Savory and Juicy Meatloaf with Ritz Crackers and Cheddar Cheese: A Perfect Comfort Food Delight

When it comes to comfort food, few dishes can rival the satisfaction and warmth that a well-prepared meatloaf brings to the table. In this culinary journey, we explore a recipe that not only promises savory and juicy perfection but also introduces a delightful twist with the inclusion of Ritz crackers and sharp cheddar cheese. This Savory and Juicy Meatloaf recipe is designed to elevate the classic comfort dish, making it a standout centerpiece for any family dinner or gathering. Let’s dive into the ingredients, preparation steps, and the secrets behind achieving the perfect balance of flavors and textures.

Ingredients: Gathering the right ingredients is the first step towards creating a delectable meatloaf. For this recipe, you will need:

  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef (80/20 for optimal juiciness)
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup bell pepper, finely diced (optional)
  • 1½ sleeves of Ritz crackers (48 crackers total), finely crushed
  • 4 oz. shredded cheese – sharp cheddar or Colby
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper

The Glaze:

  • ½ to ¾ cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. mustard


  1. Preheat and Glaze: Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F. While the oven is warming up, prepare the glaze by combining ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard in a small bowl. Set this flavorful mixture aside for later use.
  2. Mix the Meatloaf Base: In a large bowl, combine eggs, crushed Ritz crackers, shredded cheese, milk, finely diced onion, bell pepper (if using), salt, and black pepper. Mix the ingredients well, ensuring a homogeneous blend of flavors and textures.
  3. Incorporate the Ground Beef: Gently fold in the lean ground beef into the mixture, taking care not to overmix. Overmixing can lead to a dense meatloaf, so aim for a thorough but gentle combination.
  4. Form the Loaf: Shape the meat mixture into a loaf and place it inside a baking pan or on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. This ensures easy cleanup and prevents the meatloaf from sticking.
  5. Bake and Glaze: Bake the meatloaf in the preheated oven for the initial 30 minutes. After this time, remove it from the oven and generously spread the prepared glaze over the top, adding a sweet and tangy layer of flavor.
  6. Final Bake: Return the glazed meatloaf to the oven and bake for an additional 30 to 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F. This ensures the meat is fully cooked while maintaining its juiciness.
  7. Rest and Serve: Once done, allow the meatloaf to rest for 15 minutes before slicing. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a moist and flavorful outcome. Slice and serve this savory delight to your eagerly awaiting guests.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the Savory and Juicy Meatloaf with Ritz Crackers and Cheddar Cheese is a testament to the artistry of comfort food. The combination of lean ground beef, Ritz crackers, and sharp cheddar cheese creates a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. The glaze adds a final touch, balancing sweetness and tanginess. This recipe not only provides a satisfying meal but also serves as a reminder that sometimes, a classic comfort dish can be elevated with a few simple yet ingenious additions. Whether it’s a family dinner or a special gathering, this meatloaf is sure to become a cherished favorite, bringing people together over the joy of good food.

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