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Cheesy Loaded Meatloaf Casserole

Culinary Fusion: Crafting the Ultimate Cheesy Loaded Meatloaf Casserole

Step into the realm of comfort food innovation with our Cheesy Loaded Meatloaf Casserole. This recipe takes the classic meatloaf to new heights by transforming it into a cheesy, flavor-packed casserole. Imagine the perfect union of seasoned ground beef, savory toppings, and a gooey cheese blanket—all baked to golden perfection. Whether you’re a meatloaf aficionado or a casserole enthusiast, this dish promises to be a standout in your culinary repertoire. Join us as we guide you through the steps to create a dish that embodies the essence of home-cooked goodness.

Ingredients

For the Meatloaf Base:

  • 2 pounds ground beef (preferably a mix of lean and medium-fat)
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For the Casserole Toppings:

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup diced bacon, cooked
  • 1 cup sliced green onions

For the Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Instructions

Crafting the Cheesy Loaded Meatloaf Casserole:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and grease a baking dish.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, milk, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, chopped onion, minced garlic, dried oregano, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper. Mix until well combined.
  3. Transfer the meatloaf mixture to the greased baking dish and shape it into an even layer.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the glaze ingredients: ketchup, brown sugar, and Dijon mustard. Spread the glaze over the meatloaf.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until the meatloaf is cooked through.
  6. In the last 10 minutes of baking, sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the meatloaf and return it to the oven to melt the cheese.
  7. Once the meatloaf is cooked and the cheese is melted, remove it from the oven.
  8. Sprinkle the diced bacon and sliced green onions over the melted cheese, creating a loaded topping.
  9. Allow the casserole to rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Cook Notes

Perfect your Cheesy Loaded Meatloaf Casserole with these expert tips:

  1. Mixing Meatloaf: Be gentle when mixing the meatloaf ingredients to avoid compacting the meat, resulting in a denser texture.
  2. Bacon Cooking: For convenience, cook the bacon in advance until crispy. This ensures it adds a delightful crunch to the casserole.
  3. Cheese Selection: Experiment with different cheese blends or varieties such as smoked gouda or pepper jack for a personalized touch.

Variations

Customize your Cheesy Loaded Meatloaf Casserole experience with these delightful variations:

Mushroom Medley:

Saute a mix of mushrooms (such as cremini, shiitake, and oyster) and layer them over the meatloaf for an earthy twist.

Jalapeño Kick:

Add diced jalapeños to the meatloaf mixture or sprinkle them over the toppings for a spicy kick.

Italian Flair:

Incorporate Italian herbs and spices into the meatloaf mixture and top with fresh basil and diced tomatoes.

Keto Versions

Indulge in the Cheesy Loaded Meatloaf Casserole delight while staying keto-friendly with these low-carb adaptations:

Almond Flour Substitute:

Replace breadcrumbs with almond flour to maintain the texture while reducing carbs.

Sugar-Free Glaze:

Use a sugar-free sweetener in the glaze to minimize sugar content.

Cheese Abundance:

Load up on high-quality, full-fat cheeses for a rich and keto-friendly topping.

In conclusion, Cheesy Loaded Meatloaf Casserole is not just a dish; it’s a celebration of comforting flavors and creative culinary fusion. As you savor each bite, you’re not merely enjoying a meal—you’re experiencing a symphony of tastes that evoke feelings of home and satisfaction.

So, roll up your sleeves, preheat that oven, and embark on the journey of creating this ultimate comfort food. Share it with family gatherings, impress friends at potlucks, or relish it as a solo indulgence. This casserole is more than just a recipe; it’s an expression of warmth, creativity, and the joy found in a well-crafted dish. Indulge, customize, and relish in the hearty satisfaction of Cheesy Loaded Meatloaf Casserole.

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