Ritz Cracker Meatloaf

Irresistible Ritz Cracker Meatloaf: A Classic Comfort Dish Elevated

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In the world of comfort food, few dishes evoke the same sense of nostalgia and satisfaction as a hearty meatloaf. And when it comes to taking this classic to the next level, few ingredients do the trick like Ritz crackers. In this recipe, we’ll show you how to create a mouthwatering Ritz Cracker Meatloaf that’s sure to become a staple in your kitchen. Get ready to elevate your meatloaf game and delight your taste buds with every bite!


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup finely diced green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 oz onion soup mix
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers (32 crackers)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or oil.
  2. Prepare the Sauce: In a small bowl, combine ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, yellow mustard, onion powder, and brown sugar. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Crush the Ritz Crackers: Place the Ritz crackers in a resealable plastic bag and crush them into fine crumbs using a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy pan. Set aside.
  4. Mix the Meatloaf Mixture: In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, eggs, diced onion, diced bell pepper, milk, onion soup mix, crushed Ritz crackers, and half of the shredded cheddar cheese. Mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  5. Form the Meatloaf: Transfer the meatloaf mixture into the prepared loaf pan and shape it into a loaf shape.
  6. Add Sauce and Cheese: Pour the prepared sauce over the top of the meatloaf, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheddar cheese on top of the sauce, covering the entire surface.
  7. Bake: Place the meatloaf in the preheated oven and bake for 60-75 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C) and the meatloaf is cooked through.
  8. Rest and Serve: Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a juicy and flavorful meatloaf. Slice and serve hot, garnished with additional chopped parsley if desired.

Cook’s Notes and Variations:

  • Make it Spicier: Add a dash of hot sauce or cayenne pepper to the meatloaf mixture for an extra kick of heat.
  • Vegetarian Option: Substitute the ground beef with a plant-based ground meat alternative for a vegetarian version of this dish.
  • Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free crackers or breadcrumbs instead of Ritz crackers to make this recipe gluten-free.
  • Experiment with Cheese: Feel free to experiment with different types of cheese, such as mozzarella or pepper jack, for a unique twist on this classic dish.

Keto and Low Carb Versions:

  • Keto Option: To make this recipe keto-friendly, omit the Ritz crackers and replace them with almond flour or crushed pork rinds. You can also use sugar-free ketchup and brown sugar substitute to reduce the carb content.
  • Low Carb Option: Reduce the amount of onion and bell pepper in the recipe to lower the carb count. Additionally, use a low-carb cheese alternative or reduce the amount of cheese used.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I prepare the meatloaf mixture in advance?

A: Yes, you can prepare the meatloaf mixture ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking. This is a great time-saving option for busy weeknights.

Q: Can I freeze leftover meatloaf?

A: Absolutely! Once cooled, you can wrap leftover meatloaf slices tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and freeze them for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Q: Can I use ground turkey instead of ground beef?

A: Yes, ground turkey can be used as a leaner alternative to ground beef in this recipe. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly, as turkey may cook faster than beef.

Q: Can I make mini meatloaves instead of one large loaf?

A: Certainly! Simply divide the meatloaf mixture into smaller portions and shape them into individual loaves. Adjust the baking time as needed, as mini meatloaves may cook faster than one large loaf.

Q: Is there a substitute for onion soup mix?

A: If you don’t have onion soup mix on hand, you can use a combination of onion powder, garlic powder, and dried herbs such as parsley and thyme as a substitute.

With its savory flavor, tender texture, and irresistible cheesy topping, this Ritz Cracker Meatloaf is a true crowd-pleaser that’s sure to satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Whether you’re serving it up for a cozy family dinner or impressing guests at a dinner party, this dish is guaranteed to be a hit. So, gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to indulge in a slice of comfort food heaven. Your taste buds will thank you!

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