Basic Meatloaf

Meatloaf can be casual, for a weeknight dinner, or fancy, for a Sunday feast. It can be made of turkey or beef, pork or veal. It is relatively cheap to make and, when combined with mashed potatoes, provides about the ultimate in comfort food. Whichever protein you use, though, the idea is to stretch it with a filler — bread or oatmeal, rice or crackers — and scent it with vegetables and spices. You need a basic recipe to start. Here it is.


  • ½ cup finely chopped raw or sauteed vegetables (onions, leeks, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, etc.)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs or other grain filler (par-cooked rice, rolled oats, mashed potatoes or soft bread)
  • 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • Dried and/or fresh herbs to taste
  • Spices or other seasoning to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Nutritional Information
    • Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

      432 calories; 19 grams fat; 7 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 7 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 21 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 1 gram sugars; 39 grams protein; 157 milligrams cholesterol; 333 milligrams sodium

    • Note: Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available data.

4 to 6 servings


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix the vegetables with the bread crumbs or other filler. Mix these ingredients thoroughly with the meat. Mix in the egg.
  3. Add the seasonings, taking care not to underseason the mixture. If you do not want to taste the mixture raw to check the seasonings, cook a spoonful of it in a nonstick pan for a few minutes until it loses its redness, allow it to cool slightly, then taste.
  4. Shape mixture into a loaf and place in shallow baking dish or pack ina four-cup loaf pan. Bake 90 minutes. Serve hot or cooled.

2 hours

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