At Cracker Barrel, meatloaf is one of the most popular items on the menu. Try this easy copycat recipe and see why!
Meatloaf: Simple, Tasty And Comforting
One of the first things most people think of when they hear “comfort food” is meatloaf.
Everyone has their favorite go-to recipe for meatloaf and I always say if you ask 10 people for their favorite recipe, you’d get 10 different recipes.
If you’ve ever been to Cracker Barrel, America’s “comfort food” restaurant, chances are you’ve tried their meatloaf. But if you haven’t, here’s a chance to make one just as good as theirs right in your own kitchen!
Copycatting The Original
There’s versions of this meatloaf all over the internet.
I found the recipe I based this one off of on Best of Long Island and Central Florida blog. Linda was a weekly participant in the blog hop I used to run and she really makes fantastic dinners. I also love that her Retriever is a big part of her blog being a fellow dog lover myself. I know if she said that this was good, I was sure to like it too.
One thing I did notice from all the recipes I looked at was that they seemed to exclude one of the original ingredients–green pepper. Maybe those folks didn’t like that taste or for dietary reasons could not eat it. I chose to add it back, albeit a small amount because I wanted an essence but didn’t want that flavor to overpower the others.
Another thing I did differently was add an extra egg, merely because I felt the mixture needed it and substituted extra-sharp cheddar for either the mild cheddar or American cheese the restaurant uses. I also shredded my own cheese because I feel freshly shredded is far superior to the stuff in the bag.
The Topping Is The Crowning Glory
This sweet and sour topping is the perfect thing for this meatloaf!
It’s simple with common ingredients and when it bakes on top of the meatloaf it gets thicker and sticky. Putting bad manners aside, your first thought is to gleefully lick it all off the top of your slice–you can do that when no one is looking!!!
You can use any mustard since there’s only a teaspoon. I used spicy brown–my store’s brand–and it was very good. However, yellow or dijon would be excellent choices too.
Watch The Video
- 1½ lbs lean ground beef
- 3 eggs
- 1½ sleeves crushed Ritz crackers
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- ¼ cup finely diced green pepper (can be omitted if you prefer)
- 4 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ cup ketchup
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp mustard
- Preheat oven to 350 ℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil.
- Mix the topping ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs then add the cracker crumbs, onion, green pepper, milk, salt, pepper and cheese; stir to combine.
- Add the ground beef and mix well. Turn out the meatloaf mixture onto the prepared pan; shape into a loaf.
- Bake for 30 minutes then spread topping on top of the meatloaf. Bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the center is 160 ℉.
- Let stand for 5-10 minutes to rest, then slice and serve.