This classic Cracker Barrel Meatloaf Recipe is loaded with all your favorite ingredients in the meatloaf that you get at the restaurant. You will be amazed at how easy it to make and it tastes amazing too.

Close up image of meatloaf on a white plate with a side of mixed vegetables and mashed potatoes.

Cracker Barrel Meatloaf Recipe:

My family loves going to Cracker Barrel and we are all fans of their meatloaf. There is just something about the way they make it because not all meatloaf is made the same. Cracker Barrel Meatloaf is a classic comfort food recipe.

I knew I had to figure out how to make this meatloaf. It combines ground beef, cheese, onion and green bell pepper. There is even Ritz Crackers in it. This is definitely the secret ingredient.

The glaze just completes this meatloaf. We made this meatloaf for about half the price that you buy a serving at Cracker Barrel.

We love that this meatloaf turns out flavorful and juicy. Meatloaf isn’t a meal that I always prepare, but after making this recipe, my family has requested it more and more every week.

Close up image of meatloaf sliced.

Copycat Cracker Barrel Meatloaf:

Meatloaf isn’t always a crowd pleaser. I am not sure why meatloaf gets a bad rap all the time, because we love it. This Copycat Cracker Barrel Meatloaf will take the meatloaf to the next level.

This recipe is unique as it combines tender vegetables, cheese and Ritz Crackers. I always used bread crumbs in my recipe but I think the Ritz Crackers gives it that unique flavor.

Ingredients needed for meatloaf - ground beef, onion, green bell pepper, ritz crackers, cheddar cheese, milk, salt and pepper, ketchup brown sugar, mustard.

Ingredients: 

For the Meatloaf

  • Lean Ground Beef 
  • White Onion, finely diced
  • Green Bell Pepper, finely diced
  • Ritz Crackers, crushed
  • Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese 
  • Milk 
  • Salt 
  • Pepper 

For the Topping: 

  • Ketchup 
  • Brown Sugar 
  • Yellow Mustard 

How to make Cracker Barrel Meatloaf: 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. 
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs.  Then stir in the crushed Ritz crackers, cheese, milk, onion, green bell pepper, salt and pepper. 
  • Then add in the ground beef and mix well.  You will need to mix by hand based on the thickness of the mixture. 
  • Place the meat mixture on the prepared pan and form it into a loaf with your hands.
The process of mixing the meatloaf
  • Bake for 30 minutes. 
  • While the meatloaf is baking, stir together the topping ingredients in a small bowl. 
  • After the initial 30 minute cook time, spread the topping over the meatloaf.  Then bake for an additional 30-40 minutes or until the center of the loaf has an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. 
Process of being the glaze topping on the meatloaf.
  • Remove from the oven and let the loaf set for 10-15 minutes. 
  • Then slice, serve and enjoy
  • Slicing the meatloaf too early will cause the juices to leak out so make sure to let it rest prior to serving. 
  • I love serving this meatloaf over mashed potatoes! 

How to make the topping:

The meatloaf topping consist of ketchup, brown sugar and mustard. These three ingredients mixed together really make the best topping.

When making meatloaf I have always topped the meatloaf with the ketchup mixture prior to even baking it. I really do like the process of baking it and then in half the time, top with this mixture so that it doesn’t get over cooked.

Close up image of meatloaf sliced.

Loaf pan or no loaf pan for Meatloaf?

There has been some debate on rather to use a loaf pan or just use a casserole dish. I have done it both ways.

I didn’t use a loaf pan for this recipe as I find that the meatloaf falls apart when removing it from the loaf pan.

I form the meat into a loaf and cooked it on a sheet pan. However, you can easily cook it in a casserole pan as well.

You can easily make this same recipe in a loaf pan if you prefer. The cook time would remain the same, just use a meat thermometer to make sure that the beef is cooked to the proper temperature.

Close up image of meatloaf on a white plate.

The Best Meat to use:

When making meatloaf I purchase lean meat (90%) as I find the other options make the meat loaf greasy. When using a leaner ground beef just make sure that you do not over cook it as it will cause it to dry out.

Close up image of meatloaf on a white plate.

Can you freeze Meatloaf?

Meatloaf is a great recipe to freeze. You have some options on when to freeze:

  • You can freeze meatloaf after it has been baked and cooled. Sometimes I double the recipe and place one of them in the freezer. It makes for an easy weeknight meal.
  • Freeze meatloaf unbaked in a loaf pan. I like to buy those throw away containers and they are great to freezer this meatloaf.

As long as your meatloaf is tightly wrap with foil then your meatloaf will last about 3 months in the freezer.

Close up image of two slices of meatloaf on a white plate with a side of mashed potatoes.

How to reheat Meatloaf?

  • Reheating after being baked – If you are reheating your meatloaf after it is baked and is frozen then unwrap the meatloaf and place in new foil. Then I put in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, place in the oven wrapped in aluminum foil for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Reheating leftovers – If you have meatloaf slices leftovers, simply reheat in the microwave.
  • Cooking frozen uncooked meatloaf – Thaw out meatloaf overnight in the refrigerator. Once thaw bake according to recipe.
Close up image of meatloaf with a side of mashed potatoes with a fork.

What to serve with Meatloaf?

Tips & Tricks for the best Meatloaf?

  • Don’t over mix the meat – Overmixing the meat can make it tough.
  • Bake at 350 degrees – If you put the temperature any higher than 350 it could cause the meat to dry out.
  • Let meat rest – Before slicing meat, let it rest for about 15 minutes.
  • Use a meat thermometer – This ensure that you meat is cooked to the correct temperature so you don’t have to cut into the meatloaf to early.
  • Add in Worcestershire Sauce – We love adding in a few drops of Worcestershire sauce if we have it.

Print recipe here for Cracker Barrel Meatloaf:

Cracker Barrel Meatloaf

5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Rest before eating 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 6
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Calories 414
Author Eating on a Dime

Ingredients

  • For the Meatloaf:
  • 2 pounds Lean Ground Beef
  • 1/2 White Onion finely diced
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper finely diced
  • 1 1/2 Sleeves Ritz Crackers crushed (approximately 45 crackers)
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • For the Topping:
  • 1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Yellow Mustard
  • 3 eggs

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs.  Then stir in the crushed Ritz crackers, cheese, milk, onion, green bell pepper, salt and pepper.
  • Then add in the ground beef and mix well.  You will need to mix by hand based on the thickness of the mixture.
  • Place the meat mixture on the prepared pan and form it into a loaf with your hands.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • While the meatloaf is baking, stir together the topping ingredients in a small bowl.
  • After the initial 30 minute cook time, spread the topping over the meatloaf.  Then bake for an additional 30-40 minutes or until the center of the loaf has an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
  • Remove from the oven and let the loaf set for 10-15 minutes.
  • Then slice, serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Slicing the meatloaf too early will cause the juices to leak out so make sure to let is rest prior to serving. 
I love serving this meatloaf over mashed potatoes! 

Nutrition Facts

Calories 414kcal, Carbohydrates 26g, Protein 38g, Fat 17g, Saturated Fat 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat 3g, Monounsaturated Fat 6g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 106mg, Sodium 946mg, Potassium 706mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 12g, Vitamin A 305IU, Vitamin C 17mg, Calcium 151mg, Iron 5mg

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More Copycat Recipes:

This copycat Cracker Barrel Meatloaf Recipe is easy to make at home and tastes  even better than the one from the Country Store! This is the best copycat recipe that is simple to make with beef and Ritz crackers.  #eatingonadime #copycatrecipes #beefrecipes #meatloaf
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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families.

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