Made with different types of ground meat, this is a generic food enjoyed by many parts of the world, especially the USA. The spices in meatloaf, together with other ingredients, are the elements that turn this chunk into a real feast.

Spices like garlic and black pepper are staples in the classic meatloaf recipe. Moreover, herbs like fresh parsley and thyme also help flavor this food. Some evolved recipes even occasionally include paprika, cayenne pepper, and Italian seasoning.

So, now it is high time to learn how these spices and herbs provide flavor to this meat dish you enjoy regularly. The rest of this article is all about that!

What Spices Are In Meatloaf?

You know that when it comes to a meat-based dish, the secret of its taste lies within the way it is seasoned. In fact, many homes have their own way of enjoying this food, including ingredients according to their taste preferences.

What Spices Are In Meatloaf - SpiceRally

The classic American meatloaf usually includes spices like garlic and black pepper. However, there are actually many different types of meatloaves made around the world, customized to satisfy many different taste buds. And, the usage of herbs and spices can have slight variations depending on each type.

Since we cannot go into detail with every recipe made in each nook and corner of the world, let us go with the basic spices in meatloaf for now.

01- Garlic

It is no mystery that garlic is the perfect flavor-enhancer for meat-based dishes. The sharp, pungent taste of this spice blends in so well with the meat to prevent its blandness.

In this dish, fresh garlic cloves are often minced. And, some also use garlic powder. But for a better flavor, minced garlic is generally sauteed with onions in oil during the early stages of processing. 

When garlic is sauteed in oil, the sharp taste mellows. And its flavor releases into oil and gets infused with onions to give the perfect garlicky touch to the overall dish.

02- Black Pepper

Like garlic, black pepper is another one of the staple spices in meatloaf. Freshly ground black pepper or pepper powder is used in this food as a seasoning agent together with salt.

This spice is earthy, robust, and peppery, providing an excellent spiciness to this dish. It counterbalances all the flavors with slight hotness taking away the blandness of the meat. In fact, the versatile seasoning- salt and pepper is a must-have in any meat dish, and so it comes to this as well.

Did you know black pepper is one of the best spices for ground beef? So, if you are interested in discovering more spices to make your ground beef more flavorful, click on this link!

03- Paprika

Usage of paprika in this food is occasional. However, it is a spice that could add a signature flavor to this dish, depending on the type used.

This spice can give a mild, sweet, spicy, or smoky flavor to this dish while providing an appealing color to the meat. If used, it can pair well with all the other ingredients, including black pepper, garlic, and herbs.

04 – Cayenne Pepper

This spice is also not a staple, but again, some use it when their meatloaves need to be a bit spicier. Cayenne pepper is hot and fiery compared to paprika and black pepper.

In addition, it gives color and also complements meat and other ingredients used in this dish.

05 – Italian Seasoning

Using Italian seasoning in this food is also utterly optional, unlike garlic and black pepper. But we should admit the fact that this blend adds and enhances the taste of this dish.

Italian seasoning is generally a combination of dried herbs and sometimes spices. It is flavorful, and the goodness of herbs like sage, thyme, oregano, marjoram, etc., infuse into the ground meat mixture and well-incorporates with other spices like black pepper.

Italian seasoning goes in handy with many tasty dishes and if you need more information on the spices used in this blend, click here for a complete article.

Herbs Used In Meatloaf

Herbs are another prominent flavor-boosting agent in meatloaves. Typically, only two types of herbs are used in the classic meatloaf recipe.

01- Parsley

Although parsley is used in most classic meatloaves, some are even made without this herb. Nevertheless, it undoubtedly offers so much flavor to this dish blending in well with other ingredients.

Freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley is more prominent in most homemade dishes than dried parsley. It is aromatic and earthy, clean, and herbal in flavor, making this dish of meat more attractive in taste.

02- Thyme

Dried thyme is also a herb that can be seen in many meatloaf recipes. This herb complements the flavor of meat and pairs well with other ingredients like garlic, black pepper, and parsley.

This is not uniquely aromatic but slightly sweet, very earthy with peppery notes. Thyme is often added in the early stages of the cooking process so that it releases its flavor to onions and garlic to disperse its zest throughout the dish.

Other Meatloaf Ingredients

As we mentioned before, this dish actually does not have a standard recipe. In fact, it can vary from country to country, region to region, and even from home to home. 

However, we can give you a list of typically used meatloaf ingredients used in a majority of recipes, and they are as follows.

  • Ground meat (beef, pork, veal, lamb, seafood, and vegan options are made with imitation meat or mushrooms)
  • Olive oil
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Breadcrumbs or oatmeal
  • Onion
  • Eggs
  • Salt
  • Buttermilk or milk
  • Ketchup/ tomato paste
  • Bullion cubes (optional)
  • Vegetables (celery/ carrot, green onion, red pepper, green pepper)- optional

What Is Meatloaf Seasoning Made Of?

Meatloaf seasoning is a blend of dry ingredients coming as an all-in-one mix. You can buy it from the store under leading brands or simply make it at home.

This seasoning actually fortifies your dish with an extra flavor as it contains more flavoring agents than the stuff you usually use to season your meat dish.

Store-bought and homemade meatloaf seasoning mixtures typically contain spices and herbs like:

  • Black pepper
  • Celery seeds
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried mustard
  • Paprika
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried basil

Other ingredients found in store-bought mixes are:

  • Salt
  • Dextrose
  • Corn and wheat gluten
  • Soy protein
  • Malted barley flavor
  • Additional colors and natural flavors

When you smell the spices and herbs from the kitchen and hear your Mom say that she needs the bottle of ketchup, you know that it is going to be a really good Meatloaf day!


What Is Meatloaf Sauce Made Of?

Meatloaf sauce, also called the meatloaf glaze, is actually the best part of this food! It is a must-have in any recipe and completes the taste of this meat dish with its irresistible flavor combination. 

The base of this sauce is typically ketchup, and it is mixed with several other flavorings. This relish is generally a part of this dish and is often at home rather than buying it from the store. In fact, store-bought sauces are rare.

Like the meatloaf itself, the recipes of this sauce also can vary from chef to chef. However, this could contain some common spices like:

  • Garlic powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Ground black pepper
  • Dried mustard
  • Paprika (optional)

In addition, other common ingredients include:

Going Down With The Meat And Glaze…

We certainly feel so delightful and contended to have exhaled a sigh of satisfaction knowing that we share a lot of unfamiliar information on a very familiar dish that you regularly have. 

In fact, this meat recipe is an omnipresent dish, and we are sure that you never knew how these spices, herbs, and other ingredients helped with their zests to flavor it. So as you see, herbs and spices in meatloaf like garlic, black pepper, parsley, and thyme get together and meet the taste of this dish, bringing you the experience of a genuine celebration meal.

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