection!

For the Topping

  • Ketchup: Common ketchup.
  • Vinegar: A small quantity of apple cider vinegar provides depth, nearly like including wine, however extra contemporary and zingy.
  • Brown Sugar: Or honey, or maple syrup. 
  • Onion Powder: For some savory umami notes. 
  • Mustard: You should utilize nearly any mustard, from spicy deli mustard to plain yellow mustard. 
A dinner plate with ground beef loaf, mashed potatoes, and mixed vegetables.

The right way to Make Cracker Barrel Meatloaf

This meatloaf might be made in two methods: within the air fryer, and within the oven. Each strategies are included, so use whichever one works greatest for you!

Air Fryer 

  • Get Able to Air-Fry. First, preheat your air fryer to 350°F, and spray two mini loaf pans with cooking spray. Line the underside of every one with a small piece of parchment paper, and put aside.
  • Make the Meatloaf Combination. In a big bowl, mix the meat, canned tomatoes, inexperienced bell pepper, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, milk and black pepper. Stir to mix, after which fold within the crackers.
  • Air-Fry. Evenly press the meatloaf combination into the mini loaf pans, and place them within the air fryer basket. Air-fry for half-hour.
  • Add the Topping and End Baking. Stir the topping substances collectively in a bowl, and unfold it over the meatloaves. Air-fry for an extra 7 minutes, or till the inner temperature reaches 160°F. (Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness.) Take the meatloaves fastidiously out of the air fryer, and let it relaxation for quarter-hour earlier than serving.
  • Take pleasure in!

Oven

  • Get Able to Bake. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and spray a 9-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Lower a chunk of parchment paper to suit the underside of the loaf pan, and place it inside.
  • Make the Meatloaf Combination. In a big bowl, mix the meat, tomatoes, bell pepper, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, milk, and black pepper. Fold within the crackers.
  • Bake. Evenly press the combination into your ready loaf pan. Bake for half-hour.
  • Add the Topping and End Baking. Combine the topping substances collectively in a bowl, and unfold the topping over the meatloaf. Bake for an extra half-hour, till the inner temperature reaches 160°F. Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness.
  • Relaxation and Serve. Take away the pan from the oven, and let it relaxation for quarter-hour earlier than serving.
Baked meatloaf in a pan.

Can You Overwork Meatloaf?

Sure, it’s positively doable to overwork or overmix the meatloaf combination. We often consider this with baked objects like cake and muffins. With baked items, gluten can overdevelop and make the combination too chewy or crumbly. An analogous drawback can occur with floor beef, making the completed dish heavy and difficult, so make sure you combine simply till the substances are evenly distributed.

Glazed Cracker Barrel copycat ground beef loaf on a white plate.

Useful Hints

Once you make it excellent, meatloaf is a hearty, tender predominant dish that’s tremendous satisfying. These useful recipe notes will make sure that your meatloaf seems all types of scrumptious – no bland, heavy loaves right here!

  • Watch That Cooking Time! The number-one rule of meatloaf is: don’t overcook! For those who do, it is going to dry out and be disappointing, irrespective of how good your recipe is.
  • Check for Doneness: Whereas we’re speaking about doneness, it’s best to know the best, most dependable means to ensure your dish is completed is through the use of a meat thermometer. When it reads 160°F, take away the pan from the oven and let the meatloaf relaxation. The temperature will rise about 5 levels whereas it rests, and the meatloaf will likely be achieved with out overcooking!
  • Parchment: To simply take away the meatloaf from the pan, lower a chunk of parchment paper and place it within the pan with the ends overhanging the perimeters by an inch or two.  You’ll be able to grasp the ends of the parchment and carry the meatloaf proper out!
  • Meat Choices: You can even make this recipe with half floor beef and half floor pork, if you would like! This may make an additional moist meatloaf. I don’t advocate utilizing lean floor beef, nonetheless – the fats within the meat helps it maintain collectively.  
  • Cracker Choices: Saltines additionally work right here, instead of the Ritz crackers.
  • Bell Pepper Choices: You’ll be able to swap the inexperienced bell pepper for a crimson bell pepper if you would like a milder pepper taste.
Meatloaf, mixed veggies, and mashed potatoes on a dinner plate with a fork.

Facet Dish Inspiration

My favourite facet dishes with meatloaf are basic, easy veggies and starches, the sort of meals that sticks to your ribs! Listed below are just a few of our favorites:

  • Mashed Potatoes: After all you’ll be able to’t have meatloaf with out Mashed Potatoes! Or go for some Herb Roasted Potatoes!
  • Candied Carrots: Candy Candied Carrots are extremely simple to make, and add a splash of shade to the desk as properly! Your loved ones will beg you to make this healthful facet dish.
  • Inexperienced Beans: I really like inexperienced beans any type, however my present fave is that this crisp, flavorful Air Fryer Inexperienced Beans recipe. With a splash of lemon and a few savory garlic, they’re a vibrant, flavorful dish. One other nice possibility is that this Inexperienced Bean Casserole from scratch!
  • Corn Muffins: Jalapeño Candy Corn Muffins deliver a sunny, spicy style to the desk. You’ll crave these mild, perfectly-textured corn muffins.
A cooked ground beef loaf on a rectangular platter.

The right way to Retailer and Reheat

Retailer leftover Cracker Barrel meatloaf in an hermetic container in your fridge. It is going to maintain for round 5 days, and makes a terrific sandwich filling!

Does This Meatloaf Freeze Nicely?

Sure, you’ll be able to freeze this if you want to benefit from the leftovers later (or if you wish to make a double batch and freeze one). 

To freeze, simply wrap the meatloaf tightly in two layers of plastic wrap, or one layer of plastic wrap and one layer of foil. Mark with the date and freeze for as much as three months. Thaw within the fridge in a single day earlier than reheating.

Yield: 6 Servings

Cracker Barrel Meatloaf

Lifting a slice of meatloaf on a serving utensil.

Everybody loves Cracker Barrel Meatloaf, so why not make it at house? With zesty inexperienced bell peppers, buttery Ritz crackers, and tangy ketchup glaze, you’ll have a deliciously savory meatloaf.

Prep Time
10 minutes

Cook dinner Time
1 hour

Further Time
quarter-hour

Whole Time
1 hour 25 minutes

Substances

  • 2 kilos floor beef (80/20)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with onion and inexperienced pepper, drained
  • 1/2 inexperienced bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 giant eggs, crushed
  • 1/2 cup complete milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup crushed Ritz crackers

Toppings

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard

Directions

Oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Lower a small piece of parchment paper and place within the backside of the loaf pan. Put aside.
  2. In a big bowl, stir to mix the meat, canned tomatoes, inexperienced pepper, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, milk, and pepper. Fold within the crackers.
  3. Evenly press the meatloaf into the ready pan. Place within the oven and bake for half-hour.
  4. Mix the topping substances collectively in a bowl. Unfold over the meatloaf and bake for an extra half-hour, till an inner temperature reaches 160°F. Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness.
  5. Take away and let relaxation for quarter-hour earlier than serving.

Air Fryer:

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F. Spray 2 mini loaf pans with cooking spray and line the bottoms with a small piece of parchment paper. Put aside.
  2. In a big bowl, stir to mix the meat, canned tomatoes, inexperienced pepper, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, milk, and pepper. Fold within the crackers.
  3. Evenly press the meatloaf into the mini loaf pans and place within the air fryer basket. Air fry for half-hour.
  4. Mix the topping substances collectively in a bowl. Unfold over the meatloaf and bake for an extra 7 minutes, till an inner temperature reaches 160°F. Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness.
  5. Take away and let relaxation for quarter-hour earlier than serving.

Notes

  • Watch That Cooking Time! The number-one rule of meatloaf is: don’t overcook! For those who do, it is going to dry out and be disappointing, irrespective of how good your recipe is.
  • Check for Doneness: Whereas we’re speaking about doneness, it’s best to know the best, most dependable means to ensure your dish is completed is through the use of a meat thermometer. When it reads 160°F, take away the pan from the oven and let the meatloaf relaxation. The temperature will rise about 5 levels whereas it rests, and the meatloaf will likely be achieved with out overcooking!
  • Parchment: To simply take away the meatloaf from the pan, lower a chunk of parchment paper and place it within the pan with the ends overhanging the perimeters by an inch or two.  You’ll be able to grasp the ends of the parchment and carry the meatloaf proper out!
  • Meat Choices: You can even make this recipe with half floor beef and half floor pork, if you would like! This may make an additional moist meatloaf. I don’t advocate utilizing lean floor beef, nonetheless – the fats within the meat helps it maintain collectively.  
  • Cracker Choices: Saltines additionally work right here, instead of the Ritz crackers.
  • Bell Pepper Choices: You’ll be able to swap the inexperienced bell pepper for a crimson bell pepper if you would like a milder pepper taste.

Vitamin Data:

Yield:

6

Serving Measurement:

1

Quantity Per Serving:
Energy: 556Whole Fats: 32gSaturated Fats: 11gTrans Fats: 1gUnsaturated Fats: 16gLdl cholesterol: 199mgSodium: 514mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 2gSugar: 11gProtein: 45g

Extra Simple Floor Beef Recipes

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