Grilled Meatloaf Burgers


Check this out. Sometimes this all-encompassing obsession with food has its benefits. (Excuse me, please, while I pat myself on the back for this one. Although I’m quite certain someone somewhere has already thought of it – they can get equal kudos for their obvious culinary brilliance.)

So I was driving recently, or rather I was daydreaming in the passenger seat, imagining myself eating a meatloaf sandwich. Some fantasize about George Clooney; my mind wanders to meatloaf. Can you blame me, really? Meatloaf sandwiches are the best, aren’t they? I mean, they are more often than not my motivation for making meatloaf in the first place. That, and ketchup.

So it occurred to me that one could morph meatloaf and burgers on the barbecue. Although I am a longtime fan of the grilled burger, I don’t make them often at home. (This could be partly due to my underlying prejudice against homemade burgers, instilled at an early age when my Dad would broil patties made with extra-lean ground beef and oat bran in approximately a 50-50 ratio. He’s a gastroenterologist; I suppose this excuses him for being a particularly vocal advocate of fiber. Needless to say, my first fast-food burger was a mind-blowing revelation.)

But – meatloaf. You could bake a meatloaf, and then chill it, and then grill thick slabs to heat it through, brushing with barbecue sauce or the sticky glaze normally reserved for the top of a meatloaf. Couldn’t you? Oh yes. You sure could. Especially if you had leftovers.

Bonus: this relieves any pressure of whomever is in charge of the barbecue to ensure they cook the burgers through without overcooking them, as well as the need to break one or two open to see just how pink they are inside. Because hey, the meatloaf is cooked already.

If you need a meatloaf recipe, there are plenty to be found online. Cook it, chill it, slice it thick. If there is a glaze, save it to brush on while you grill. Then all you need to do is add a slab of aged white cheddar (or, you know, whatever) after the first flip, and close the lid so that it melts.

And so it has come to be that W will not carry a homemade burger prejudice on his shoulders into adulthood.

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23 comments on “Grilled Meatloaf Burgers

  1. Cheryl
    August 15, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    My problem is that I never have leftover meatloaf. we had some the other day and we ate it all. Every last sticky piece.

  2. Dana McCauley
    August 15, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Cheryl, you could make two meatloaves.

    And Julie, you are super brilliant!

  3. JulieVR
    August 16, 2009 at 5:59 am

    TOTALLY. In fact, I was just talking to my sister last night about making twice as much while you’re at it and freezing the rest – in general. Like when I roast a chicken I roast two – exactly the same amount of work, and energy – when the oven is on, you might as well maximize it! As she put it: if I’m cooking, I’m cooking enough for 4 meals, not one!

  4. ajdoula
    August 16, 2009 at 6:18 am

    I do the same with lasagne – might as well double it when you’re making a mess anyway!

  5. Vivian
    August 16, 2009 at 7:02 am

    Really good idea, Julie! Never thought of that and I like that I wouldn’t be anxious over under-done burgers. The crispy edges are what I also go for with meatloaf and I just had a thought that (if you had one) you could bake the loaf in one of those nifty “square S-shaped” pans for brownies that came out a while back for people who like the crispy sides. Hope you know the ones I’m referring to…seen advertised in the back of “Fine Cooking” a lot.

  6. Kate
    August 16, 2009 at 7:33 am

    It’s a steamer of a day here. My husband just looked over my shoulder at this post… and, yep, you guessed it. He wants to fire up the oven this morning to bake a meatloaf for grilled burgers tonight! Unfortunately, I will be here with the heat while he goes and works on our town house. Thanks, Julie?? 🙂
    It does sound delicious and I am sure the heat will be worth it. I’ll let you know if it’s one time when something tastes as good as being thin feels!!
    Two cheers from us for brilliance!

  7. thepinkpeppercorn
    August 16, 2009 at 8:03 am

    Totally awesome! I’ve grilled “slices” of it before, but haven’t made it into a burger yet. The grill adds so much, I can’t wait!

  8. Pat
    August 16, 2009 at 8:45 am

    Meatloaf sandwiches are my favourite too. I have used meatloaf in my “patty melts”. Yummy! Since I live in an apartment, I have to use a stove top grill. I will try it sometime on my daughter’s barbeque.

  9. Nancy G
    August 16, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Honestly Julie…you are a genius! This sounds and looks so delicious and I will try for sure!! By the way the watermelon salsa is quite possibly the best thing we have ever tasted –took it a BBQ last night and it was a hit.

  10. JulieVR
    August 16, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Wow – that’s high praise! Thanks!

  11. Carolyn
    August 16, 2009 at 11:17 am

    What an awesome idea! My family loves meatloaf and we have it even more often in the warm months because we make it on the BBQ already – buy those disposable tinfoil loaf pans and there isn’t even any clean up! I will definitely make two next time so we can enjoy them as burgers. Yahoo!

  12. Lori @ RecipeGirl
    August 16, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    This looks like a good one for the Build a Better Burger contest in Napa. $50,000 to win!

  13. Darina
    August 16, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Julie, I’ve been following your blog for awhile now and I gotta say, you’re my hero. You work, manage a family, and blog on an alomst daily basis. I want to be Julie Van Rosendaal when I grow up!

  14. JulieVR
    August 16, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Look who’s talking! Can we switch? You’re pretty damn fabulous yourself! Plus you live in Vancouver.. hard not to be jealous…

  15. Sara
    August 17, 2009 at 1:39 am

    Burgers without a BBQ, thanks for this fabulous idea!

  16. Cookie
    August 17, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Meatloaf sandwiches are the BEST especially with some potato salad or coleslaw! This is such a good idea!

  17. Pam
    August 17, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Meatloaf Burger…what a great idea!

  18. oneshotbeyond
    August 18, 2009 at 9:22 am

    that is a fabulous looking burger. I love the idea of this too. I will totally try this with my future meatloaf leftovers!

  19. Kate
    August 18, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    These were the best dinner we had in a long time!
    Thanks for the stroke of GENIUS!!

  20. Marion
    August 20, 2009 at 7:19 am

    Brilliant. I also crumble it onto pasta, drench in tomato sauce, and call it dinner. Or lunch. No one has objected yet.

  21. JulieVR
    August 20, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Ooh yes! Square meatloaf “meatballs” (meatsquares?) are one of W’s favourites!

  22. Marilynn
    August 20, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Your dad is right, fibre is so important even in burgers – I learned many things from him as my specialist years ago…and have survived all these years with more fibre than I think I needed. Glad you survived all those Bulked up burgers, too. I love the idea of the grilled meatloaf burgers, so easy. Thanks for such an entertaining site.

  23. Barbecue Chicken
    December 7, 2013 at 7:31 am

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