Cracker Barrel Meatloaf Recipe


If you miss the classic Cracker Barrel flavors in your meatloaf, then here is a chance to enjoy the juicy and tangy flavors at home using this copycat Cracker Barrel meatloaf recipe. Whether you serve it at the family dinner or on the kitchen table, this meatloaf will garner all the praises for you due to its mouth watering combination of spices and the saucy topping. Let’s have a look over all the ingredients and how to put them together to get the most of them.

copycat recipe for cracker barrel's meatloaf
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Cracker barrel-meatloaf has to be one of my favorite dinners of all time. Awesome flavors the minute it hits your senses, it will make anyone’s day a delight. Plus anything with cheese and cracker barrel wins me over.

How to Make Cracker Barrel Meatloaf

To make a good meatloaf, it is very important to bake it at a perfect temperature, and to do so; you must preheat your oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is preheating, you can work on the meatloaf mixture.

Place a large bowl over a working surface and add 3 eggs, 1 ½ bag of crushed crackers, 1 small chopped onion, ½ cup milk, ¼ tsp black pepper, 1 tsp salt, 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese and ½ cup bell pepper finely diced then mix well it all well. Yes, you’re finally on your way to learn how to make meatloaf with crackers. It’s such an awesome addition to this authentic dish.

Once the ingredients are well incorporated, then stir in 2 pounds of the ground beef and mix it well. Use beef in 80/20 ratio, meaning there has to be 80 percent beef mixed with 20 percent of its fats. The leaner the beef is, the drier the meatloaf turns out to be. The use of fats makes the meatloaf juicier and moist.

Take a baking pan or a loaf pan and place it with parchment paper or foil sheer then spread the beef in the pan evenly. Bake this for 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit in the preheated oven.

Meanwhile, whisk ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard in a small bowl to prepare the sauce. Spread this sauce over the dish and bake again for 30 minutes. Slice it to serve.

Cracker Barrel Meatloaf Recipe

4 from 783 votes
Recipe by Laura Ritterman Course: DinnerCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


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This cracker barrel meatloaf recipe is a unique dish that will be a perfect compliment to any occasion. If you’re looking to bring a smile to friends and family then take 15 out of your day to make this fresh from scratch and impress your loved ones.


  • 2 pounds 2 of lean ground beef

  • 1 small 1 diced or chopped onion

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 of cleanly diced bell pepper (optional)

  • 1 ½ bag 1 ½ of crushed Ritz crackers

  • 4 oz. 4 shredded sharp cheddar cheese

  • 3 medium 3 eggs

  • 1/2 a cup 1/2 of milk

  • 1 tablespoon 1 of salt

  • 1/4 tablespoon 1/4 of black pepper

  • For the topping:
  • 1/2 cup 1/2 ketchup

  • 2 tbsp 2 brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 mustard


  • Prepare and set your oven at 350 degrees F.
  • Mix brown sugar, mustard, and ketchup in a small bowl and keep it aside.
  • Now beat eggs in a large bowl and add cheese, crackers, milk, salt, onion, bell pepper, and black pepper then mix well.
  • Stir in the ground and mix just enough to combine the beef mixture.
  • Spread the beef mixture in a loaf pan, lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake the loaf for 30 minutes, approximately 350 degrees F.
  • Spread the ketchup topping over the meatloaf and bake it for another 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Allow it to cool, then slice.
  • Serve fresh.


  • Shredded cheese is a great addition to this dish.

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Tips & Tricks

Why is my Meatloaf Dry?

If you remove all the fats from the meat and make it 100 percent lean beef, then its meatloaf will definitely turn out to be dry. To get the softness and necessary moisture in the meat, keep it 80 percent lean meat and 20 percent of the fats.

Don’t mix the meat too much

Over mixing is another big mistake that the majority of the people make while making the meatloaf batter. It is believed that the more it is mixed, the better it will turn out to be. But it is far from reality. The ingredients should mixed just until they are evenly incorporated. Over mixing can remove much-needed air particles from the mince, and when such a meatloaf is baked, it gets dry and hard.Don’t overcook the meatloaf or put the temperature up too high.

Like I have said, setting the right temperature is the key to a good meatloaf. Baking it at high temperature like 400 degrees F will only remove its moisture and render it dry. Give it some time to cook in its own juices at medium temperatures ranging from 325 to 350 degrees F.

Chopped veggies are critical.

The vegetables used in the meatloaf play a very vital role in balancing its taste, texture, and aroma. With the use of onion and green peppers, this meatloaf might not even taste the same. These vegetables also give this meatloaf a juicy and crunchy texture. I would also recommend the use of carrots and celery in the meatloaf to add more texture to the meatloaf.

Give the meatloaf space in the pan.

There is this common that everyone makes, and I also used to make the same mistake. It is to fill the loaf pan from one edge to another with the meat mixture. This takes the necessary  space away from the meatloaf, and it turns it into a ‘meat brick’

The best way to enjoy a nice crusty and caramelize meatloaf top is to provide it enough space in the pan to breath during baking. Use a large baking pan or a sheet for baking it.

What To Serve With It?

There are several options if you’re looking for what to serve with meatloaf, including:

  1. Creamy mashed potatoes
  2. Mac and cheese
  3. Fried okra
  4. Roasted carrots
  5. Sauteed Mixed Vegetables

Or you can use a combination of side dishes to complete your meatloaf platter. Like I usually serve it with mashed potatoes and sauteed vegetables.

Can You Freeze It?

Sure the meatloaf can also be stored in the freezer. Wrap the unbaked meat in a foil sheet and then seal it in a Ziploc bag. Put this bag in the freezer, and in this way, you can even store it for up to 3 months.


There you have it, that is how quick and easy it is to bake a super moist, juicy Cracker barrel meatloaf with ritz crackers right in your kitchen. Serve this meatloaf with a fresh piece of bread or toasts for best taste. You can also use the meatloaf slice to stuff your burgers or sandwiches. Try this meatloaf and do provide us with your valuable feedback. For more copycat recipes, be sure to check out the other restaurant recipes on our site.



  1. I always mix together brown sugar and ketchup to top my meatloaf too.

  2. Saundra McKenzie

    Trying this today. Looks so yummy.

  3. Darla Peduzzi

    I have never had Cracker Barrel meatloaf, but it sounds delicious.

  4. yum

  5. Lori Padgett

    This looks so good! It’s going on my list of recipes to try. 🙂


    love meatloaf

  7. Marsheila Kerner

    I will try this one !! We love meatloaf !!

  8. This recipe explains everything I’ve done wrong in the past. Giving it a try!

  9. debra dubois

    Thanks sounds amazing i will be making this yummy

  10. Sandy Klocinski

    Brown sugar and ketchup on meatloaf is awesome! This looks delicious.

  11. Can’t wait to try! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  12. Sounds delicious!I love meatloaf!

  13. Looks tasty. Can I use ritz crackers in this meatloaf?

  14. This sounds like an interesting twist on “traditional” meatloaf. I’ll have to give it a try.

  15. love meatloaf w/lot’s of ketchup!

  16. Vickie williams

    My father in law made this for us one night and it was so good. Thought I would try and make it and yes it was still so good when I made it. Love this recipe.

  17. Sandra Watts

    That looks so good.

  18. This looks juicy and delicious. I love the idea of adding shredded cheese to it.

  19. Donna L Holder

    awesome stuff

  20. Arlene Mccurdy

    Am trying it tomorrow

  21. Mary Meadows

    Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  22. My hubby would love this, he loves everything that includes meat 😛 I’m also trying to switch to a healthier lifestyle and started to make healthy recipes like yours.

  23. This looks tasty

  24. I love the suggestion of adding carrot and celery.

  25. Just like my mothers recipe other than the Ritz crackers. I bet this makes it special.

  26. Looks yummy!😋 Can’t wait to try it out for my Family!:) I give this 4 stars for looking and sounding soo yummy!!

  27. Chris Legault

    Hi there, love this recipe but it doesn’t tell me how much mustard is needed to make the sauce

  28. This is my go to recipe! My grandkids absolutely love this and request it every time they stay with me. I prefer to bake on a cookie sheet (lined with foil) instead of a loaf pan. The meat doesn’t steam in the juices and gives it a nice crust.

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