Ketchup On Meatloaf? (Is It Normal + Other FAQs)

Meatloaf is a dish similar to a burger patty since meatloaf is traditionally made with ground meat. Since meatloaf tends to have a rather plain flavor, people use condiments like ketchup to make meatloaf taste better.

If you have never tried the combination, you may be wondering if ketchup on meatloaf is good. I did the research, and here is what I discovered!

Ketchup On Meatloaf?

Ketchup is a common condiment that people add to meatloaf since many meatloaf recipes can be plain-tasting and dry, especially if the meatloaf was not prepared well. Ketchup can taste great with meatloaf since ketchup can add moisture and flavor to a slice of meatloaf. Moreover, ketchup can be part of a meatloaf recipe such as a ketchup glaze.

Do you want to learn why people put ketchup on meatloaf, if meatloaf with ketchup is good, and what other foods you can put on meatloaf? Keep reading!

Why Do You Put Ketchup On Meatloaf?

Typically, people put ketchup on meatloaf to enhance the flavor of the meatloaf since some people think that meatloaf tastes bland.

Normally, meatloaf tastes similar to a plain meat patty since most basic meatloaf recipes focus on making the meatloaf have the texture of the bread.

While meatloaf can taste very good when cooked right, a lot of meatloaf recipes without spices, glazes, etc. taste boring.

Therefore, grabbing a condiment like ketchup can easily fix a bland-tasting meatloaf dish.

Moreover, some people do not like the texture of meatloaf because meatloaf can be dry, especially if the meatloaf is not cooked properly since meatloaf should be tender and moist.

So, people can dollop ketchup onto meatloaf to add moisture while enhancing the meatloaf’s flavor.

Is It Strange To Put Ketchup On Meatloaf?

Generally, it is not strange to put ketchup on meatloaf since many people like to add ketchup to their meatloaf dishes.

Unless the meatloaf dish is particularly flavorful, a plain slice of meatloaf can benefit a lot from ketchup.

Moreover, some recipes use ketchup while making meatloaf instead of putting ketchup over a finished meatloaf dish.

Adding ketchup to ground meat before cooking the meatloaf can add moisture to the meatloaf while enhancing the flavor with a tomato-like taste.

Additionally, ketchup is an easy way to add flavor to ketchup since ketchup features sweet, tangy, and sour flavors depending on the ketchup you use.

For instance, adding Heinz ketchup to a meatloaf can make your meatloaf a burst of well-balanced flavors.

If you want tangier ketchup, you can opt for Hunt’s ketchup since Hunt’s ketchup is said to taste tangier than other ketchup brands.

Can I Use Ketchup As A Glaze For Meatloaf?

Can I Use Ketchup As A Glaze For Meatloaf?

You can use ketchup as an ingredient to make a glaze for meatloaf, especially since many recipes use ketchup as a meatloaf glaze.

For instance, you can mix ketchup with Dijon mustard and brown sugar then spread this mixture evenly on your shaped meatloaf before you cook the meatloaf.

While you can use ketchup as a glaze by itself, it is ideal to mix your ketchup with brown sugar to enhance how much your meatloaf browns while you cook the meatloaf.

Moreover, Dijon mustard is great to mix with ketchup as a glaze since Dijon mustard shares the tanginess of ketchup, but Dijon mustard can shine by adding a bit of spice and sharp flavors to your meatloaf.

Is Meatloaf With Ketchup Good?

Meatloaf can be great with ketchup since most meat dishes go well with ketchup, and meatloaf is usually just made with ground meat.

Moreover, meatloaf can be good with ketchup if you generally like the taste of ketchup and tomatoes.

Additionally, if you are not a fan of meatloaf but you need to eat meatloaf, dolloping ketchup on meatloaf can mask the flavor of meatloaf while adding more moisture to the meatloaf.

What Can I Top My Meatloaf With Besides Ketchup?

If you do not have ketchup available to go with your meatloaf, there are several alternatives that you can try which include:

  1. Barbecue Sauce

Barbecue sauce is a natural replacement for ketchup for meatloaf since barbecue sauce often contains ketchup, and barbecue sauce usually has a similar texture to ketchup.

While it depends on the brand or recipe, barbecue sauce typically tastes tangy and slightly sweet, which can add lots of flavor to your meatloaf.

Moreover, barbecue sauce may even be better to put on meatloaf than ketchup since barbecue sauce’s thick and glossy texture can easily coat a slice of meatloaf.

  1. Cranberry Sauce

While cranberry sauce may be a common condiment for Thanksgiving, you can create cranberry sauce to eat with your meatloaf.

Normally, cranberry sauce tastes sweet and tart, which can complement the meaty flavors of meatloaf.

Plus, cranberry sauce can add lots of moisture to your meatloaf, especially if you made a dry meatloaf.

  1. Tomato Sauce

If you do not have any ketchup but want to have a tomato-like flavor in your meatloaf, you can opt to put tomato sauce over your meatloaf.

Similar to ketchup, you will get the subtle sweetness and flavor of tomatoes from tomato sauce, but you will lack some tartness since tomato sauce does not have vinegar whereas ketchup contains vinegar.

Moreover, tomato sauce is excellent if you want to soak your meatloaf to add moisture to your dish.

Have a look at our other articles to learn about ketchup on cheesesteak, if ketchup tenderizes meat, and what ketchup tastes like.


Normally, it is common to put ketchup on meatloaf since meatloaf is often a plain-tasting dish, so adding some ketchup to meatloaf can make meatloaf taste better.

Additionally, ketchup can save your meatloaf if your meatloaf is too dry or lacks flavor because ketchup can add flavor and mask the texture of meatloaf.

Moreover, some recipes incorporate ketchup into meatloaf, such as mixing ketchup with the meat before cooking the meat or using the ketchup as a glaze ingredient for the meatloaf.

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