Garlic Meatloaf: A Savory Twist on Classic Comfort Food

Meatloaf has long been a staple of American cuisine, but have you tried garlic meatloaf? This recipe takes classic meatloaf and gives it an irresistible garlicky twist. As a culinary explorer, I’m constantly on the lookout for new and exciting ways to enjoy comfort foods, and this garlic meatloaf recipe definitely hits the mark. Garlic lovers, get ready to have your taste buds blown away.

This garlic meatloaf is juicy, flavorful, and incredibly easy to make – perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends. The key ingredient here is, of course, garlic. It’s used in four different forms: minced fresh garlic, roasted garlic, garlic croutons, and garlic butter sauce. Each form of garlic brings its own unique flavor and texture to the dish.

Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or new to the kitchen, this recipe is sure to impress. So roll up your sleeves and get ready to make one of the best meatloaf recipes out there – garlic meatloaf.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Garlic Meatloaf
Garlic Meatloaf

This garlic meatloaf recipe is going to change the way you think about meatloaf forever. I know what you’re thinking – “Meatloaf? Really?” But trust me, this is not your grandmother’s classic meatloaf.

First of all, let’s talk about the garlic. This recipe has not one, not two, but FOUR cups of garlic. That’s right – four whole cups of delicious garlic flavor. If you’re a garlic lover like me, you’re going to be absolutely hooked from the first bite. And even if you’re not a huge fan of garlic, I promise that the other ingredients in this recipe balance it out perfectly.

But it’s not just the garlic that makes this meatloaf so amazing. It’s also the combination of lean ground beef and ground pork that creates a perfectly moist and tender texture. The addition of croutons and panko breadcrumbs give it some extra crunch and flavor, while the sauce made with ketchup, honey, horseradish, and chili powder adds a slightly sweet and tangy kick that makes every bite irresistible.

But perhaps my favorite thing about this recipe is how versatile it is. You can easily switch up the ingredients or proportions to make it your own – add in some diced bell peppers or onions for extra crunch, or swap out the ground beef for ground turkey or chicken for an even healthier option. You can even make a vegetarian version using lentils or quinoa instead of beef.

So whether you’re looking for an easy weeknight dinner recipe or want to impress guests at a dinner party, this garlic meatloaf is sure to become a go-to favorite in your recipe arsenal. Trust me – once you try it, you’ll understand why it’s one of my all-time favorite recipes.

Ingredient List

 Perfectly seasoned and savory, this garlic meatloaf recipe is sure to become a household favorite.
Perfectly seasoned and savory, this garlic meatloaf recipe is sure to become a household favorite.

Here’s what you’ll need to create a Garlic Meatloaf that is sure to please your taste buds. The ingredients are simple and easy to find at any grocery store.

Meat Mixture:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup croutons or bread crumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Garlic Butter Sauce:

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Vegetable Mixture:

  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced

The Recipe How-To

Step 1: Prepare the ingredients

Before getting started, make sure that you have all ingredients at hand. First step is to preheat your oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl, combine 1 lb of lean ground beef with 1 lb ground pork. Add in 2 cups of croutons and 1/4 cup chopped onion. Mix well until combined.

Next, add in 2 cloves of minced garlic, 2 tbsp of honey, and 2 tbsp of ketchup. For a spicy kick, sprinkle in 1 tsp of chili powder and 1 tsp of cumin. Then, mix them all until they are evenly distributed.

Add in the binder by mixing to combine 2 eggs in 1 cup water with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Now it’s time to add some greens. Stir in two tablespoons of finely chopped parsley into the meat mixture. Set aside any remaining herbs for garnish later on.

Once everything is mixed together, shape the mixture into a loaf onto an aluminum foil lined baking sheet.

Step 2: Bake Garlic Meatloaf

Place the garlic meatloaf into the preheated oven and bake at 350 F for about 50-55 minutes or until internal temperature is read by inserting a thermometer is 155°F (68°C).

Allow the garlic meatloaf to rest for at least 5-10 minutes before slicing it up to allow flavors to sink in better.

While waiting for the meatloaf to cool down, prepare your garlic butter sauce. Mix together 3/4 cup olive oil, 3-4 cloves roasted garlic, and 1 tablespoon horseradish until all ingredients are fully incorporated.

Step 3: Apply Garlic Butter Sauce

Brush the top and sides of the herb garlic meatloaf with garlic butter sauce before serving.

Serve hot with any sides you like such as creamy mashed potatoes or steamed vegetables garnished with leftover parsley.

Congratulations! You just cooked this delicious meal that will surely satisfy everyone’s appetite!

Substitutions and Variations

 The aroma of garlic and onion will fill your kitchen as this meatloaf bakes to golden perfection.
The aroma of garlic and onion will fill your kitchen as this meatloaf bakes to golden perfection.

Substituting ingredients in a recipe can change the flavor and texture of the dish. However, it’s always good to experiment and tailor your meals to your preferences. Here are some substitution and variation ideas for the Garlic Meatloaf recipe:

– Ground Beef: If you prefer a leaner meat, turkey or chicken can be substituted for the ground beef. If you want additional flavors, combine 1 pound of ground beef with ¼ pound of ground pork.

– Garlic: If you’re a garlic lover, increase the amount of garlic in the recipe to add more depth and flavor. Conversely, if you’re not a fan of garlic, reduce the amount or omit it altogether.

– Bread Crumbs: Panko bread crumbs can be swapped out with regular bread crumbs or croutons. For a gluten-free option, use almond meal instead.

– Ketchup: Barbecue sauce can be used instead of ketchup for a smokier flavor. Tomato sauce or tomato paste can also be used as a more savory substitute.

– Spices: Experiment with different spices to give your meatloaf a unique twist. Cumin or chili powder can be added for extra warmth and depth, while fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme can provide a fresh burst of flavor.

– Honey Garlic Butter Sauce: for a sweet and tangy alternative to the honey garlic butter sauce, try using horseradish mustard as an alternative in this garlic meatloaf recipe.

Remember that even small substitutions and variations can make a big difference. Don’t shy away from experimenting with your recipes!

Serving and Pairing

 This hearty and comforting meal is perfect for an easy weeknight dinner or family gathering.
This hearty and comforting meal is perfect for an easy weeknight dinner or family gathering.

Once your flavorful garlic meatloaf is cooked to perfection, it’s time to serve and pair it with complimentary sides for a delicious and fulfilling meal. One of my favorite ways to serve garlic meatloaf is by slicing it into hearty portions and serving with a side of creamy mashed potatoes. The creamy texture of the potatoes pairs well with the savory flavor of the meatloaf, creating a delicious and homely feel.

If you’re looking for something different, consider serving your garlic meatloaf with some roasted vegetables like carrots, Brussels sprouts or green beans. The flavors of these vegetables blend well with the herbs and spices used in the meatloaf recipe making for a tasty and nutritious meal.

Alternatively, try pairing your garlic meatloaf with some freshly sautéed mushrooms. This earthy side dish works beautifully with the umami-rich flavor of garlic meatloaf, creating an amazing harmony on your taste buds.

For a bolder pairing, go for a glass of bold red wine that will balance the savory flavors from this herb-garlic infused dish. A Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel pair perfectly with this dish as it mimics the natural flavors of beef and effectively wash down the rich-garlicky taste.

Regardless of how you serve your garlic meatloaf, always aim for sides that help bring out its unique flavor profile while complementing its bold, savory taste. With these tips, you’re well on your way to creating an unforgettable meal perfect for any occasion!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 You won't want to go back to plain meatloaf after trying this bold and flavorful garlic version.
You won’t want to go back to plain meatloaf after trying this bold and flavorful garlic version.

Like most meatloaf recipes, this garlic meatloaf is perfect for making ahead of time. In fact, preparing the meatloaf a day before and storing it in the fridge can enhance its flavors even more.

To make ahead, follow the recipe instructions until you get to the baking part. Instead of baking, cover the meatloaf with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in the refrigerator for a maximum of 24 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat your oven at 350°F, remove the plastic wrap or foil, and place the loaf in a greased baking dish. Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.

Storing leftover garlic meatloaf is quite simple too. Allow it to cool completely then slice it into desired portions. Place each piece in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to three days.

To reheat, preheat your oven at 350°F and place the desired portion on a baking sheet greased with oil. Heat it up for around 10-15 minutes or until it’s warmed to your preference. Alternatively, you could also use your microwave to reheat individual portions at high power for about two minutes.

Whether eating freshly baked or leftover garlic meatloaf, pair it with some spaghetti and marinara sauce or mashed potatoes drizzled with garlic butter sauce for a delicious meal!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The combination of ground beef and pork makes this meatloaf extra juicy and tender.
The combination of ground beef and pork makes this meatloaf extra juicy and tender.

One of the keys to making a great Garlic Meatloaf is to ensure that it cooks evenly and retains its moisture throughout the process. Here are some tips that can help you achieve the perfect meatloaf every time.

First, use lean ground beef. A leaner meat means less shrinkage and more flavor in every bite. If ground beef is not your thing, you can also substitute it with ground turkey or pork.

When mixing the ingredients in a large bowl, be sure not to overwork the mixture. Overmixing can cause the meatloaf to become tough and dry once cooked. Use your hands gently while mixing and stop as soon as everything is fully combined.

Another important tip is to let the meatloaf rest after taking it out of the oven. This allows the juices to redistribute through the meat and prevents it from drying out. Cover the meatloaf with foil and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

If you want to add some extra flavor to your Garlic Meatloaf, consider roasting a few cloves of garlic and adding them into your mixture. Additionally, try making garlic butter sauce by melting butter in a pan, adding minced garlic, and then pouring it over your sliced meatloaf.

Lastly, if you’re cooking for a large crowd or meal prepping ahead of time, consider doubling or tripling the recipe to have extras on hand. The leftovers are especially great on sandwiches or served alongside mashed potatoes or roasted vegetables.

By following these tips, you’ll be sure to have a delicious and moist Garlic Meatloaf every time!


As a culinary explorer, I understand that every cook faces challenges in the kitchen. It’s important to have a comprehensive understanding of common food dilemmas in order to avoid any unwanted culinary disasters. To help you make the most of your garlic meatloaf recipe, here are some frequently asked questions and their answers. By addressing these questions, you’ll be able to cook this savory dish with ease and impress your family and friends with the quality of your cooking skills.

What is the secret to moist meatloaf?

If you want your meat dish to be moist and juicy, make sure to add some kind of wet seasonings at every stage of your cooking process. These can include ingredients like eggs, ketchup, tomato paste, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, barbecue sauce or a combination of these. Apart from enhancing the flavor and texture of the dish, these seasonings help lock in the moisture to make the meat extra tender and tasty. This tip is worth keeping in mind whenever you are preparing a meat-based recipe.

What do you put in meatloaf to keep it from falling apart?

When preparing meatloaf, it is important to ensure that the mixture sticks together well, especially during the cooking process. A potential reason for meatloaf falling apart could be the lack of binding agents such as eggs and breadcrumbs. These ingredients are critical as they play a key role in binding the meat mixture together, creating a cohesive and successful dish. It is essential to make use of binding agents to hold the meatloaf together and avoid any potential disasters in the kitchen.

Why do you put milk in meatloaf?

Incorporating milk is a common practice when making meatloaf since it helps to moisten the bread crumbs before mixing it with the meat. Nevertheless, if using milk is not ideal, there are alternatives such as low sodium beef stock, chicken stock, water, or non-dairy milk substitutes that can be just as effective.

How do you make Paula Deen’s meatloaf?

Before diving into the recipe, let’s make sure our oven is ready to go by preheating it to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Next, in a big bowl, I mix together some juicy ground beef with a pinch of salt and pepper. I then add in some finely chopped onion, bell pepper, and juicy tomatoes to give it that extra burst of flavor. To hold everything together, I mix in some wholesome oats and crack in an egg.

To take this meatloaf to the next level, I whip up a delicious topping comprised of tangy ketchup, sweet brown sugar, and zesty mustard. This sweet and savory combo will leave your taste buds dancing like nobody’s watching.

Once all the ingredients are mixed together, I transfer the meatloaf mixture into a baking dish and smooth it out evenly. I then pour the delectable topping on top, making sure to coat every inch.

Now, it’s time to pop it in the oven and let it bake to perfection for one hour. Believe me, the aroma will have you salivating in no time.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Garlic Meatloaf Recipe is a classic dish that offers a flavorful twist on a traditional American staple. Whether you are a seasoned home cook or simply seeking to impress your loved ones with an impressive and hearty meal, this recipe is definitely worth trying. With its combination of succulent lean ground beef, aromatic garlic, and flavorful spices, it is sure to leave your taste buds satisfied.

Moreover, the recipe offers a myriad of customization options, making it possible to tailor the dish to suit your individual preferences. Whether you choose to use ground pork or turkey instead of beef, substitute the ketchup with honey for a sweet twist or add some croutons or bread crumbs for added texture, there’s no limit to the ways you can personalize this dish.

So next time you’re in need of a comforting and satisfying meal that is easy-to-follow and sure to please, give this Garlic Meatloaf Recipe a try. With its delicious flavors, simple instructions and endless customization options, it’s no wonder that meatloaf remains such a beloved classic in American cuisine.

Garlic Meatloaf

Garlic Meatloaf Recipe

My husband loves this meatloaf. Beware it will give you indigestion, but we love it so much we eat it anyway.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 611.3 kcal


  • 2 lbs of good quality lean ground beef
  • one medium onion, quartered
  • 1 1/2 cups baby carrots
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish
  • 1 (6 ounce) package garlic or (6 ounce) package italian flavored croutons
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, black & cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 dash of worcestershire and louisiana hot sauce


  • Preheat your oven to 350.
  • In your food processor, pulse the onion, carrots, garlic, and horseradish until fine. Add to ground beef.
  • Pulse the dry ingredients: croutons, chili powder, salt, & peppers, and add them to bowl with meat and veggies and mix.
  • Mold into a loaf shape with your hands in a pan that has a lip and place in oven.
  • Mix together remaining ingredients ( ketchup, honey, cumin, Worcestershire, and Louisiana hot sauce).
  • After 15 mins, start basting loaf with mixture.
  • The meatloaf is done when the temperature reaches 160 about 40 min.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 284gCalories: 611.3kcalCarbohydrates: 51.6gProtein: 50.5gFat: 23.7gSaturated Fat: 9.3gCholesterol: 147.4mgSodium: 1510.3mgFiber: 2.6gSugar: 32.2g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Egg-free, Free Of..., Meat
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