I’ve been craving meatloaf for weeks, but I was a little reluctant to make a classic meatloaf because there are a million and two recipes for “classic meatloaf” out there, all of which claim to be the absolute best. 🙄 So, I decided to throw just a little spin on the classic and make this cheese studded Cheddar Cheeseburger Meatloaf. This meatloaf-cheeseburger hybrid is just as comforting as the kind mom used to make, but with a little more personality (hello, melty nuggets of cheddar!). And hey, if you prefer a regular old meatloaf, just leave the cheddar out and you’ll be gold.
Cheddar Cheeseburger Meatloaf
Pictured with Fluffy Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes and green beans.
What Kind of Beef Should I Use for Meatloaf?
I suggest using an 85/15 ground beef because the higher fat content ensures a more tender and moist meatloaf. You can use a lower fat ground beef, but your meatloaf will likely be a little more firm and less juicy.
Can I Use a Different Type of Cheese?
As I was eating this meatloaf my mind started wandering to all the different types of cheese that would work well here. Blue cheese, swiss, feta, gouda… OMG, the possibilities! Yeah, so I would definitely encourage experimentation with the cheese in this recipe. I will say though, that during the testing phase I tried both mild cheddar and sharp cheddar, and the sharp cheddar was far better than the mild.
Cheddar Cheeseburger Meatloaf
This super cheesy Cheddar Cheeseburger Meatloaf is studded with melty nuggets of cheddar, and topped with a tangy tomato-mustard sauce.
- 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs $0.06
- 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
- 3/4 tsp salt $0.03
- 1 large egg $0.27
- 1/2 cup minced onion $0.16
- 4 oz. sharp cheddar $0.85
- 1 lb. ground beef (85/15) $5.29
- 1/2 cup ketchup $0.41
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.04
- 1 tsp yellow mustard $0.03
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce $0.02
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a small bowl stir together the breadcrumbs, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and salt. In a separate small bowl, lightly whisk the egg.
Finely mince the onion. Roughly chop the cheddar cheese so that it is in pieces about the same size as a small bean.
Add the ground beef, seasoned breadcrumbs, whisked egg, minced onion, and chopped cheddar to a bowl. Use your hands to mix the ingredients together until incorporated.
Place the meat mixture in a casserole dish or on a rimmed baking sheet and shape into a rectangle, approximately 7" long, 4" wide, and 1.5" thick.
To make the glaze, stir together the ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Spread the glaze over the unbaked meatloaf.
Bake the meatloaf in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF. Remove the meatloaf from the oven, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then slice into eight pieces and serve.
Step by Step Photos
Begin by preheating the oven to 350ºF. Stir together 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and 3/4 tsp salt in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk one large egg.
Finely mince about 1/2 cup onion (this was 1/2 of a small onion for me), and roughly chop 4 oz. sharp cheddar, so the pieces are about the size of a small bean. This will create little nuggets of cheddar throughout the meatloaf. I found that if I used shredded cheddar the pieces were so small that they melted in and disappeared into the meat.
Place 1 pound ground beef (85/15) in a bowl and add the seasoned breadcrumbs, whisked egg, minced onion, and chopped cheddar. Mix these ingredients together with your hands until they are evenly combined.
Place the meat mixture in a casserole dish or on a rimmed baking sheet, then shape it into a rectangle about 7″ long, 4″ wide, and 1.5″ deep. I suggest using a casserole dish that has at least a couple inches of room around the meatloaf so they fat and excess juices have room to drain away. The meatloaf still stays moist, but can firm up enough to hold together in slices this way.
In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup ketchup, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp yellow mustard, and 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce. Spread the sauce over the cheeseburger meatloaf.
Bake the Cheddar Cheeseburger Meatloaf for 50-55 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160ºF. I highly suggest getting one of these digital thermometers to take the guessing game out of cooking meat. They’re very inexpensive and worth every penny. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)
Let the Cheddar Cheeseburger Meatloaf rest for 5-10 minutes after you take it out of the oven, then slice into eight pieces, and serve!