The Ingredients That Will Change Your Meatloaf Forever

Meatloaf, that comforting dish that stokes nostalgia in so many of us, is one of those dishes that seems to be so much more than the sum of its parts. Typically a straightforward mix of ground beef (sometimes featuring ground pork), eggs, soaked bread or bread crumbs, and flavorings such as chopped onion and dried herbs, meatloaf is molded into, well, a loaf, and undergoes some kind of alchemy in the oven, emerging fragrant and deliciously craveable. Always welcome alongside comfort food sides such as mashed potatoes or baked mac and cheese, it's a dish that seems to charm both children and adults in equal measure.

And when we need guidance on putting together a stellar meatloaf, we look no further than Tasting Table's recipe developer Christina Musgrave, whose Classic Meatloaf Recipe ticks all the boxes for us. This time-tested combination of ground beef, chopped onion and garlic, bread crumbs, and — of course — ketchup also features a couple of other ingredients that really make the meatloaf sing.

Fresh sage and rosemary bring bright herbaceousness to the meatloaf

When scanning Tasting Table recipe developer Christina Musgrave's recipe for Classic Meatloaf, you'll find many of the usual suspects among the list of ingredients. But look more closely, and you'll find two unique additions: chopped fresh sage and chopped fresh rosemary. The addition of these fresh herbs really make the finished dish stand out. "The sage and rosemary are the special ingredients in this recipe," Musgrave says. "They add an herby and savory flavor that elevates the meatloaf."

In addition to the woodsy, herbal qualities lent by those ingredients, the meatloaf overall is "packed with flavor and is really easy to prepare," Musgrave notes. To make it, all you need to do is sauté chopped onion with minced garlic, add the herbs and some salt and pepper, and cook that through. The flavorful mix is folded into the ground beef, along with bread crumbs, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, and eggs, then eased (not packed) into a loaf pan before being brushed with ketchup and baked. Just an hour later, the meatloaf emerges tender, juicy, and glossy from the ketchup, ready to serve with "mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, rice or orzo, and a side salad," per Musgrave's suggestions — with any leftovers hopefully destined for a sky-high meatloaf sandwich.