Here’s the final version of our second CHOW Recipe Lab excursion: meatloaf. There are as many variations of this classic American dish as there are home cooks so we welcomed all your personal touches and opinions on how to improve this one. This final version accomplished all our goals as it’s not too meaty, too sweet, or too dry; it is easy to make, and a tasty crowd-pleaser. If we may say so, it’s downright delicious —just like someone’s s Mom used to make!

If you’re coming to this late, check out this thread for details on how to participate in CHOW Recipe Lab and what it’s all about.

  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 2 hrs 10 mins
  • Active: 30 mins

Ingredients (17)

  • 3/4 cup packed fresh, plain, torn bread pieces, crusts removed
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste (3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped roasted red peppers
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 large eggs, whisked until smooth
  • 2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 1 pound ground turkey (preferably thigh meat)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup


  1. Heat oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Combine torn bread and milk in a small bowl; set aside. Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add celery, onion, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook until no longer raw tasting, about 4 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool slightly, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add soaked bread, half of the roasted red peppers, parsley, eggs, Worcestershire, salt, mustard, and pepper to the vegetables and stir together until evenly combined. Add pork and turkey and using clean hands mix until combined (don’t squeeze or overwork).
  3. Form meat into a loose loaf and transfer into a 9-by-5 1/4-by-2 3/4-inch metal loaf pan (don’t press down). Mix together the remaining roasted red pepper and ketchup and brush it over the top. Place meatloaf in oven and bake until internal temperature is 150°F, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and let sit about 15 to 20 minutes, before slicing.