Best-Ever Meat Loaf Recipe
Best-Ever Meat Loaf Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Best-Ever Meat Loaf Recipe

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4.5 31 49
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The combination of onion, carrots, parsley and cheese—plus the tomato-mustard topping—makes this meat loaf unusually colorful. It's an attractive entree to serve, and it has a unique, unforgettable flavor. The recipe lends itself easily to being doubled or halved to suit the number you're cooking for, and it also freezes well. —Anna Baker, Blaine, Washington
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 1-1/4 hours + standing
MAKES:6 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 1-1/4 hours + standing
MAKES: 6 servings


  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 slices bread, torn
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar or part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil, thyme or sage, optional
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard

Nutritional Facts

1 slice: 398 calories, 17g fat (9g saturated fat), 164mg cholesterol, 771mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (22g sugars, 1g fiber), 30g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add milk and bread; let stand until liquid is absorbed. Stir in the onion, carrot, cheese and seasonings. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.
  2. Shape into a 7-1/2-in. x 3-1/2-in. x 2-1/2-in. loaf in a shallow baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 45 minutes.
  3. Combine the topping ingredients; spoon half of the mixture over meat loaf. Bake 30 minutes longer or until meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer reads 160°, occasionally spooning remaining topping over loaf. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Best-Ever Meat Loaf in Reminisce Extra February 1993, p47

Light-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a light-bodied red wine such as Pinot Noir.

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climbergirl User ID: 6556579 248640
Reviewed May. 25, 2016

"This was pretty good. I'll make it again with some modifications. Mainly, my husband and I both thought the sauce was way too sweet. Next time, I'll cut it by at least half. I also added a couple cloves of garlic."

Yarmel008 User ID: 3595329 246629
Reviewed Apr. 5, 2016

"The title of this recipe doesn't lie it is the Best-Ever Meatloaf! This has become one of our family favorites!"

redmm97 User ID: 7278824 242713
Reviewed Jan. 28, 2016

"Add a couple cloves of fresh garlic!!"

Rivkel User ID: 7467768 218740
Reviewed Jan. 24, 2015

"Very flavorful. Mt onions and carrots were not soft at the end, so next time I may cook them first and then add to the meat loaf to bake. This was delicious meatloaf. My boys and husband liked it which counts for everything."

lmmanda User ID: 1101093 17683
Reviewed Apr. 7, 2014

"This is my extra picky son's favorite meatloaf. I always use ketchup in the topping instead of tomato sauce"

GoVikes28 User ID: 7368436 17492
Reviewed Apr. 1, 2014

"My family loved this recipe and my husband usually isn't a meatloaf fan!"

Vancil User ID: 7513491 15935
Reviewed Feb. 8, 2014

"BEST meatloaf we've ever had"

milo13 User ID: 4314092 17636
Reviewed Nov. 19, 2013

"This really was the best meatloaf I ever made. My husband agreed."

Jingleboy User ID: 5379206 13166
Reviewed Oct. 15, 2013

"I have made this meat-loaf so many times, always make 2, one for us and one to give or freeze. I pass on the 'optional seasonings' and substitute ketchup and use swiss cheese, Glad it's still on the web-site, because I wore out the original copy. This is soooo good, and all men love meat loaf. Well, all men I know. I've been to your cooking school, highly recommended!"

hjbrower User ID: 7259822 37453
Reviewed May. 12, 2013

"I love this recipe and so does my family. For 20 years I made the same recipe until I found this one and now this is the only one I make. The sauce is yummy! Love it! Thanks!!!"

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