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My Mom's Best Meat Loaf Recipe

My Mom's Best Meat Loaf Recipe

The Rice Krispies used in this recipe are my mom’s secret ingredient. While they may seem odd or out of place, they help hold the meat loaf together. And once they are cooked, no one realizes they're even there. —Kelly Simmons, Hopkinsville, Kentucky
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Bake: 1 hour + standing YIELD:8 servings


  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small green or sweet red pepper, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 pounds ground beef


  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, mix chili sauce and ketchup. In a large bowl, combine Rice Krispies, onion, green pepper, cheese, egg, salt and pepper; stir in half of the chili sauce mixture. Add beef; mix lightly but thoroughly.
  • 2. Transfer beef mixture to an ungreased 9x5-in. loaf pan. Make a shallow indentation down center of loaf. Spread remaining chili sauce mixture over loaf, being sure to fill indentation.
  • 3. Bake 60-70 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160°; use a turkey baster to remove drippings every 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Yield: 8 servings.

Recipe Note

Editor's Note: This recipe was tested with Heinz chili sauce.

Nutritional Facts

1 slice: 299 calories, 16g fat (6g saturated fat), 103mg cholesterol, 657mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 1g fiber), 24g protein.

Reviews for My Mom's Best Meat Loaf

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dschultz01 User ID: 1076910 267355
Reviewed May. 26, 2017

"Made a pretty good tasting meatloaf. The Rice Krispies were a little odd, but you couldn't tell they were there. Not sure why they are even necessary. Maybe I'll try this with breadcrumbs and see if it turns out the same or better. We all liked it, but not the best meatloaf I've made. I really liked the chili sauce in this recipe."

lurky27 User ID: 1251896 264874
Reviewed Apr. 19, 2017

"Very tasty!"

lurky27 User ID: 1251896 264544
Reviewed Apr. 10, 2017

"This meat loaf is so tasty! Definitely worth making.

- Theresa"

oreo95 User ID: 2985724 263358
Reviewed Mar. 12, 2017

"Made this last night. Hysterical hearing the snap, crackle & pop when mixing! Delicious! Made recipe exact, but did add a second egg. Loved the tang of the chili & ketchup sauce, very moist meatloaf. You do not taste the rice krispies or even the cheese. Thanks for sharing Kelly!"

KristineChayes User ID: 1441542 256449
Reviewed Nov. 6, 2016

"This was very tasty. The only change I made, which was minor, was to use grated Italian cheese blend. The meatloaf was moist and flavorful and my family enjoyed it."

dverzic User ID: 762717 254683
Reviewed Sep. 26, 2016

"I'm giving this five stars just to balance out the review by the person who didn't make it but who wants to complain that it has too many carbs. Come on people, if it's not something you would ever make, don't review it! Sounds really good to me!"

Tricia6 User ID: 8930961 254432
Reviewed Sep. 21, 2016

"This is a basic, nice satisfying meatloaf recipe, but I wouldn't say extraordinary. I added about a half teaspoon of dried savory to give it a little complexity. Got a big kick out of the rice krispies going "snap, crackle, pop" as I mixed all the ingredients together. Tried it out on my husband and mother-in-law, and they both had two big helpings. Surrounded the meatloaf with quartered potatoes and mixed vegetables, and mixed some chili sauce with an 8 ounce can of tomato sauce and poured that over the potatoes and vegs. Everything baked together, and it was pretty tasty."

bellville User ID: 3543743 254175
Reviewed Sep. 16, 2016

"My husband doesn't care for meatloaf - he liked this one! I did sub finely chopped mushrooms (had on hand )for the Rice Krispies and grated 5 cheese blend for the mozzarella (had on hand). Baked, uncovered, in a 9x9 pan for 70 minutes. Made for 4 adults. Everyone enjoyed the flavor."

egel User ID: 6966165 254137
Reviewed Sep. 15, 2016

"Delicious! This will be my new favorite meat loaf recipe. I'm thinking the left overs are going to make a great sandwich too!"

Dianecostello User ID: 8789813 254130
Reviewed Sep. 15, 2016

"That is full of carbs and a waste of calories! Hello, Cereal! Not!"

blclark63 User ID: 2203493 254095
Reviewed Sep. 13, 2016

"I have a question. Do you cover the meatloaf before baking?"

KookieB User ID: 8859340 254087
Reviewed Sep. 13, 2016

"Tried many recipes over the yrs. and this one is good. Husband is gluten free so it works.

I never make this dish in a loaf pan as it tends to steam it instead of baking it for a much better flavor. I shape it, place it in a 9x13 baking pan. It browns up nicely."

Jenna092 User ID: 7825623 232837
Reviewed Sep. 13, 2015

"My new favorite recipe! I have been looking for a meatloaf that is tasty, classic, easy to prepare, and fit for a picky eater (describing myself here!). This recipe is perfect and the sauce completes it!"

sonic0026 User ID: 2667004 230359
Reviewed Jul. 29, 2015

"My family has been quite underwhelmed by my previous efforts at making meatloaf. But when I tried this recipe on them, they couldn't get enough. I now get frequent requests for this meatloaf, which according to them , is the best they have ever had."

PenelopeWin User ID: 5924001 223998
Reviewed Apr. 2, 2015

"I thought this meatloaf was the best meatloaf I have ever (and I really mean ever) made. I can not eat gluten due to dietary restrictions and I thought I would give this one a try. I used the Kelloggs gluten free rice Krispies. It was similar to my old recipe that used bread crumbs. I did use a little more than 2 pounds of meat. It was also 90% lean. My husband raved about this meatloaf. He is very picky and not loose with food compliments. I would recommend that you follow the directions and suction out the grease quite frequently. If you don't I think the loaf will be too mushy. I did not have any trouble with it being too much cereal. I couldn't even tell there were rice krispies in it. It was really very good."

lid0n28 User ID: 2606913 218707
Reviewed Jan. 24, 2015

"just like my own Mom made."

danielleylee User ID: 4484886 120320
Reviewed Aug. 14, 2014

"Extreme flavor and a nice departure from a standard meatloaf! I even used 93/7 lean meat! I added 2 loaves of garlic and sautéed the vegetables prior to placing them in the mix."

Beema User ID: 446601 213541
Reviewed May. 19, 2014

"Meatloaf is a mainstay at my house, and I think I have made at least ten variations over the years. This one comes very close to being our favorite. I used a combination of ground lean beef and ground pork, used two eggs, did not add the salt, added a tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon dry ground mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. I used a glass loaf pan as shown in the picture, but not mentioned in the recipe. Perfecto! As a volunteer field editor, I am happy to recommend this recipe.. and, no, you cannot taste the Rice Krispies.. they do help to absorb some of the extra drippings."

mrssweets User ID: 4369194 153095
Reviewed Apr. 24, 2014

"I made this exactly as written and it is excellent. My husband, who does not usually care for meat loaf so I don't make it often, ate three slices. I'm so glad to find one he likes because it is one of my favorites."

mcgow User ID: 1360993 127631
Reviewed Apr. 24, 2014

"This is the best meat loaf ever!!!"

LindaS_WI User ID: 7202558 200526
Reviewed Apr. 3, 2014

"I just made this for dinner last and my family fell in love with it. Very tasty, and the Rice Crispies are an interesting touch. The chili sauce topping was the big hit, but we all love that flavor so I knew they'd love it. Great job!!!!"

beckyjewell User ID: 7193894 184473
Reviewed Apr. 2, 2014

"very good, I mixed 1 lb beef with 1 lb venison burger, so I had very little fat to drain out. It had so much stuff in it, it probably should have had 2 eggs. I had to cook mine for an extra 20 minutes to get it to the proper temp. It didn't stay together very well, but it was delicious!!!"

Granny Grey User ID: 1970189 124203
Reviewed Apr. 2, 2014

"Was looking for a different meatloaf recipe and made this tonight--it was delicious! I followed the recipe exactly as stated and it came out great! The kids loved the idea that there were rice crispies inside! Thank you for this recipe, I'll be adding it to my recipe box!"

emjay98 User ID: 1972901 139740
Reviewed Apr. 1, 2014

"This was a huge success in my family. It had a good texture, not too dense as some meat loaves tend to be. The chili mixture on top was the best versus others."

kshartman User ID: 3726114 196312
Reviewed Mar. 29, 2014

"Great tasting meatloaf, ours held together just fine. We followed the recipe and thought it had the right tanginess. Next time we might try to add a couple ingredients just because we love the heat of red pepper flashes and some brown sugar to the glaze on top."

retiredcookie2000 User ID: 788073 153094
Reviewed Mar. 29, 2014

"I made it exactly as the recipe reads. My husband and I both liked it. I will definitely make it again."

1DomesticGoddess User ID: 2778356 200071
Reviewed Mar. 27, 2014

"I love meatloaf, but for some reason I just didn't care for this one! The loaf didn't hold together, and I think that is due to there's just too much cereal in the meatloaf. I did mix together a bit more of the ketchup and chili sauce to top the loaf, as I prefer a bit more glaze, but I have to say, the ketchup and chili sauce was really 'rich' in taste, maybe a bit too rich for my taste. Today I reheated the meatloaf for dinner, and while the meatloaf held together better, I still didn't care for how it tasted. Kelly, I'm sorry I wasn't able to give your recipe a good review."

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