Bringing Back Meatloaf – the Ultimate Comfort Food – Zenwise Bringing Back Meatloaf – the Ultimate Comfort Food – Zenwise
Healthy foods

Bringing Back Meatloaf – the Ultimate Comfort Food

Remember mom’s meat loaf? Meatloaf with a side of mashed potatoes and a veggie is the ultimate comfort food for generations. But great meat loaf is more than just a giant hunk of ground beef in a loaf shape!

Our 21st century version features ground beef mixed with onion, garlic, Panko breadcrumbs, fresh parsley, and seasonings. It’s topped with a sweet and tangy brown sugar glaze that caramelizes as it bakes. The result is a moist, tender meatloaf that’s oozing with flavor and doesn’t fall apart when you slice it.


What’s The Best Meat To Use?

If are using an all-beef meatloaf recipe, make sure to use ground beef that is 80/20 or 85/15. If you opt for a 90/10 ground beef, you can end up with a tough and dry meatloaf. 

You can also use the prepackaged meat at the grocery store labeled 'meatloaf mix,' which is a mixture of beef, pork, and veal.

Ground pork is a good alternative if you would prefer to not use ground beef. While using ground pork will make a perfectly juicy and moist meatloaf, it will have more of a 'meatball' taste to it.

In a slight departure from classic meatloaf, we swapped out the ketchup for Chili Sauce. Chili sauce is not spicy. It is a zesty, less sweet version of traditional ketchup. Find it in the condiment aisle near the ketchup. If you don’t have chili sauce, feel free to use ketchup or even a bit of BBQ sauce.

Finally,  beef bouillon cubes add delicious, meaty flavor to the beef mixture. Just crush them up before you add them to the mix.


Why We Love These Ingredients

Beef is a rich source of protein, iron, and B vitamins. It’s also packed with amino acids that help muscle growth and strength.  One of these amino acids, L-carnitine, helps power up cell mitochondria to produce energy throughout the body.

In addition, beef helps to prevent iron-deficient anemia and provide glutathione, a potent antioxidant that supports immune function.

Parsley is a natural diuretic and detoxifier. It improves digestion, prevents bad breath, and flushes toxins out of the body. It also contains inflammatory and antibacterial compounds that help fight infection. Finally, parsley is a major source of vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting and bone health,

Onions are another gut-health superstar with fiber, prebiotics, and antioxidants. It also Stimulates the production of digestive enzymes that break down food and absorb nutrients.


Pro Tips To Get You Started

You want to mix the meatloaf ingredients until they are just blended. Do not overmix! Working the meat too long can result in a tough, heavy meatloaf. Gently press meat into the pan so it holds its shape.

No loaf pan? No problem. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easier cleanup. Spray with cooking spray then shape the beef mixture into a loaf on the baking sheet. Cooking on a baking sheet also gives your meatloaf a nice crust. 

After baking, let the meatloaf rest for 10-15 minutes before you slice it. This helps the meatloaf retain its juices. It also won’t fall apart when you slice it.


Classic Meatloaf



  • 2 pounds lean ground beef 80/20 or meatloaf mix
  • ½ medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 TBSP chili sauce [or ketchup]
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes, crushed
  • 2 TBSP fresh parsley chopped, or 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • ½ tsp black pepper 


Meatloaf Glaze

  • ½ cup chili sauce [or BBQ sauce]
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar 



  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a loaf pan or baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Mix the Glaze in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients for the meatloaf. Mix to combine [but don’t overmix].
  4. Place meatloaf mixture into loaf pan or on to baking sheet. Shape and smooth over any creases and cracks. Brush the meat with half of the glaze, Bake for 40 minutes.
  5. After 40 minutes, remove from the oven and brush the remaining glaze on top. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Rest meatloaf 10 minutes before slicing.



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