Meat-Loaf Madness: Celebrity Chefs Battle It Out!

Thanksgiving in Every Bite My Journey Cooking Ina Garten, Ree Drummond, and Rachael Ray's Meatloaf Recipes

I tested meatloaf recipes from Garten, Drummond, and Ray, and the winner tasted like Thanksgiving.

Meat-loaf recipes from Ina Garten, Rachael Ray, and Ree DrummondI decided to compare meat-loaf recipes from three celebrity chefs. – Abigail Abesamis Demarest

Greetings, fellow fashionistas! While I usually spend my time discussing the latest trends and beauty tips, today I’m taking a little detour into the world of culinary delights. Yes, you heard that right, we’re diving into the meaty madness of meat loaf recipes! Buckle up, because this is going to be a flavorful ride.

Now, I must confess, I’ve never made meat loaf before. But hey, comfort food is always a good idea, and who doesn’t love a family-sized meal with enough leftovers for days? So, I embarked on a mission to find the ultimate meat loaf recipe. Ina Garten, Ree Drummond, and Rachael Ray were kind enough to offer their takes on this classic dish. Let the battle begin!

Ina Garten’s Simple Sensation

Let’s start off with our lovely Ina Garten. Her recipe was as simple as a little black dress, with just a few pantry staples. Olive oil, onions, eggs, and chicken stock were the stars of the show. Oh, and let’s not forget the ground chuck, which is basically the beef equivalent of a runway model – 80% lean and 20% fat.

With a sauté pan on the stove, I started by dancing with some chopped onions, thyme, salt, and pepper until they turned translucent – a delicate waltz, if you will. Then, like a maestro, I added Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste to create a symphony of flavors.

After combining the ingredients in a bowl, I gently mixed them together with my hands, ensuring the meat loaf would be tender and not too dense. To top it all off, a glorious coat of ketchup adorned the savory creation. Into the oven it went, crackling at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

The result? Ina Garten’s meat loaf was a classic beauty. Moist, yet not greasy like an oil spill, with a touch of sweetness from the ketchup. It was everything I could hope for in a comforting dish – the fashion equivalent of a little black dress that never goes out of style.

Ree Drummond’s Savory Adventure

Next up, we have the delightful Ree Drummond. Her recipe was a departure from the classic, offering a twist on the conventional meat loaf. White bread, milk, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and even bacon were throwing a party in her version.

Following Ree’s lead, I mixed the milk-soaked bread with ground beef, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, seasoned salt, parsley, and eggs. The ingredients came together like a synchronized dance troupe, creating a medley of flavors that promised excitement.

Unlike the other chefs, Ree called for wrapping the meat loaf with bacon and a homemade sauce. Who could resist such a fashionable ensemble? I adorned the meat loaf with bacon, drizzled it with sauce made from ketchup, brown sugar, dry mustard, hot sauce, and Worcestershire – a true sensory spectacle.

As it baked at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, the meat loaf danced gracefully on a sheet pan, dressed to impress. The cooling rack underneath prevented any unsightly grease buildup. The final product, while a tad overwhelming for my taste, was tender and garnished with parsley – a fashion-forward choice. The chunks of white bread took a little getting used to, but surely, it was the avant-garde touch Ree intended. Perhaps not my go-to recipe, but definitely a sensory adventure worth exploring.

Rachael Ray’s Thanksgiving Extravaganza

Last but certainly not least, we have the marvelous Rachael Ray. Always one to spice things up, she added a delightful twist to the classic meat loaf – ground turkey instead of beef, flavored with the essence of Thanksgiving.

Sautéing a marvelous mix of thyme, celery, apples, onions, salt, and pepper set the stage for this epic dish. Breadcrumbs rehydrated with chicken stock and softened cranberries added layers of flavor, creating a harmonious symphony on the taste buds.

In a bowl, I gently mixed the ground turkey, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, apple mixture, cranberries, extra-sharp white cheddar cheese, and poultry seasoning with an egg – the fashion equivalent of a perfectly accessorized outfit. The mixture was then shaped and sent on a journey through a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven.

To accompany this Thanksgiving extravaganza, Rachael Ray offered a homemade apple-cider gravy that could make even a fashionista’s heart skip a beat. Whisking together warm butter and flour, I added chicken stock, apple cider, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper, simmering it to a perfect thickness. The result? A delectable gravy that elevated the dish to new heights – the ultimate accessory, if you will.

The taste? Pure Thanksgiving bliss! The ground turkey base may not be as moist as its beefy counterparts, but fear not, the gravy brought succulence to the party. The cranberries added a burst of flavor, and the apples gave it an exciting crunch. Truly, a feast fit for a fashion-forward Thanksgiving extravaganza!

And The Winner Is…

In this epic battle of the meat loaves, there can only be one champion. After careful consideration and a delightful food-filled fashion journey, Rachael Ray’s recipe emerged victorious. The Thanksgiving-inspired flavors, the sassy ground turkey twist, and the heavenly homemade apple-cider gravy stole the show. Although Ina Garten’s classic beauty and Ree Drummond’s savory adventure put up a good fight, Rachael Ray’s creation left me longing for seconds.

So, dear fashionistas, whether you choose to don Ina’s timeless classic, Ree’s avant-garde ensemble, or Rachael’s Thanksgiving feast, remember to embrace the fashion of food and enjoy every flavorful bite. Until next time, stay fabulous and feast on! 🍽️✨

*Check out the other celebrity-chef recipes we’ve put head-to-head so far here.