Are Meatballs and Meatloaf the Same Thing?

Meatballs are made by seasoning ground meat and using breadcrumbs to hold the shape you mold them into.

Meatloaf is made by seasoning ground meat and using breadcrumbs to hold the shape you mold them into.

Same basic concept…

So, what exactly is the difference between them? Are meatballs and meatloaf the same thing? Well, let’s start by taking a look at the ingredients commonly used to make these two seemingly similar dishes.

Meatballs and meatloaf share a lot of the same ingredients for their recipes. Each of them uses ground beef, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper. Even their optional ingredients have crossover with the likes of parsley, garlic, and sometimes parmesan cheese.

However, while so far they’re looking like the same thing, there is one key difference to make note of in their ingredients – the binding agent. Meatloaf will more traditionally rely on a liquid binding ingredient like eggs or milk. This isn’t to say it’s unheard of for meatballs to use eggs in their recipe, but it’s far more common in meatloaf.

Additionally, you also have to examine how each dish is actually cooked. Meatballs are generally cooked on the stovetop whereas meatloaf is baked in the oven. But, much like the eggs situation, it’s not unheard of for meatballs to be prepared in the oven instead of on the stove.

In the end, meatballs and meatloaf are very, very similar. Their main differences really only come down to how you choose to season one or the other, the binder, and the shape you mold the ingredients into.

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Hey I'm Matt Morgan. Meatloaf was something I grew up on as a kid and was always my favorite dish. Its something that developed into a passion of mine so after years of perfecting my stable of meatloaf recipes I decided to share my passion for you to enjoy with your family!

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