I love the versatility of ground meat. You can do so many things with it. One thing is to make meatloaf. There are some complicated recipes out there, but as you know, I like to keep it simple. I’ll share with you why I like to cook meatloaf, my favorite meatloaf recipe and 10 simple things you can do to bring some variety to it and enjoy it more often.

Keeping it Simple

I like meatloaf because it’s easy. You may be saying, “But ugh, crushing the crackers, the mess of the egg, spices, catsup,…” I rarely add anything but herbs & spices to my meatloaf. I cook the meat in the shape of a loaf because it’s easy. There’s very little prep other than making sure the meat is thawed. No greasing the pan and if I’m really lucky, I can just unwrap the freezer paper& unroll the raw meat right into the pan-without even touching it.

That’s literally what I did in the picture. My Favorite Handyman butchers our own pigs & turkeys. He also grinds some of that meat to make just plain ground pork or turkey, as well as a variety of sausages. No MSG or other preservatives involved. Other than salt, and he can control how much goes in. He then packages it in 2 pound packages. That way we’ll have leftovers for lunch the next day. (That cook once, eat twice principle).

Creative Meatloaf Variations

If you choose to mix your own herbs/spices into the meat, I advise putting the meat either into a bowl or in the loaf pan and adding the spices right on top of the meat. Then, so you only have to get your hands dirty once, mix it with your hands to thoroughly incorporate everything and then shape it into the pan. And yes, I’ve done this right in the loaf pan so I don’t have to dirty another dish.

Making the ground meat into a meatloaf cuts down on the time I spend at the stove as well as the mess of shaping the patties and grease splattering all over when they’re cooked. Another way to cut down on the grease spattering in the oven is to loosely cover it with parchment paper. Just tuck the ends of the paper in between the meat & the side of the pan.

You can also easily slice the loaf into ‘patties’ once it’s cooked. All time savers so you can do other things while it’s cooking. If you know you’ll be crunched for time tomorrow, you can even put it in the oven as you’re sitting down to supper tonight. That will allow for enough time to cook & cool so you can put it in the fridge before you go to bed.

Easy Meat Loaf


2 # ground meat-thawed


Turn oven on to 350F

Place meat in loaf pan & shape to pan if needed

Bake at 350F for about 60 minutes or until done.


  1. Ground beef
  2. Ground pork
  3. Ground turkey
  4. Ground chicken
  5. You can use a ground meat type of sausage (breakfast, Italian etc.)
  6. You can mix in 1 Tablespoon each: oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary, marjoram, garlic
  7. You can mix in 1 Tablespoon each: cumin, ground coriander, cilantro, garlic, paprika
  8. You can add in 1/2 to 1 cup of finely chopped onion tops
  9. You can top with salsa for the last 15 minutes of baking
  10. You can top with spaghetti or marinara sauce for the last 15 minutes of baking
  11. You can top with any number of cheese for the last 10-15 minutes of baking

What else can you think of?

Spend Time Doing What You Enjoy

Maybe you enjoy cooking. And that’s awesometastic because God calls us all to enjoy different things. Maybe you have ideas on how to spruce this meatloaf up for others who enjoy cooking too. Leave a comment below for others who enjoy it too!

I was once asked to be someone’s personal chef. But honestly, I don’t like to cook. Or clean up the kitchen. I’d rather do other things like be outside, learn something new about our awesometastic Lord or the body he blessed us with, or helping others find ways to pray often, eat well & move more so they can lead the happy, active vibrant life God is calling them to. 

However, I do like to feel well and I like my food to taste good, therefore, I prepare over 95% of the food I put in my mouth.

So tell me…

How do you save time preparing meat? What’s your favorite way to make meatloaf? Share with us in the comments! Your comment may be the exact inspiration someone else needs to hear right now, enabling all of us to enjoy the journey!

Are you looking for a speaker for your church group or organization? 

Someone who will empower your audience with the knowledge of how God designed them and why they need to make prayer their #1 healthy habit as well as how they can easily make it happen? I have just a couple openings yet this fall and a few next spring. Email me at julie@Julie Grunklee.com to start the conversation. I speak to small & large groups and love to travel.

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