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The Best Cracker Barrel Meatloaf Recipe Copycat

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Cracker Barrel Meatloaf Recipe – tangy, sweet, and savory, this hearty and comforting recipe combines flavorful ground beef, onions, peppers, and buttery Ritz crackers with cheesy goodness. Topped with the warm, rich, gooey tomato deliciousness, and all you need is to make enough for leftovers!  

cracker barrel meatloaf

The Best Copycat Cracker Barrel Meatloaf Recipe

How many times have you eaten out and thought, “man, this is good. I wish I could make it at home?”  Well, you’re probably one of the thousands, if not millions, of people who have those same thoughts when savoring the comforting and wholesome signature meatloaf at Cracker Barrel.

When you are craving a meatloaf recipe that provides Cracker Barrel homestyle comfort but don’t want to leave the house, this family-pleasing copycat meatloaf recipe will satisfy the whole gang! 

There’s nothing better than anticipating and appreciating the aroma of this moist, savory, southern staple! Plus, you can increase your pleasure and efficiency by making a double or triple batch and freezing for an easy and substantial (no PB&J’s on the fly) weeknight dinner.

Why You’ll Love This Cracker Barrel Meatloaf Copycat Recipe:

  • Delicious & easy comfort copycat meatloaf you can make at home.
  • Prepare and freeze several loaves at once to have on hand for busy nights. 
  • Leftovers (if there are any) make great meatloaf sandwiches for lunch. 
  • Copycat Cracker Barrel Meatloaf Recipe can easily be adapted for dietary restrictions.   

Equipment Needed To Make Cracker Barrel Copycat Meatloaf recipe

  • Loaf pan
  • Aluminum foil
  • Small skillet or saucepan
  • Stand mixer (or plastic gloves)

Ingredients For Your Cracker Barrel Meatloaf Recipe Copycat

Serves 8

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, finely diced

1 small bell pepper, seeded and finely diced

2 pounds lean ground beef

1 ½ sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

½ cup milk

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

For the glaze:

½ cup ketchup

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard

ingredients for cracker barrel copycat meatloaf

How To Make A Cracker Barrel Meatloaf Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a loaf pan with a sling made of aluminum foil. Spritz with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a small skillet or saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender.
  3. In a large stand mixer bowl, add the ground beef, crushed crackers, eggs, cheddar cheese, milk, salt, pepper, onions, and bell peppers. Beat just until mixed.
  4. Press into the prepared loaf pan. Cook for 30 minutes in the oven.
  5. Meanwhile, mix together the glaze ingredients.
  6. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and cover with the glaze. Return the meatloaf to the oven and continue baking for an additional 35 to 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
  7. Allow the meatloaf to rest for 10 minutes in the loaf pan before lifting from the loaf pan and slicing.
cracker barrel meatloaf process

What To Serve/Pair With Your Cracker Barrel Copycat Meatloaf Recipe 

H2: Copycat Cracker Barrel Meatloaf RecipeFAQs

Can I Use A Different Kind Of Cracker For Cracker Barrel Copycat Meatloaf?

As you’ll find, true copycat Cracker Barrel meatloaf recipes call for Ritz Crackers as the “binder”. However, you can always use any cracker you have on hand, preferably one that is buttery flavored, like a club cracker, to get that “copycat” taste experience.

 How Do I Make Copycat Cracker Barrel Meatloaf Gluten-Free?

Choose a buttery gluten-free cracker and check dairy products for modified food starch, thickeners, and malt. Many pre-shredded cheeses contains cellulose to avoid caking, but they shouldn’t contain gluten. 

Why Is My Cracker Barrel CopyCat Meatloaf Too Dry?

Using too lean ground beef meat can lead to a drier loaf; try 80/20% ground beef. Don’t skimp on your liquid to moisten the cracker crumbs.

What Should I Substitute in Cracker Barrel Copycat Meatloaf For Milk and Cheese Because We Are Dairy-Free?

Any nut milk: almond, cashew, or coconut (plain and unsweetened), or oat milk can be a good substitute. You can also use stock, broth, or even water instead of milk in your Cracker Barrel Copycat Meatloaf recipe. You can use a dairy-free cheese substitute like Daiya Cheddar Cheese Shreds.

serving of cracker barrel meatloaf recipe

Does Cracker Barrel Copycat Meatloaf Freeze Well?

Absolutely! And you can freeze* Meatloaf either cooked or uncooked.  Many prefer to freeze the loaf raw due to the consistency of reheating pre-cooked meatloaf. As long as you properly wrap a pre-cooked copycat meatloaf before freezing, no one will know the difference but you!

*Both ways work best if you allow the meatloaf to thaw in the fridge overnight, ensuring even cooking temps throughout and a moister loaf.

When making several Cracker Barrel Copycat Meatloaves, place the loaf in a disposable foil tin, wrap with plastic wrap, then a layer of foil, tightly sealed and it’s ready to thaw and bake.

Do I Have To Use Eggs In Cracker Barrel Meatloaf Copycat?

No, you don’t have to use eggs in your meatloaf, but the reason for using eggs in the meatloaf recipe is for a binder, to keep the loaf from falling apart.  

What Can I Use Instead Of Eggs In My Meatloaf Copycat Cracker Barrel Recipe?

If you don’t include eggs in your diet, you are already aware of the plethora of options you can typically use as a substitute: mayonnaise, chia seeds, olive oil, ground flax, quinoa, etc. 

For a tangy-sweet combination, try using ¼ cup of applesauce to substitute for the egg. The pectin in the applesauce serves as the binding agent, and adds a nice, savory moistness.

Tips for Making Meatloaf from Cracker Barrel a Success

  • Use an accurate meat thermometer to assure the correct temperature of the finished meatloaf. Aim for approximately 160 degrees.
  • Don’t be tempted to raise the oven temperature to hurry the baking. Too high a temperature will make for a dryer meatloaf and that is not what you want. Good things come to those who wait.
  • Allow your Cracker Barrel Copycat Meatloaf to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing to let the meat firm up.
copycat cracker barrel meatloaf

The Best Copycat Cracker Barrel Meatloaf Recipe

Cracker Barrel Copycat Meatloaf Recipe – tangy, sweet, and savory, this hearty and comforting recipe combines flavorful ground beef, onions, peppers, and buttery Ritz crackers with cheesy goodness. Topped with the warm, rich, gooey tomato deliciousness.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: meatloaf,cracker barrel,copycat
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Rest: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 291kcal

Equipment

  • loaf pan
  • sauce pan
  • aluminum foil

Ingredients

Meatloaf

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 1 small bell pepper (seeded and diced)
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • sleeve Ritz crackers (crushed)
  • 2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Glaze

  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a loaf pan with a sling made of aluminum foil. Spritz with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a small skillet or saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender.
  • In a large stand mixer bowl, add the ground beef, crushed crackers, eggs, cheddar cheese, milk, salt, pepper, onions, and bell peppers. Beat just until mixed.
  • Press into the prepared loaf pan. Cook for 30 minutes in the oven.
  • Meanwhile, mix together the glaze ingredients.
  • Remove the meatloaf from the oven and cover with the glaze. Return the meatloaf to the oven and continue baking for an additional 35 to 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
  • Allow the meatloaf to rest for 10 minutes in the loaf pan before lifting from the loaf pan and slicing.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 291kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 133mg | Sodium: 479mg | Potassium: 530mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 602IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 145mg | Iron: 3mg

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