Ditch The Breadcrumbs When Making Meatloaf And Use A Salty Snack Instead

Timeless as it may be, classic meatloaf doesn't need to be made in the exact same way every single time. This dish is surprisingly adaptable, even down to seemingly staple ingredients, like breadcrumbs. Simply switch them out for a salty snack of your choice, and you'll be amazed by how exciting and different the dish becomes.

Commonly used as a binder, breadcrumbs help retain moisture and keep the meat soft and succulent on the inside. Crispy by nature, they also bulk up the dish's texture, striking a fun little contrast with the overall tenderness. As it turns out, salty snacks can achieve the same effect and then some. Whether we're talking crackers, chips, or other snack varieties, they'll still do a fine job of binding the meatloaf together and ensuring that it turns out perfectly moist. Of course, the delectable crispiness will still be present as well, giving each bite versatile texture nuances that make eating meatloaf much more fun.

That's not all! Since the snacks are often pre-seasoned, they infuse the meatloaf with a smidgen more flavors. For the most part, it's a salty edge that melds right into the dish's rich, savory taste. Depending on the specific snacks, you may also taste spicy, tangy, herby, smoky, or even sweet hints. Although not enough to completely alter the flavor profile, it's these little nuances that make it uniquely enjoyable.

Never worry about running out of choices

It goes without saying that you shouldn't directly throw the chips into the mix. Put them into a Ziploc bag and use a sturdy utensil (or your hands) to smash them into tiny pieces. Much like with breadcrumbs, it's recommended that you give them a quick milk soak for extra moisture before adding them to your meatloaf. Then, just mix crushed snacks with the dry ingredients before throwing everything into the meat. Keep in mind that the snacks are much saltier than breadcrumbs, so you may need to adjust the seasoning amounts or even forego the salt altogether when making this substitute.

Salty snacks come in countless varieties, so your choices are practically limitless. For most home cooks, however, potato chips usually do the trick. The classic type will give the meatloaf an adequate saltiness, but feel free to experiment with others, such as the plethora of Lay's flavors and more. If you like the snacks to be a bit more crumbly with a mild creamy taste, opt for crackers like Ritz or Saltines — meatloaf is one of our 17 creative uses for Saltines. For a Mexican rendition of this dish, choosing one of the most popular tortilla chip brands would be an excellent pick. Pair it with other Mexican staples such as taco seasoning, jalapeños, corn, and salsa for a flavor-bursting feast.