My mother actually made a great meatloaf.  It was one of our family’s favorite meals.  And we looked forward to the next day when we could have cold meatloaf slathered in ketchup sandwiched between two slices of buttered white bread.  Mmmmmmm.  My mother’s meatloaf was made from lots of good quality meat, chunky white onions, a few breadcrumbs, an egg and some salt and pepper.  That’s it.  I made it that way for a long time.  But somewhere along the line I realized that that wasn’t all that a loaf of meat could be.

Don’t be afraid of the ingredients in this, the end result is moist and delicious with a nice unexpected depth of flavor.  The wheat germ functions the same way that breadcrumbs do, but they add so much more flavor and nutrition.  The curry powder is subtle, it makes a difference but you won’t really know it’s there.   Leave out the hot pepper if you don’t like the heat.

Not your mother’s meatloaf

Not your mother’s meatloaf

What You Will Need

  • 2 pounds Angus ground beef (80-85%)
  • 1/2 a medium white onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup minced bell peppers, any color
  • 1 hot cherry pepper (or jalapeno) minced
  • 1/2 cup crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • lots of salt
  • fresh cracked pepper


  1. Set oven to 350F
  2. Mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Use your fingertips to combine everything well, but don't over-mix or compact the meat. I like to break up the meat into smaller pieces as I add it to the bowl to give the mixing a head start.
  3. Form the meat into an even, squat loaf, and try to get it the same width and height from end to end so it will cook evenly.
  4. Bake it for about 50-60 minutes. You'll check with a thermometer, and it's done when the center reaches 155. Take it out, cover it with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes or so before slicing.

Meatloaf is fun to make because it comes together more like a cake or a batch of cookies…you dump everything in a big bowl and mix it all together (best with your hands).

I could have called this Confetti Meatloaf!

Just be sure not to over mix…you want your loaf to be loose and tender, not compacted.  Get it all evenly combined with as little fiddling as possible.  Making sure to beat the egg first helps.
Form the meat into an even loaf, not too high, not too squat.  Try to make it even all around so it cooks evenly.  I like to bake my meatloaf in a larger baking dish rather than a loaf pan, so the fat and extra juices can run off instead of having the meatloaf swim in them.

We welcomed in the cooler weather with this dinner.  I roasted up some small red potatoes to go along with it.  I tossed them in olive oil, sprinkled them with my homemade spice mix and a few sprigs of rosemary, and roasted them at 375 until they were crisp and brown, about 30 minutes.

This dinner is a great riff on the classic meat and potatoes…happy fall everyone!

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7 Responses to Not your mother’s meatloaf

  1. Sue, I like adding your recipes to my Ziplist recipe box. Are your not using Ziplist anymore? I love this meatloaf recipe and have a client who loves meatloaf!

  2. clare says:

    these photos are gorgeous!!! enough to convert me to a meatloaf lover

  3. grace says:

    would you think less of me if i admitted that i slather my meatloaf with ketchup? :)
    this is a great twist on a classic–i love the colors and new flavors!

  4. Victoria says:

    gorgeous!!! yum yum yum

  5. Really super photos! Love the addition of the hot pepper and the curry – YUM

  6. Delicious looking meatloaf! I will give this a try the next time I make one.

  7. Oh hellosies, that has got my name written all over it. Meatloaf isn’t well known over here but I tried a recipe last year and it was tasteless. This not only looks amazing with all of its little jewels I bet it tastes amazing
    I think I just need to print out everything on your site Sue!
    The onion tart is on the menu for tomorrow.

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