My mother reads my blog (I think), so I'm going to apologize in advance for what I'm about to say. I'll start by saying that I love my mom's spaghetti and meatballs, her turkey, and her chicken pot pie. She makes a lot of delicious food, but I hate her meatloaf. I'm sorry mom, but I think you kinda know this already. Something about a loaf of meat was just a turn off to me, and there was some squished up bread in it which skeeved me out. I know there were some Italian spices, but overall it was just not my thing. It's not just her meatloaf, anytime I had it at a restaurant or someone else's house- I just didn't enjoy it. So after high school I delighted in the fact that I would never have to have meatloaf again.
In a twist that only this life could dole out, bf happens to love meatloaf. It's his favorite, in his mind it should be in the weekly rotation. So, if meatloaf loving bf and I were going to dine in cohabitory bliss, I would need to figure something out. So, I scoured the interwebs for a good recipe. I tried several, and finally I took all the aspects of each that I did like and combined them and got rid of everything I hated (I'm looking at you squishy bread). The result? A cheesy, delicious, explosion of flavor that takes mere minutes to put together. I can honestly say I love it. This is not your mother's (or my mother's) meatloaf. This is your punk loving, pink hair, rule breaking yet everyone loves her cousin's meatloaf (I don't have one of those but if I did I think this is what she would make). Read on for the recipe and enjoy!
This meatloaf could not be easier, and you can adapt the amounts of everything to your personal preference and how many you're serving. I have to be honest, I typically don't measure when I'm not cooking from a recipe (dash of this, pinch of that) so I did my best here to note what I add the last time I made it, but you may find you need to adapt. For instance you may want more or less flavor. I feel like I should also warn you, this is NOT healthy meatloaf. It's definitely a cheat meal, but it's definitely worth it. Okay, here it is:
1.5-2 pounds of ground beef (depending on how many you are serving, we like leftovers)
1 packet of Ranch Dip mix
1 packet of French Onion Soup mix
1-1.5 cups Bread crumbs (I use an Italian blend for even more flavor, you can use whatever you like)
1 big squirt (so technical) Ketchup and more for top
A dash of Worcestershire sauce (or A1 or something similar)
1-2 cups mozzarella cheese
So the first part is easy, dump all of the ingredients except the cheese into a large bowl. I usually only use a half packet of the Onion Soup mix if I'm using one pound, and the whole packet if it's 1.5-2 pounds of meat. This is the secret ingredient so don't leave it out.
Mix everything. Use your hands. Ina Garten always says clean hands are a cook's best tool. Normally the idea of squishing raw meat around is enough to make my stomach turn, but in this case it really is the best way to ensure its all evenly mixed. Believe me I've tried to avoid it. Get over it and just do it.
The next step is a little tricky but will save you from ever having a dry meatloaf. Once everything is mixed, you're going to flatten the whole thing out into a thin(ish) rectangle. To do this, I strongly recommend covering a cutting board with parchment paper and dumping the bowl onto it, then using your hands to flatten and shape it.
Once it's flattened, take the cheese and cover the meat the way you would a pizza. Leave about an inch around the edge. You can put as much or as little cheese as you like, but I suggest one layer covering the rectangle.
Are you ready for the next step? It's a little tricky. You're going to take the triangle and roll it up so that the cheese is swirled throughout. I take the parchment paper and start to fold over the meat with it, pressing as I go. It's similar to a jelly roll if you've ever made one of those. Go slowly, and press to seal with each roll, I think the parchment helps with this.
Once the roll is..rolled(?) pinch the ends to be sure everything is sealed in. If you don't the cheese will all leak out, no bueno. Use the parchment to transfer the roll seem side down onto a baking sheet (I also line the sheet with parchment, but you could spray it if you wanted). Cover the top with ketchup (or sauce). Pop it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes (depending on your oven). When the internal temperature is 160 degrees and the outside is a little bit crispy, you're good to go.
Easy peasy cheesy meatloaf. Serve it with some mashed potatoes and a veggie and you'll make your mama proud. I'm a converted meatloaf hater, and I promise you this will make you one too! You can also cook this in the Crockpot on low for eight hours for an even easier dinner. I love to make this on Sundays for football games. Let me know if you try it!
Is there a meal you hated growing up that you love now?