Traditional Meat Loaf Recipe
Traditional Meat Loaf Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Traditional Meat Loaf Recipe

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Topped with a sweet sauce, this meat loaf tastes so good that you might want to double the recipe so everyone can have seconds. It also freezes well. —Gail Graham, Maple Ridge, British Columbia
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 1 hour + standing
MAKES:6 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 1 hour + standing
MAKES: 6 servings


  • 3 slices bread
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • GLAZE:
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard

Nutritional Facts

1 slice: 394 calories, 21g fat (10g saturated fat), 128mg cholesterol, 843mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (15g sugars, 1g fiber), 28g protein.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Tear bread into 2-inch pieces; place in a blender. Cover and pulse to form coarse crumbs; transfer to a large bowl. Stir in egg, milk, cheese, onion, carrot, salt and pepper. Add beef; mix lightly but thoroughly. Transfer to a greased 9x5-in. loaf pan.
  2. In a small bowl, mix glaze ingredients; spread over loaf. Bake 60-75 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160°. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.
    Freeze option: Bake meat loaf without glaze. Securely wrap cooled meat loaf in plastic wrap and foil, then freeze. To use, partially thaw meat loaf in refrigerator overnight. Prepare and spread glaze over top; reheat on a greased shallow baking pan in a preheated 350° oven until heated through and a thermometer inserted in center reads 165°.
    Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Traditional Meat Loaf in Taste of Home June/July 2006, p18

Light-Bodied Red Wine

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

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Nana9a User ID: 8591372 261134
Reviewed Feb. 11, 2017

"Good recipe but my family didn't care for the glaze. I'll skip that next time. Too tangy."

vewebber58 User ID: 998755 261114
Reviewed Feb. 10, 2017

"This is a terrific meatloaf recipe and I make it even better by cutting two slices of bacon in half and putting them across the top of the loaf. I put a little of the sauce on before adding the bacon because there is fat to drain off, (and some of the sauce is in the drainage), which I do after the meatloaf has baked for one hour. Then I spread on the rest of the sauce and bake for another 15 minutes. The smoky taste of the bacon - I use thick sliced - gives it wonderful flavor. Makes delicious sandwiches the next day! Adding bacon on the top of other meatloaf recipes makes them even better as well. I use at least 90% lean ground beef."

SharonKayG User ID: 1843099 260591
Reviewed Jan. 31, 2017

"I love meatloaf... but carrots, can you taste them and what does it add to the recipe, I never have used them before in meatloaf."

cbacon1111 User ID: 8324624 260545
Reviewed Jan. 30, 2017

"Yummy. Made recipe exactly as written. Served tonight with mashed potatoes and broccoli steamed Alderney."

ohhhmeohhhmy User ID: 4351587 259001
Reviewed Jan. 1, 2017

"Excellent recipe that everyone loved. The only things I did different were to use store bought bread crumbs, halfway through cooking I drained the fat and sliced it, and then I put the glaze on top for the last half of baking."

Debglass11 User ID: 6300479 258822
Reviewed Dec. 29, 2016

"This is a great recipe! Similar to the meatloaf I've made for years, but with a few new additions.

I made a few substitutions ~ used panko crumbs instead of fresh bread crumbs and used 2 lbs of ground beef, so added an extra egg. Also added some ketchup into the beef mix. I doubled the glaze and it was perfect. An easy weeknight meal that my family loved!"

Maraywil User ID: 5845659 257612
Reviewed Dec. 3, 2016

"I don't change a thing or use any other meatloaf recipe. This one is perfect as is. I often double it and make 4 small meat loaves and then freeze 3 of them to reheat for a quick, easy meal. I usually double the sauce and sometimes just put it on before serving."

cbeisel User ID: 913574 256791
Reviewed Nov. 14, 2016

"Excellent. I added half tsp of Worcestershire sauce based on previous reviews."

homemadewithlove User ID: 4311884 250008
Reviewed Jul. 2, 2016

"This is a really good meat loaf. I also added green pepper and a few tablespoons of tomato sauce. My hubby likes it cold on sandwiches."

1914skin User ID: 8300958 245252
Reviewed Mar. 10, 2016

"Tried many meat loaf recipes, and was always so disappointed ..... yours however deserves 10 stars ..... it's even scrumptious cold!!!"

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