Why You Should Never Add Raw Vegetables To Meatloaf

For many of us, meatloaf is up there with other nostalgia-inducing comfort foods that remind us of simpler times, from macaroni and cheese to chicken fingers to mom or dad's lasagna. This relatively straightforward mix of ground meat, herbs and spices, and other flavorings, such as onion and garlic, looks and sounds humble — but comes together as a juicy, and quite tempting loaf that makes for a widely appealing centerpiece of a homey and satisfying meal — at least in the best of cases.

Tender and succulent meatloaf is, of course, the goal, but homemade meatloaf can be prone to a variety of mistakes. From using meat that's too lean, to seasoning the meat inadequately or simply not giving it a moment to rest after baking can all lead to a bad-tasting meatloaf dinner experience (via The Kitchn). One other slip-up home cooks commit? Adding raw vegetables into their meatloaf mix.

Raw veggies bring too much crunch to the party

If you've ever made meatloaf, then you know that its standard base typically includes ground beef or pork (sometimes a mix of both), herbs, spices, onion, garlic, eggs, and soaked bread that'll hold everything together (via The Kitchn). In addition, many cooks also like to add chopped or grated vegetables to their meatloaf, which provides a boost of nutrition, as well as flavor.

Now if you want to pack your meatloaf with additional veggies, including carrots or celery, be sure to give them a quick sauté before incorporating them into your meat mix, advises Allrecipes. Although the loaf will bake for a bit more than an hour, it's not sufficient to cook the vegetables mixed with the meat. Besides, they will remain a bit too crunchy by the end of the cooking time, lending an off texture to a meatloaf that should be soft and succulent. Additionally, vegetables should be cooked first in order to unlock their flavors and sweetness. Experts at The Kitchn add that the juice from the veggies will bring an additional hit of moisture to the meatloaf, which is always welcome.