Best Ways to Make Meatloaf for a Meal Train

How to Take Your Meatloaf Game to the Next Level

Meatloaf is a classic American comfort food that has been a staple in households for generations. It’s a dish that can be made in a variety of ways, using different meats, seasonings, and toppings. Whether you’re a meatloaf aficionado or just getting started, there are plenty of ways to make this dish your own. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best ways to make meatloaf for a meal train, as well as how you can use Give InKind’s Care Calendar feature to share your delicious creations with friends and family.

Let’s start with the basics. To make meatloaf, you’ll need ground meat (usually beef or pork), breadcrumbs, eggs, and seasonings. Some people like to add diced onions, peppers, or garlic for extra flavor. Once you’ve combined all of the ingredients, you’ll shape the mixture into a loaf and bake it in the oven. But that’s just the beginning. There are countless ways to customize your meatloaf recipe. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Add cheese. Cheddar, mozzarella, or feta can all add a rich, creamy flavor to your meatloaf. Just mix the cheese into the meat mixture before baking, or sprinkle it on top during the last few minutes of cooking.
  • Use different meats. While beef and pork are the most common meats used in meatloaf, you can also use ground turkey, chicken, or even lamb. Each type of meat will give your meatloaf a slightly different flavor and texture.
  • Try different seasonings. The classic combination of salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce is delicious, but there are so many other seasonings you can use to spice up your meatloaf. Consider adding cumin, paprika, chili powder, or Italian seasoning to give your meatloaf a new twist.
  • Use vegetables. Grated carrots, zucchini, or mushrooms can add moisture and flavor to your meatloaf. Just be sure to sauté them first so they release their juices and don’t make the meatloaf too wet.
  • Top it off. Ketchup is a classic topping for meatloaf, but you can also use barbecue sauce, gravy, or even a spicy mustard glaze. Experiment with different toppings to find your favorite.

Now, let’s expand on a few things…

ground beef in a bowl, one of the Best Ways to Make Meatloaf for a Meal Train
Meatloaf is a delicious and versatile meal, have fun with it!

Try Different Types of Meats

When it comes to making meatloaf, using different meats can give the dish a whole new level of flavor and texture. While beef and pork are the most common meats used, there are several other options that can be just as delicious.

Ground turkey is a popular alternative to beef and pork. It’s a leaner meat, which means it’s lower in fat and calories, making it a healthier option. However, because it’s leaner, it can also be drier than beef or pork, so it’s important to add moisture to the meatloaf mixture. Consider adding grated vegetables like zucchini or carrots, or using a mixture of turkey and pork or beef for added flavor.

Ground chicken is another lean option that can be used in meatloaf. Like turkey, it’s lower in fat and calories than beef or pork, but it can also be drier. Consider using dark meat chicken or a mixture of chicken and pork or beef to add moisture and flavor to the meatloaf.

Ground lamb is a more exotic option that can add a rich, gamey flavor to meatloaf. It’s higher in fat than beef or pork, which means it’s more flavorful and moist. Consider using lamb in a Mediterranean-style meatloaf, seasoned with cumin, coriander, and mint, and topped with a tangy yogurt sauce.

Finally, there are several plant-based options for those who don’t eat meat. Meatless meatloaf can be made with tofu, tempeh, or lentils, and can be just as flavorful as traditional meatloaf. Consider using a combination of these plant-based proteins, along with breadcrumbs, eggs, and seasonings, to create a hearty and satisfying meatless meal.

ground meat in a bowl
There’s no limit to which meat you can use to make this dish.

No matter what type of meat you choose, the key to making a delicious meatloaf is to season it well and add plenty of moisture. Be sure to experiment with different meats, seasonings, and toppings to find the perfect combination for your taste buds. And if you’re looking to share your love of meatloaf with friends and family, consider using Give InKind’s meal train feature to coordinate meal deliveries to those in need.

Shake Up Your Seasonings

Seasoning is one of the most important aspects of making a delicious meatloaf. While classic meatloaf seasonings like Worcestershire sauce and ketchup are always a good option, trying out different seasonings can take your meatloaf to the next level.

spices in spoons
Have fun with flavor!

For a Mexican-inspired meatloaf, try seasoning with chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Top with salsa and shredded cheese for a tasty twist on traditional meatloaf. For an Italian-inspired meatloaf, use basil, oregano, and garlic, and top with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.

For a more savory flavor, try using soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil for an Asian-inspired meatloaf. Top with a sweet and tangy glaze made with brown sugar, ketchup, and rice vinegar. Or, for a Mediterranean twist, try using cumin, coriander, and mint, and top with a tangy yogurt sauce.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your seasonings! Consider adding fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or parsley to your meatloaf mixture. You can also add a kick of heat with chili flakes or cayenne pepper, or add a touch of sweetness with maple syrup or honey.

When it comes to seasoning meatloaf, it’s important to taste as you go. Start with a small amount of seasoning, and add more as needed until you achieve the desired flavor. Remember that seasoning can be adjusted to taste, so don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the perfect combination for your taste buds. Trying different seasonings can transform a simple meatloaf into a flavorful and exciting meal. Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different herbs, spices, and sauces to find the perfect flavor for your meatloaf.

colorful spices, one of the Best Ways to Make Meatloaf for a Meal Train
There are so many different ways you can spice up meatloaf.

Don’t Forget the Veggies

Adding vegetables to your meatloaf not only adds flavor and texture, but it also adds important nutrients and fiber to your meal. Vegetables can also help keep your meatloaf moist and tender, especially if you’re using lean meat like ground turkey or chicken.

Some vegetables that work well in meatloaf include onions, carrots, celery, bell peppers, and zucchini. These vegetables can be sautéed or roasted before adding them to the meatloaf mixture to enhance their flavor. You can also use grated vegetables like carrots or zucchini to add moisture to the meatloaf mixture without changing the texture too much.

roasted vegetables, one of the Best Ways to Make Meatloaf for a Meal Train
Vegetables are a crucial and versatile ingredient in this dish.

Another way to incorporate vegetables into your meatloaf is by using vegetable-based binders like cooked quinoa, cooked lentils, or mashed sweet potato. These ingredients not only add moisture and flavor, but they also help hold the meatloaf together.

For a vegetarian or vegan meatloaf, consider using a variety of vegetables like mushrooms, onions, carrots, and bell peppers, along with protein-rich ingredients like lentils, tofu, or tempeh. You can also use nut-based ingredients like walnuts or almonds to add crunch and flavor.

When adding vegetables to your meatloaf, it’s important to chop them finely so that they cook evenly and don’t overpower the meat. You can also experiment with different seasonings and spices to enhance the flavor of the vegetables and complement the meat.

bowl of cubed tofu for meat free meatloaf
Yes, you can make meatloaf without meat!

Now that you know the Best Ways to Make Meatloaf for a Meal Train…

Coordinate Meals With Give InKind

If you love making meatloaf and want to share your culinary skills with friends and family in need, consider using Give InKind to create a meal train. Meal trains are a great way to organize meal deliveries for friends or family members who are going through a difficult time, such as a new baby, an illness, or a recent loss.

With Give InKind’s Care Calendar feature, you can easily set up a meal schedule and invite friends and family to sign up for specific dates and times to deliver meals. This helps to ensure that your loved ones receive a steady stream of nourishing meals during their time of need.

Not only does using Give InKind help those in need, but it also allows you to share your love of meatloaf with others. You can use the Care Calendar to coordinate deliveries of your delicious meatloaf, along with other side dishes and desserts.

To get started with Give InKind, simply create an account and click “Start a Page" to set up a meal train for your loved one. You can then invite friends and family to sign up for specific meal delivery dates and times. You can even include dietary preferences or restrictions, so that meal providers can tailor their dishes to the recipient’s needs. 

Using Give InKind to organize and support a meal train is a great way to share your love of meatloaf with friends and family in need. Whether you’re using a classic recipe or experimenting with new flavors and ingredients, your meatloaf is sure to bring comfort and nourishment to those who need it most. So why not sign up for Give InKind and start organizing meal trains today?

chopped vegetables and crackers
Spread love to those who need a little extra. | Image courtesy of Give InKind.

Making meatloaf is a fun and easy way to create a delicious and satisfying meal that can be customized to suit any taste or dietary preference. From experimenting with different meats and seasonings, to adding vegetables and unexpected ingredients, there are endless ways to elevate this classic dish.

By using Give InKind to power your meal train, you can also share your love of meatloaf with friends and family in need, and make a positive impact on their lives during difficult times. Whether you’re organizing meal deliveries for a loved one, or contributing your own homemade meatloaf to a meal train, you can be sure that your efforts will be appreciated and make a difference.

So why not get creative in the kitchen, and start making your own unique and delicious meatloaf recipes today? Whether you’re cooking for yourself or for others, this versatile dish is sure to be a hit. And with Give InKind, you can make a difference in someone’s life, one meal at a time.

Give InKind does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We have an affiliate relationship with many of the advertisers on our site, and may receive a commission from any products purchased from links in this article. See Terms & Conditions.

Call for Submissions

Share Your Story

Give InKind offers a platform for anyone to submit their stories, to help and inspire others to get through any of life’s disruptions.