Coco's Meatloaf Recipe -
Coco's Meatloaf Recipe
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Coco's Meatloaf
See how to make a comfort food classic, Nashville-style. See more
  • READY IN hrs

Coco's Meatloaf

Recipe by  

"Meet Steve Johnson, a Nashville native who grew up learning to cook from his mother, grandmother, and aunt. Along the way, he picked up a few lessons about living right, along with the secret to his mother's meatloaf recipe."

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Original recipe makes 6 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr

    1 hr 30 mins


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Combine onion, green bell pepper, milk, 1/4 cup ketchup, and eggs in a blender and puree until smooth.
  3. Stir ground beef, crushed saltine crackers, kosher salt, dry mustard in a large bowl. Add onion and egg mixture; stir to combine.
  4. Transfer beef mixture to a shallow baking dish and shape into a loaf. Drizzle top of the meatloaf with 2 tablespoons ketchup.
  5. Bake in the preheated over for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let meatloaf to rest uncovered for 15 minutes. Slice and serve.
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  • Cook's Note:
  • I also use this recipe to make meatballs. Instead of forming the meat into a loaf, make meatballs and bake on a cookie sheet for 25 to30 minutes. This recipe makes 18 meatballs.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jun 13, 2012

This is the REAL DEAL. Everyone LOVED this meatloaf. I was too lazy to measure the saltines - I guestimated and used one package of saltines (4 0z) roughly crumbled with my hands. Blending in onion and bell pepper along with eggs etc... is brillant! Mixing it all together with your hands assures that it isn't over worked yet well mixed. Then, by free forming rather than cooking in a loaf pan allows the water in the meat loaf to evaporate, leaving a crispy exterior. Thanks for featuring this recipe, it is a keeper for sure.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jul 19, 2012

I thought this was a good basic meatloaf, not a lot of flavor & I didn't care for the plain ketchup topping. I def prefer the crushed crackers vs bread crumbs!

May 12, 2012

The best meatloaf I've had in years!

Jan 26, 2013

Awesome meatloaf... Meatloaf is one of my husband's all-time favorite foods. Unfortunately, it is one food I've never really made well. Even though I don't dislike meatloaf, I never cared for it enough to learn to make it. My first few attempts were-- well-- not good. When I saw this recipe, it seemed like it would hit the mark. After all, how could a grandma named Coco be wrong? It did hit the mark! My husband LOVED it. He even commented, "This will make kickin' sandwiches tomorrow!" He said Coco definitely knew what she was doing. I even had a second helping. :) The texture is spot-on which can make or break a meatloaf in my opinion. The blending of the veggies was a genius idea and actually made prep faster because I didn't have to spend extra time carefully chopping. (I admit that I did throw a couple of garlic cloves in the blender.) Thanks Coco and Steve!

May 17, 2012

Yo...whats up! Dang good stuff...check out Mad Beach Loaf, was inspired.

Dec 28, 2013

This was definitely a child-friendly recipe, with no chunks of onion or peppers and no ground black pepper. I actually prefer to find bits of veggies, because I think they give more flavor than the "pasteurized" version. Mom's version of meatloaf includes bread crumbs, but the cracker crumbs made this a very tender loaf. I cooked for the full hour, and let rest for 15 minutes. I will make again, but I will add more mustard and some ground black pepper.

Oct 02, 2012

I dont have a lot of experience making meatloaf, but after watching the video I had to try it. I didnt have dry mustard so I added a teaspoon of table mustard and from reading other meatloaf recipes I added 1/4 cup brown sugar to the meat. For the topping I put ketchup on half and barbecue on the other. Both sides turned out delicious but the barbecue gave it a little more of a kick. I do recommend trying! Also I had to cook for 50 mins instead of 45 mins and to add to one reviewer, one whole sleeve of saltine crackers is 2 cups. My kids absolutely loved it and my husband couldnt get enough! I will definitely be making this one again!! Thank you Steve for posting!

Apr 01, 2014

Awesome tasting, moist, easy meatloaf! Have made with and without the green pepper and was great both ways. I don't even puree the onion mixture like the directions state to...just put everything in my mixer and pulse together (so the meat doesn't get overworked). Also, I substitute steak sauce in the meatloaf and spread ketchup on top...which makes it extra yummy! If you don't like your food really salty, leave out the added salt (or just use a little) because the saltine crackers will add plenty. My family said it was the best meatloaf ever!


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  • Calories
  • 456 kcal
  • 23%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 23.5 g
  • 8%
  • Cholesterol
  • 154 mg
  • 51%
  • Fat
  • 26.6 g
  • 41%
  • Fiber
  • 1.3 g
  • 5%
  • Protein
  • 29.3 g
  • 59%
  • Sodium
  • 1149 mg
  • 46%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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