American-style Meatloaf

Meatloaf or meatbread can be found in many cultures around the world!

Meatloaf is typically something we like to eat in fall and winter as it's so delicious with mashed potatoes and other winter veg. But it's just as good in the summer too, as a sandwich on toast with spicy mustard and mayo, perhaps a pickle to accompany it, and with an ice cold beer to accompany it. The concept of turning a large amount of minced meat (ground meat) into a large loaf to feed a family, is not new. From Austria to Vietnam and everywhere in between, many countries around the world have some version of meatloaf in their cuisine. Pinpointing the origin is not easy, but we can be quite sure that the tradition for meatloaf is rooted in frugality. To feed a large number of people with just pennies to spend. When I was a child, my mother never baked it, she always prepared it stovetop, searing it on all sides in a large pan and drizzling it on occasion to attain that crispy outside and moist inside. When I moved to Germany I saw it made with milk and bread torn to pieces. In America, I was surprised to find that meatloaf was baked and that tomato puree and ketchup were an important part of the ingredients. It could be made with lamb, pork, beef, chicken or turkey. It could be stuffed with an egg or vegetables. I've made it with salsa before and served it with warm cherries. The sky seems the  limit when it comes to meatloaf. Recently when I prepared stuffed cabbage, I ended up with a fair amount of beef to use up. So I decided an American style meatloaf would be just the thing. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients and preparation American-Style Meatloaf

For 4 people

  • 750 gr ground beef (minced beef, as lean as possible) - for this recipe, minced turkey is also delicious
  • 1 egg beaten well
  • 1/2 bundle of fresh parsley, finely chopped and added to the well beaten egg
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 TBSP paprika powder
  • 8 TBSP tomato purée
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1.5 - 2 tsp salt
  • a good shake of breadcrumbs (no set amount - make sure the meatloaf holds its shape but doesn't seem dry)
  • Butter to top while baking


  • Mix all ingredients together very well (by hand is best but can also use a fork)
  • NOTE: add breadcrumbs a little bit at a time. When the loaf holds its shape nicely, without breaking apart, it should be fine.
  • Bake at 175C or 350F for 45 minutes to 1 hour, spooning the drippings over the meatloaf regularly.
  • Optional to make it truly authentic American meatloaf, pour at least 1/2 cup of Heinz Ketchup over the top of the meatloaf in the last 15 minutes of baking.
    • Spread it around with a knife making sure it doesn't drip off the sides of the meatloaf.
    • After fifteen minutes the ketchup will be set firmly in a nice gooey top layer.
    • DELICIOUS!!! The ONLY reason I didn't do it in this case is because I didn't have any ketchup, let alone Heinz, on hand (insert sad face!)
    • You can also squirt some ketchup into the beef mixture along with tomato paste.
Serving Suggestions
  • Serve with mashed potatoes or pasta tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper (and garlic powder), and vegetables like peas and carrots.
  • Serve on a sandwich with toasted bread, mayo and mustard.



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