Brenda Gantt Meatloaf Recipe

Before 2021, Brenda Gantt was a relatively unknown, 74-year-old Australian cooking enthusiast. But since producing a video on how to make her style of signature buttermilk biscuits, she’s exploded in popularity and become one of the biggest (and most trusted) recipe sources around.

Many of these recipes are from her mother (and we all know mothers are the best cooks), and she is kindly passing them all down to us.

One such recipe is particularly special, and that’s Brenda’s take on a classic meatloaf dish. Not only is it incredibly delicious, but it’s also super easy to make to where even a cooking novice can nail it.

Today we’re sharing with you how to make this yourself, so no matter how serious you are about cooking, you’ll at least have an incredible meatloaf dish in your repertoire.

How to make Brenda Gantt meatloaf

What’s so nice about meatloaf is that it doesn’t pretend to be fancy. This is just ground beef combined with all your favorite flavorings and seasonings and then baked.

It’s really simple to make, and there’s also a ton of scope for you to add in your own ingredients should you wish to get a bit creative.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 finely chopped garlic clove
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vinegar

Number of portions: 4

Instructions

You won’t need any fancy ingredients here. We’re essentially going to mix everything together and bake it. One of the nicest things about cooking meatloaf is that although the total cooking time can be over an hour, the actual hands-on prep time is incredibly short.

This means it spends most of its time in the oven, leaving you free to focus on whatever else you wish to cook.

Step 1:

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 2: 

Take a large mixing bowl and throw in the ground beef, onion, chopped bell pepper, garlic, egg, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and black pepper.

Step 3: 

Mix all these together until they’re thoroughly combined before moving on, as you need as even of a distribution as possible between the ingredients.

Step 4:

Take another smaller mixing bowl, and add to it the ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, and vinegar. Mix these together to create a smooth mixture.

Step 5:

Take a 9×13 baking dish, and spread half of the ketchup mixture over the bottom.

Step 6:

Over the top of this, press all of the beef mixtures over it, patting it down gently so it fills up the entirety of the baking dish.

Step 7:

Take the second half of the ketchup mixture, and spread it over the top of the meatloaf to finish it off.

Step 8:

It’s now ready to bake. Once the oven is up to temperature, just place it in the oven on the middle rack and let it bake for one hour.

And that’s it! Your simple but highly delicious meatloaf recipe is done!

Ingredient substitutions

Meatloaf can come in many varieties, with a ton of different flavorings added. This is great for us as cooks, as it means no matter the situation there’s a good chance we’ll always have some really effective substitutions on hand that can help us see this recipe through to the end.

Here are a few of our top suggestions for meatloaf ingredient substitutions.

Ground crackers

Meatloaf usually needs some kind of binder to help keep everything together, as ground beef, no matter how hard you try to press it together, doesn’t always want to stay together.

In Brenda’s meatloaf recipe, this role is undertaken by the eggs, which is one of the best food binders out there.

But another common addition to meatloaf is ground crackers. Good old regular saltine crackers work wonderfully for this. Just take a few and put them in a small sandwich bag (or place them under a paper towel on your cutting board). Then, use something like a rolling pin to smash them up into relatively small cracker pieces.

Some other things that can work well are oatmeal, bread crumbs, or even crushed tortilla chips.

Soy sauce

In this meatloaf recipe, the little bit of Worcestershire really adds a lot to the flavor of the meatloaf, adding that all-important vinegary flavor and saltiness to enhance the beef.

But not everyone keeps Worcestershire sauce on hand, so most kinds of soy sauce work quite well here, as they have that same salty and vinegary quality.

Tomato paste

If you find yourself without access to ketchup or mustard, tomato paste makes a perfectly adequate substitute, as all we are looking for is a bit of the tomatoey zip and a little more of the thick liquid to assist with binding.

Tomato paste offers both of those things and oftentimes has a lower sugar content than something like Heinz ketchup, so it can even make a healthier choice!

What to serve with Brenda Gantt meatloaf 

Meatloaf can be an all-encompassing main dish by itself, with plenty of protein and some veggies to keep you full.

There are, of course, a bunch of great side dishes you can serve with your meatloaf to enhance the flavor.

This is particularly handy, as Brenda’s recipe doesn’t contain many carbs, so you can use a side that compliments the nutrition of the meatloaf.

Mashed potatoes

Boil them, drain them, then mash them with as much butter as you’d like. There’s nothing like fluffy and buttery mashed potatoes to accompany a meat-heavy dish. It’ll round off the meal nicely and make it all the more filling!

Creamed peas and veggies

This is a great option if you want a side that’s a little bit healthier than the carb-laden potatoes. Just cream some peas and pair it with some fried mushrooms and onion to give you some nice vegetable choices that still fit the flavor profile of the meatloaf.

Garlic bread

Garlic bread also sits in that wonderful, warming, and hearty kind of side that will leave you feeling full and satisfied. The buttery flavor combined with the strong garlic and herbs will pair perfectly with the heavy beef flavor of the meatloaf.

It’s also surprisingly healthy, too!

How to reheat Brenda Gantt meatloaf

It goes without saying that meatloaf is a pretty filling dish and depending on how many people you’re serving, there’s a good chance you’ll need to reheat some of it later on.

Here’s the best way to go about reheating your leftover meatloaf.

How to reheat Brenda Gantt meatloaf in a pot

Heat a pan/pot over medium heat, and add one tablespoon of cooking oil. If you have any beef broth, that works great, too.

Add the meatloaf to the pan and cook it for about two minutes. Then, flip it over and cook the other side, and it should be adequately warmed through.

How to reheat Brenda Gantt meatloaf in a microwave

Place the meatloaf slices into a microwave-safe dish, and cover them with a paper towel that has been moistened a little. This will help the meatloaf retain its texture and not become too soggy.

Heat it using 30 seconds intervals, checking each time in between until it’s hot enough. It shouldn’t take any more than 2-3 minutes total.

How to reheat Brenda Gantt meatloaf in the oven

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F and place your leftover meatloaf into an oven-safe dish. If you have any beef broth available, adding a tablespoon of that to the dish will help it re-cook.

Cover the meatloaf with aluminum foil and cook it for 20-25 minutes.

How to reheat Brenda Gantt meatloaf in an air fryer

Preheat the air fryer to 340 degrees F. Line the basket of the air fryer with baking paper and lightly oil (ideally with a spray cooking oil) on both sides of the meatloaf slices to help them re-cook.

Fry them for 4-5 minutes, and they should be wonderfully hot and a little crisp.

How to store Brenda Gantt meatloaf

Obviously, if you have leftovers, you’re going to need to store them, too! Here are the best practices when it comes to storing leftover meatloaf while ensuring it retains as much flavor and texture as possible.

Store in the fridge

The three ways in which you can store meatloaf for maximum shelf life in the fridge is to wrap it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or if you don’t have either of those, an air-tight container works great, too.

Once stored it will last for 3-4 days.

Store in the freezer

The best thing to do here is to place the leftovers in an air-tight, sealable freezer bag. Once stored this way, it will last for as long as 6 months.

brenda gantt meatloaf recipe

Brenda Gantt Meatloaf Recipe

Brenda Gantt has been taking the internet by storm with her incredibly simple and delicious dishes. This recipe will show you how to make her signature meatloaf, which is packed full of flavor and is sure to leave both you and your family thoroughly satisfied!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 481 kcal
Equipment
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • 1 baking tray
  • parchment paper
Ingredients
  
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
Instructions
 
  • Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Take a large mixing bowl and throw in the ground beef, onion, chopped bell pepper, garlic, egg, Worcestershire sauce, and the salt and black pepper.
  • Mix all these together until they’re thoroughly combined before moving on, as you need as even of a distribution as possible between the ingredients.
  • Take another smaller mixing bowl, and add to it the ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, and vinegar. Mix these together to create a smooth mixture.
  • Take a 9x13 baking dish, and spread half of the ketchup mixture over the bottom.
  • Over the top of this, press all of the beef mixture over it, patting it down gently so it fills up the entirety of the baking dish.
  • Take the second half of the ketchup mixture, and spread it over the top of the meatloaf to finish it off.
  • It's now ready to bake. Once the oven is up to temperature, just place it in the oven on the middle rack and let it bake for one hour.
  • And that’s it! Your simple but highly delicious meatloaf recipe is done!
Nutrition
Calories: 481kcalCarbohydrates: 10.7gProtein: 63.3gFat: 19.4gSaturated Fat: 7.7gCholesterol: 227mgSodium: 1267mgFiber: 2.3g
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