Sweet-and-Sour Meat Loaf Recipe
Sweet-and-Sour Meat Loaf Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Sweet-and-Sour Meat Loaf Recipe

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4.5 72 83
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My husband and I like basic, hearty meat-and-potatoes meals. The sweet-and-sour flavor adds a deliciously different twist to this longtime standby. I hardly ever make plain meat loaf anymore. You may not, either, once you've tasted this one. —Debbie Haneke, Stafford, Kansas
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 1 hour
MAKES:6 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 1 hour
MAKES: 6 servings


  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons prepared mustard

Nutritional Facts

1 slice: 419 calories, 17g fat (6g saturated fat), 146mg cholesterol, 969mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (23g sugars, 1g fiber), 28g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs, salt, pepper and eggs; crumble beef over top and mix well. Add onion and half of the tomato sauce. Press into a 9x5-in. loaf pan.
  2. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes. In a saucepan, combine the sugars, vinegar, mustard and remaining tomato sauce; bring to a boil. Pour over meat loaf; bake 10 minutes longer or until no pink remains and a thermometer reads 160°.
  3. Freeze option: Securely wrap and freeze cooled meat loaf in plastic wrap and foil. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Unwrap meat loaf; reheat on a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan in a preheated 350° oven until heated through and a thermometer inserted in center reads 165°. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Sweet and Sour Meat Loaf in Reminisce March/April 1991, p37

Light-Bodied Red Wine

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

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pattycake10 User ID: 2475727 260195
Reviewed Jan. 24, 2017 Edited Jan. 25, 2017

"My family likes this recipe. You can make the sauce more sweet and sour if that is the taste your family prefers. I found the recipe to be good just the way it is for my families taste."

ladydi001 User ID: 8895708 259608
Reviewed Jan. 13, 2017

"Great Recipe. I made as written and it was delicious but I prefer using crackers instead of bread crumbs in my meat loaf (guess it's what you get used to), so the next time I doubled the recipe and made it with a sleeve and a half saltine crackers and added a packet of onion soup mix for more robust flavor. It was absolutely delicious. I froze one of the loafs uncooked along with a baggie of the prepared sauce for an easy fix meal later. Next time I might also try making all the tomato sauce into the topping sauce and adding half to the mixture instead of straight tomato sauce. I am also going to use this sauce for my meatball appetizers in my slow cooker."

JohnRascal2 User ID: 8492879 259573
Reviewed Jan. 12, 2017

"Great recipe. My only adjustment was to prepare the topping sauce and add that to the meat mixture rather than straight tomato sauce. Delicious. I definitely will make again."

mastifflady User ID: 4620346 259473
Reviewed Jan. 9, 2017

"I have also used this recipe for years. Everyone has loved it. I was so glad to see this recipe, lost it in moving. Will print and put it in recipe box. The sauce is what makes it so good."

gunslinger User ID: 544392 258548
Reviewed Dec. 24, 2016

"Very good! The sauce was delicious!"

mom2tek User ID: 2534958 253503
Reviewed Sep. 1, 2016

"This is a family favorite! Every time I make this they love it and tell me I should make it every day. Even my kids eat it up!"

KristineChayes User ID: 1441542 252638
Reviewed Aug. 13, 2016

"The meatloaf was very tasty but, based on some of the reviews, I omitted the 1/2 cup sugar, increased the brown sugar to 1/2 cup, and added an extra tablespoon of vinegar to the sauce/topping to produce a stronger sweet-sour taste. My family loved it! Thanks for the recipe."

LAM1 User ID: 1190538 243401
Reviewed Feb. 7, 2016

"I have made this recipe for years. It is great - I don't change a thing except occasional use 1/2 ground beef & 1/2 ground turkey."

dschultz01 User ID: 1076910 242951
Reviewed Jan. 31, 2016

"Great easy recipe for meatloaf. Didn't have much of a sweet n sour taste, but was still very good!"

BelleChis User ID: 8556146 242233
Reviewed Jan. 21, 2016

"Love this recipe, it's easy and tasty, make it for my family often. I add green pepper and worcestershire sauce for a bit more zip. Thanks for sharing."

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