Meatloaf Burger with ketchup, shallots and parsley
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Meatloaf Burger. Obviously, Ketchup is involved.

Ketchup on a burger. Yes, you can still enjoy this condiment as an adult. The Meatloaf Burger brings back childhood nostalgia with a simple, bold recipe. Single or double?

Classic Flavors on a Bun

If you still love meatloaf, you will enjoy this Meatloaf burger. Even if you’re not the type that has enjoyed it, you will enjoy this burger. It’s hard to deny that these classic flavors for a meatloaf recipe coming together won’t be good. Very, very simple burger here.

Don’t worry, I won’t go into a life story here. Heinz had a huge contest this 2021 summer for their Art of the Burger Competition, awarding prizes for the best burgers in every category (ketchup, mustard, mayo, etc.). I chose to work with ketchup, which is also the most difficult condiment for me.

Face it, most adults don’t seem to enjoy ketchup anymore. Too sugary? Maybe we just learned about spicy food and decided to leave our ketchup bottles to ferment in the fridge. There were definitely many years in my life that ketchup was non-existent.

What meals do you enjoy with ketchup? Looking back, the one thing I can see the majority of foodies still leaning towards is meatloaf. Slap on that coat of ketchup at the end, slice it thick, and you basically have a burger…

Ketchup is a star with this burger, topped with shallots

Simple Meatloaf Seasonings

Simplifying meatloaf, we can break down the basic flavors to these:

  • Salt & pepper
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Herbs (parsley typically)
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Ketchup

Purists might argue that eggs, Worcestershire sauce, or other ingredients should be included. Possibly, but I’m all about minimalist burgers when possible.

Preferred Method for Cooking

The Meatloaf Burger deserves to be thick. Smash burgers are incredibly tasty, best served with cheese. Ideally, you’ll enjoy a 1/4 to 1/3 lb burger, slightly pressed in the center and seared in a skillet or a griddle. That thick, meaty bite needs to reflect a juicy slice of meatloaf.

Grilling your burgers? Do it. It’s delicious, and adding the ketchup right at the end while it’s still on the grill adds that roasty-sweet flavor you’d get from meatloaf. Definitely a power move.

Smoking your burgers? Yes, this would absolutely work. Smoked meatloaf happens to be quite popular. Adding the ketchup near the end would allow it to absorb a lot of the wood flavors.

Do you need a top bun with this meatloaf-inspired burger?

The best part is…

Fried shallots. Not ashamed.

These crispy fried onions can top almost anything you cook, and they would be the star. If you haven’t tried shallots before, they almost taste like a hybrid of garlic and onion. Frying them to a crisp seems to enhance that flavor, also adding some obviously fun texture when added to the burger.

Frying them couldn’t be easier. You just need some cooking oil and the shallots. Take a handful (or two) of thinly sliced shallots, put them in a small pan with oil, and fry them over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Stir them around during the process to make sure they cook evenly and then drain them on a paper towel when golden brown. Don’t forget to season lightly with salt.

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Meatloaf Burger with ketchup, shallots and parsley

Meatloaf Burger

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The Meatloaf Burger brings back childhood nostalgia with a simple, bold recipe.

  • Total Time: 15
  • Yield: 2-4 1x


  • 1 lb ground beef, 80/20
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped fine
  • Ketchup, to preference
  • 2 shallots, peeled and sliced lengthwise to about 1/8” thick
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 hamburger buns (2 sets if you’re making double burgers)


  1. Fry the shallots first. Place the oil in a small saucepan. Add the shallots and place the pan on the stove over medium heat. Fry the shallots for about 15-20 minutes, stirring them gently during the process to make sure they cook evenly. They will darken fast towards the end, so make sure you pay attention. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels, seasoning immediately with some salt.
  2. Prepare the griddle or skillet for cooking over high heat. The surface should be lightly smoking. Season the patty on one side and place it down on the flat top. Season the other side, and repeat for each burger. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, flipping, until preferred doneness.
  3. Toast the buns in the drippings.
  4. Assemble the burgers and top with ketchup, parsley, and a generous portion of shallots.


This recipe is made for 4 burgers, considering 1/4 lb of beef per burger. Prepare the seasoning for 1 lb of meat.

  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Burgers
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  1. wow I am drooling. Your meatloaf burger looks heavenly.
    I like how you didn’t add too much to it to enjoy the taste of the beef and also the ketchup.
    All I keep saying is OMG. ha ha
    Thank you for this simple yet tasty recipe.

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