Good Old-Fashioned Comfort Food-Meatloaf!

Meatloaf is not my all-time favorite, but it is my husband, Jerry’s. I don’t make it that often, but when you’ve had an extremely stressful day, there is nothing quite like this old-fashioned treat. I’ve spiced it up, making it a bit more current by adding lots of different chili spices and some smoke.

I mashed the potatoes using an emulsion blender, which makes them super creamy–almost like a sauce. Of course lots of butter and cream helps!

I found this recipe online and have added my own twists. It’s a casserole so make it your own, but this combination of spices and seasonings works very well. I might even start to really like meatloaf!

All meatloaf ingredients in one bowl.

The other thing that makes meatloaf easy to put together is you add all the ingredients at once into a bowl and mix gently, but thoroughly with your fingers.

Once the meat is well mixed with all other ingredients, line a 9 x 5 inch load pan with parchment and add the meat mixture pressing down so it fits snugly.

Yes, that is 14 different spices used for the BBQ sauce!

You can also make the BBQ sauce ahead of time or bottled sauce also works. There are many delicious brands on the market. I did not cook this BBQ sauce down as I normally would, as I know it would cook in the oven on the meatloaf. It still was delicious even without the slow simmering reduction that I would normally do.

Bake the meatloaf in a preheated 375 degree oven for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with a generous amount of BBQ sauce. Return to oven and bake another 15-20 minutes or until internal temp reads 160 degrees. Let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Cut into thick slices and drizzle with pan juices. There will be a lot of juice. Meatloaf also freezes well. I cut all of what was left into slices, drizzled with more pan juice and wrapped individually in foil so it’s ready to thaw and reheat.

Even if you haven’t had a stressful day, this meal still fits into the category of delicious comfort food!


Meatloaf With a Little Spice and Smoke

A twist on an old-fashioned comfort dish. By adding a variety of spice and smoke this traditional casserole becomes quite a bit more interesting...and tasty!


For the Meatloaf

  • 2 lbs. Ground Beef, recommend 80/20% lean to fat
  • 2 Lge. Eggs
  • 1 medium Onion, finely chopped About 1 cup
  • 3 Tbsp. Cocktail sauce
  • 2 Lge. Garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. Fresh parsley Or 1 tsp. dried
  • 1/3 cup Evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Salt, or to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Smoked ground paprika

BBQ Sauce for top of Meatloaf

  • 1 1/2 cups Chili Sauce or regular tomato ketchup
  • 1 tsp. Garlic granules
  • 1 tsp. Onion powder
  • 1 tsp. Smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. New Mexican chili powder
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Smoked salt A while back I smoked Himalayan sea salt on my smoker and it adds a wonderfully smoky flavor when freshly ground.
  • 1/2 tsp. Cajun BBQ salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Mesquite grilling seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. Ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Chili de Arbol
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup Molasses, or to taste
  • Taste for salt, smoke, and spice. Adjust where needed.


To Make the Meatloaf

  • Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, add all the ingredients for the meatloaf. Using your hands, mix well to combine thoroughly.
  • Add the meat mixture to the prepared loaf pan and press down gently to remove any air pockets and to get an even surface.
  • Bake the meatloaf for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and spread a generous amount of BBQ sauce over the top of the meatloaf. Return to the oven and cook another 15-20 minutes until internal temp reaches about 160 degrees.
  • Remember that the meat will continue cooking even after its removed from the oven, but this meatloaf is so juicy, it would be hard to overcook or dry out. Let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes and then slice into thick slices, drizzle pan juices over the meat and serve.

To Make the BQ Sauce

  • In a medium bowl, add the chili sauce (or ketchup), molasses, brown sugar and all the spices. Mix thoroughly and taste for salt, smoke, and spiciness. Adjust as necessary. This will make more sauce than you need for the meatloaf, but its nice to have on-hand in the fridge ready for another use.


  1. Jerry Rabbitt August 9, 2023 at 10:50 am - Reply

    Fabulous meatloaf!! It doesn’t come better. I’m sure it would be good with peas and baked potatoes with lots of salt and butter. There are many other veggies which would go great with it and it tastes great reheated in the toaster oven. It’s such a good meal to keep handy in the freezer on those days you don’t have time to cook.

    • Cindy Rabbitt August 9, 2023 at 10:57 am - Reply

      Thank you my love. Nothing makes me happier than pleasing you with food.

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