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Time for Comfort Food

Mar 26, 2020

I am not going to lie; it seems pretty frivolous to be prating on about recipes during a pandemic. However, food is what I do, so here I am.

In our home, we have been practicing social distancing for some time as a safety measure. I have limited my trips to the grocery store and am thankful for the privilege of a full pantry and freezer. While I haven’t done much baking, there has been a strong focus on comfort foods in our meals. Being home allows so much more time for roasting chickens and slow braising big hunks of meat. It also leads to sorting through old recipes and reviving things that may have been forgotten.

Easy Pleasin’ Meatloaf is one of those almost forgotten recipes. I pull it out from time to time to feed the shearing crew, but it isn’t on my regular menu rotation. Right now, its minimal (and easily accessible) ingredients make it a very appropriate recipe for these uncertain times. Instead of breadcrumbs, crackers or oatmeal, this meatloaf relies on stuffing mix. If you don’t have a box of stuffing mix sitting in the back of your pantry from last Thanksgiving, it is a simple item to add to your grocery list for curbside pick-up or delivery. I use my home-canned ketchup in the recipe and have altered the original process to include sautéing the onions for what I feel is a better texture and flavor. One could swap out the ketchup for barbeque sauce and include green peppers if you lean in that flavor direction.

Meatloaf won’t solve the world’s problems, but I hope it allows you a bit of comfort in the midst of this storm. Please take care of yourself, your family and your community by following CDC guidelines to stay home as much as possible. I have a huge appreciation for those that are serving through this time with healthcare, grocery, food service and other essential services. Please do what you can to support them; wash your hands, stay home and try some simple comfort food.


Comfort foods like meatloaf can help soothe the soul during trying times.

Easy Pleasin’ Meatloaf

(adapted from Kraft)


1 tablespoon olive oil

1⁄2 onion, finely diced

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup water

2 pounds lean ground beef

1 (6 1/4 ounce) package stuffing mix (Stove Top turkey or chicken versions)

2 eggs

1⁄2 cup ketchup, divided


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté onion until tender and translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine all remaining ingredients, except 1/4 cup ketchup. Stir in the cooled onions and garlic.

Shape meat mixture into an oval loaf and place on a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. (The new-ish non-stick foil eliminates the need for cooking spray).

Spread remaining ketchup over the top of the loaf. Bake for 1 hour. (Serves 6-8)


Fran Hill has been blogging about food at On My Plate since October of 2006. She, her husband and their three dogs ranch near Colome.


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