Delicious Meatloaf Waldorf-Astoria Recipe for Foodies

Picture this: You’re dining in the elegant dining room of the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. The scent of freshly baked bread wafts through the air, and you can hear the bustling of a busy kitchen. Suddenly, you see it sitting on the table before you: a beautifully crafted meatloaf, glistening with a rich tomato glaze and crisp bacon slices on top. You take a bite and are transported to culinary heaven.

Now, don’t despair if a trip to New York isn’t in your near future. Lucky for you, I’ve got the recipe for this renowned Waldorf Astoria meatloaf right here. This recipe has been popular since its creation in the 1930s and has never gone out of fashion.

This meatloaf is classic comfort food at its finest. Made with lean ground beef, fresh herbs and vegetables, and a delightful tomato glaze, it’s sure to become a family favorite. So put on your apron and get ready to indulge in one of America’s most beloved classic dishes – straight from the iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Meatloaf from the Waldorf-Astoria
Meatloaf from the Waldorf-Astoria

Are you tired of the same old meatloaf recipe that you’ve been making for years? Are you looking to add some pizzazz to your dinner table that will leave everyone talking about it for days to come? Then look no further than the Meatloaf from the Waldorf-Astoria Recipe.

What makes this recipe so special? For starters, it’s from the famed Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City. This is the same establishment that introduced the world-renowned Waldorf salad, so you know they have a reputation for excellence in culinary arts.

But what really sets this meatloaf apart is its unique combination of ingredients. The recipe calls for a blend of lean ground beef, breadcrumbs, milk, and spices like garlic, salt, and fresh basil. But what really brings out the flavor are additions like Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard, which give it a hint of tanginess and depth that gives every bite a little kick.

And let’s not forget about the toppings. You’ll be adding slices of crispy bacon on top of the meatloaf before baking it in the oven, giving it an added layer of texture and savoriness that will make your mouth water. And when you pull it out of the oven, you’ll be met with a beautiful red glaze made from ketchup and tomato puree that adds an irresistible sweetness to balance out all the other flavors.

So why will you love this recipe? It’s a classic dish with all the comfort and nostalgia of traditional meatloaf but elevated with nuanced flavors and attention to detail that make it feel like a gourmet meal. Trust me; once you try it, you’ll want to ditch your old meatloaf recipe for good.

Ingredient List

 Sink your teeth into this classic Meatloaf from the Waldorf-Astoria.
Sink your teeth into this classic Meatloaf from the Waldorf-Astoria.

Let’s take a look at the ingredients you’ll need for this Waldorf-Astoria Meatloaf Recipe. You will need lean ground beef, which is the base of this meatloaf, and it needs to be at room temperature before you start cooking. You also need bacon strips that will give a smoky flavor to the dish. For seasoning, you’ll use fresh basil, dried basil, salt and fresh ground pepper. To bind all ingredients together, add an egg to ensure the loaf stays firm.

Two essential condiments that give the meatloaf its perfect tangy flavor are Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard; they balance out the sweetness from the tomato sauce. Speaking of which, two types of tomato sauce are required – ketchup and tomato puree.

The recipe requires vegetables such as one medium onion, 1 1/2 small red bell peppers, and three cups of finely diced vegetables consisting of half green and half red bell pepper. Additionally, one cup of milk and seven to ten slices of firm-textured white bread or bread taste with a food processor finely chopped many-grain bread or whole-wheat crumbs can be used.

Note: If you are looking for a healthier way to make this dish, you can use turkey instead of beef.

The Recipe How-To

 Meatloaf so good, you’ll be coming back for seconds.
Meatloaf so good, you’ll be coming back for seconds.

Now that we’ve covered the ingredients, It’s time to get cooking!

Step 1: Preheat and Prepare

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and let us prepare our ingredients. In a food processor, finely chop 7-10 slices of firm-textured white bread to make fresh breadcrumbs.

Step 2: Mix Ground Beef with Other Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 lbs of lean ground beef, one medium onion chopped, and two small red bell peppers finely diced. Add the fresh breadcrumbs, 1 egg, 1/2 cup of tomato puree, 1/3 cup of milk, 2 cloves of chopped garlic, and 2 tsp each of fresh basil and dried basil.

Don’t forget the liquid ingredients! Add 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, and 1/4 cup ketchup to the mix. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp of freshly ground pepper.

Mix until all ingredients are evenly blended.

Step 3: Place in Loaf Pan and Top with Bacon

Mound the blended meatloaf mixture to a (9 x 13 inch) baking dish or loaf pan.then drizzle it over with some more tomato puree. Finally, top it off with enough strips of bacon to completely cover the surface of your meatloaf masterpiece.

Step 4: Bake and Serve!

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about an hour. Once finished baking, Let it rest for around ten minutes before removing from the pan. For more precise temperature checking, use a thermometer-It should read an internal temperature of 160 degrees before consuming it.

Slice up and serve as desired! We love serving this with some frosted meatloaf or mashed potatoes on the sidelines.

Congratulations! You’ve just made the famous Meatloaf from the Waldorf-Astoria recipe like a true culinary adventurer worthy of winning this new york classic dish served at this hotel popular for its salad recipe by fine cooking or even mentioned by top chefs such as Andrew Zimmern or Giada De Laurentiis.

Substitutions and Variations

 Say hello to your newest meaty obsession.
Say hello to your newest meaty obsession.

Look, I know some of us don’t like to stick strictly to recipes. Sometimes they just don’t suit our tastes, or we don’t have the exact ingredients on hand. In such cases, it’s good to have a little creativity and make some substitutions or variations that can make the recipe more fitting for our palates or circumstances.

For example, if you’re looking to cut down on calorie intake, you can substitute lean ground beef with turkey meatloaf, which still promises juicy and moist meat. Similarly, if you’re looking for a different flavor profile, try blending some taco seasoning in your meatloaf mix.

Additionally, if you’re short on tomato puree, add some ketchup to balance out the sauce. And speaking of sauces, why not switch up the condiments by making a Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce blend instead of plain ketchup? Let me tell you; it’ll change your dining game!

If you’d like to experiment with the veggies incorporated into your dish, consider throwing in more garlic or finely dicing red or green bell peppers instead of medium onions. These flavors can give your dish an extra kick and bring out hidden levels of depth and complexity.

You can also add your spin to the recipe by incorporating different types of bread in your mixture. Consider replacing white bread with sourdough for a tangy bite or swapping out the milk for buttermilk for an extra airy texture.

With these ideas around substitutions and variations, let no recipe be too challenging or limited by what’s at hand.

Serving and Pairing

 This Meatloaf from the Waldorf-Astoria is a true crowd-pleaser.
This Meatloaf from the Waldorf-Astoria is a true crowd-pleaser.

A meatloaf the Waldorf-Astoria recipe is a stunning dish that will fill your stomach and win your heart. This meatloaf pairs well with many different side dishes, making it an ideal meal for any dinner occasion. You may serve it with classic sides such as creamy mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or steamed broccoli to please your traditional tastes. However, if you want to take a creative approach, try pairing this savory meatloaf with tangy coleslaw or garlic bread.

If you’re feeling a little adventurous, try serving this dish with some Waldorf salad. The salad’s fresh crunchiness and fruitiness add a pleasing contrast to the savory flavors of the meatloaf. Alternatively, serve Meatloaf Waldorf Astoria style with some red velvet cake. Yup, just like in the good ol’ days when the hotel was still running. The contrasting textures of the smooth icing against the hearty loaf are sure to delight your taste buds.

For beverages, I recommend accompanying this dish with a full-bodied red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz or Zinfandel for an adult dinner party. Alternatively, you can serve it up with a beer that offers robust malty flavors such as a dark lager or American Stout.

Don’t be afraid to get creative when it comes to pairing this classic and delicious meatloaf recipe from the prestigious Waldorf Astoria hotel. Its versatility makes it an excellent candidate for experimentation and exploration in the kitchen.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The perfect comfort food for any occasion.
The perfect comfort food for any occasion.

One of the beauties of meatloaf is that it freezes beautifully. This means you can make it ahead and reheat it later, making it a great meal prep option for busy weekdays.

To store any leftover meatloaf, simply cover it with plastic wrap or foil and store in the fridge for up to three days. When reheating, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and then put the slices of meatloaf into a baking dish, cover with foil and warm in the oven for about 20-30 minutes.

Another option is reheating on the stovetop by placing individual slices into a skillet over medium heat until heated through.

If you plan to freeze your meatloaf, do not add any frosting or glaze prior to freezing. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil and place it inside a freezer bag with as much air removed as possible. It will keep well in the freezer for up to three months.

When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator then follow the reheating instructions above.

Meatloaf from Waldorf-Astoria Recipe is an excellent make-ahead option that keeps well in the refrigerator and can be warmed-up easily. Simply slice it up, store it properly, and reheat it in no time at all – but be careful to avoid overcooking as it can dry out quickly.

Tips for Perfect Results

 You can’t beat a classic meatloaf recipe.
You can’t beat a classic meatloaf recipe.

Making a delicious meatloaf is an incredible accomplishment. However, it requires a considerable amount of effort and precision. To make sure you have perfect results with this recipe, I want to give you some tips that will help you impress your family and friends.

First, use lean ground beef. It has less fat and will make your meatloaf tender and flavorful. You can also make turkey meatloaf as a healthier option.

Next, I highly recommend using a food processor to finely dice the onion, garlic, and bell peppers. This will ensure that all the ingredients are well incorporated into the meat mixture.

Adding bacon to your meatloaf is always an excellent idea. Bacon gives your meatloaf extra flavor and texture.

When adding salt and pepper to your mixture, go easy on the salt at first. You can always add more if needed. Fresh basil is preferable but dried basil is also acceptable.

Do not overwork the meat mixture. Overmixing will cause your meatloaf to become tough.

Ensure that you let the loaf rest for at least ten minutes before slicing it to serve. This will prevent it from falling apart as you cut into it.

Finally, serve with classic sides like mashed potatoes or a Waldorf Salad for an authentic experience. Giada De Laurentiis suggests pairing with beef stew or enjoying as a taco meatloaf if you’re feeling adventurous.

Follow these tips, and you’ll have an incredible Waldorf Astoria Meatloaf that even Andrew Zimmern would be happy to taste!


As an experienced culinary explorer, I know that every cook has their own unique style in the kitchen. While I’ve provided detailed instructions and tips for making the Meatloaf from the Waldorf-Astoria Recipe, you may still have some lingering questions about substitutions or variations that can work for your personal taste. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you navigate the recipe with more confidence and ease. From ingredient substitutions to reheating methods, these answers will ensure that you can make the perfect meatloaf every time. So without further ado, let’s dive into the FAQ section!

What is the secret to moist meatloaf?

To ensure a succulent meat dish, it’s crucial to include ingredients that add moisture at every stage of cooking. Ingredient options such as eggs, ketchup, tomato paste, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, or a blend of wet seasonings offer not only enhanced flavor and consistency, but they also help keep the meat’s juiciness throughout the cooking process. This key step is essential for a mouth-watering and enjoyable meal. Keep in mind that skipping this step can result in a dry and unappetizing dish.

What ingredient keeps meatloaf from falling apart?

When crafting a meatloaf, one common issue that can arise is the meat mixture falling apart. This can often be attributed to the lack of binding agents such as eggs and breadcrumbs. These essential ingredients create a cohesive bond within the meatloaf, allowing it to remain intact as it cooks. So, it’s important to ensure that you have enough binding agents in your recipe to prevent any unpleasant surprises at dinnertime.

Why do some people put milk in meatloaf?

Adding milk to meatloaf serves to moisten the bread crumbs, which in turn adds moisture to the meatloaf. However, if you prefer to omit the milk, other options like low sodium beef stock, chicken stock, water, or non-dairy milk substitute can provide similar results.

How does Martha Stewart make meatloaf?

First, let’s preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Then, we’ll use a food processor to pulse some bread into fine crumbs, and set it aside. After that, we’ll pulse garlic, onion, celery, carrot, and parsley until finely chopped, and then add them to the breadcrumb mixture. To finish preparing the meat, we’ll stir together some ketchup and brown sugar until smooth, and brush it onto the meat.

Bottom Line

And there you have it, culinary explorers! The Meatloaf from the Waldorf-Astoria Recipe. A classic dish that has stood the test of time and has made its way into the hearts (and stomachs) of many. As a lover of meatloaf myself, I can confidently say that this recipe will not disappoint.

With its savory combination of ground beef, bacon, peppers, onions, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard, this meatloaf is a flavor explosion from start to finish. The addition of fresh and dried basil, garlic, and tomato puree only enhances the depth of flavor.

What truly sets this recipe apart is the use of firm-textured white bread soaked in milk, which provides a tender and moist texture that will leave you wanting more. And let’s not forget about the option to substitute ground turkey for beef for those looking for a healthier alternative.

Not only is this recipe delicious and satisfying, but it also holds a special place in culinary history as it originated from the famous Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City. By making this meal for yourself or your loved ones, you’re also bringing a bit of food culture into your home.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your ingredients, roll up your sleeves and get cooking! Whether you’re serving it with mashed potatoes or as a sandwich the next day, this meatloaf is sure to be a hit in your home.

Meatloaf from the Waldorf-Astoria

Meatloaf from the Waldorf-Astoria Recipe

I've been using this recipe from chef John Dougherty at the Waldorf for 18 years. It's Dh's favorite, especially cold in a sandwich with lots of Dijon mustard. This recipe is easily doubled and can serve 40 at a buffet.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 366.5 kcal


  • 7 -10 slices firm-textured white bread, to taste
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup tomato puree
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 small green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 3/4 lb ground lean pork
  • 3/4 lb ground veal (ground chicken may be substituted)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 -6 dashes hot pepper sauce, to taste
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 4 ounces bacon


  • Trim crusts from bread and cut slices into 1/2" dice, put in large bowl and add milk and tomato puree, let soften while preparing vegetables.
  • In skillet heat oil, saute onions until softened, add bell peppers and garlic, increase heat and saute until peppers are softened but still brightly colored and onions are golden.
  • Mix bread in bowl, add vegetables, meats, and remaining ingredients except bacon.
  • The meatloaf can be made a day ahead and refrigerated at this point.
  • Form loaf on rimmed baking sheet, arrange bacon crosswise over meatloaf and tuck edges underneath, bake at 375° for 70 minutes or until internal temp is 180°F, remove from oven and pour off grease, let stand 10+ minutes before slicing.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 201gCalories: 366.5kcalCarbohydrates: 15.4gProtein: 25.6gFat: 22.1gSaturated Fat: 7.8gCholesterol: 111.9mgSodium: 607mgFiber: 1.1gSugar: 4.9g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Meat, Potluck, Weeknight
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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