Meatloaf with Ritz crackers is sure to become your family's next favorite comfort meal. Made with very few ingredients and prep this recipe comes together easily, perfect for busy nights.
Homemade meatloaf is a classic comfort food that's easy to prepare and always satisfies. If you've never had meatloaf made with Ritz crackers before, know that it's pretty incredible.
The flakey butter crackers work well as a binder to produce a fluffy textured meatloaf, but the little bits of salt from the crackers also enhance the flavors in every bite.
Many variations of meatloaf exist, but with its rich flavors and endless variations, this easy meatloaf recipe with Ritz crackers is a beloved classic that's sure to become a favorite in your kitchen.
Inspired by my Simple Meatloaf Recipe with Oatmeal, this recipe is downright delicious. We love to serve it up with some Cast Iron Green Beans and 5 Ingredient Mac and Cheese, although I know a lot of people opt for Creamy Garlic Red Skin Mashed Potatoes when they eat meatloaf.
🍯 Why This Recipe Works
- This meatloaf never lasts long! This is one meatloaf recipe you're going to need to keep leftovers aside for if you enjoy meatloaf sandwiches the next day, as we do.
- There's plenty for everyone. This recipe makes enough to feed a family, so serve it alongside your favorite side dishes and dig in!
- Two ways to prepare it. You can use a bread loaf pan or a square baking dish (a square pan makes "extra" servings, perfect for smaller portions and more people).
Ground beef- You'll want to use 80/20 ground beef for this recipe because it's fatty enough that the loaf won't dry out as it cooks, but it's also not so fatty that it falls apart or shrivels down to practically nothing.
Eggs- The rule of thumb is one egg per pound of meat, so you'll need a few eggs to help bind the meatloaf mixture together.
Worcestershire sauce- This will add a great depth of flavor.
Ritz crackers- You can use name-brand or off brand crackers, it really doesn't matter which. These crackers will be the "bread" in the mixture that helps to bind everything together.
For specific ingredients and measurements, please see the recipe card below.
Ground turkey. You can use ground turkey instead of ground beef for a healthier meatloaf alternative. Note that the meatloaf should then be cooked to 165 degrees F and that overcooking it will result in a dry loaf as turkey has a lot less fat in it.
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8x8 baking dish or loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
Step 2: In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the ketchup.
Step 3: Mix well to distribute ingredients evenly.
Step 4: Pour the meatloaf mixture into your prepared pan.
Step 5: Bake for 45 minutes if using a square 8x8 pan. Bake for 1 hour if using a 9x5 loaf pan.
Step 6: Remove from oven and drain grease from pan.
Step 7: Spread ketchup over the top of the meatloaf so that it's evenly covered.
Step 8: Return the pan to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes (if using a square pan) or 30 minutes (if using a loaf pan). Bake until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F on an instant read thermometer.
Step 9: Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
🍴 Recipe Tips
When making your Ritz meatloaf, you can crumble up your crackers as finely as you want or leave them chunked. For faster crumbling, you can run them through a food processor, but I find that crumbling them with my hands is easy enough and doesn't produce extra dishes to wash.
Which Baking Dish to Use
You can cook your meatloaf in an 8x8 baking dish like I do or in a bread loaf pan. Both work great but will require a different cooking time as one is flatter and cooks more quickly than the other.
I grew up in a family of 5, and my mom always made meatloaf in a square pan or a 9x13, so that there was plenty for us all to share.
Your meatloaf will be safe to consume when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. I recommend checking on the meat's temperature when you pull it from the oven to add the ketchup topping as well as after it has finished cooking.
🐄Scaling the Recipe
If desired, you can double this recipe and cook it in a 9x13 baking dish. You will bake it according to the square baking dish directions in the recipe card.
⏲️Make Ahead Instructions
You can make this meatloaf and keep it covered in the fridge until it is ready to bake. If using a glass pan, make sure to let it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes before baking, so you don't shock the cold glass and cause your pan to shatter.
You reheat multiple slices of meatloaf in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F for 5-10 minutes.
Alternatively, you can place a few slices on a microwave safe plate and heat for about 2 minutes.
You can keep leftover meatloaf in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Freeze uneaten meatloaf for up to 3 months. Thaw and cook or reheat as needed.
If you want to cook the meatloaf at 375 degrees F, the baking time will be lessened. Check your meatloaf after 40 minutes and if it's reached 160 degrees F, then drain grease, top with ketchup, and return to oven for 5 minutes before serving.
If your meatloaf falls apart when sliced or being removed from the pan, the main reasons for it to have done so would be that you didn't press the meatloaf together well enough when adding it to the pan, or you didn't use the proper amount of binding agents in the recipe.
There's no reason to cover your meatloaf while it bakes. You want the top to create a nice caramelized crust, as this helps to seal in the juices for a softer loaf. If the top of your meatloaf is getting too dark you can gently lay a piece of foil over the top, but do not crimp or tuck the edges.
❤️ More Delicious Main Dish Recipes
If you tried this Meatloaf with Ritz Crackers, please leave a ⭐️ star rating and share your feedback in the 📝 comments section below. I would truly appreciate it!
Meatloaf with Ritz Crackers
- 3 pounds 80/20 Ground beef ($10.11)
- 3 large Eggs ($0.24)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce ($0.10)
- 2 teaspoons Garlic, minced ($0.10)
- ½ teaspoon Salt ($0.05)
- ½ teaspoon Ground black pepper ($0.05)
- ½ teaspoon Onion powder ($0.05)
- 1 ½ cups Ritz cracker crumbs (one sleeve) ($0.59)
- ¾ cup Ketchup ($0.39)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside. **See note below for bread pan baking instructions
- In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients, except for the ketchup. Mix well to evenly distribute ingredients.
- Pour the meatloaf mixture into your prepared square pan and bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove from oven and drain grease from pan.
- Spread ketchup over the top of the meatloaf so that it's evenly covered.
- Return pan to oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F on an instant read thermometer.
- Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Bake in a 9x5 bread pan at 350°F for 1 hour, then drain grease, top with ketchup, and bake an additional 30 minutes until internal temperature is 160°F.
- You can crumble Ritz crackers by hand or in a food processor. Both work well.
- Meatloaf can be cooked in an 8x8 baking dish or a bread loaf pan, but cooking times will vary.
- Make the meatloaf in advance and store it in the fridge, allowing it to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking if using a glass pan.