Indulge in the comfort of Cracker Barrel at home! This copycat meatloaf recipe loaded with cheddar cheese and Ritz crackers bakes up tender and delicious every time. The sweet & tangy ketchup brown sugar glaze puts it over the top.

Tender, juicy meatloaf topped with a sweet and tangy glaze – this Cracker Barrel copycat recipe will make you feel like you’re dining at the restaurant! Loaded with cheddar cheese and crushed Ritz crackers, every bite of this meatloaf is packed with texture and homemade flavor.

Can I use breadcrumbs instead of Ritz crackers?

Yes, you can substitute plain dry breadcrumbs or even panko breadcrumbs for the Ritz crackers. You’ll need about 1 cup of crumbs. The Ritz crackers add nice texture and saltiness though.

Do I need to use bell peppers?

The bell peppers are optional in this recipe. Leave them out if you or your family don’t like bits of veggies in meatloaf.

What cheese works best?

A good sharp cheddar or Colby Jack cheese complement the other flavors nicely. Avoid bland mild cheddar if possible.

Ingredients:

  • 454g (1 lb) lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 113g (4 oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 170g (1 1/2 sleeves) crushed Ritz crackers
  • 1/2 bell pepper, finely diced (optional)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

  1. Make the topping: In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, ketchup and mustard. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the meatloaf: In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs. Add the crushed Ritz crackers and mix well.
  3. Add the onions, bell peppers (if using), milk, salt and black pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the ground beef and shredded cheddar cheese. Mix just until incorporated, being careful not to overmix.
  5. Transfer the mixture into a foil-lined baking dish and shape into a loaf.
  6. Bake at 175°C (350°F) for 30 minutes
  7. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and spread the ketchup topping evenly over the top using a brush or spoon to coat.
  8. Return the meatloaf to the oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 160°C (325°F).
  9. Allow the meatloaf to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.
  10. Enjoy!

Tips:

  • Cooking times may vary based on oven and loaf size. Check often for doneness.
  • For extra tang, use a sharp cheddar cheese. Colby Jack also works well.
  • Add an extra egg or some panko breadcrumbs if the mixture seems too wet.

Let me know in the comments if you try this Cracker Barrel copycat! It makes for fabulous leftovers too – just fry up a slice and pop it between bread for a tasty meatloaf sandwich.