Romney vs. Obama Recipe Cook-Off: Romney’s Meatloaf Goes Against Obama’s Chili

Two men. One highly sought-after job opening.

Who will win?

If you’ve looked at the issues from every angle and can’t yet decide who to give your vote to on November 6, maybe the presidential nominees’ favorite recipes will help sway you.

President Barack Obama doesn’t just enjoy good food, he likes making it, too. During the last election we found his personal chili recipe and thought it was good enough to share with all of you! While we’re not sure if Governor Mitt Romney ever rolls up his sleeves in the kitchen, we know he’s also a fan of classic American food, favoring his wife’s homemade meatloaf recipe.

Both are meaty recipes these hard-working men can really sink their teeth in to after a long day on the campaign trail. Which tastes better? Which is better for you? To answer that, we went in to our nonpartisan kitchen to whip up a couple of meals fit for a president.

Mitt Romney sells himself as an All-American man, and he makes the case for that argument with his favorite meal – Anne Romney’s Meatloaf Cakes. Mrs. Romney makes this for him every year on his birthday. She also serves these individual meatloaf cakes with mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, and carrots, and tops each with a sweet sauce.

The meatloaf itself is pretty classic, with ground beef, eggs, breadcrumbs and season salt that is formed in to little cakes.

We prepared Romney’s recipe in a muffin tin, then topped each little cake with the sweet sauce of ketchup, brown sugar, cloves, and all spice. Mr. Romney must be a man of discernible taste because these were very good.

Romney Meatloaf Cakes


– 1.5 pounds ground beef
– 4 slices bread, crumbled into small pieces, or 3/4 cup dried bread crumbs
– 1 large egg
– 1/4 cup chopped onion
– 1/4 cup lemon juice
– 2 tsp. seasoned salt


– 1/4 cup ketchup
– 1/4 cup brown sugar
– 1 tsp. dry mustard
– 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
– 1/4 tsp. ground allspice


1. For the meatloaf cakes: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, crumbled bread or bread crumbs, egg, onion, lemon juice and seasoned salt. Mix lightly but thoroughly and shape into 6-8 small loaves. Space evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes; meanwhile, prepare the sauce.

2. For the sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, cloves and allspice. When the meatloaf cakes have baked for 15 minutes, brush each loaf with sauce and return to the oven. Continue to bake until the meatloaf cakes are 165 degrees in the center when tested with an instant-read thermometer, about 20 more minutes.

Barack Obama has had to fight to stake claim to his All-American charm and ideals, but his home cooked chili recipe should lay to rest any argument because it’s the real deal. He suggests bulking up this Southwestern favorite with a Midwestern twist – serving atop rice or spaghetti noodles. We think it stands well on its own two feet, with ground beef, green bell peppers, kidney beans, and chopped tomatoes making up the heart of this meal.

On a weeknight you can whip this chili up in a hurry; but if you’ve got time let it slow cook for a few hours to really let the cumin, turmeric, and chili powder meld together. If you’ve got a robust garden like the first family, the bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes could be plucked fresh.

Barack Obama Chili


– 1 large onion, chopped
– 1 green pepper, chopped
– Several cloves of garlic, chopped
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 pound ground turkey or beef
– ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
– ¼ teaspoon ground oregano
– ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
– ¼ teaspoon ground basil
– 1 tablespoon chili powder
– 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
– Several tomatoes, depending on size, chopped
– 1 can red kidney beans


1. Saute onions, green pepper and garlic in olive oil until soft
2. Add ground turkey or beef and brown
3. Combine spices together then add to ground meat
4. Add red wine vinegar
5. Add tomatoes and let simmer, until tomatoes cook down
6. Add kidney beans and cook for a few more minutes
7. Serve over white or brown rice
8. Garnish with grated cheddar cheese, onions and sour cream

So who’s the winner in this presidential candidate cook-off? Frankly, we need a few electoral votes to make the decision for us. The two meals are so American, and yet each satisfies in a completely different way. Both are hearty, winter fare with a lot of flavor and a lot of homemade heart. They’re just too good to pick a winner!

Romney’s individual meatloaves come in at 250 calories a piece; Obama’s chili has 411 calories per bowl. Being mindful that the serving size is almost 50 percent larger for President Obama’s chili, these recipes are almost on par for nutrition.

If you needed to trim down calories in either recipe you can replace the beef with ground turkey. With the chili you can bulk nutrition by skipping the white carbs and serve it over baked sweet potatoes. With the meatloaf, bulk up the fiber by using whole grain bread crumbs and cut the brown sugar in half to reduce the sweet calories; go easy on the mashed potatoes but stock up on the carrots!

Also Read:

Battle of the Biceps: Who’s Healthier Between Obama and Romney

White House Beer and Honey Secrets Revealed in Michelle Obama’s “American Grown”

Presidential Candidate Positions on Health Care


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