What Is the Basic Meatloaf Formula?
While meatloaf is a very adaptable dish that can be customized in tons of different ways, the basic meatloaf formula almost always contains the same ingredients, starting with meat, eggs, and some sort of grain-based binder.
Basic Components of Meatloaf
- Ground Meat: Ground beef or a blend of ground beef, pork, and veal are the most common options, but ground turkey is also a popular choice.
- Binder: Every meatloaf needs a binder to hold it together. Common choices include breadcrumbs, crushed crackers, or oats.
- Eggs: Eggs act as a binding agent, ensuring that your meatloaf holds its shape. Typically, one to two eggs per pound of ground meat is recommended.
- Vegetables: Enhance the flavor profile of your loaf with vegetables like onions, garlic, and bell peppers. Sauté them before adding them to the meat mixture for a sweeter, milder taste.
- Seasoning: Bring your meatloaf to life with a blend of seasonings. Salt, black pepper, dried herbs, and Worcestershire sauce are common, but you can go in a lot of different directions here.
- Liquid: Adding a liquid element, like milk or broth, keeps the meatloaf moist during baking.
- Optional Additions: If you want to get really creative, add cheese or even hard-boiled eggs in the center.