Beef and pork meat loaf is classic comfort food, especially when served alongside cheesy mashed potatoes and your favorite veggies. This one-bowl recipe comes together in a breeze, making for an easy weeknight dinner. Best of all, any leftovers make for tasty meat loaf sandwiches the next day! Simply slice a loaf of store-bought or homemade sourdough bread, layer it with cheese and a slice of meat loaf, and toast the sandwich in a skillet until golden.
Beef and Pork Meat Loaf Ingredients
- Ground meat: You can’t have meat loaf without ground meat. This recipe calls for a combination of ground beef and ground pork.
- Crushed cheese crackers: Cracker crumbs mixed with milk add moisture to the meat loaf. The use of cheese crackers in this recipe enhances the meat loaf’s savory flavor.
- Eggs: Eggs help to bind all the ingredients together.
- Ketchup: A sweet and tangy topping made from ketchup and brown sugar helps to prevent the meat loaf from drying out while cooking. It also adds a delicious caramelized flavor.
Step 1: Cook the onions
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Saute the onion in oil in a small skillet until tender. Let cool to room temperature.
Step 2: Make the loaf
Combine the eggs, milk, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, cracker crumbs, salt, pepper, thyme and onion in a large bowl. Crumble the ground beef and pork over the mixture, and mix well.
Shape the mixture into a loaf, and place it in a greased 11×7-inch baking dish.
Step 3: Bake the loaf
Bake the meat loaf, uncovered, for one hour. Remove from the oven. Stir together the ketchup and brown sugar; spread half of the sauce over the meat loaf. Return to the oven. Bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until no pink remains and a thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the loaf reads 160°. Let the loaf stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with remaining sauce.
Editor’s Tip: An instant-read thermometer is one of our essential kitchen tools. These are our top meat thermometers.
Beef and Pork Meat Loaf Variations
- Change the meats: This recipe can be made with all ground beef or all ground pork. You could also substitute ground lamb or ground turkey for some of the ground beef or ground pork.
- Add veggies: Pack in more vegetable flavor by adding diced red or green pepper to the mix. Finely shredded zucchini or carrot would also add an additional punch of nutrition.
- Swap the glaze: Consider swapping out the ketchup and brown sugar topping for your favorite barbecue or chili sauce.
- Try a different cracker: Substitute butter crackers or Italian bread crumbs for the cheese crackers.
- Add seasonings: Play around with herbs and spices. Garlic powder, smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, dried oregano or dried basil would all be tasty options.
How do you store beef and pork meat loaf?
Any leftover meat loaf can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three or four days.
Can you freeze beef and pork meat loaf?
This freezer-friendly meat loaf recipe is a great make-ahead meal. Bake the meat loaf without the sauce. Let the loaf cool completely, then securely wrap it in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Store in the freezer for up to two or three months.
To use from frozen, partially thaw the meat loaf in the refrigerator overnight. Unwrap the meat loaf, and place it in a greased shallow baking pan. Prepare the sauce as directed. Spread half of the sauce over the meat loaf. Reheat the meat loaf in a preheated 350° oven until a thermometer inserted in the center reads 165°. Serve with the remaining sauce.
Beef and Pork Meat Loaf Tips
Do you have to wait before slicing and serving beef and pork meat loaf?
Yes, let the meat loaf rest for 10 minutes to allow the juices to settle before serving. Doing so will help to ensure the meat loaf remains juicy and doesn’t crumble when sliced.
What do you serve with beef and pork meat loaf?
You won’t go wrong with the classic pairing of potatoes with meat loaf. Some of our other favorite meat loaf side dishes include green beans, lemon-scented Broccolini, a fresh green salad, buttery dinner rolls and herbed steak fries.