Burger and Meatloaf: 5 Ideas for Changing it Up

There is no end to the ways you can vary a basic burger or meatloaf recipe.

In nice weather, make these into burgers on the grill. If the weather is less cooperative, you’ve got a meatloaf ready to pop in the oven or meatballs ready to toss into pasta or put into subs.

1. Pick a ground meat or mix and match. Two pounds will serve 6 people.

  • Turkey or chicken (don’t go with just breast; it’ll be too lean and dry)
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Sausage (nice to mix in ½ pound for the Italian or Greek versions)
  • Salmon (nice in Greek or Asian)

2. For each recipe, you’ll also need 2 eggs, 1 onion and 2 garlic cloves chopped and sautéed, optional: ½ cup chopped celery and ½ cup chopped carrot sautéed, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3. Choose your cuisine and mix in the following:

Asian: 1 cup crushed rice crackers, 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce, ¼ cup minced water chestnuts and ½ cup chicken broth

Italian: 1 cup breadcrumbs, ½ cup Parmesan grated cheese, ½ cup tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, ½ cup chopped parsley

BBQ: 1 cup crushed cornflakes, 1 tablespoon BBQ rub seasoning, ½ cup BBQ sauce, ½ cup grated cheddar cheese

Greek: 1 cup breadcrumbs, ½ cup chopped, cooked spinach, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, ½ cup feta cheese, ½ cup milk

Thanksgiving: 1 cup stuffing mix (turn into crumbs in food processor), ½ cup dried chopped cranberries, include the optional celery and carrots, ½ cup chicken broth

4. For meatloaf, place in a loaf pan and top:

Asian: Teriyaki sauce

Italian: Tomato sauce

BBQ: Bacon strips and BBQ sauce

Greek: Tomato sauce

Thanksgiving: Cranberry sauce (thinned with enough water to make it spreadable)

For burgers or meatballs, just shape and grill or brown.

5. Bake meatloaf at 325° for at least 1 hour and check the internal temperature. It should be 160°. Let the meatloaf rest 10 minutes before slicing (or else you’ll have meatloaf crumbles!)

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