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 71 76
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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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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."

IngaMari User ID: 5779302 235131
Reviewed Oct. 17, 2015

"I did not like this at all. I will probably feed the leftovers to the dog! This did not taste like sweet & sour at all. When I was making it I thought it seemed like a lot of sugar and it was . The meatloaf was super sweet tasting.

Neither my husband or I liked it and I will not make it again."

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