What Is Meatloaf?

A short history of the ultimate comfort food

Meatloaf is the epitome of an all-American comfort food. It’s the easy dish that we have all been raised eating for dinner, and then again in our sandwiches for lunch.

For those that don’t know, the dish is ground meat mixed with seasonings like onions, herbs, or ketchup, bound with eggs or breadcrumbs, formed into a loaf shape and then baked. It usually consists of ground beef, but can be made with turkey, lamb, veal, pork, or chicken. (Photo courtesy of flickr/rockYOface)

After meatloaf is baked for around forty minutes, it is usually topped with some sort of sauce, usually tomato. Other variations top meatloaf with brown gravy or barbeque sauce. (Photo couresty of flickr/a.meadowlark)

Many different countries around the world have variations on meatloaf. The eastern block of Europe, known for their meat consumption, has a version that is usually served with potatoes.


In the Middle East, in countries such as Egypt, Turkey, and Iran, meatloaf is referred to as kufte (or some variation on that spelling) and is usually served in kebob form. Italians have meatballs, which were surprisingly not always served with spaghetti, as they are today. Meatloaf is easily enjoyed by all cultures all around the world and is a simple, economical dish that everyone loves. (Photo courtesy of flickr/R J Whetstone)