Meatloaf is such a basic, non-gourmet dish, but it can be tricky in many ways. It can be bland, it can be dry, it can fall apart as you try to remove it from the pan or as you slice it. This is my best meatloaf recipe! I’ve tried countless meatloaf recipes over the years, and this is the one – crisp on the outside, juicy on the inside, and full of flavor.
I should note that the bread is important here, as it doesn’t just stretch the meat into more portions – it also absorbs some of the juices that would otherwise drip out of the meat loaf as it bakes, thus helping achieve a moist loaf.
The addition of Greek yogurt helps with this too. You can shape your meat loaf in a loaf pan, but always bake it on a baking sheet, otherwise it will bake in its own juices and won’t crisp on the outside.
- 2 (40 grams each) slices whole-wheat bread
- 1 lb. 85% lean ground beef
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup plain low fat greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- ½ large onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Nonstick olive oil spray
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Line an 8X4-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap.
- Toast bread to dry it out (it will better absorb juices if it's dry). Tear into chunks and process in food processor into medium crumbs (not superfine).
- Place all ingredients except for the oil spray in a large bowl and mix with your hands, just until everything is incorporated.
- Transfer mixture to prepared loaf pan, used here to shape the loaf but not to actually bake it. After shaping, invert the shaped loaf onto the foil-lined baking sheet.
- Bake 40 minutes, uncovered. Meatloaf is done when the juices released (try pressing on it gently or insert a knife in the middle) are not red or pink anymore, but clear or brown. The safest way to check is to use an instant-read thermometer. Internal temperature should be 160 degrees F.
- Transfer meatloaf to a wire rack (place foil underneath), cover loosely with foil, and allow to rest 10 minutes, then slice and serve. Or allow to cool to room temperature, then wrap in foil and refrigerate until the next day - meat loaf is easier to slice the next day, it tastes just as good if not better, and slices can be warmed either in the microwave, or by sautéing them in a hot skillet sprayed with olive oil spray (this is extra delicious).
- Needless to say, leftover meatloaf makes great sandwiches. In the photo: toasted multigrain bread, Dijon mustard, leftover meatloaf, and pickled sliced jalapeños.