Old-Fashioned Meatloaf


Old-Fashioned Meatloaf

This old fashioned meatloaf recipe will delight everyone at your table.

Old-Fashioned Meat Loaf
1 Hr 15 Min

There are so many different ways to make meatloaf, but sometimes, you just want that traditional meatloaf recipe like mom used to make. Our Old-Fashioned Meatloaf was made with that classic, lip-smacking, delicious supper in mind. Trust us, you won't have any trouble getting the family to the table for this classic meatloaf taste!

What You'll Need

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup Italian-flavored breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup ketchup, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

What to Do

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9- x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, onion, green pepper, egg, bread crumbs, 3/4 cup ketchup, and the black pepper. Using your hands, mix ground beef mixture well and place in loaf pan.
  3. Bake 1 hour. Spoon on remaining ketchup, sprinkle with brown sugar, and bake 10 to 15 additional minutes, or until no pink remains. Drain, if necessary, then slice and serve.

Test Kitchen Tips

  • Remember to let your meatloaf sit for at least 10 minutes before slicing it for eatin'! This will help the slices hold together, so you can serve it nicely and easily! 
  • Potatoes of some sort always seem to be the perfect go-along with meatloaf. We've got lots to choose from on our website, but one of our favorites around here is Oven Roasted Potatoes. We also love the Rustic Homestyle Potatoes.
  • A traditional meatloaf recipe is just the beginning! Check out our collection of Old-Fashioned Dinner Recipes, Dessert Recipes, and More to bring back memories of yesterday with amazing flavors that never get old. 

Nutritional InformationShow More

Servings Per Recipe: 6

  • Amount Per Serving % Daily Value *
  • Calories 451
  • Calories from Fat 220
  • Total Fat 24g 38 %
  • Saturated Fat 9.4g 47 %
  • Trans Fat 1.4g 0 %
  • Protein 32g 65 %
  • Amount Per Serving % Daily Value *
  • Cholesterol 134mg 45 %
  • Sodium 823mg 34 %
  • Total Carbohydrates 25g 8 %
  • Dietary Fiber 1.6g 6 %
  • Sugars 13g 0 %

Your Recently Viewed Recipes

Leave a Comment


Cancel Reply to Comment

Thanks for your comment. Don't forget to share!

My mom always made a meatloaf that had a block of Velveeta cheese in the center, and ketchup on the top, and this is the recipe I still use for my family as well. Even though, I love my mom's recipe, sometimes you just want to try something different. And, this may be the one I make the next time I cook meatloaf, since it isn't so drastically different that my picky family will have a problem.with the change.

I have made this one and like it. I also make one with 1lb beef and 1lb ground pork. I top it with half cup of 57 sauce mixed with 2 teaspoons of brown sugar .

I like to use BBQ instead of ketchup

Can I use tomatoe sauce instead of ketchup

Hi there! Yes, you may use tomato sauce. Enjoy!

I've been looking for a meatloaf that I can call my own, and I know now that I prefer breadcrumbs in the mixture instead of bread and ketchup on the top instead of cheese, so this would be a good one to try. This one is also all ground beef, which I prefer, instead of a pork, beef, veal mixture.

I use this recipe but I change it up a little because, as written, it's a little bland. I use half ground sirloin and half hot Italian sausage instead of just beef. I also switch to plain breadcrumbs. It's a little bland but a great base recipe.

Can't wait to try this one. Mine alway's falls apart, so I see use bread crumbs instead of oatmeal. Will try and let you know. Barbara-

I used crushed salt vinegar chips instead of breadcrumbs and fresh garlic,minced, also tomato paste instead of ketchup. Have just made it, it looks real good. Will tell you how it turned out later.

I'm going to try your recipe and see what it taste like My Grandma never use italian flavored bread crumbs she use cracker crumbs and she use tomatoe sauce said of ketchup and she never add green pepper and she add some fresh garlic but I dont know how much and she add some chopped onion too she use it on cookie sheet and make it round meatloaf then she add Ketchup all over the meatloaf and little bit of cracker crumbs on top and bake it I asked my mom why she use it on cookie sheet said of pan loaf she said well when it bake - it will drain all the bad fat out of the meat loaf my grandma passed away about yrs ago I remember how good that was I made a meatloaf twice and it doesn't come out right and it doesn't taste the sameRead More like she make my mom don't remember how she make it My mom is yrs old So anyway I'm going to try your recipe and see I hope it will be good knock knock on wood LOL I'm Don from Chanute Ks

We'd love to hear what you think once you've given it a try, Don! :)

Instead of bread crumbs I used crushed salad croutons, added a clove of crushed garlic, and used salsa instead of ketchup, my family keeps asking for it!

This was one of my best meatloaf's per my family. I never used the Italian breadcrumbs or brown sugar before, so I was excited to try something new. We loved it, and will add this to my recipe of successes.

Like others this is basically the same recipe i have used for many years except i use oatmeal instead of bread. The problem i have had the past several years is that it doesn' come out of the pan in one piece! The last one i made i dumped into a bowl and we dished it out with a serving spoon! I have always used ground chuck but have tried ground round and gotten the same results. Any advice/ suggestions welcome as we love meatloaf and next day sandwiches. Thanx!

Thank you for your question! Make sure you use all of the egg and bread crumbs that are called for in the recipe; this will bind the meat loaf together. You also want to make sure you pat it together when placing it on the pan, really form it into a loaf. I hope this helps your meat loaf come out of the pan in one piece, good luck!

2 solutions. Wax or parchment paper lined loaf pan or use the metal rack with the small holes that comes with most roasting pans. Form your meatloaf as thickly as you can and cook. Most of the grease will drain off this way.

I think the bread crumbs hold it together better than oatmeal. Also after you form your loaf wet your hand with cold water and smooth the surface of the loaf real well. Don't leave any places that look like a small crack as they will become big cracks when bake and help it to fall apart. I don't use a loaf pan but form it on a shallow baking pan and smooth it all around.

This was OK but to bland for my liking.

We really enjoyed this recipe. Will be making it again.

I've been making meatloaf this way since I got married. I've tried several other meatloaf recipes, but I always go back to this one. It's pretty basic, but very tasty. Oh, btw, I think someone forgot to mention adding some salt to the meat mixture...and I always use lean ground sirloin, so you don't get a pool of 'fat' in the bottom of the pan.

The biggest problem with meatloaf is making sure there is *no* pink inside. I guarantee that 1 to 1 1/2 pounds @ 350 for 60 minutes will not be done. The minimum for me is 1 hr 20 to 1 hr 30 minutes. If you are doing a large (2 lbs or more) increase the oven to 375 unless you like pink meatloaf.

You're absolutely right! Use an instant-read meat thermometer. The internal temperature should read 155 deg.

I use lean ground beef and hot sausage and Heinz chilie sauce My grandma made it this way. I use bell pepper, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, and seasoned bread crumbs, egg, evaparated milk, this is delicious. I put ketchup on top before baking.

This is exactly how my Mom made her meatloaf, except she used oats instead of bread crumbs. I still use this receipt.

This is ok but old fashion had 1 lb of sauage in it 2. my grandma & mom made it that way.

I forgot to say that I used a meatloaf mixture (ground beef and veal).

Made it tonight; I baked it 30 minutes longer than the recipe called for. I will make this again.

Hi All, I don't use the ketchup either, just tomato sauce. Hmmm, wonder if he ketchup is used in this recipe because it falls under "Old Fashioned Recipies"?....Maybe ketchup was originally used in the recipe "back then" because that's all they could afford?..just wondering. Fortunately, I was born in 52 and we didn't have those "hard time"...just wondering... spjcbjp

I have several meat loaf recipes I've garnered over the years, not using ketchup. Everything from A1 Sauce, Heinz 57 Sauce, even tomato juice and salsa. Plus I've used different fillers such as rye bread crumbs and French bread crumbs. Back in the day when I had more mouths to feed, I would gather up the ends of bread, run them through the grinder, and store the crumbs in the deep freeze for a quick add to whatever and whenever bread crumbs needed. Sandi

I use meat loaf mix , beef, pork & veal. Onion, egg, horseradish. barbacue sauce and bread crumbs soaked in milk. When formed in pan poke a few holes add barb sauce to top and maybe 3 slices of bacon.

How do you call this MEATLOAF when you are ONLY using ground beef. MEATLOAF is a combination of meats. MY Meatloaf includes ground pork, ground turkey AND ground beef which makes it a MEATLOAF. Not saying this is not good BUT call it a GROUND BEEF Loaf.

Paul, ground beef is meat! You make your meatloaf with anything you want to. Sounds like you need to call yours ground pork, ground turkey, and ground beef loaf! WTH is wrong with you!?

Havin a bad day there?

SHOULD be havin' a bad day! This is 3 years later, BUT we grew up on ground beef in the 50s. That's almost the only MEAT we could afford! Saying ground beef isn't meat is saying use wet sand in the mix! I'm with Carolyn---Paul there is really in a different world!

This recipe is similar to mine, but let me tell you how my Grandma made hers. She salt and peppered it and put onions in it, then put it into a dutch oven, put potatoes around it with some water and baked it. Then you put your own catsup on it. It was good. Back then times were hard and you ate what was put on the table.

Back THEN? Yes, we were raised to eat what was put in front of us and did - and thankfully it better prepared us for these hard times!

This is without doubt the best meatloaf my husband and I ever tasted. Only one problem. I made it just like the recipe stated, but when I took it out of the oven and sliced it, it fell apart. I don't know if I should use less ketchup next time? (I used 3/4 cup inside the meatloaf like it said). Perhaps I should use more bread crumbs? ( used 3/4 cup--like it said). What about 2 eggs -- perhaps it would help it hold together better so I could have lovely slices. Any suggestions??? Otherwise, the taste is unbeatable.

try using shredded potatoes for a binder

My meatloaf recipe is very simple. I combine 1 lb. ground chuck with 1/2 lb. ground pork, 1 small onion, chopped finely, 2 tbs. catsup, 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs, 1 large egg beaten with 2 tbsp. milk, 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs, 1 tsp. salt and some pepper to taste. Combine until just mixed, DO NOT overhandle. Put in a loaf pan and cover with catsup (as much as you like), bake in 350 oven for 1 hour. Remove from pan, loosely cover with foil and let rest for 5-10 min. before slicing.

I don't use the breadcrumbs or the ketchup. I use quaker oats for the binder, form the meatloaf and bake. about 10 minutes before it is done, I drain some of the grease and add a large can of tomato sauce and finish baking. I make mashed potatoes with it and the tomato sauce with the juice of the meat makes an amazing gravy for the mashed potatoes. my family is crazy about that!!!!

What is the ketchup for again...lol. I never use ketchup in my meat loaf like another viewer it doesn't taste right to me. I use the italian tomato sauce or another one in the family all depends on the flavor I am looking for at the time.

Yes, I prefer the tomato sauce in the meatloaf itself, but I do like the ketchup glaze.

In the summer I make my meatloaf (this recipe is very similar) on the grill...I wrap it in heavy duty tinfoil and put it on an old cookie sheet I use exclusively for the grill and put it on the top rack for about an hour....it moist and delicious....

I like to use the ketchup for just on top. I use a little milk for moisture. don't care for the taste of ketchup mixed in with meat. I also put two slices of bread on bottom pan under meat loaf before it bakes. It absorbs all the dripping and makes clean up easier. I have caught my granddaughters eating the bread after it was baked.

One bell pepper is too much. I always add the Meatloaf flavor McCormick package. If you're making meatloaf with 1 lb. hamburger (which is what I do), use 1/2 the McCormick package. Refrig. the rest of it for later - it's spices keep a long time in the refrig. Of course, only use less than 1/2 cup ketchup, too.

The recipe on the Quaker Oats box is the best. If it's not on the box go to the website

I agree!

If you want to spice it up a bit, add Worchestershire sauce, garlic powder and about 1 Tbsp. horseradish.

I already use the Worcestershire sauce and garlic. Never thought about the horseradish. I must try. Thanks.

Thanks kindly, Meatandtaters!

One cup of ketchup should be enough salt

Instead of onions and bell pepper I like adding onion soup mix and a can of cream of mushroom soup....Oooh it's so good!

I think this recipe is the way Elvis liked it. This is the way my mom made meat loaf, too, except she used oats instead of bread crumbs.

I like using an instant-read thermometer to gauge doneness of meats. I'm curious as to the temp at which the typical meatloaf would be considered "done".

165 is considered well done.

This is very basic. But tasty. I would at least add 1 1/2 teas. salt.

I found this receipe to be very bland and not one of my favorites. It needs something to wake it up to flavor. If anyone has a suggestion, I would like to hear from you.

I add about a teaspoon of garlic salt (or 3/4 tsp. garlic powder for lower sodium), and one tablespoon each of worcestershire and A-1 steak sauce to spice it up a little.

I would add salt for sure

It's been awhile since your request for a good meatloaf recipe so if you still want it I have a great one. It's for a sweet and sour meatloaf with a sauce to pour over it.

Try a good marinara instead of the ketchup within the meatloaf itself. Also add salt.

I use a can of stewed tomatos that I blend into tomato sauce instead of straight ketchup. It adds just enough flavor, my husband actually likes it better, and his mother always made meatloaf with straight ketchup.

I use a can of Rotel tomatoes instead of ketchup. Definitely wakes it up!! Might be a little much for little kids.

I made this years ago when I first got his book, but I cooked the mixture in a cupcake pan as individual meatloaves...which allowed more crisping..and it quickly became a hit with my small children. I have since "piped" them after cooking with Mashed potatos and toast the tops in the broiler...they look just like a real cupcake:)

I've always wanted to bake my meat loaf recipe in a cup cake pan, but I'm not sure if I need to adjust the cooking time or not. Can some one let me know? Thanks....Daisie

I totally agree with Kathy Burke!!

I absolutely LOVE this site!!!! I have gotten SO many wonderful recipes here!!! Keep up the good work...and thanks!! Kathy Burke

I used the meatloaf mix that I got in meat dept instead of 2 lbs of ground beef. But follow recipe and it was great. Brown sugar was a nice touch or you could try BBQ sauce.

I made this the other day wit meat loag mix [beef and pork] and my husband just loved it and he is fussy about his food. I tried cutting it in half. as there are only 2 of us. Next time I will use the 2 pounds of meat and make 2 smaller loaves. I'll freeze one to cook later putting the topping on at the cooking time. Enjoy


Report Inappropriate Comment

Are you sure you would like to report this comment? It will be flagged for our moderators to take action.

Thank you for taking the time to improve the content on our site.

Close Window