Glazed Buttermilk Meatloaf via The Parsley Thief

katie vitucci

This past summer I was engrossed in a reality cooking competition on the Food Network called The Next Food Network Star.  I haven't seen every season of the show, but typically once I begin watching I get sucked in up until a winner is declared.  

Anyway - a few weeks before this past season began, a friend of mine from high school  contacted me to let me know a fellow graduate from our school would be competing in the upcoming season.  Her name is Mary Beth Albright. Of course I wanted her to win - not just because we share the same hometown, but because after watching the season I was easily convinced she would indeed make a great food television show host.  

While the show was airing, Mary Beth would simultaneously post her personal take on the developments of each week's episode on her blog - occasionally also posting one of her recipes from the competition.  The recipe of Mary Beth's that sparked my interest most was for this meatloaf. I think what sets this recipe apart from the rest is the use of panko breadcrumbs and buttermilk {full fat, if you can find it!}.  The panko gives the meatloaf a lighter's not as dense as when using regular breadcrumbs and the buttermilk gives it a slight tang.  Mary Beth recommends, as I always do, that you use the best ingredients possible.  Buy your favorite bottle of BBQ sauce, or make you own.  Use Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, if available.  As you know, I love using fresh herbs and in instances such as this it really makes a difference in the final product.

This recipe has been sitting on the back burner of my "to make soon" list because does one really want to make meatloaf in August?  No, not me.  This is winter food - and even better it's the kind of meal that's perfect for December when everyone is pressed for time because it can be made ahead.

In my version here, I used all ground beef versus a combination of beef and pork - mainly because that's what I had on hand, but also because I like using all beef when making meatloaf...use whichever you prefer.  The recipe also didn't specify what kind of brown sugar to use, so I used 1/2 light and 1/2 dark.  I later read in the comment section that she recommends dark brown sugar, but really either works here. 

Glazed Buttermilk Meatloaf

Adapted from Mary Beth Albright

Serves 6-8

You will have more sauce than you need for glazing the meatloaf.  I recommend using some of the extra to serve alongside the meatloaf and if you plan on eating the leftovers the next day in a sandwich, the sauce will make a great condiment for that as well.  If not, simply reduce the quantities when making the sauce by half.  The original recipe calls for full fat buttermilk, which I couldn't find in any stores near me.  I used lowfat buttermilk and I thought it worked well, but if you can get your hands on the real stuff, I would!



1 cup ketchup

1 cup BBQ sauce {your favorite brand}

1/2 cup brown sugar {light or dark, or a combo of both}



1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup finely chopped onion {roughly 1 medium}

1 large clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 cup buttermilk, well-shaken

2 pounds ground beef 

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To make the glaze: Add the ketchup, BBQ sauce and brown sugar to a saucepan and place over low heat.  Keep on stove over low heat, stirring occasionally, while you prepare the meatloaf.

1.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic; saute for 4-5 minutes, or until softened.  Stir in the parsley, basil and tomato paste and cook for an additional minute.  Set aside to cool.

2. In a large mixing bowl soak the breadcrumbs in the buttermilk for 5 minutes.  Add the ground beef, Parmesan cheese, onion mixture, salt and pepper; mix gently with your hands until just combined.  On a rimmed baking sheet, form the mixture into a loaf and brush all exposed sides with some of the glaze. {Note: I like to divide the sauce into two separate bowls - one for brushing the meatloaf and one for serving later on.  This way the sauce used as a condiment doesn't come in contact with raw meat}

3. Bake for 50 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.  Remove the meatloaf from the oven and brush with additional glaze several times throughout baking.  Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.  Serve the meatloaf with extra sauce on the side.