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Cracker Barrel Meatloaf with glaze topped with ketchup sauce on top of mashed potatoes.
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5 from 55 ratings

Cracker Barrel Meatloaf (Copycat)

Make Cracker Barrel's super popular meatloaf recipe right at home! This is a perfect replica of the original, with a tender meat mixture and flavorful topping the family will love!

Ingredients

  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 pounds 80% lean ground beef, see notes for alternative meat suggestion
  • 1 cup crushed Ritz crackers
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

For the Topping:

  • 1/2-3/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard

Instructions

  • Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
  • Sauté the diced peppers and onions in a small pan with the olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes. This gives them a more subtle flavor and texture. Set aside and let cool.
  • Combined the whisked eggs, crushed crackers, onions, bell peppers, cheese, milk, and salt/pepper in a large bowl.
  • Add ground beef and mix until just combined. Don't overwork the meat, we want tender results.
  • Form it in a loaf and place it into a loaf pan. Not using a loaf pan can result in the loaf falling apart. It also takes much longer to cook, which causes it to dry out.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Combine the topping ingredients while it bakes and set aside.
  • Remove the meatloaf and brush on the topping. Bake for an additional 30-40 minutes. (Pull it once it reaches 155 degrees.)
  • Let it rest for 15 minutes in the loaf pan prior to slicing in. It will increase 8-10 degrees in temperature during this time. Slicing in too early also causes the juices to leak out. Ensure the middle is 160 degrees before you slice it.
  • Serve with creamy mashed potatoes and enjoy!

Video:

Notes

  • I like to use a 3-meat combination of ground beef, pork, and veal- equal parts of each. Many grocery stores have this meat combination already packaged, specifically for making meatloaf and meatballs. Ask the grocer if they carry it! The results are super tender and flavorful.

  • Some people like to place the meatloaf over a few slices of fresh bread, the bread acts as a sponge and soaks up any excess grease.

  • This loaf pan allows you to lift the loaf from the pan easily and allow excess grease to drain out.

  • Meatloaf can take 15-20 minutes longer to cook through if you're baking at a higher altitude. To cut down on time, try my mini meatloaf recipe!

Nutrition

Calories: 445kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 31g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 117mg, Sodium: 628mg, Potassium: 446mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 566IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 164mg, Iron: 3mg