Click Here to Print: Make Ahead Meatloaf
Dinner for nine on a weeknight? Sure, no problem.
Normally I don’t cook for more than three on a weeknight. While watching a baby and a two year old, cooking for just 3 can be tricky! Though, last minute peanut butter and jelly would be ok with us if other plans fell through.
I’m sure Great Grandma, Great Grandpa, GranDan, GranMart, Auntie Linda, and Cousin Michael would be ok with PB & J, too. I just don’t have that much bread on hand, soooo I decided to try my meatloaf made ahead of time. It totally worked! One of the keys to making it work is making sure it stays moist. I did this by adding a good amount of diced green pepper and onion.
- 3 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 green pepper (a little over 1 c diced)
- 1 onion (a little over 1 c diced)
- 2 eggs
- ¼ c Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 t ground mustard
- ½ t kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- ½ c ketchup
- 2 T brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except ketchup and brown sugar.
- Form into two loaves in loaf pans or on a baking sheet lined with foil. NOTE: I used loaf pans and the sides of the pans (where the loaves separated) were getting a little dark when I reheated them the next day. Next time, I’ll probably use a baking sheet.
- Bake approximately 1 hour or until loaves are done in the middle.
- Let them cool a little while.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- When ready to serve, preheat oven to 350.
- Combine ketchup and brown sugar to make a sauce.
- Top each loaf with sauce.
- Bake, uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until heated through.
UPDATE: My chef brother-in-law gave me a tip on how to reheat meatloaf! Slice it and “shingle it” in a baking dish with a small amount of water. Then cover it with foil. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. OR if you are reheating it for sandwiches, put the slices in a hot, oiled skillet. It will make it “slightly crispy with a texture contrast.”
Here are some ideas to get your “kid cook” involved with this recipe:
- Allow him to help put the ingredients (other than the ground beef) into the large bowl.
- Have him combine the ketchup and brown sugar.
- Tell him the background story of meatloaf… during the Great Depression, people added things like leftovers and bread crumbs to meat to stretch it. Let this spark a conversation about the Great Depression (and possibly his great-grandparents or great-great-grandparents experiences.)
I served this with Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes and steamed green beans with a little butter and salt. My mom also brought fresh fruit, corn, and peas. My aunt brought rolls, pumpkin pie, and apple crisp. Does your family always have a ton of leftovers? Mine makes a habit of it. If you eat with my family, you’re going home with a minimum of 12 leftover containers!
Here’s how I did the green beans. I think they’re pretty, so I took some pictures…
After getting the meatloaf and mashed potatoes in the oven to reheat, I put about an inch of water in a large sauce pan and turned it on high. I dumped the beans in, put a lid on, and let them steam for 10-15 minutes. Just check them every now and then until they’re how you like them. You might also want to mix them half way through as the ones toward the bottom are likely to get done faster. Once done, throw in some butter and a little salt.
While the beans were steaming, I made some gravy. I used three McCormick Brown Gravy Mixes. Easy peasy!