Our Senior Food Editor Katherine Gillen called it last year: The boomer recipe renaissance is upon us. And personally, we’re here for it. (Say what you will about their “Live, Laugh, Love” decor—this generation knows its way around a kitchen.) Take, for example, actress Courteney Cox’s spin on old-school meatloaf.
Courteney Cox’s Simple-Yet-Fancy Meatloaf Is Proof That Boomer Recipes Deserve a Comeback
On Jan. 22, the 58-year-old Friends star took to social media to share the recipe with a video. With the help of Chef Jen O’Toole, she crafts a savory meatloaf that even your picky kids would likely love. “This is not your mom’s meatloaf—at least not mine,” she says. And she’s right: It’s topped with a traditional ketchup glaze, but caramelized onions, milk-soaked buttery crackers and fresh thyme give this riff a modern spin.
Her recipe is broken into four parts: caramelized onions, panade (traditionally a paste made from milk and bread, used here for moisture and binding), glaze and meatloaf. The panade and glaze come together while the onions caramelize, so by the time they’re finished cooking, you’ll be ready to make and mold the meatloaf.
The recipe recommends blitzing the crackers, which are used in place of bread in the panade, in a food processor; that’s the only special equipment you’ll need. If you don’t have one, you can take O’Toole’s advice and crush the crackers in a plastic bag instead.
In case you need more convincing that this vintage dish deserves a second chance on your dinner table, Cox hugs O’Toole and lovingly says, “Mom! So good,” after taking her first bite.
Read on for the full recipe.
For the caramelized onions
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 medium or large white or yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 large carrot, grated
For the panade mixture
- 5 ounces Ritz crackers or Golden Rounds crackers
- 5 ounces milk or buttermilk
For the glaze
- ¾ cup ketchup
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
For the meatloaf
- 2 pounds grass-fed ground chuck beef, 85 or 90 percent lean
- 3 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Step 2: Caramelize the onions. Add the oil to a cast iron or heavy bottom pan. Once it’s shimmering, add the onions, salt and thyme. Cook over medium-high heat until caramelized, about 30 minutes.
Step 3: Make the panade mixture. While the onions are cooking, add the Ritz crackers to the food processor and pulse until completely ground with no large pieces remaining. Measure 5 ounces of cracker crumbs and add to a bowl. Mix the milk with the cracker crumbs.
Step 4: Once the onions have caramelized, mix in the Worcestershire sauce and carrot. Add the onion mixture to the panade mixture.
Step 5: Make the glaze. In a separate bowl, add all the glaze ingredients and mix well. Set aside.
Step 6: Make the meatloaf. Add the ground beef, parsley, eggs and salt to the panade mixture, then add a few tablespoons of the glaze. Combine by hand.
Step 7: On a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper, mold the meatloaf mixture into a log shape. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
Step 8: Remove the meatloaf and brush the top with remaining glaze. Return the meatloaf to the oven and cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.
Step 9: Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.
Taryn Pire is PureWow’s associate food editor. A former bartender and barista, she’s been writing about all things delicious since 2016, developing recipes, reviewing restaurants and investigating food trends at Food52, New Jersey Family Magazine and Taste Talks. When she isn’t testing TikTok’s latest viral recipe, she’s having popcorn for dinner and posting about it on Instagram @cookingwithpire.