Feeding Friends: Smoky Meatloaf with Three Paprikas

I’m currently sitting in my friend’s apartment in Palo Alto yelping taco joints in the Mission that I have to try before I hop a redeye back home later tonight. It’s been such a fun West Coast jaunt, mainly because of all the quality time I’ve gotten to spend with friends who’ve migrated out here. The food hasn’t been half bad either. Though I think I’m running the risk of turning into an avocado.

Of all the people I visited, four were former college housemates of mine. Which brings me to the subject of meatloaf.

Back in college, when I was still in my early stages of hosting, I used to throw meatloaf and margarita nights. We barely had any cooking supplies in our run-down Providence housing. But a sheet pan was a simple enough staple, and there always seemed to be some sort of pot to house mashed potatoes, even if I had to mash all 10 pounds of them with a fork (um, nightmare). These parties were always the more the merrier, and there seemed to be no better dish to feed a crowd than Ina Garten’s meatloaf.

Our house senior year may have been condemned right after we moved out, but my meatloaf traditions have lived on in much more civilized and sanitary habitats. Most recently, I threw a viewing party for the premiere of Chef Race and couldn’t think of anything more American or reflective of my cooking roots than meatloaf.

I always try to add a different twist to Ina’s recipe every time I make it. This time, it was a smoky Spanish version with three different types of paprika. I added a bit of a kick to the sweet and tangy ketchup topping, which made the creamy mashed potatoes go down all the more easily – much more so than my first taste of reality TV stardom.

This recipe has been on the back burner since October, mainly because the pictures are so bad. But when Food Network comfort food fest decided to honor ye ole meatloaf this week, I couldn’t resist. And I know you’ll forgive me the lack of visuals. More than ever, I’ve been reminded this week how much I miss those days of solo cup holding, haphazard hosting, and early morning cuddling with some of my best friends, whom now I only get to see once or twice a year.

I’ll be back on the East Coast by morning (otherwise known as 10 tacos from now).



Smoky Meatloaf with Three Paprikas

Serving Size: Makes 8 Servings

This meatloaf base is adapted from Barefoot Contessa - my go-to for both regular and turkey loaves. If you don’t have three paprikas, you can definitely substitute more of one or the other. I think the most important flavor is the hot smoked paprika since it really gives the recipes its smokiness.


  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 3 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon hungarian paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground chuck
  • 1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs
  • 2 extra-large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not brown. Stir in the hungarian paprika and cumin and cook for another minute or two, until fragrant. Off the heat, add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Allow to cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, onion mixture, bread crumbs, and eggs, and mix with your hands. Shape the mixture into a rectangular loaf on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper or foil.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, combine the ketchup with the remaining paprikas and cayenne. Slather the ketchup over the tops and sides of the loaf.
  5. Bake in the oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, until the meatloaf is cooked through. (A pan of hot water in the oven, under the meatloaf, will keep the top from cracking.) Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Then serve alongside smashed potatoes

instagram  If you make this, share a photo and tag me @PhoebeLapine #feedmephoebe - I would love to see it!


Food Network #fallfest has segued into #comfortfoodfeast. Lucky us. Check out the other great takes on meatloaf below!

Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Balsamic-Glazed Roasted Vegetable Meatloaf
The Cultural Dish: Classic Meatloaf
Red or Green?: Meatloaf With Green Chile
Napa Farmhouse 1885: My Mom’s Meatloaf (Connie’s)
And Love It Too: Not Your Momma’s Meatloaf
Made By Michelle: Turkey Meatloaf
The Heritage Cook: Succulent Gluten-Free Meatloaf, The Ultimate Comfort Food
Feed Me Phoebe: Smoky Meatloaf With Three Paprikas
Virtually Homemade: Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf With a Spicy Sweet Ketchup Glaze (Gluten-Free)
Devour: Pick Your Meat (Loaf): Beef, Pork or Turkey
Dishin & Dishes: The Ultimate Southwest Meatloaf
FN Dish: For the Love of Meatloaf


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10 Responses to Feeding Friends: Smoky Meatloaf with Three Paprikas

  1. Pingback: Turkey Meatloaf

  2. Pingback: Succulent Gluten-Free Meatloaf, The Ultimate Comfort Food - The Heritage Cook®

  3. Pingback: Not Your Momma’s Meatloaf

  4. Pingback: For the Love of Meatloaf — Comfort Food Feast | Skyline Empire

  5. Frankie says:

    If I wanted to make a glutenfree version of this, what bread would you use for the crumbs?

    • Phoebe says:

      great question Frankie! There are usually a few store bought dried breadcrumb options in the gluten-free section of the supermarket. These are great since GF bread gets soggy easily. I’ve made my own from toasted Udi’s but they never seem to work as well, though of course it’s an option!

  6. We used to do the same thing back in college. We would call it family dinner. All nine of us girls that lived in neighboring townhomes would pile into one tiny kitchen and eat dinner together. I totally miss those days too! I love the smoky and spicy combo going on here. I have been wanting to try a meatloaf recipe for some time. My mom always made meatloaf growing up, but I wanna put my own spin on it. This may be the way to do it!

    • I love it, Stefanie!! One of the many reasons it makes me sad to be getting older. Hope you give the meatloaf a spin. Ina’s turkey version is also so so good. Thanks for stopping by! xoxox

  7. Pingback: The Ultimate Southwest Meatloaf | Dishin & Dishes

  8. Pingback: Balsamic Glazed Roasted Vegetable Meatloaf Recipe (gluten-free) - Jeanette's Healthy Living

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