Cracker Barrel Meatloaf is juicy and flavorful with shredded cheddar cheese, buttery crushed Ritz crackers, and a Ketchup glaze. Why eat out when you can make it at home?!

close up image of sliced cracker barrel meatloaf sitting on a rectangle white plate.

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While I’ve always loved my grandma’s southern meatloaf recipe, I decided to try my hand at replicating the much-loved meatloaf from Cracker Barrel. And oh boy, I’m glad I did! The main differences you’ll find in this copycat meatloaf recipe include the addition of shredded cheddar cheese and crushed buttery Ritz crackers!

This Cracker Barrel meatloaf is topped with a ketchup glaze before being baked for an additional 30 minutes. This allows that sweet and tangy glaze to meld with the meatloaf, adding moisture and helping to create a perfectly browned finish.

top down image of sliced cracker barrel meatloaf sitting on a rectangle white plate.

Cracker Barrel Meatloaf Recipe

I’m always on the lookout for easy dinner ideas, and meatloaf is one of those dishes that’s simple to make while offering maximum comfort and satisfaction. This copycat Cracker Barrel meatloaf is no exception! It’s juicy with melted cheesy flavor, sweet onions, spices, and melt-in-your-mouth buttery Ritz crackers as a delicious alternative to breadcrumbs.

This meatloaf can be enjoyed as a family meal or for a special occasion or holiday. Pair it with an endless choice of side dishes, such as cheesy potatoes and green beans. Then, compelete the meal with a Cracker Barrel-approved dessert, such as apple pie or blackberry cobbler!

ingredients to make cracker barrel meatloaf.

Ingredients for Cracker Barrel Meatloaf

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

  • Eggs
  • Ritz crackers – You’ll need 1½ sleeves of these crackers.
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese – Freshly grated cheese melts better and has a bolder flavor than pre-shredded cheese.
  • Whole milk – Reduced-fat milk, almond milk, or soy milk can be used instead.
  • Seasoning – Salt, garlic powder, and ground black pepper.
  • Ground beef – Regular ground beef is best. It offers more flavor and moisture to the meaty mixture. If you opt for lean ground beef, I recommend including some ground pork, too. Or, add another egg.
  • White onion – Yellow onion can also be used, although I love the balance of sweet and spicy that white onion provides.
  • Topping – The topping includes a combination of ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard.


  • Include some ground pork in addition to the ground beef for added flavor.
  • Lean ground beef, ground chicken, or ground turkey can be used instead of regular ground beef. I recommend adding an extra egg to help bind the meaty mixture since the leaner ground meats don’t hold together as well!
  • Use barbecue sauce in the topping instead of ketchup for a different flavor.
  • Breadcrumbs (regular or Panko breadcrumbs) can replace the crushed Ritz crackers. You’ll need about a 1/4 cup.
  • If you can’t find Ritz crackers, use another buttery cracker, such as Club Crackers. Stay away from other crackers that are dry as these will soak up more moisture from the meatloaf.

How to Make Cracker Barrel Meatloaf

  1. Prepare: Preheat the oven, and spray the loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Make the meaty mixture: Whisk the eggs in a bowl. Then, stir in the crushed crackers, shredded cheese, milk, and seasoning. Add the ground beef and chopped onion. Mix until incorporated but not mushy.
  3. Bake: Scoop the meatloaf mixture into the loaf pan, and press evenly. Bake the meatloaf for 30 minutes.
  4. Make the topping: While the meatloaf bakes, whisk the ketchup, sugar, and mustard.
  5. Top the meatloaf: Remove the meatloaf from the oven after 30 minutes, and top it with the ketchup topping, spreading it over evenly.
  6. Bake again: Return the meatloaf to the oven for another 30 minutes. The meatloaf should pull away from the edges of the pan and have a browned top when done.
  7. Cool and serve: Let the meatloaf cool for 15 minutes. Then, slice, and enjoy!
close up image of a plate of a serving of cracker barrel meatloaf, mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

Quick Tip

If you aren’t sure whether your meatloaf is done cooking, insert an instant-read thermometer into the center of the loaf. If it registers 160 degrees Fahrenheit, your meatloaf is good to go!

How to Store Cracker Barrel Meatloaf

Store leftover meatloaf wrapped in plastic wrap or sealed in an airtight container. It will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.

For easy portions, slice the loaf, and store it with parchment paper between each piece. Warm single slices in 30-second increments in the microwave until heated through.

You also have the option of freezing your meatloaf for up to 2 months! You can store the meatloaf whole or in single slices for added convenience. Remove what you need from the freezer, and thaw in the fridge overnight to reheat and serve.

Serving Suggestions

Pair this Cracker Barrel meatloaf with all kinds of vegetable side dishes, such as Crockpot Cheesy Potatoes, Crispy Smashed Potatoes, or Classic Mashed Potatoes.

Cheesy Mushroom and Onion Green Bean Casserole, Honey Glazed Carrots, Easy 5-Ingredient Corn Casserole, or Homemade Biscuits and Gravy would also make incredible additions to this meal. Honestly, meatloaf is one of those dishes that you can pair with almost anything!

Sticking to the theme of Cracker Barrel, why not complete your evening with a slice of Coca-Cola Cake, Peach Cobbler, Cracker Barrel Fried Apples, Buttermilk Pie, or Chocolate Pecan Pie? Your guests will thank you!


What is Cracker Barrel meatloaf made of?

Cracker Barrel’s meatloaf consists of ground beef, eggs, crushed Ritz crackers, onion, bell pepper, shredded cheddar cheese, and an irresistible glaze.

What makes meatloaf hold together?

Binding agents, such as eggs, hold the meatloaf mixture together. Another ingredient that gives meatloaf structure is breadcrumbs, or in this recipe, crushed crackers.

What’s the difference between a meatloaf and a hamburger?

Meatloaf is a mixture of ground meat (typically beef and pork), breadcrumbs, eggs, spices, and other ingredients which are baked in a loaf pan, topped with sauce, and sliced to serve.

Hamburger consists of ground beef (sometimes including other ingredients, such as eggs, onion, and spices) that is shaped into a patty and then pan-fried or grilled. It is served on a fresh bread bun with other ingredients and a choice of sauce or dressing.

What is the secret to moist meatloaf?

The higher fat content in ground meat, such as regular ground beef and ground pork, adds moisture to the meatloaf. Other ingredients, such as eggs and milk also contribute to the moisture of your meatloaf.

More Meaty Recipes

Sliced homemade Cracker Barrel meatloaf.

Cracker Barrel Meatloaf

Cracker Barrel Meatloaf is juicy and flavorful with shredded cheddar cheese, buttery crushed Ritz crackers, and a Ketchup glaze. Why eat out when you can make it at home?!
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Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


  • Large mixing bowl
  • measuring spoons
  • Measuring cups
  • 9×4 loaf pan
  • whisk
  • Rubber spatula



  • 3 eggs
  • 48 Ritz crackers crushed (about 1 ½ sleeves of crackers)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • ½ cup white onion chopped


  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard


  • Preheat your oven to 350ºF and spray a 9×4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Stir in the crushed crackers, shredded cheese, milk, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
    3 eggs, 48 Ritz crackers, 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, ½ cup whole milk, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt
  • Add the ground beef and chopped onions and stir until the mix is evenly blended. Try not to overmix.
    2 pounds ground beef, ½ cup white onion
  • Scoop the ground beef mix into the prepared pan and press it into the pan evenly.
  • Bake the meatloaf in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  • While the meatloaf is baking, whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard in a medium sized bowl.
    ¾ cup ketchup, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon mustard
  • After thirty minutes in the oven, remove the meatloaf and spread the ketchup topping over the top of the meat in the pan.
  • Return the meatloaf to the oven to bake for another 30 minutes. The center of the meatloaf should read 160ºF on a cooking thermometer and it will be pulling away from the edges of the pan. The topping will also be nicely browned.
  • Let the meatloaf cool for about 15 minutes then slice and enjoy!


If you do not have a loaf pan, you can bake this meatloaf on a parchment-lined baking sheet tray. Simply form the meat mix into a loaf shape and place it on the pan. Bake the same way as written in the directions.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 550kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 158mg | Sodium: 947mg | Potassium: 481mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 372IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 200mg | Iron: 4mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!

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About Kasey Schwartz

For over 15 years, Kasey Schwartz, the mastermind behind All Things Mamma, has been the ultimate go-to for mouthwatering family recipes. Her work has been featured on, Buzz Feed, Better Homes and Gardens, and more, making her your go-to mom next door for all things delicious and family-friendly.

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