The ingredients for this month’s Improve Challenge hosted by Kristen over at Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker are cheese and crackers. We could use any kind of crackers and any kind of cheese and do anything we wanted as long as the cheese and crackers were included.
I hadn’t made meatloaf in a while and had been disappointed with the meatloaf recipes I had tried that included cheese in the ingredients. The cheese always seemed to disappear into the meatloaf so that it didn’t even seem to be there. I had toyed with the idea of making a layered meatloaf, sandwiching the cheese between layers of meatloaf mixture. This seemed to be a good time to try it.
I had made meatloaves with saltine crackers, but chose to use Ritz Buttery Garlic crackers in this meatloaf. I also used ketchup for the moisture. This made the meat loaf quite red.
The meatloaf did not slice quite as nice as I would have liked, probably because of the layering technique I used. I prefer to make free-form meat loaves, but the meat loaf can be baked in a loaf pan. I would line the pan with foil.
Hubby and I both really liked the flavor of this meatloaf. He had two big helpings. This recipe will have a permanent place in my “tried and true” recipes.
Cheeseburger Meat Loaf
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef (I used 80/20 because that is what was on sale, I would have preferred 85/15)
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed (I used Buttery Garlic)
1 t. seasoned salt (I used Lawry’s)
1 t. sage
1/2 c. ketchup
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. minced, dried onion
1 c. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
Place ground beef in a mixing bowl. An easy way to crush the sleeve of crackers is to hold the sleeve between your hands and push them toward each other. The crackers will crush easily. Remove paper and add crackers to ground beef. Add seasoned salt and sage and mix together lightly. Measure ketchup into a glass measuring cup. Add Worcestershire sauce and dried onion. Add eggs and beat well. Let set for a few minutes to allow onion to soften. Add to ground beef mixture and mix well. Divide meat into three equal amounts. Grease a 7x11-inch baking dish. Take one-third of the meat mixture and form into a rectangle in the baking dish. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of the cheese over the meat rectangle. Keep the cheese at least 1/2-inch from the edges. Form second third of meat mixture into a rectangle over the first layer. Sprinkle another 1/3 cup of the cheese over the second meat layer, again keeping the cheese at least 1/2-inch from the edges. Form a rectangle with the last third of the meat mixture and place over the second layer. Smooth the outside edges together to seal in the cheese. Place in oven and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle the last 1/3 cup of cheese over the top of the meatloaf. Bake another 15-20 minutes. Let set for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.
You can find all the information for joining in the fun of Improv Challenge by visiting Kristen's Improv Challenge Page.
Check out the links below to see what other bloggers have made with cheese and crackers.