For the ultimate meatloaf this is your recipe. Using one of my tried and tested recipes I crossed it with the The Blended Burger Project. The ultimate Blended Mushroom Meatloaf was born.
To be honest, before developing this recipe for meatloaf, I always used the recipe from The Joy of Cooking. It is an absolute classic, and a must try. So make this your go to next time you want a classic meatloaf recipe that your grandmother would of made, but I’m pretty sure she would approve of this recipe as well. The Joy of Cooking has been in active publishing since 1931! A cookbook that has truly stood the test of time. When you buy a copy, get the hardcover and not a digital edition as this is a book you will want to pass down to your kids when they are ready for it.
Making a meatloaf with a significant portion of mushrooms makes a lot of sense. It helps add a low cost ingredient, a deeper flavor and a vegetable to boot. The trick is to make sure to get the mushrooms pretty small. That is why I use a food processor, cutting these down by hand will be time consuming.
The Mushroom Blend
What we are going to make is a classic French item called Duxelles. This is the same thing they use for classics such as Beef Wellington. It is a mixture of onions, garlic and mushrooms with some fresh herbs that are cooked down to make an intensely flavored mushroom spread. We cool this spread down and add it to ground beef, more fresh herbs, eggs, breadcrumbs and cheese.
How Long Do You Cook Meatloaf for?
Now all we have to do is shape it into a loaf in the center of a quarter size baking pan and bake it. Depending on the time of the year I will frequently put this onto my pellet grill outside so I don’t have to turn the oven on in the house. I will smoke it low at 225º for about 30 minutes then crank it up to 375º for another 20 minutes or so. It does not take on a ton of smoke but I’m not looking for crazy smokey either. Not everything that goes into a smoker needs to have significant smoke tones or a smoke ring.
In my house, the leftover meatloaf becomes meatloaf melts the next day. I warm up the slices of meatloaf on our electric griddle. We use our griddle all the time for everything from grilled cheese sandwiches to pancakes to patty(meatloaf in our case) melts. So start toasting the bread with one side covered in caramelized onions while the other side has been slathered with mayo, shredded mozzarella, and provolone. Place the seared meatloaf in the middle and you have yourself a great little sandwich. Some killer sweet and spicy pickles, like Wickles Pickles, are the perfect accompaniment.
Meatloaf Wine Pairing
A great pairing for meatloaf is a simple red wine for under $15. Ideally $10. You really do not need a wine with a ton of complexity. Honestly, a more expensive bottle may take away from the nostalgia of what meatloaf is. It is comfort food at its core so why should we get carried away with the wine? Take a look at these suggestions that will work equally well with this meatloaf. Top 10 Wine Pairings for Pasta
My Wine Picks
Robert Mondavi Bourbon Barrel Cabernet or Imagery Cabernet Sauvignon will work well here. If you prefer Merlot, the H3 Merlot would be a solid choice and will even please those that claim to not like Merlot. I was pleasantly surprised by the H3 line considering the price point. Although the H3 has some fresh fruit to it otherwise fruit forward wines such as red blends.
I have also intentionally left out Italian wines from here as I wanted to keep our budget under $15 a bottle. A drinkable Italian red will run you much more than that.
I created this recipe for my wife, Yvette. Her all time favorite comfort food is Meatloaf. Inspired by the blended burger project, I decided to see how far I could take this blend. She loved it!
2 Tbl butter
1 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 Cups white onion, fine dice
1 Tbl garlic, minced
¼ tsp dried basil
12oz cremini mushrooms, minced in a food processor
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
21.4oz grass fed ground beef (Costco pack)
1 Cup Italian breadcrumbs
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Cups shredded mozzarella
1 Tbl grated parmesan
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1.5 Tbl fresh basil chiffonade
½ Cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
In a 12” saute pan, melt the butter with olive oil. Add in the finely diced white onion and a touch of salt. Sweat the onions until translucent and sweet. Add in the garlic and dried basil and cook for another 1 minute.
Now add in the 12oz of mushrooms you minced in a food processor with the additional spices. Stir to blend into the onion mixture. Turn up the heat up to medium-high. Stir frequently. The mushrooms will produce a lot of water, we want to do here is to reduce that water down and get the mushrooms as dry as possible. Now, we won’t get this to be completely dry. Slowly cooking this mixture down also helps develop the “meatiness” of the mushrooms. After about 10 minutes or so, depending on how large of a pan you used and how much surface area the mushrooms were exposed to, the mushrooms will be done. You will know when you drag a line across the pan with a spoon. If moisture seeps out into the open space, it needs more time.
Transfer this to a shallow bowl and put it into the refrigerator to start cooling down.
While this is cooling prepare the meat mixture by placing all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. If you don’t have stainless steel bowls I strongly recommend you add them to your cabinet. One of many reasons is because they don’t break when you drop them. They make a lot of noise and will scare the living crap out of you, but you won’t be picking up broken glass off the floor.
Once the mushroom mixture has cooled completely add it to the bowl with the meat and remaining ingredients. Use your hands and gently fold this all together. This is not therapy so don’t take out your frustrations on it, just mix it until it becomes a homogenous mixture.
Transfer a lightly greased baking tray and form into a single loaf in the center of the tray.
Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes. I say about because every oven is different. You may or may not have convection, you may or may not have hot spots, you may or may not have an old oven that just isn’t as efficient… or a brand new oven that is maybe a little too efficient. So “about” means that at the halfway point, you are going to remove the loaf from the oven, check the temperature, rotate the pan, and place it back in the oven. You now have an idea of how much longer you need. Pro Tip – after internal temperatures go past 100º they move a lot quicker. The final internal temp you want is going to be 155º.
Once out of the oven, let it rest for about 5 minutes if you can. This will make slicing it a little easier. Cutting meatloaf while it’s still really hot never ends well for me.
If you want to top it with a tomato sauce I would do that at the 30-minute marker. I used RAO’s marinara as that is a family favorite, rather than the traditional ketchup glaze. It will not glaze the same as ketchup, as it doesn’t have all the extra sugars. That’s ok.
When it comes to food processors. I rarely need a large one at the house. 99% of the time the mini prep food processor works great. I also like that if one of my kids drops the plastic bowl and it cracks and breaks, I’m not out $300 and the headache of trying to find a replacement bowl. I just buy another mini prep for $35 or so.
Prep Time:45 min
Cook Time:45 min
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Hi!! This is Chef Chad. I'm a former restaurant chef and turned stay-at-home dad. My wife Yvette and two amazing kids live in North Dallas and are Huge FC Dallas fans.
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