This meatloaf has graced our table more times than I can count. It’s a foolproof classic recipe that is loved by all including picky eaters. It’s moist, tender and the flavors are perfectly balanced. This pan-free meatloaf doesn’t lose its shape when baking so it’s clean-up friendly too! It’s one of our favorite weeknight meals or go to Sunday suppers – just serve with some creamy mashed potatoes and a side of buttery sweet peas, green beans or steamed broccoli. This is also great for potlucks and it’s freezer friendly.
HERE’S HOW I MADE IT
Preheat the oven to 350°F, place the oven rack in the middle position and line a baking sheet with foil for easy clean up. If you can’t find non-stick foil, lightly spray regular foil with a little non-stick cooking spray, like Pam, so the meatloaf releases easily once baked.
In a mixing bowl, use a fork to combine 1 1/2 lb. of ground sirloin beef with 3/4 lb. of mild ground Italian sausage (no casing). Set aside. Take 3-4 slices of loaf bread, trim the brown edges, and pulse a few times in a food processor until you have bread crumbs and set aside.
Note: You can use plain white bread, honey wheat or wheat bread. If you don’t have fresh loaf bread, use store-bought unseasoned bread crumbs.
Finely dice a large onion, a large celery rib, a large carrot and a green scallion. Chop a small bunch of parsley (about a 1/4 cup) and mince three garlic cloves (about a tablespoon) and set aside. Sauté the onion, celery and carrot in two tablespoons of butter over medium to high heat until the onions become translucent and the carrots are soft, about 7-10 minutes.
Note: Feel free to add a little more onion, celery and carrots according to your preference. Sometimes I add a little more vegetables depending on the size of the vegetables or if the ground meat has been packaged generously.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the minced garlic and green scallion. Sauté until the vegetables begin to caramelize, about an additional 5-6 minutes longer, stirring frequently as not to burn the garlic. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper and 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce.
Note: Mild Italian sausage already comes seasoned, but if using plain ground pork, increase the kosher salt to 2 teaspoons and add 1/2 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning mix for extra flavor. The Italian sausage also contains more fat than the lean ground pork. Depending on which one you use, you’ll notice how much fat has cooked out during the baking process.
Add a generous 1/3 cup of ketchup to the vegetables and sauté for a few minutes to cook the ketchup slightly. Turn the heat off and allow the vegetables to cool slightly before transferring to a food processor. Blitz a few times until pureed. Combine puree with the meat mixture along with two extra large eggs, 1/4 cup chopped parsley and a cup of fresh bread crumbs. Use a fork to combine all the ingredients well. If you prefer, you can use your clean hands, but I find hands tend to compact the meat mixture and the fork allows the mixture to remain light and less compact. You don’t want to overwork or compact the mixture because you’ll end up with a dense loaf.
Note: Pureeing the vegetables in a food processor is optional, but I recommend it. By pureeing the vegetables, the flavor distributes better throughout the meat. If you are short on time or don’t have a food processor, skip this step, the meatloaf will still be delicious.
Dump the meat mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and shape into a loaf, roughly 10X5 inches. I like to cover the loaf in plastic wrap for two reasons (1) when I make it early I can refrigerate it until I’m ready to bake it and (2) I can easily shape it and get the edges and corners just right, then I remove the plastic to add the ketchup.
Drizzle enough ketchup over the top to evenly cover the top and bake for an hour or until an inserted thermometer registers 155°F. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before transferring to a serving dish.
This is a great recipe to prepare in a large batch and freeze for an easy dinner. Simply store the meat mixture in a freezer safe plastic bag or container and freeze without the extra ketchup on top. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, shape onto a foil lined baking sheet, generously top with ketchup and bake accordingly. I wouldn’t freeze longer than 3 months.
Recipes yields about 6 – 8 servings, depending on how hungry your family is. Sometimes I shape them into individual mini loaves so everyone has their own loaf. No matter how I shape them, we never have leftovers! Tonight I served it with my creamy mashed potatoes and buttery peas. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family!
This recipe is adapted from from an old 1994 magazine clipping and I’ve made it with both plain ground pork and mild Italian sausage, I’ve made it exactly as written here and sometimes bypassing a few steps (cooking out ketchup in the veggies and blitzing in the food processor) and it’s always delicious. The key is to blend the two meats well and season them with salt and pepper.
A classic, old-fashioned favorite that never goes out of style. Easy enough for weeknight meals and delicious enough for company! This recipe combines a sautéed vegetable with two ground meats for an exceptional loaf.
- 1 ½ lbs. ground sirloin beef
- ¾ lb. mild Italian sausage or lean ground pork
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs (about 3-4 slices) substitute with plain store bought bread crumbs
- 1 large yellow or sweet onion, finely diced
- 1 large rib celery, finely diced
- 1 large carrots, finely diced
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon garlic cloves, minced (3-4 garlic cloves)
- 1 green scallion, diced
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ or 2 teaspoons kosher salt (see instructions for quantity depending on sausage or lean pork) prefer Diamond kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- generous ⅓ cup ketchup, plus extra for topping
- 2 extra large eggs, room temperature
- ¼ cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F, place oven rack in the middle position and line a baking sheet with non-stick foil. Set aside.
Note: If using plain foil paper, grease with non-stick cooking spray for easy release.
In a large mixing bowl, use a fork to combine 1 1/2 pounds of ground sirloin beef with 3/4 pound of mild ground Italian sausage (no casing) or lean ground pork. Set aside.
Take 3-4 slices of loaf bread, trim the brown edges, and pulse a few times in a food processor until you have bread crumbs. Set aside.
Add 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter to a medium skillet over medium-high heat and sauté the onion, celery and carrot until the onion becomes translucent and the carrot softens, about 7-10 minutes. Stir occasionally as not to burn the vegetables.
Reduce the heat to medium and add minced garlic and green scallion. Sauté until the vegetables begin to caramelize, about 5-6 minutes more, stirring frequently as not to burn the garlic.
If using mild Italian sausage, add 1 ½ teaspoons of kosher salt; if using lean ground pork, add 2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Add 1 teaspoon of black pepper and 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce and combine with the vegetables.
Add a generous ⅓ cup of ketchup and sauté for a few minutes to cook the ketchup slightly. Turn the heat off and allow the vegetables to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a food processor and blitzing the vegetables.
Add the pureed vegetables to the meat mixture along with 2 extra large eggs, ¼ cup of chopped parsley and 1 cup of fresh bread crumbs. Combine well with a fork.
Dump the meat mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and form into a 5X10 inch loaf. Generously drizzle enough ketchup to coat the top of the loaf.
Bake at 350°F for an hour or until a meat thermometer registers 155°F. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a serving platter.
FREEZING MEAT MIXTURE Place the meat mixture into a freezer safe plastic bag or container and freeze meat up to three months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then shape, top with ketchup and bake accordingly.
NO FOOD PROCESSOR, NO PROBLEM If you don’t have a food processor, simply mince all the vegetables so they “disappear” into the meat while baking.
(1) Depending on the size of the available vegetables, you may want to increase the quantity. If you can’t find a large carrot, use 2-3 smaller ones.
(2) Don’t use regular table salt. Diamond kosher salt is less salty than regular table salt.
(3) I like to use plastic wrap to help me shape the loaf, especially the edges and corners.