The Perfect Meatloaf

Ingredients for the Glaze:

  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce (I prefer spicy)
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar

Ingredients for the Meatloaf

  • ⅓ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup whole-fat buttermilk
  • 1 cup small-dice onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt
  • pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tsp. minced sun-dried tomato
  • 1.5 lbs. ground beef (85-15 works best)
  • ½ lb. ground pork
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Ingredients for Cauliflower Puree

  • One head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. heavy cream
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional—makes it very rich)
  • 1 tbsp. thyme leaves to sprinkle on top (optional—makes it herby)

Ingredients for Honey-Roasted Tri-Color Carrots

  • 2 lb. peeled whole carrots (Try to find tri-color yellow, purple, and orange, with tops on)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • kosher salt


Serves 6-8

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees and cover a rimmed sheet pan with foil (it must be rimmed to catch the fat, and you’ll thank me later for the foil). Combine the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over very low heat.

2. In a small bowl, combine Panko and buttermilk and set aside.

3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft and translucent (do not brown). Turn heat off and add parsley, basil, thyme, tomato paste, sun dried tomatoes, and stir. Set aside to cool.

4. In a large bowl, mix beef, pork, cheese, the onion mixture, and the Panko mixture with your hands until just combined. Form the mixture into a loaf shape in the middle of the pan with all four sides exposed. Brush sides and top of loaf with the glaze and bake for about 50 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve.

5. To cut the richness of the meatloaf (even though it is quite herby and fluffy), I like to serve it with pureed cauliflower (a terrific crowd-pleasing low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes) and whole honey-roasted tri-color carrots. Its’ a perfect winter or early spring meal—seasonal and delicious!

Cauliflower Puree
Serves 6

1. Steam florets until tender. (You can also steam them in the microwave with a few tablespoons of water for about 5 minutes.) Place cauliflower in a food processor (preferred) or a blender, with butter, cream, salt, and cheese (if using).

Be sparing with the salt, especially if you’re using cheese—you can always add more. Serve hot with thyme leaves sprinkled on top. This dish heats wonderfully in the microwave.

Honey-Roasted Tri-Color Carrots
Serves 6

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees (if you’re cooking these at the same time as the meatloaf, they can go at 425, no problem). Place carrots whole on a foil-lined baking sheet and toss with oil, honey, and salt.

Depending on the size of the carrots, they may take 20-30 minutes to become tender. They will look gorgeous and people will think you’re a genius.

Get more information about this episode >>