Craving some comfort food? This savory meatloaf and creamy, cheesy mashed potatoes recipe is calling your name! With its herb-infused meatloaf full of flavor and fluffy mashed potatoes loaded with cheddar, every bite of this dish wraps you in a warm, cozy hug.
As a busy mom of three ravenous kids, I’ve perfected this recipe over years of making it for my family. We can’t get enough of the tasty meatloaf made with fresh onions, peas, and parsley baked right in. And the cloud-like mashed potatoes blended with rich cream and butter are the ultimate comfort food side. Now I can’t wait to share all my tips and tricks with you!
First, let’s talk about how to make the meatloaf. Choosing a nice 80/20 ground beef gives you that perfect balance of fat and lean meat for a super moist, robustly flavored loaf. Be sure your onion is diced up small so it cooks through fully when baked. And it’s important to let that cooked onion cool off a bit before mixing it into the raw ground meat and egg or else it could prematurely cook the egg.
In goes the peas, garlic, breadcrumbs and seasonings next to provide delicious texture and taste in each bite. Gently mix everything together without over-working it to keep that meatloaf nice and tender. Shape your mixture into a nice loaf form in a baking dish, brush the top with some barbecue sauce if you want extra flavor, and pop it in the oven.
While the meatloaf works its magic in the oven, we can move on to the best mashed potatoes you’ve ever tasted. Chop those russet potatoes nice and small so they cook up fluffy and smooth. Simmer them until fork tender then drain thoroughly before mashing. Here’s my secret tip – mash them immediately while still steaming hot rather than letting them cool. This allows them to soak up alllll that creamy butter and rich cream I add in. I use my big wooden spoon to beat the potatoes vigorously into light, cloud-like mounds. Finally, stir in the cheddar until melted throughout for cheesy bliss.
Once that meatloaf has baked to perfection all moist and full of flavor within, let it rest a few minutes before slicing up thick, juicy pieces. Serve alongside a big scoop of those dreamy mashed potatoes and get ready for joyful faces around your dinner table! Drizzle everything with a bit of barbecue sauce for the full experience.
I’d love to hear if you give this recipe a try! What tweaks did you make? Any special tips to share? Let’s keep exchanging ideas to spread the meatloaf and mashed potato love. Now who’s ready for seconds?!
What type of ground beef is best for a flavorful, moist meatloaf?
Choosing an 80/20 ground beef with higher fat content will give you the most flavorful, tender meatloaf.
Why do you let the cooked onion cool before adding it to the raw ground meat?
Letting the cooked onion cool prevent it from prematurely cooking the raw egg when mixed together in the meatloaf mixture.
What’s the benefit of gently mixing the meatloaf rather than over-mixing?
Gentle mixing prevents overworking the proteins in the meat, which would make the baked meatloaf tough rather than tender.
How do you get fluffy, smooth mashed potatoes?
Chopping the potatoes small before boiling and then mashing them immediately while still hot allows them to soak up more cream and butter, making them lighter and creamier.
Why add the cheese after mashing the potatoes?
Stirring in the cheese after initial mashing allows it to melt fully without clumping for creamy, cheesy flavor in every bite.
What’s the purpose of letting the meatloaf rest before slicing to serve?
Resting allows the juices to redistribute through the meatloaf after removing it from to oven for moister, more evenly cooked slices.
- For Meatloaf:
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup frozen peas
- 1⁄2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 large egg
- 1⁄2 cup tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1⁄4 cup barbecue sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
- For Mashed Potatoes:
- 1 1⁄2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1⁄2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven Preheat your oven to 375°F. This hot temperature will ensure the meatloaf bakes up evenly browned and cooked through.
- Sauté the aromatics In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the chopped onion and sauté for 5-7 minutes, stirring often, until the pieces are transparent, softened, and browned at the edges. They will add sweet, aromatic flavor. Remove from heat and set aside to cool so the onions don’t prematurely cook the raw egg when mixed in.
- Prepare the meatloaf mixture
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooled sautéed onions, 1⁄2 cup frozen peas, 1⁄2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 1 pound 80/20 ground beef, 1 large whole egg, 1⁄2 cup tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, 1⁄4 cup sweet tangy barbecue sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper. Gently mix with clean hands without over-working the meat proteins so they stay tender when baked.
- Shape into a loaf Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or lightly grease the pan. Transfer the meatloaf mixture to the prepared pan. Smooth the top evenly and shape into a nice rectangular form fitting the pan.
- Bake the meatloaf
- Place the loaf pan on the center oven rack. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the top is browned and inner temperature reaches 165°F on a meat thermometer for safe doneness.
- Let meatloaf rest
- Remove baked meatloaf and place on a wire rack. Let stand 5 minutes allowing juices to absorb for the most flavorful slices.
- Cook the potatoes Peel 11⁄2 pounds russet potatoes. Chop into 1-inch cubes for quick cooking. Place cubes into a large pot and add water to cover by 2 inches. Stir in 2 teaspoons salt. Cover and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and gently simmer 15-20 minutes until fork tender.
- Prepare dreamy mashed potatoes
- Drain the cooked potatoes well and return to the hot pot. Mash immediately using a potato masher or large fork to maximize creaminess. Add 4 tablespoons butter and 1⁄2 cup cold heavy whipping cream. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until light, smooth, and fluffy.
- Stir in cheese
- Add 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese to hot potatoes. Continue mixing until fully melted and blended. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.
- Serve and enjoy! Scoop the smooth, creamy cheesy mashed potatoes alongside your flavorful meatloaf slices. Drizzle with extra barbecue sauce if desired. Enjoy with loved ones!
- Choose 80/20 ground beef for the moistest, most flavorful meatloaf.
- Mix in the onion when it has cooled so it doesn’t cook the egg prematurely.
- Resist overmixing the meatloaf mixture so it stays tender after baking.
- Bake in the center of the oven for even cooking on all sides.
- Boil the potatoes whole if you have time, for creamier mashes.
- Mash potatoes while hot so they absorb more cream and butter.