Meatloaf recipe-bread crumbs vs. slices?

stinky-gardenerJanuary 26, 2011

Was wondering if y'all think it would be acceptable to substitute bread crumbs for slices in this recipe?


1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1/2 pound ground pork

3 slices bread, broken up into small pieces

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1/2 cup hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons ketchup

If so, what amount would sub for 3 bread slices? Is there a certain brand of bread crumbs that y'all prefer? A certain brand that you really don't like?

Also, would it be the end of the world if I used 1/2 pound of each ground meat? This is for just two people. Also, Could I sub ground turkey for the beef (& still use with the pork?)


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Dry boxed bread crumbs are not the same as crumbled slices of fresh bread.
Yes you can substitute, but it won't be the same.
I would guess 1/3 cup of dry crumbs might provide a similar amount of "filler" as 3 slices of fresh bread.
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 1:29PM
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Fresh bread does give a moister texture. I rarely use dried crumbs as a filler only as a
"coater" .

As for using just 1 pound of meat instead of 2 1/2 pounds of meat....that will really throw off all the other ingredients. At least if you use 1 1/4 pounds of meat you could simply half everything else.

Not sure what this is suppose to end up being, meatballs, meatloaf, patties but generally I'd say you can sub turkey but it will be less flavourful.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 1:37PM
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Thanks Lindac. I hear what you're saying, & that's what I wondered. I'd like to try that recipe sometime, & will use bread slices, not the crumbs! Good to know.

Tonight I'm going to make an Asian meatloaf that I use about a half a cup of cooked rice instead of bread in. I like to put celery in it, but wow, the celery at the store (just got back) looked like it had been used to swat flies with. Most of the produce section looked really, really bad. Even the salad bar celery looked icky. It's pouring rain out there, so I didn't head to another store.
Have some peppers, so will sub green, yellow & red peppers for celery, crossing my fingers.

Thanks again for the feedback.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 1:45PM
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Chase, I missed your post. Thanks. Good tip about the meat. So 1 1/4 pounds will allow me to half the other ingredients. That's what I'll do. This is supposed to be an "Asian meatloaf!" Thanks for the info about the Turkey too! I use turkey or chicken usually in the above loaf, but maybe I should try that sometime with a combo of beef & pork too. I only use a pound though, which is about right for us (with a few slices left over!)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 1:52PM
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I always use a few slices of chopped up whole wheat bread in my meatloaf but being lazy the last time I used a cup of store bought bread crumbs and the meat loaf was NOT as delicious as usual. No more boxed bread crumbs for me, at least not in my meatloaf! How about some crumbled up crackers, that's pretty good in meatloaf.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 3:58PM
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Thanks, Arkansas girl. Another vote for the real deal. I'll skip the crumbs and crackers and use the bread. It's good to be informed that it really makes a difference!

Tonight like I mentioned above, I'll be using the cooked rice which really makes it moist. Want to try the other recipe though too!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 4:45PM
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Meatloaf is one of the most forgiving recipes in the world. You can add more or less, substitute one for another, omit or add and still come out fine.

Experiement. Have fun. There's no rules to meatloaf.

I usually prefer to use torn bread in a meatloaf but it's not a crisis. Tonight I made a meatloaf using breadcrumbs and it was delicious. The bread/crumbs is a small part of the formula when you think of it. I'd like to see anyone be able to tell the difference with 2 meatloaves made side by side, one with crumbs an one with torn bread. I'll bet there would be trouble telling the difference.

I like to use a mix of meats. Tonight I used 1# of ground chuck, 1# of sausage, and some pepperoni. I used breadcrumbs instead of bread/crackers or otherwise. Still tasted great to me. I think much is in the rest of the recipe but that's just my opinion.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 10:52PM
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We have a favorite meat loaf recipe in which I use either oatmeal or cooked rice for the binder. Recently I tried bread crumbs but we just didn't like the result as well.

I'm sure it's personal preference and meat loaf has plenty of latitude, but we discovered we prefer the more "rustic" texture of meatloaf that doesn't use crumbs.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 3:36AM
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I've always used uncooked oatmeal.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 5:38AM
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Cynic, thanks for pointing out that meatloaf is really forgiving, not to worry too much. You've given me "permission" to experiment. Great! That comes in handy when trips to the grocerette do not yield the items on the list.

The flexible nature of meatloaf proved to be true in my case last night! Substituted peppers for celery. Didn't have the crunch in each bite the way celery would have given it, but the tri-colored peppers gave it great flavor! Didn't have a yellow onion, but the red tasted a little more sweet. The rice as filler always works well, & that remained constant. I do want to try other fillers though.

Your meatloaf ingredients sound divine. Never have had a meatloaf with sausage or pepperoni! Yum.

Readinglady, "rustic" sounds good, and so does oatmeal. Love the idea of that. Thanks.

Thanks, Lacey, another vote for oatmeal! Does the job and adds some fiber and nutrients to the dish. Can't ask for more.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 5:54AM
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Stinky - about your recipe - the last 1/2 cup of hoisin and the ketchup - is that mixed together for a glaze? Do you put it on before it bakes, or partway through or what? These flavors sound really great together. Any special instructions? Have you ever put garlic in with it??


    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 1:02PM
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I actually was so intrigued with "Asian meatloaf", I looked up a recipe. I know you asked stinky, but here's another (while not tried and true, it's rated highly):

Asian Pork Meatloaf with Red Wine-Mushroom Gravy
Copyright, 2000, Ming Tsai, All Rights Reserved
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 0 min

6 servings
ï¬ Canola oil, to cook
ï¬ 1 tablespoon minced garlic
ï¬ 1 tablespoon minced ginger
ï¬ 1 tablespoon fermented black beans, rinsed and chopped
ï¬ 3 carrots, peeled and 1/4-inch dice
ï¬ 4 stalks celery, 1/4-inch dice
ï¬ 2 onions, 1/4-inch dice
ï¬ 1 zucchini, 1/4-inch dice
ï¬ 1 tablespoon sambal
ï¬ 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
ï¬ 2 cups cooked long grain rice
ï¬ 2 pounds ground pork
ï¬ 4 eggs, lightly beaten
ï¬ Salt and black pepper, to taste

Red Wine-Mushroom Gravy:
ï¬ 1 tablespoon minced garlic
ï¬ 1 large onion, roughly chopped
ï¬ 1 pound button mushrooms, sliced
ï¬ 1 bottle dry red wine
ï¬ 2 cups chicken stock
ï¬ 2 tablespoons soy sauce
ï¬ 2 tablespoons butter
ï¬ Salt and black pepper, to taste

In a large saute pan coated with oil, add the garlic, ginger and black beans. Stir and season. Add
carrots, celery, onions, zucchini and stir. Add sambal and hoisin and continue to stir. When the mixture is cooled, mix in the rice, pork and eggs. Season with salt and black pepper. (Test for seasoning by cooking a small piece in boiling water, a frying pan or even nuking it.) Spray a nonstick meatloaf pan and fill with mix. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 to 60 minutes or until a knife/poker comes out clean.

For the Red Wine Mushroom Gravy: In a saucepan coated with oil, caramelize the garlic, onions and mushrooms. Deglaze with red wine and reduce by 75 percent. Add the stock and soy sauce and reduce by 50 percent. Check for seasoning. Using a hand blender, puree the sauce and add the butter.
Check again for seasoning. Keep warm.

Plating: Sauce the plate completely then top off with a thick slab of meatloaf.

Wine Suggestion: Rabbit Ridge. California Zinfandel, Barrel Cuvee, 1997

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 1:40PM
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There's some bad math going on here; 1 1/2 pounds ground beef plus 1/2 pound ground pork equals two pounds total meat, and so one pound of meat would be used in half a recipe. For an Asian style meatloaf, you can use all ground turkey (make sure it is dark meat) in place of both beef and pork. I always substitute ground turkey when making Chinese meatballs because DB will not eat pork. Or I use ground chicken, which I grind myself, and use only legs and thighs, saving the bones and skin for stock. I would also use tomato paste instead of ketchup, partly because I do not have any ketchup and party because I find ketchup to be too sweet.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 2:24PM
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Lars of course you are right.....not sure what I was thinking.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 4:06PM
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Seagrass, I haven't made this recipe yet. Here are the instructions. Yes that is a glaze.

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.In a large bowl, mix together the beef, pork, bread crumbs, eggs, onion, and celery. Season with 3 tablespoons soy sauce, ginger, and 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce. Pat mixture into a shallow 2 quart baking pan.
3.Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes.
4.Drain grease from pan. In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup hoisin with 2 tablespoons ketchup. Spread over top of meatloaf. Continue baking for 20 minutes or so. Remove from oven, and let rest for 5 minutes.

Rob, that looks great too! That gravy sounds amazing. Thanks!

Publickman, thanks for the observations and tips. Yes, for the Asian meatloaf that I "wing" and made last night, I always use a pound of ground turkey. Usually use chopped celery, yellow onion & carrot, but last night used these veggies: chopped carrot, chopped red, yellow and green peppers, chopped red onion. Also use one egg, 2 tablespoons of Hoisin sauce, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and a half cup of cooked rice. I saute the veggies in a little olive oil, salt & pepper, & let them cool a bit before adding to the meat, egg & sauces. Put in a greased loaf pan and bake @ 350 for an hour.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 4:12PM
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stinky gardener, I'm going to add a whole 'nother dimension to the mix. I never buy bread crumbs, I make them.

I bake all my own bread and I can seldom eat it all. So, I just toss the stale leftovers into the food processor and make breadcrumbs, which I then store in the freezer in ziplock bags. When I want breadcrumbs, I just pull out the bag, measure as much as I want and put the rest back.

I've used all different types of breadcrumbs in meat balls and meatloaf, from cheddar beer to honey wheat to italian herb. The cheddar beer crumbs were especially good, my kids thought.

I normally make meat loaf and meatballs from half beef and half pork, but I think with the flavors you have going on in that recipe turkey would work just fine.

As for half a recipe, you know that meatloaf freezes really well, both cooked and uncooked? I freeze uncooked meatloaf and when it suits me I pull out the frozen loaf, stick it in the oven with some baked potatoes and bake it. I don't even thaw it and it does take longer to bake, because it's frozen.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 8:35PM
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Stinky - thanks for posting the whole recipe with the instructions. I'm definitely going to try this with the rice instead of breadcrumbs as binder. My brother who is in the Navy made friends with a Japanese couple while he was stationed at Yokohama. They made wonderful rice balls with a nice ground meat filling and also some awesome hamburgers with Asian seasonings. This meatloaf reminds me of the flavors in their cooking although they would not have used hoisin sauce. I LOVE hoisin sauce lol!!


    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 8:43PM
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Stinky :
I use only bread crumbs that I make myself with Italian bread that has hardened.

I cut in small cubes and dry a warm oven, then I save in containers ,for Stuffing or Crumbs.

I've used crumbs in my Pizzeria for meatballs. Everyone loved them and still do.
I agree to experiment.

Try some Mushroom Soup in your Recipe to soften the Crumbs
and add moisture and flavor.

I also use Chicken Stock in the meatballs and meatloaf.

Reading Lady:
This is the first time I disagreed with you. Sorry !!!


    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 12:40AM
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Annie1992, very impressive! Your extra effort must pay off in extra flavor! Thanks for the tips about freezing and cooking ahead. I want to review your suggestions more closely. I've never been a cook-ahead kind of gal, but I really admire those who do. It's a very organized, efficient way of managing meals. Thanks.

Seagrass, that's interesting. (Thanks to your brother for his service, btw. I live in a "Navy town" too!) Another hoisin sauce enthusiast gives zing to lots of things!

Hawk, all your tips (& food) sound amazing! Won't be making my own bread anytime soon, but the mushroom soup and chicken stock ideas are very do-able. Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 7:01AM
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SG, not so impressive. It's just as easy to make two meatloaves as it is one, and one of my girls or the other will swipe that frozen meatloaf as soon as they figure out it's there, LOL.

My oldest daughter likes to make "meat loaf muffins", little individual meatloaves in muffin pans, because they cook much more quickly.

You don't have to bake your own bread to make bread crumbs from the stale/unused pieces, BTW, just make them from whatever you have.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 11:34AM
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