Golden Corral is the self-proclaimed number 1 buffet restaurant in America. They serve all-you-can-eat breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with a vast menu of delicious home-style cooked foods. From sirloin steaks to huge vegetable bowls, there’s something for everyone.
A favorite amongst diners is their signature ‘Golden Corral Meatloaf’ which is served during their dinner buffet. It’s made with premium quality ground beef that’s seasoned with garlic, onion, oregano, and basil then baked to perfection.
It’s a fantastic meal that can satisfy your whole family, and it’s pretty easy to make too! Today we’re sharing with you this Golden Corral Meatloaf copycat recipe so you can make your own at home anytime you want!
How to make Golden Corral Meatloaf
Meatloaf is already great to work with. It’s moist, tender, filling, and also adaptable so you can season and spice it up however you wish.
It doesn’t need long to prepare, only taking 15 minutes before you can bake it, and then you’re free to work on other tasks while it cooks.
- 1 and 3/4 lbs of ground beef
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp of dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp of dried basil
- 1/4 tsp of ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of tomato sauce
The nice thing about this recipe is all the ingredients are pretty standard and you may already have most of them in your spice rack.
There are lots of different brands and types of beef out there, depending on how health-conscious you are we recommend getting one with a slightly higher fat content. This will render down during the baking process and make everything deliciously moist and tender.
We also have suggestions below for fantastic alternatives if you’re not able to source a good cut of beef.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Using a large mixing bowl, combine the beef with all of the spices (this includes the garlic powder, oregano, basil, ground cloves, salt, and pepper).
Next, we can add the onion, celery, breadcrumbs, and parmesan cheese.
Using another large bowl, beat the milk and eggs together thoroughly.
Transfer the beef and spices to the milk and egg bowl and mix everything together.
Add the tomato sauce and olive oil to the mixture, and combine everything thoroughly using your hands.
Transfer this final mixture into a loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour. After it’s cooked take it out of the oven and allow it to rest for about 15 minutes.
And that’s it! Enjoy your delicious Golden Corral Meatloaf!
Fundamentally, meatloaf is just ground beef which is then paired with spices and breadcrumbs, which are then baked. This simple formula of meat and spices means there’s lots of opportunity for both substitutions and additions.
Especially helpful if you cannot source a particular ingredient, or you wish to enhance the flavor.
1. Ground Turkey
This can be used as both a total substitution for the beef or in addition to it, giving it that extra flavor, texture, and protein per pound density.
Taste and nutrition-wise it’s perfect, the main issue with turkey is that once its ground it becomes very soft, which makes it hard to cut into slices in the way we would a traditional meatloaf.
We need to add a binder of some kind: some people like to stir in an extra egg, or another option is to only use half of the turkey and half beef to give it that structural stability.
Another fantastic meat alternative, pork works particularly well because it will generally have a higher fat content than both turkey and beef (depending on which one you buy).
This fat can then render down and act as a binder giving you those delicious meatloaf slices once cooked.
Feel free to use it as a total substitution or just mix some into the ground beef to get the same flavor benefit from it.
3. Minced garlic
If you’ve suddenly found yourself without garlic powder (a surprisingly common occurrence in any kitchen), simply take a few cloves of garlic and mince them as finely as you can.
Ensure you stir everything together extra thoroughly as it’s a little harder to evenly distribute than garlic powder.
What to serve with Golden Corral Meatloaf
Meatloaf, especially when served with gravy, makes for a mouth-wateringly delicious main. Rich in protein and fats, and is filling and satisfying.
So when we’re looking for things to serve it with we usually want to complement those qualities of the meatloaf. That is to say something a little more nutritious, vitamin sense, savory such as vegetables or a good source of carbohydrates.
If you ever eat meatloaf at a restaurant you’ll already know dinner rolls are very commonly served with meatloaf.
Not only does it give you that much-needed carbohydrate source, but it’s also fantastic for mopping up all that gravy or tomato sauce once you’re finished with the meatloaf!
Not everyone likes bread, in which case mashed potatoes are going to be your best choice.
Bake them with some added garlic, butter, and herbs to make the perfect meatloaf companion.
Sometimes a salad can feel a little ‘too’ fresh and out of place alongside meatloaf. But maybe you still want that nice source of healthy vegetables.
In this case frying up some nice vegetables such as asparagus, Brussel sprouts, bell pepper, and carrot can make a great accompaniment to meatloaf. Season with salt, pepper, and if you want, a little butter. It’ll sit alongside meatloaf perfectly!
How to reheat Golden Corral Meatloaf
Because of the cooking style, it’s easy to just make a huge meatloaf at once and store it away for later. It keeps great and allows you to get more value out of your cooking time.
Here are a few tips on how to reheat Golden Corral meatloaf.
How to reheat Golden Corral Meatloaf in a pot
Add a little water to the pot and transfer all your meatloaf slices straight from the fridge into the pot.
Put it over medium-high heat and place a lid on. Allow it to steam for 8-10 minutes and it should be thoroughly warmed through. Feel free to throw in a little butter at this stage too.
How to reheat Golden Corral Meatloaf in a microwave
To stop the meatloaf from drying out too much, place the meatloaf slices on a dish and cover them with a wet paper towel. Microwave for 1 minute and then flip the slices, and microwave for 1 more minute.
How to reheat Golden Corral Meatloaf in the oven
Preheat the oven to 250°F and place your meatloaf slices into a baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 25-30 minutes.
How to reheat Golden Corral Meatloaf in an air fryer
Preheat the air fryer to 350°F. Line the frying basked with baking or parchment paper.
Spray both sides of each slice of the meatloaf with oil to help it fry. Then heat for 4-5 minutes.
How to store Golden Corral Meatloaf
Meatloaf is an extremely filling dish, so it’s very likely you’ll have some leftovers you need to reheat later. Here’s how to correctly store it for later.
Store in the fridge
Once the meatloaf has cooled to room temperature, wrap the slices tightly with aluminum foil, or plastic wrap. Or you can simply use an air-tight container.
Once refrigerated it will keep for 4-5 days.
Store in the freezer
If you plan on storing the meatloaf for longer you’ll need to freeze it. To protect it as much as possible, first, wrap it in plastic wrap, then place it in a freezer bag being sure to press all of the air out beforehand.
Once frozen it should keep for 3 to 4 months.
Golden Corral Meatloaf Recipe
- 2 large mixing bowls
- 1 and 3/4 lbs ground beef
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 celery stalk chopped
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Using a large mixing bowl, combine the beef with all of the spices (this includes the garlic powder, oregano, basil, ground cloves, salt, and pepper).
- Next, we can add the onion, celery, breadcrumbs, and parmesan cheese.
- Using another large bowl, beat the milk and eggs together thoroughly.
- Transfer the beef and spices to the milk and egg bowl and mix everything together.
- Add the tomato sauce and olive oil to the mixture, and combine everything thoroughly using your hands.
- Transfer this final mixture into a loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour. After it’s cooked take it out of the oven and allow it to rest for about 15 minutes.