Heat to 350°F. Position rack in center of oven.
Line a rimmed baking sheet or 13x9" shallow baking dish with parchment or foil.
3/4 cup panko, breadcrumbs (regular or herb) or Saltine* crackers, crushed (25 crackers)
1/4 cup whole milk
1 large beaten egg
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup celery, fine diced
1 1/2 cups yellow onion, fine diced or grated
8 ounces mushrooms, fine diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/2 pounds ground beef, preferably 15 % fat
1/2 pound ground pork, chicken or turkey*, optional
2/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Muscles, eyes, and teeth
8-12 slices raw bacon
string cheese, optional
In a large bowl mix panko and milk, let sit for about 5 minutes.
Beat in egg, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce to the mixture.
Stir in the next nine ingredients.
Add the ground meat and mix until well combined.
Transfer the meat mixture to the prepared baking sheet and shape it into a loaf that looks like a face. Try to keep it an even thickness throughout. Or shape the meat mixture into individual single serving faces.
Whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, and vinegar in a small bowl.
Assemble and bake
Place small rectangular pieces of cut onion for the teeth.
Use larger curved or rounded pieces of onion or black olives for the eyes.
Wrap the raw bacon around the face and place a few pieces going over the face diagonally.
Gently brush the glaze over the meatloaf.
Add some string cheese over the face as well, if desired.
Leave the pieces of cheese without glaze for more of a mummy effect.
Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the center of the meatloaf registers at 160 degrees F.
Cooking time may be more or less depending on the thickness and size of your meatloaf.
Use 3 pounds of ground beef if not using other ground meat option.
If using Saltines, reduce salt to 2 teaspoons.
You could also create hands, feet or other body parts.