You don't need eggs or breadcrumbs to make incredibly moist and flavorful meatloaf at home. This meatloaf is seasoned with Cajun-like flavors and makes the perfect comfort food meal.
Meatloaf is a comfort classic and leftovers are equally popular when served in sandwich form. This version has a flavor twist with its Cajun-spice vibe. This eggless meatloaf is made without breadcrumbs... and no substitutions are required. It's packed with flavor and moisture and bakes up tender every time.
Why this recipe works
- Finely chopped veggies add texture and flavor... and lots of moisture too!
- Simple tips for preparing the meatloaf help to prevent overworking the meat for a tender result.
- It's easy to prepare and takes just minutes to mix together.
- Meatloaf keeps it shape and doesn't fall apart - even without breadcrumbs and eggs!
Eggs and breadcrumbs are primarily added as binders to hold the meatloaf together. The breadcrumbs also provide texture and eggs add fat and richness.
Oil and mayonnaise are common substitutions for eggs. In lieu of breadcrumbs, crushed crackers, oats, cornflakes, potato chips, or pretzels can be used if desired. This recipe doesn't require any substitutions.
A sheet pan or shallow casserole dish is best because it allows the heat to circulate around the meatloaf. Avoid using deep meatloaf pans because the meat will steam and won't brown or caramelize around the edges.
Tips for tender meatloaf
- Ground beef, pork, and veal - This mixture is sold in most supermarkets as "meatloaf mix". Using a blend of meats adds great flavor. You can use whatever blend you prefer.
- Green pepper and onion add flavor, texture, and moisture.
- Seasonings - Minced garlic, paprika, oregano, thyme, and cumin add depth of flavor. You can customize with spices you love.
- Glaze - Ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar add a tangy finishing touch.
See the recipe card for complete instructions and ingredient amounts.
- Preheat the oven 400 degrees. Line a quarter sheet pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.
- Add the onion and green pepper to a small food processor. Blend until finely diced. The mixture will look a bit watery - this is perfectly fine. It will keep the meatloaf moist.
- Pour the veggie mixture into a mixing bowl. Add the seasonings and stir to combine.
- Add the meat and gently toss to combine all of the ingredients.
- Transfer the mixture to a sheet pan or baking dish and form into a brick shape about 4x8 inches.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together the ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar.
- Brush on the glaze and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
- Let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
How to serve
- Potatoes are the perfect pairing and any variety is delicious - twice-baked, roasted, mashed or baked gratin-style. The options are endless.
- Add a vegetable like roasted green beans, broccoli, or carrots.
- Leftovers? Add cheese and make a panini - patty-melt style. Scrumptious!
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- 1 medium green bell pepper roughly chopped
- 1 small-medium onion (or ½ large) roughly chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin optional
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ⅓ pounds meatloaf mix (blend of beef, pork, veal)
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a quarter sheet pan (note 1) with aluminum foil. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the green pepper and onion and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the oregano, thyme, paprika, cumin (optional), garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Add the meat and gently mix together. Use a fork to prevent overworking the meat. (note 2)
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and shape into a brick approx. 4x8 inches.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar.
- Brush the ketchup glaze over the top of the meatloaf. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
- Let the meatloaf rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
- A sheet pan or shallow casserole dish is best for cooking meatloaf because it allows the heat to circulate around the meatloaf. Avoid using deep meatloaf pans because the meat will steam and won't brown or caramelize around the edges.
- Work the meat as little as possible to prevent a dense, tough loaf. Mix all of the seasonings together first, before adding the meat. Also, use a fork to gently mix the meat into the seasonings.
Nutritional information is an estimate and will vary depending upon the exact amounts and specific ingredients used.
This post was originally published in September 2018 and has been updated.