Meatloaf Burgers

published Oct 7, 2022
Meatloaf Burgers Recipe

Craving meatloaf but are short on time? Make meatloaf burgers. Shaping into patties means is a fasttrack solution to getting extra crispyness in every bite!


Prep30 minutes

Cook20 minutes to 25 minutes

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Photo of a meatloaf burger with meatloaf, potatoes, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, mayo.
Credit: Photo: Julia Gartland; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

It’s that time of year when meatloaf starts to make its regular rotation into monthly, if not weekly, dinners. Because I’m from the Midwest, I was never short on meatloaf dinners and honestly was never mad at them either. In fact, at one of my favorite restaurant jobs in Wisconsin, we developed a bison meatloaf that we amped up with Mexican chorizo for extra fat and flavor. It was a hit with the guests and the chefs alike!

With our lives back to busy, I find it tough to carve out time for baking a meatloaf at night for an hour or more. So why not marry the quick-cooking abilities of a burger with the flavor and soft texture of a meatloaf? By shaping the mixture into patties not only do you reduce the cooking time to 15 minutes, but you also get crispy goodness in every bite! It’s like everybody gets the coveted end piece with all the beautiful browned bits for crunch and flavor. 

To make sure the oat mixture is hydrated and to keep the tender burgers together, I let the meat mixture rest for a bit and then chill out (and firm up) in the fridge. If you make the meat mixuture in the morning or the night before, you’ll be burger-ready come dinnertime.

Credit: Photo: Julia Gartland; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

For these meatloaf burgers I opted for a gluten-free version using oats instead of the standard bread or breadcrumbs. I like serving them on butter lettuce leaves with a fork and knife, but if you prefer to serve them on a bun, go for it!

Ketchup is a classic meatloaf addition and I added it to the meat mixture in this recipe. It adds the sweet-savory flavor you crave in a meatloaf, and the sugar in the ketchup helps build a deep, flavorful crust on the outside when you sear the patties. The burgers are packed with flavor, so I found that a bit of mayo and some browned mushrooms were the perfect accents. Of course, feel free to use your favorite toppings. When it comes to meatloaf (and burgers), everyone has their own condiment personality. That’s what makes these classic dishes extra comforting.

Meatloaf Burgers Recipe

Craving meatloaf but are short on time? Make meatloaf burgers. Shaping into patties means is a fasttrack solution to getting extra crispyness in every bite!

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes to 25 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


For the burgers:

  • 1/2 cup

    old-fashioned rolled oats

  • 1/4 cup

    whole or 2% milk

  • 1

    large egg

  • 3 tablespoons


  • 1 tablespoon

    Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    smoked paprika

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1

    small carrot (about 2 ounces)

  • 1

    medium shallot

  • 1 ounce

    Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup firmly packed freshly grated or 1/3 cup store-bought grated)

  • 1 pound

    ground beef chuck (80% lean)

  • 8 ounces

    cremini mushrooms

  • 3 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

Serving options:

  • 4 potato or brioche buns

    Bibb lettuce leaves

    Sliced pickles

    Sliced tomato





  1. Place 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/4 cup whole or 2% milk, 1 large egg, 3 tablespoons ketchup, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt in a medium bowl. Stir with a flexible spatula until the egg is completely incorporated and the mixture is a pale pink color. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, peel and finely chop 1 small carrot (about 1/2 cup) and 1 medium shallot (about 3 tablespoons). Finely grate 1 ounce Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 packed cup) or measure out 1/3 cup store-bought grated.

  3. Add the carrots, shallots, and Parmesan cheese to the oat mixture and stir to combine. Add 1 pound ground beef and 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt. Mix with your hands until evenly combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 10 hours.

  4. Let the meat mixture sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, slice 8 ounces cremini mushrooms 1/3-inch thick.

  5. Divide the meat mixture into 4 portions (about 7 1/2 ounces each). Shape each one into a patty about 4-inches wide and 3/4-inch thick. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large frying pan (at least 12 inches) over medium heat until shimmering. Add the patties in a single layer (cook in batches if needed). Cover with a lid slightly ajar to let a little bit of steam out. Sear undisturbed until the bottoms are deep golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes.

  6. Flip the patties and replace the lid slightly ajar. Cook until the second side is deep brown and the temperature registers at least 160ºF on an instant-read thermometer, 4 to 7 minutes more. Reduce the heat as needed if they are browning too quickly. Transfer to a plate.

  7. Add the mushrooms, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt to the pan (no need to wipe out). Increase the heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan as the mushrooms let off moisture, until the mushrooms are golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes.

  8. Serve each patty on a bed of bibb lettuce or in a hamburger bun topped with the mushrooms and additional toppings and condiments as desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.