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Hey, Ma! The Meatloaf! 7 Unconventional Recipes Even Your Mom Will Love

Vegan meatloaf, French onion stuffed meatloaf, and Philly cheesesteak meatloaf.
Nora Cooks/Cupcakes and Kale Chips/Dinner Then Dessert

Just like Chazz in Wedding Crashers, your mom’s meatloaf is probably one of your fam’s most beloved meals, and we know better than to mess with her cooking! If you’re feeling a bit daring, though, try one of these delicious takes on this classic American dinner. Who knows? You might even impress your mom.

Comprised of ground meat, onions, eggs, breadcrumbs, and delicious seasonings, meatloaf is the quintessential comfort food. Like any dish, however, there are lots of variations you can make to find the perfect meatloaf for you.

Glazed Chipotle Meatloaf

Sliced glazed chipotle meatloaf on a platter.
The Chunky Chef

We can’t say it any better than Amanda over at The Chunky Chef: “This is not your average meatloaf recipe.” That’s exactly why it made our list. Every mouthwatering bite is packed with smoky, savory, spiciness from the homemade chipotle sauce.

You combine ketchup, adobo sauce, and brown sugar to create the perfect, sweet-to-spicy ratio. Did we mention you’ll need some Pepper Jack cheese to mix in this meatloaf, as well? If there’s one variation on a classic you absolutely have to try, it’s this one!

Philly Cheesesteak Meatloaf

Philly cheese steak meatloaf that has just been sliced, with melted cheese.
Dinner Then Dessert

The author of this recipe combined two American classics to create the mouthwatering mash-up that is Philly Cheesesteak Meatloaf. To pull this off, you mix the ground beef with onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms, along with a few other essentials.

When you cut into this loaf of deliciousness, the stuffed provolone stretches into the perfect cheese pull. If you somehow have leftovers, enjoy a slice on a freshly toasted hoagie for lunch the next day. Don’t forget the fries!

Taco Meatloaf

A slice of taco meatloaf on a plate next to some shredded lettuce topped with sour cream.
Just a Pinch

It’s time to take the ordinary to extraordinary! Taco meatloaf is bursting with all the Mexican-inspired flavors you love most. Instead of breadcrumbs, you use crushed tortilla chips to lighten the texture of this meatloaf. Clever, no?

The sour cream and salsa also add a nice touch to this loaf, while also providing more savory flavors. Taco meatloaf pairs perfectly with tortilla chips, a side salad, or some Mexican rice and beans.

Cheeseburger Meatloaf

Sliced pieces of cheeseburger meatloaf topped with melted cheddar cheese.
Food Network

Where are all the cheeseburger lovers? We’ve got something special for you. This meatloaf offers quite the spin, combining classic burger condiments, like ketchup, mustard, and chopped onions, with the ground beef.

Rather than using breadcrumbs, Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman) uses cubed Texas toast, which adds more bulk. Serve up this tasty meal with pickle chips and fries.

Vegan Meatloaf

Sliced vegan meatloaf.
Nora Cooks

Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy meatloaf. Shocked? Well, don’t be! The author of this recipe also claims this recipe is incredibly hearty and not mushy, like many other vegan versions of this dish.

This simple-to-make meatloaf is also chock-full of healthy ingredients, including chickpeas, carrots, celery, and ground flaxseed. Enjoy this not-so-meaty loaf with some mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy.

French Onion Stuffed Meatloaf

French Onion Meatloaf served on a white rectangular serving dish.
Cupcakes and Kale Chips

We found a mash-up you definitely don’t want to miss out on. Caramelized onions and mozzarella cheese create a mouthwatering, flawless combo in this meatloaf with a flair of French onion soup.

All the traditional ingredients are also included, which maintains the classic comfort this dish supplies. You’ll learn to use wax paper and press the meat mixture down before layering on the cheese and caramelized onions. Then, you just roll it up (like a jelly roll) and bake to perfection.

Li’l Cheddar Meatloaves

A Li'l Cheddar Meatloaf on a plate with mashed potatoes and peas.
Taste of Home

Cheese is one of those ingredients that just makes you smile (unless, of course, you’re lactose intolerant, in which case, we apologize that you have to miss out!). These mini meatloaves are packed with cheddary goodness.

They’re also ready much faster than the full, more substantial version, and are just bursting with both sweet and savory flavors. While the ingredients and method are both pretty standard, the adorable little loaves you end up with are super eye-catching.

Be sure to make a double batch, too—the leftovers freeze so well, you’ll have a quick lunch or dinner for the rest of the week.


If tampering with mom’s meatloaf recipe sounds like sacrilege to you, we get it. After all, this all-American comfort food is a classic for a reason. However, if you want to discover some new meaty sensations, you’ll love these delicious and unexpected variations.

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »
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