Copycat Cracker Barrel Meatloaf

Recreate the Classic: Indulge in the Comforting Flavor of Copycat Cracker Barrel Meatloaf

Experience a taste of nostalgia with our Copycat Cracker Barrel Meatloaf—a homage to the iconic dish that has graced the tables of Cracker Barrel restaurants for decades. This recipe brings the warmth of home-style cooking to your kitchen, allowing you to savor the rich flavors and hearty goodness of this beloved classic. Join us on a culinary journey as we unveil the secrets behind replicating the comforting essence of Cracker Barrel’s legendary meatloaf.


For the Meatloaf:

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce


  1. Preheat and Prepare:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
    • Grease a loaf pan or line it with parchment paper for easy removal.
  2. Bread and Milk Mixture:
    • In a large bowl, combine breadcrumbs and milk.
    • Let the mixture sit for a few minutes until the breadcrumbs absorb the milk, creating a soft paste.
  3. Create the Meatloaf Mixture:
    • Add ground beef, beaten eggs, chopped onion, chopped green bell pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, dried sage, salt, and black pepper to the breadcrumb mixture.
    • Gently mix until all ingredients are evenly incorporated. Avoid overmixing to maintain a tender texture.
  4. Shape and Place:
    • Transfer the meatloaf mixture to the prepared loaf pan, shaping it into a loaf form.
    • Ensure the meatloaf is evenly distributed in the pan.
  5. Prepare the Glaze:
    • In a small bowl, whisk together ketchup, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce to create the glaze.
  6. Glaze and Bake:
    • Brush the glaze over the top of the meatloaf, ensuring a generous coating.
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 60-70 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C).
  7. Rest and Serve:
    • Allow the meatloaf to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute, keeping the meatloaf moist.

Cook Notes:

  • Breadcrumb Soaking: Allowing the breadcrumbs to soak in milk creates a tender texture in the meatloaf.
  • Gentle Mixing: Be gentle when combining the ingredients to avoid a dense meatloaf.
  • Internal Temperature: Use a meat thermometer to ensure the meatloaf reaches a safe internal temperature of 160°F (71°C).


  1. Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf:
    • Add a layer of your favorite cheese in the middle of the meatloaf for a gooey surprise when sliced.
  2. Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf:
    • Wrap the meatloaf with bacon slices before baking for an added layer of smoky flavor.

Keto Versions:

  1. Almond Flour Substitute:
    • Replace breadcrumbs with almond flour for a keto-friendly alternative.
  2. Low-Carb Glaze:
    • Adjust the glaze by using a sugar substitute like erythritol or monk fruit for a low-carb version.

Low-Carb Version:

  • Use almond flour in place of breadcrumbs and a low-carb sweetener in the glaze. Serve with roasted vegetables for a low-carb twist.

Recreating the iconic Copycat Cracker Barrel Meatloaf in your own kitchen is not just about cooking; it’s about capturing the essence of home-style comfort. The combination of perfectly seasoned ground beef, aromatic herbs, and the sweet tang of the glaze brings together a symphony of flavors that harks back to the cherished dining experience at Cracker Barrel.

Whether you stick to the classic recipe or explore variations to suit your preferences, the Copycat Cracker Barrel Meatloaf is a testament to the timeless appeal of comfort food. Share this hearty dish with family and friends, and let each slice evoke memories of shared meals and the simple joy of savoring a well-prepared, homestyle meatloaf.

So, embark on this culinary journey, and relish the satisfaction of mastering a recipe that has stood the test of time. The Copycat Cracker Barrel Meatloaf is more than a dish; it’s a celebration of flavors, tradition, and the joy of creating a beloved classic in the heart of your own kitchen.

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