If you love meatloaf, you probably know that Cracker Barrel is one of the best places to get it. Their meatloaf is moist, flavorful, and topped with a sweet and tangy glaze that makes it irresistible. But what if you want to enjoy this delicious dish at home? Is it possible to recreate the Cracker Barrel meatloaf recipe in your own kitchen?
The answer is yes! In this article, we will show you how to make a Cracker Barrel meatloaf recipe at home with simple ingredients and easy steps. You will also learn some tips and tricks to make your meatloaf even better, such as how to choose the best meat, how to avoid overmixing, and how to make the perfect glaze. Plus, we will answer some frequently asked questions about meatloaf, such as how long to cook it, how to store it, and how to reheat it.
By the end of this article, you will have everything you need to make a mouthwatering Cracker Barrel meatloaf at home that will impress your family and friends. Let’s get started!
What You Need to Make Cracker Barrel Meatloaf
To make Cracker Barrel meatloaf at home, you will need the following ingredients:
- 2 pounds of ground beef (preferably 80% lean)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup of whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
- 28 Ritz crackers, crushed
- For the topping:
- 1/2 cup of ketchup
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of mustard
You will also need a large mixing bowl, a baking sheet, a small saucepan, a spoon, a knife, a cutting board, a measuring cup, a measuring spoon, and an oven.
How to Make Cracker Barrel Meatloaf Recipe at Home
Follow these easy steps to make Cracker Barrel meatloaf at home:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, onion, green pepper, eggs, cheese, milk, salt, pepper, and crushed crackers. Mix well with your hands or a spoon until everything is well incorporated. Do not overmix or your meatloaf will be tough.
- Shape the meat mixture into a loaf on the prepared baking sheet. Make sure the loaf is even and not too thick or thin.
- Bake the meatloaf for 30 minutes in the preheated oven.
- While the meatloaf is baking, make the topping by combining the ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the sauce is smooth.
- After 30 minutes of baking, remove the meatloaf from the oven and spread the topping evenly over it.
- Return the meatloaf to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.
- Let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Tips and Tricks to Make Your Meatloaf Even Better
Here are some tips and tricks to make your Cracker Barrel meatloaf even better:
- Choose ground beef that has some fat content (80% lean is ideal) for a moist and juicy meatloaf. You can also use a mix of ground beef and ground pork for more flavor and texture.
- Finely chop or grate the onion and green pepper so they blend well with the meat and don’t create large chunks in your meatloaf.
- Use Ritz crackers instead of bread crumbs for a buttery and crispy crust. You can crush them by hand or use a food processor.
- Use sharp cheddar cheese for more flavor and meltiness. You can also use other types of cheese such as mozzarella or Monterey Jack.
- Don’t overmix or compress the meat mixture too much or your meatloaf will be dense and tough. Loosely shape the loaf and leave some air pockets for moisture and tenderness.
- Don’t cook your meatloaf too high or too long or it will dry out. Use a meat thermometer to check the doneness and take it out of the oven when it reaches 160°F.
- Let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving to allow the juices to redistribute and the topping to set.
Cracker Barrel meatloaf is a classic comfort food that you can make at home with simple ingredients and easy steps. All you need is ground beef, onion, green pepper, eggs, cheese, milk, crackers, ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard. Follow these steps to make Cracker Barrel meatloaf at home:
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with foil.
- Mix ground beef, onion, green pepper, eggs, cheese, milk, salt, pepper, and crackers in a large bowl.
- Shape into a loaf on the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
- Make the topping by heating ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard in a small saucepan.
- Spread the topping over the meatloaf and bake for another 15 minutes or until done.
- Let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Enjoy your homemade Cracker Barrel meatloaf with mashed potatoes, green beans, biscuits, or any other side dish you like.
FAQ About Cracker Barrel Meatloaf Recipe
Here are some common questions and answers about Cracker Barrel meatloaf:
- Q: What is Cracker Barrel?
- A: Cracker Barrel is a chain of restaurants that serves traditional American cuisine with a Southern twist. They are known for their home-style cooking, country store, and rocking chairs.
- Q: What makes Cracker Barrel meatloaf different from other meatloaves?
- A: Cracker Barrel meatloaf is different from other meatloaves because it uses Ritz crackers instead of bread crumbs for a buttery and crispy crust. It also uses sharp cheddar cheese for more flavor and meltiness. And it has a sweet and tangy glaze made from ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard.
- Q: Can I make Cracker Barrel meatloaf ahead of time?
- A: Yes, you can make Cracker Barrel meatloaf ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze it until ready to bake. Just make sure to wrap it well and thaw it completely before baking. You may need to adjust the baking time accordingly.
- Q: Can I make a Cracker Barrel meatloaf recipe in a loaf pan instead of a baking sheet?
- A: Yes, you can make Cracker Barrel meatloaf in a loaf pan instead of a baking sheet. However, you may need to drain some of the excess fat that accumulates in the pan during baking. You may also need to extend the baking time slightly.
- Q: Can I use other types of meat besides ground beef for Cracker Barrel meatloaf?
- A: Yes, you can use other types of meat besides ground beef for Cracker Barrel meatloaf. You can use ground pork, turkey, chicken, or even plant-based alternatives. Just make sure to adjust the seasoning and cooking time accordingly.
- Q: How long does it take to cook meatloaf?
- A: The cooking time for meatloaf depends on the size and shape of your loaf, the temperature of your oven, and the type of meat you use. A general rule of thumb is to cook meatloaf for about 45 minutes at 350°F or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.
- Q: How do you store leftover meatloaf?
- A: You can store leftover meatloaf in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Make sure to wrap it well to prevent freezer burn.
- Q: How do you reheat meatloaf?
- A: You can reheat meatloaf in the oven, microwave, or stovetop. To reheat in the oven, place the meatloaf in a baking dish, cover with foil, and bake at 325°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through. To reheat in the microwave, place the meatloaf on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave for 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through. To reheat on the stovetop, slice the meatloaf and heat it in a skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through.
- Q: Where can I find more recipes like the Cracker Barrel meatloaf?
- A: If you enjoyed the Cracker Barrel meatloaf recipe, you will love the other recipes we have on our website. On our recipes page, you can find many delicious and distinctive recipes for different cuisines, occasions, and preferences. Whether you are looking for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, or snack ideas, we have something for you. Visit 5mustsee.com/recipes to explore our collection of recipes and get inspired.