“Dinner by the Dashboard Light” Meatloaf

Meatloaf topped with ketchup and chopped parsley. Sitting on parchment paper and wooden cutting board.

This is a southern-style meatloaf that’ll satisfy even the most skeptical eaters. Great for meatloaf sammies the next day…if there’s any left!


  • 1 ½ Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • ½ cup each red and green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Field Golden Round crackers (or Ritz), finely crushed
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 lb ground beef, 15-20% fat content
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp each onion and garlic powders
  • 1 Tbsp each dried parsley and basil
  • 1 ½ Tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp salt, plus more to taste as needed
  • 1 ½ tsp pepper, plus more to taste as needed
  • ¾ cup each sweet chili sauce and ketchup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Cover rimmed sheet pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
  2. To a medium skillet over medium heat, add vegetable oil, onions and bell peppers and saute until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant – about ½ minute. Remove veggie mixture from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Add ground crackers to small bowl and pour in milk. Mix to combine and allow time to thicken (about five minutes).
  4. To another bowl, add ketchup, sweet chili sauce and brown sugar. Mix well and reserve for later as glaze.
  5. To a large bowl, add ground beef, soaked crackers, veggies, eggs, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, basil, thyme, garlic and onion powders, smoked paprika, and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Gently mix beef into other ingredients, until just combined, using your hand. Shape into a loaf and place on foil-covered sheet pan. Spread half the glaze on top of meatloaf and wrap foil around it like a belt to contain it while cooking.
  7. Bake ½ hour. Add remaining glaze to top of meatloaf and bake another ½ hour, or until a meat thermometer reads 165°.
  8. Remove from oven and let meatloaf rest 10 minutes before slicing. Sprinkle on chopped fresh parsley before serving.