Cracker Barrel Meatloaf

Cracker Barrel Meatloaf, a signature dish from the renowned American chain restaurant Cracker Barrel, is a classic comfort food that combines homestyle cooking with a unique, flavorful twist. This meatloaf is known for its moist, tender texture and rich, savory flavor, making it a favorite among patrons.

The recipe typically starts with high-quality ground beef, which is the primary ingredient. This is mixed with finely chopped onions and green bell peppers, which add a subtle crunch and a hint of sweetness and earthiness to the dish. The vegetables are sautéed until softened before being mixed into the meat, ensuring they meld seamlessly into the loaf without overpowering the beefy flavor.

Breadcrumbs are a crucial component, acting as a binding agent that holds the meatloaf together while also contributing to its tender texture. In the Cracker Barrel version, these are often seasoned breadcrumbs, adding an extra layer of flavor. Eggs are also mixed in, providing additional binding and contributing to the loaf’s firm yet moist consistency.

What sets the Cracker Barrel Meatloaf apart is its seasoning blend. While the exact recipe is a closely guarded secret, it’s known to include a mix of salt, black pepper, and perhaps a blend of herbs and spices that give the meatloaf its distinctive taste. These seasonings are carefully balanced to enhance the natural flavors of the meat and vegetables without overwhelming them.

Once mixed, the meatloaf is shaped into a loaf and placed in a baking dish or loaf pan. A key feature of the Cracker Barrel Meatloaf is its topping. Typically, a ketchup-based glaze is generously applied over the top of the loaf. This glaze often includes brown sugar and mustard, creating a sweet and tangy flavor that caramelizes beautifully as the meatloaf bakes, forming a slightly crispy, flavorful crust.

The meatloaf is baked in the oven until it reaches the perfect internal temperature, ensuring that it’s cooked through but remains juicy and tender. When served, it’s often sliced thickly, revealing the moist, evenly cooked interior with its perfectly distributed ingredients.

Cracker Barrel traditionally serves their meatloaf with a selection of classic sides like mashed potatoes, green beans, or macaroni and cheese, complementing the rich, savory flavors of the meatloaf with creamy, comforting sides. This dish is not just a meal; it’s an embodiment of traditional American comfort food, delivering a sense of warmth, nostalgia, and homely satisfaction with every bite.


  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 32 Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard

How to make Cracker Barrel Meatloaf

Preheat oven to 350.
Beat eggs. Add milk and crackers. Stir in onion and cheese. Add ground beef. Mix well. Shape into a loaf.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
Combine ketchup, brown sugar and mustard to make topping. Spoon half of the topping over the meatloaf after 30 mins of baking. Return loaf to oven for 10 more mins of baking. Spoon the rest of the topping over meatloaf, return to oven and bake for 5-10 mins more.

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