Mama’s Awesome Meatloaf Recipe

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Meatloaf is a classic dish that is made in so many different ways and Mama’s Awesome Meatloaf Recipe knocks it out of the park. It’s so easy and the best meatloaf I’ve ever had. It’s made with ground beef and the glaze is deliciously sweet and tangy. It compliments the meal so well. You’ll never want to make it any other way after trying this!

meatloaf with glaze on white plate with mashed potatoes and green beans

A Comforting Classic

This recipe is a traditional meatloaf we all know and love, just perfected. There’s nothing like a well-executed, tender, and juicy meatloaf. One of the greatest things about this meatloaf is how easy it is to make! All you have to do is mix the ingredients, top it with the glaze, and bake! It takes a bit of time in the oven but that allows you to prepare the perfect side. There are so many options including classic mashed potatoes. Personally, I feel like any side dish that involves potatoes perfectly pairs with this awesome meatloaf.

Sunday dinner is something I always looked forward to growing up. It was one of the few times when we all sat at the dining room table to enjoy a meal as a family. Meatloaf was one of our all-time favorites. There’s nothing that brings people together more than a delicious home-cooked meal. If you want to try other versions of a traditional meatloaf recipe, try our Mini Meatloaf or Stove-Top Stuffing Meatloaf.

meatloaf on white platter with mashed potatoes and green beans

2-Ingredient Glaze

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Only 2 ingredients for this glaze? Trust me, less is more. The brown sugar adds just the right amount of sweetness. The tang comes from the tomato ketchup. After baking in the oven, the sugars caramelize and it’s so heavenly! You don’t need any other ingredients or seasoning.

ingredients to make meatloaf

Ingredients Needed to Make Mama’s Meatloaf Recipe

For the Meatloaf:

  • Breadcrumbs: Dried whole wheat and soaked in milk
  • Milk: Whole or low-fat work great
  • Ground beef: 80% lean minimum will make it less fatty and greasy after it bakes.
  • Eggs: Slightly beaten
  • Onion: You can chop or dice the onion.
  • Worcestershire sauce: A little goes a long way and this 
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sage: Ground not fresh. It incorporates the meatloaf better.

For the Glaze:

  • Brown sugar: You can use light or dark brown but make sure it’s packed down in the measuring cup.
  • Ketchup: Whatever your favorite brand is will be great.

How to Make Mama’s Meatloaf Recipe

This is truly the best meatloaf recipe. It’s incredibly easy to put together but that doesn’t take away from the flavor and texture. You will never want to make it any other way and your family won’t either.

  1. Prep the Oven. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Make the Meatloaf Mixture. In a large bowl, combine all of your meatloaf ingredients. 
  3. Get Your Pan Ready. Scoop the mixture into a 9-inch loaf pan. Press down gently to make sure it’s even.
  4. Make the Glaze. Mix the ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl.
  5. Add the Glaze. Top your meatloaf generously with the sweet glaze.
  6. Bake the Meatloaf. Bake for about 45 minutes or until no longer pink in the middle.
cut meatloaf on white platter with mashed potatoes and green beans

Tips and Tricks

  • Lightly spray your loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray or line it with parchment paper. This will make it easier to remove the meatloaf after it’s cooked. 
  • When soaking your breadcrumbs in milk, soak just long enough until they start to soften. It should take no longer than about 5 minutes.
  • If you are worried that the chopped onion pieces will be too big, you can grate them to make them finer and it will incorporate better.
  • You can use any kind of onion you prefer. I generally use white or yellow depending on what I have on hand.
  • When mixing the ground beef with the rest of the ingredients, do not overmix. Only mix until everything is just combined. Otherwise, it will result in a tougher meatloaf.
  • If you don’t have a loaf pan, you can use a baking sheet instead. Just shape the meatloaf into that classic loaf shape.
  • When putting the meatloaf in your pan, make sure it is packed in firmly to prevent it from falling apart when serving.
  • Do not cover the meatloaf when baking. It will prevent browning and caramelization and that’s the yummiest part!
meatloaf on white plate with mashed potatoes and green beans

Substitution Suggestions

  • Ground beef: You can use ground turkey instead of ground beef if you are not a huge fan of red meat.
  • Breadcrumbs: We use whole wheat but you can use any kind you like as long as they’re dried.
  • Seasoning: After you’ve made this recipe, feel free to get a little adventurous with the seasonings like adding garlic powder or dried thyme. Trust me when I say it only enhances the flavor.
meatloaf cut on white platter

What Goes With Meatloaf?

There are so many side dishes that go perfectly with this meatloaf recipe. We mentioned potatoes earlier but any yummy veggie you choose is great! Here are some of our favorite options.

How to Store and Reheat the Leftovers

If you have any of this meatloaf leftover, it can make a great lunch for the next day. Store it in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

To reheat, you can place it on a microwave-safe dish. Cover with a damp paper towel to keep it moist and warm in 1-minute intervals until heated through.

Can I Freeze this Meatloaf Recipe?

I do not recommend freezing it cooked or uncooked. It compromises the texture and prevents it from cooking and reheating properly. Always make it fresh when you have a craving to ensure the best results.

Want Some more Comforting Meal Ideas? Try these!

Meatloaf Recipe Feature
5 from 1 vote

Mama’s Awesome Meatloaf

You are going to absolutely LOVE this Mama’s Awesome Meatloaf recipe, made with ground beef and a sweet and tangy glaze topping.
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 55 minutes


  • 2/3 cup dried whole wheat breadcrumbs soaked
  • 3/4 cup + 1 1/2 T milk
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage



  • Stir together breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup milk until well combined
  • In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients including soaked breadcrumbs and the remaining milk
  • Place the meatloaf mixture in a loaf pan.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the glaze until smooth
  • Spread glaze over meatloaf
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F
  • Remove from oven and transfer to serving platter or plate
  • Slice and serve. Store leftovers in refrigerator

Last Step:

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Calories: 302kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 511mg | Potassium: 328mg | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 135IU | Vitamin C: 2.7mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2.6mg


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1 thought on “Mama’s Awesome Meatloaf Recipe”

  1. I always add 1/2 cup, of Bar-B-Que sauce, to the meatloaf mixture and everyone loves that. Maybe then you would need to eliminate the extra milk.