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Traditional Meat Loaf Recipe

Traditional Meat Loaf Recipe

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 YIELD: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


  • 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.

Nutritional Facts

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

Reviews for Traditional Meat Loaf

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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!!!"

fhquilting User ID: 2569371 244897
Reviewed Mar. 4, 2016

"This is a wonderful meatloaf. I added some chopped green pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Also, I precook the veggies somewhat. For those who have commented on the grease problem, here is my solution: use very lean hamburger, 85% lean or 93%. Also, you can buy a meatloaf loaf pan that has an inner pan with a perforated bottom. Otherwise, you can place the meatloaf on a broiler pan rack set over the pan and the grease will fall to the bottom. If you do not have a broiler pan, just lay aluminum foil on a cooling rack and place the rack on a cookie sheet. Piece the foil with a meat fork before placing the meat."

[email protected] User ID: 4038600 243086
Reviewed Feb. 2, 2016

"I made this meatloaf today and it was delicious! This is a keeper. I finally found a really good meatloaf that I can make again and again. I have never ate a meatloaf with cheese in it before, and it was so good. I did add some green pepper to it though."

CookinLovin User ID: 7872989 235901
Reviewed Oct. 29, 2015

"I have been making my meatloaf like this for years. I add some Worcestershire to the glaze. I saute my onions before adding them because we don't like crunchy onions in our meatloaf. Be sure to finely shred the carrots or pulse them in a food processor or blender. To help with the grease pooling below the loaf, just put a slice or two of bread in the pan and place the loaf on top of it before baking. This will soak up a lot of the grease. Just throw the bread out after cooking. Best meatloaf ever!"

bjpalmer User ID: 467168 230737
Reviewed Aug. 5, 2015

"I've made this countless times! It really is the best! Love the glaze on top. I follow recipe as stated. My husband won't let me make meatloaf any other way. Have since passed on to my mom and sister who absolutely love it too! Can't go wrong."

amygerman15 User ID: 6030819 159536
Reviewed Nov. 15, 2014

"I added italian seasoning, 1 lb hamburger, 1 lb turkey and all of us like it."

lisa53202 User ID: 1079567 142099
Reviewed Jul. 30, 2014

"My husband likes this (made with beef), so this is the one I will continue to make. I did add some chopped bell pepper."

rellmac User ID: 3519421 92167
Reviewed Feb. 28, 2014

"I've been making this meatloaf since I first saw it. It's the only meatloaf I like to be honest. I always run the onions finely through the food processor which gives it the onion taste without getting chunks of onion and I shred my carrots well. It's just so good!"

Fire291 User ID: 934301 83500
Reviewed Nov. 11, 2013

"it was okay, if I would make it again I would shred my carrots a little thinner."

ranson User ID: 1158378 83496
Reviewed Oct. 1, 2013

"Great recipe!"

kim.wefel User ID: 2352368 143184
Reviewed Sep. 23, 2013

"This is the best meatloaf recipe....moist & delicious!!!"

Funwithfood User ID: 3580712 157749
Reviewed Sep. 22, 2013

"I can't say that meatloaf in general has ever been a favorite of mine, but this meatloaf is amazing! Everyone that I serve it to raves about it and wants to know what makes it so different."

katlaydee3 User ID: 3741999 92099
Reviewed Jul. 16, 2013

"This was delicious, I loved it!"

JkayC User ID: 5673362 159054
Reviewed Mar. 9, 2013

"Great recipe.... I have made this meat loaf many times."

chuckwheat User ID: 7106077 64263
Reviewed Jan. 31, 2013

"Tastes like my Mom's. It was delicious."

raywe User ID: 6923528 83494
Reviewed Jan. 11, 2013

"I had a friend that wanted Meatloaf and I don't make it because mine always came out to dry for my liking. This was delicious, moist, will be making this on a regular bassis."

erinmarie78 User ID: 1623503 141750
Reviewed Sep. 19, 2012

"The taste of this meat loaf was outstanding! However, because of personal preferences and picky eaters in my household, I will do a few things differently next time I make this. I would either add onion powder or puree the onions first next time... that was the biggest complaint of my 2-year-old & 4-year-old. I would also chop the bread a lot finer as well. I will make it again with the carrots, but they did give it a little funny look to the meat, which my kids were quick to point out! But because they added moisture and nutrition, I'll keep them as is in the recipe. The sauce was amazing, I didn't change a thing, but next time I would like to double the sauce and just shape the meat into a loaf instead of baking in a 9x5 pan. Am I the only one who ended up with a huge grease puddle surrounding the meat that looked extremely unappetizing? (And I used 93% lean ground beef). I lifted the loaf out, but some of the juice had come over the top and ruined some of the glaze. I think if I baked it in a larger pan, at least the juices would stay at the bottom... and I could cover more of the meat with the glaze that way. Overall a tasty keeper, just with a few modifications next time due to personal preference."

MaikoEmi User ID: 4616610 141721
Reviewed Aug. 15, 2012

"Very flavorful and tasty meatloaf. This was my first successful meatloaf, after three attempts. A little moist, but nothing a few more bread crumbs couldn't cure. Also, perhaps a little heavy on the carrots..."

bcl003 User ID: 5051675 64261
Reviewed Aug. 2, 2012

"Everyone loves this recipe at my house and several adult friends always want to eat at our house when they find out I am making this recipe!"

ekatiakarpova User ID: 6312133 159535
Reviewed Apr. 4, 2012

"It was very tasty and fast to make."

Moose Cree Lady User ID: 1993647 71359
Reviewed Dec. 9, 2011

"Absolutely mouth-wateringly delicious! Especially enjoyed the topping, very tasty...unlike other meatloaf recipes that only call for ketchup or bbq sauce."

cr_1295 User ID: 5888497 142097
Reviewed Oct. 24, 2011

"Such wonderful meatloaf...compared with my grandma's recipe and she said she loved the sauce on top!"

anaJG User ID: 6119797 92096
Reviewed Oct. 12, 2011

"This was my first time trying and making meat loaf and I really liked it a lot, I would make it again."

Loufrommaine User ID: 6222180 83436
Reviewed Sep. 29, 2011

"My kids love this. I substitute Onion powder for the onion so that they can't tell theres onion in it and there are no leftovers. I will have to make 2 at a time as they get older!"

merrittram User ID: 4618032 64256
Reviewed Apr. 2, 2011

"This is the best meatloaf I have ever had. My husband says that until he tried this , he was not a fan of meatloaf. Very Good!"

debbie3sons User ID: 5273683 142091
Reviewed Jan. 22, 2011

"Delicious my 3 boys loved it. Only thing I changed was no carrot and no brown sugar but did everything else as written. Thank you so much!!!!"

Olive OConnor User ID: 5578922 164415
Reviewed Nov. 7, 2010

"This is the first meatloaf recipe I have made that tasted outstanding! I too put the rosemary potatoes in with it. Yum!"

tammyhickman User ID: 2508752 164408
Reviewed Oct. 19, 2010

"will make it with bbq sauce and ketchup."

hooverhousehold User ID: 4857957 93647
Reviewed Aug. 27, 2010

"Absolutely delicious! my husband even ate it, and loved it, without adding ketchup!"

sierra559 User ID: 4091045 208074
Reviewed Aug. 5, 2010

"I took this meatloaf to a friend who was recovering from surgery. She, her husband, and her son loved it! I'm going to make it today for my husband."

Mellerfly User ID: 1555291 156534
Reviewed Jun. 2, 2010

"Sooooooo good. Best meatloaf I ever made."

Bean Q User ID: 4900811 111397
Reviewed May. 10, 2010

"My husband and I like meatloaf,but we did not like the topping or carrots in the meatloaf"

Mellerfly User ID: 1555291 92380
Reviewed May. 6, 2010

"Best I've ever made! Thanks!"

carolynstowers User ID: 4001197 141718
Reviewed Apr. 12, 2010

"I cooked the meat loaf tonight for dinner. It was very good. I did prepare it like one of the other reviewers by adding potatoes and carrots on the side of the cooking dish. I was suprised it tasted so good. My husband is not a meat loaf fan but he did like this recipe. I will make this my recipe from now on."

wasoongu User ID: 1077273 157746
Reviewed Feb. 23, 2010

"I'm not a meatloaf fan, but I made this to take to an elderly homebound couple this week. I saved half for my husband who loved it and told me it was the best meatloaf he'd ever eaten! I even enjoyed it. Rather than the loaf pan, I shaped it in a loaf and placed it a baking dish surrounded with sliced Yukon gold potatoes, baby carrots and sliced onions (tossed with a couple tablespoons EVOO and salt and pepper). I didn't have cheddar cheese on hand, so I used pepper jack. I also used about 1/2 cup bread crumbs instead of the 3 slices of bread. Excellent!"

mandyc1031 User ID: 4904486 71345
Reviewed Feb. 18, 2010

"I made this recipe tonight for my family which consists of myself, husband and 2 boys that are 4 and 9. Everyone loved it and it will be our new meatloaf recipe!"

skipperstrucking User ID: 4577232 156529
Reviewed Jan. 28, 2010

"Great taste. I have never used carrots in a meatloaf before, but they added a pleasing texture. The sauce on top of this meatloaf is great. It really brings everthing together."

JosieSue User ID: 806559 141716
Reviewed Jan. 24, 2010

"I've been searching for a really good traditional meatloaf and this is it! Didn't hae any carrots so omitted that ingredient. But it was still fabulous - best ever!"

DLuisi64 User ID: 149476 93646
Reviewed Jan. 7, 2009

"This meatloaf recipe was absolutely delicious! Moist, tasty and easy to make! My husband said it is a definite keeper!"

valanddansmith User ID: 988113 93643
Reviewed Aug. 8, 2008

"This is my favorite meatloaf recipe! It's perfectly moist and tastes great. I love the addition of the grated carrot - it just does something to the flavor and texture. Perfect! Wouldn't change a thing!"

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