Carol Burnett’s Meatloaf Is Pure Comfort

The comedian's recipe is as classic as it gets.

<p>Dotdash Meredith / Janet Maples</p>

Dotdash Meredith / Janet Maples

Meatloaf can be a surprisingly polarizing dinner. I’ve found people either love it or hate it. I’m fully in the love-it camp, so I was excited to try a recipe that came to my attention recently: Carol Burnett’s meatloaf.

Like Burnett's favorite cocktail, her meatloaf is pretty straightforward and classic, something you would see in a magazine or a cookbook at the time (In fact, it was published in Pearl Bailey's cookbook "Pearl's Kitchen"). But most recipe instructions don’t say to “bake it and then go out to eat.” Though she might have been onto something.

How To Make Carol Burnett’s Meatloaf

Burnett first shared this recipe in an episode of "The Carol Burnett Show," when asked by an audience member “If you cook, what’s your favorite recipe?” In the middle of her sketch comedy show, Burnett responded with, “I make a great meatloaf.”

Her meatloaf is reminiscent of something you’d see in a small-town church cookbook. The ingredient list is simple, containing ground beef (or “ground round” as Burnett called it), eggs, a bit of milk, canned tomato sauce, onions, bread crumbs, garlic salt, and onion salt. A few sources I found also list a bit of green bell pepper, so I added that as well.

It’s a simple meatloaf that certainly won’t win any beauty contests, but if you love a classic meatloaf, you'll want to bake up Burnett's version—with a few tweaks.

My Tips for Making Carol Burnett’s Meatloaf Recipe

Burnett gave a rough outline of instructions on the show, saying to bake it at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes and “then you go out to eat.” And while there are days when dining out makes sense, I do think you can make some changes so that the meatloaf will keep you in for the night.

The basic recipe below comes together crazy fast, but if you have a few extra minutes, you can amp up the flavor into something a bit more exceptional with these tips. Then, enjoy with roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or other favorite dinner sides.

  • Bump up the spices. For starters, Burnett's original meatloaf lacks flavor. I recommend doubling up on the spices—maybe even use garlic powder and onion powder instead of garlic salt and onion salt, then go much heavier on the added salt. This way you get more onion and garlic flavor.

  • Use additional aromatics. I also recommend adding more onion and bell pepper and maybe a bit of fresh garlic. To account for the extra moisture from the veggies, increase the breadcrumbs to 3/4 cup.

  • Add more depth to the topping. Finally, add some ketchup, brown sugar, and a dash of Worcestershire to the tomato sauce that gets poured over the meatloaf prior to baking. This will give the meatloaf that sweet-tangy topping we love. Without those additions, the meatloaf may be easy to make, but it lacks intrigue.

Carol Burnett’s Meatloaf Recipe

<p>Lauren Grant</p>

Lauren Grant

Makes 8 servings


  • 2 eggs

  • 2 tablespoons milk

  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

  • 1/4 cup chopped onions

  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon onion salt

  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt

  • 2 pounds 85/15 ground round

  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x5-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk.

  3. Pour in half of the can of tomato sauce and whisk to combine.

  4. Add the onions, green bell peppers, salt, ground black pepper, onion salt, and garlic salt. Add the ground beef and bread crumbs and “squish” (per Carol) thoroughly with clean hands.

  5. Transfer the beef mixture to the prepared pan and pour the remaining tomato sauce over top. Transfer to the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  6. Allow the meatloaf to rest in the pan for 20 minutes or so until cool enough to remove from the pan and slice.

Adapted from "Pearl's Kitchen" and "The Carol Burnett Show"

Read the original article on All Recipes.