Meatloaf Burger: A Recipe for the Best Grilled Hamburger


Looking for the best hamburger to grill at your next backyard barbecue? Look no further. Meatloaf Burgers are the home-cooked comfort food of summer.

A meatloaf burger combines the home-cooked comfort of meatloaf with your favorite summer mainstay. If you’re on the hunt for the very best hamburger to grill at your next backyard barbecue, this is the recipe you want.

Delicious Grilled Meatloaf Burgers

With this simple recipe, you can make up a batch of Meatloaf Burgers ahead of time and store in the freezer until you’re ready to heat up the grill. Once you try a delicious, juicy Meatloaf Burger loaded with onion, parsley, crackers and more you’ll never want to eat a plain old hamburger again.

The Best Burger Recipe For Cookouts

The Best Grilled Meatloaf Burgers, a recipe passed down by my Grandpa who grilled burgers over an open fire -
My Grandpa grilling burgers over an open fire, circa 1994.

When you think of summer, how many of you immediately think of backyard barbecues with juicy hamburgers, heaping bowls of salads and side dishes, desserts and other picnic fare? I know I sure do.

Growing up, one of my favorite summer meals has always been my parents’ hamburgers using a recipe passed down to them by my grandparents. Grandma and Grandpa always made their hamburgers by adding onions, eggs, saltines and parsley to their ground beef just like you would a meatloaf.

I thought all hamburgers were made this way until one day our friends started raving about how delicious our hamburgers were. Apparently many people just use a regular plain beef patty when they make hamburgers.

Close up of a meatloaf hamburger on a bun with cheese, tomato and lettuce

What You Need:

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Kitchen Tools Needed:


These are the ingredients you’ll need. All the exact amounts are in the printable card at the bottom of this post.

Side view of a delicious grilled hamburger on a plate with french fries

Baked Meatloaf Patties or Grilled Meatloaf Burgers

Although Meatloaf Burgers can be baked in the oven, fried in a pan or barbecued on a gas grill, my Dad’s real specialty is cooking them on a tripod grill over an open fire. He says there’s an art to it, but I think it helps that Mom makes him wear an Ove Glove to hold the chains steady when he’s raising and lowering the grill.

It’s really hard to beat the flavor of a delicious meal cooked over an open fire, especially a Meatloaf Burger made by my Dad. I honestly think my Dad would cook every meal over an open fire in the summer if he could figure out how. (Did you see the picture of my Grandpa? I think it’s genetic!)

How Long To Grill Burgers

Generally, you want to grill the burgers until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. How long you grill them depends on the type of heat you are using and how hot it is.

Grilling hamburgers on the gas trill should only take about 5 minutes per side, but check the temperature for done-ness before serving them.

Meatloaf Burger: A Recipe for the Best Grilled Hamburger -

Use A Hamburger Press

The other trick to making a great Meatloaf Burger is to use a non-stick hamburger press to keep them uniform in shape and size. We also like to use patty paper to prevent the beef from sticking to the hamburger press and to keep each Meatloaf Burger separated until we’re ready to grill. Patty paper is essentially wax paper, but it’s already cut into small squares so it’s convenient and ready to use whenever you have a craving for a Meatloaf Burger.

Meatloaf Burger: A Recipe for the Best Grilled Hamburger -

Meatloaf Burgers Recipe

Here is the recipe for meatloaf burgers that was passed down from my grandparents. I know you’ll love them so much, you’ll never go back to boring hamburger patties again.

Meatloaf Burger: A Recipe for the Best Grilled Hamburger

Looking for the best hamburger to grill at your next backyard barbecue? Look no further. Meatloaf burgers are the home-cooked comfort food of summer.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: hamburger, Meatloaf Burger
Servings: 16 Burgers
Calories: 140kcal
Author: Carrie Ypma


  • 3 pounds Ground Beef
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 cup Parsley Dried or Fresh
  • 1 sleeve Saltine Crackers approx. 37 crackers
  • 1 3/4 cup Onion Chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Garlic Powder


  • In a large bowl combine ground beef, eggs, parsley, saltine crackers, onion, pepper, salt and garlic powder.
  • Use about 1/4 pound of beef and roll it into a large ball. Put a patty paper on the bottom of the hamburger press, then place the ball of meat on the center of the paper.
  • Cover the ball with another square of patty paper.
  • Then lower the lid of the hamburger press and push down until it forms a nice round Meatloaf Burger patty.
  • Place the Meatloaf Burger patties side by side on a large baking sheet. Keep the patty paper between the Meatloaf Burgers to separate them.
  • You can either grill the Meatloaf Burgers immediately or freeze them on the baking sheet to enjoy another day. Once each Meatloaf Burger is frozen solid, you can transfer them from the cookie sheet into a large resealable freezer bag. Frozen Meatloaf Burgers do not need to be thawed before grilling.


Serving: 1pattie | Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 145mg | Potassium: 364mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 360IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag us on Instagram at @kenarryideas or leave us a comment rating below.
Close up of the inside of a juicy grilled hamburger

How To Serve A Great Meatloaf Burger

A freshly grilled Meatloaf Burger should be served on a bun and topped with cheese, ketchup, mustard, mayo and any other favorite condiments. Sliced tomato, onions, and lettuce also add some great flavor.

We enjoyed our Meatloaf Burgers with Easy Macaroni Salad. It would also be great served with french fries or one of these side dish recipes:

Close up of french fries next to a meatloaf hamburger on a bun with cheese, tomato and lettuce

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What’s Next?

While you’re here, be sure to check out these other easy dinner recipes on Ideas for the Home by Kenarry:

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Meatloaf Hamburgers

Originally published June 2014. Updated June 2018. Photos updated February 2020.

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  1. MMmm, yummy! I’ve never tried making burgers this way before, but considering how everyone raves about yours, I’ll have to try them! 🙂

  2. YUMM! I’m positive yours will taste much better than any attempt I make. I would actually make th 4 and a 1/2 hour drive to you to eat these HA!

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  5. I’ve never seen those handy parchment squares, what type store would you find those in?

    Thank you…can’t wait to try these burgers, Memorial weekend will be perfect.

      1. I am a amateur grill cook who likes to experiment, well I did over the weekend, I mixed all the ingredients and the froze them as per your instructions, I made 2 of them tonight and they were OUTSTANDING I will never cook a plain burger again. I never heard of Patty Papers and neither did my wife and her name is Patty, we use parchment paper (cut to Squares). What a great recipe Thanks

        1. Oh Jim! You made my day. This is a long time family recipe – and one of our very favorites to enjoy in the summer. Glad you enjoy it as much as we do!

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