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Swap Out Ketchup For Tomato Jam For An Unbeatable Meatloaf Glaze

Glazed meatloaf sliced on plate
Glazed meatloaf sliced on plate - Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

Meatloaf is a dish that belongs in a Venn diagram -- a crossover of classic and contested. Meatloaf finds its way into the list of comfort foods and even favorites for some, while others hear the word and imagine a dry, crumbly experience for which the lasting impression is anything but pleasant.

But when meatloaf gets proper love and respect and is prepared in a way that highlights its best qualities, it has the potential to be transcendent. Not to mention versatile and economical (as an especially budget-friendly way to feed a family, it became popular during the Great Depression and the 1940s). But that doesn't mean it has to be bland. Part of the fun of making meatloaf is customizing it to your taste. Ketchup glaze has long been an element of the meatloaf formula, as it helps to impart tang and moisture to the exterior. But if you want a new twist on your tomatoey glaze, try swapping it out for punchy tomato jam.

Read more: 15 Tips For Making The Best Meatloaf

Why Tomato Jam Works

Jars of tomato jam with spoon
Jars of tomato jam with spoon - Fuzullhanum/Getty Images

Jam made from tomatoes may sound a little strange at first, as we most often associate jams with sweeter fruits like peaches and berries. But the combination of sweet and savory that tomatoes offer makes the basis for a flavorful spread. A basic tomato jam is made from peeled and chopped tomatoes combined with some sugar and a little lemon juice, which then is cooked down into a thick, sticky, richly flavored condiment. It's a simple process and can be customized with your own choice of additions -- in particular, spices like cumin, ginger, and cinnamon all bring depth, while red pepper flakes add a little heat.

You can also source store-bought tomato jam or find some homemade at the farmers' market. Once you have your hands on this new condiment, it's an easy swap for the ketchup in your meatloaf glaze recipe. While it maintains that tangy, umami-rich tomato essence, you get an upgrade with that cooked-down, concentrated flavor, and more complex notes from any other ingredients.

Ways To Make Your Glazed Meatloaf Sing

Meatloaf grilled cheese sandwich
Meatloaf grilled cheese sandwich - Agave Photo Studio/Shutterstock

There are dozens of ways to make a meatloaf, and with this tomato jam glazed iteration, you can expect to impress guests and satisfy cravings all around. You can keep it classic with traditional sides -- it's a snap to do a single easy sheet pan version complete with potatoes -- and have your entire meal ready at the same time. At lunchtime, turn your slices into a sandwich with a meatloaf melt, complete with caramelized onions, cheese, and toasty bread.

You can also turn meatloaf into an appetizer perfect for a party, by baking it in a muffin tin for mini meatloaves or converting your slices into meatloaf sliders on squishy sweet Hawaiian rolls. Believe it or not, you can even work meatloaf into your morning meal with a leftover meatloaf hash -- the perfect opportunity to enjoy the tomato jam paired with fried eggs. With fresh inspiration and this unbeatable new glaze, you may discover untold new tomatoey paths to meatloaf perfection.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.