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My Mom’s Meatloaf

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2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs, beaten
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2/3 cup oatmeal bread crumbs
1/3 cup quick cooking oats
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
2 pounds lean ground beef
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons honey mustard
1 tablespoon brown sugar

My Mom’s Meatloaf

My Mom's Meatloaf is a delicious and classic recipe topped with a sweet and sour glaze.

  • Serves 6
  • Easy

About This Recipe

We have been into meatloaf this long winter and cold spring. We just had a blizzard yesterday, so warming comfort food is still on the menu. Not much is more comforting than meatloaf and potatoes. And this recipe for My Mom’s Meatloaf is perfect.

Meatloaf is really a simple recipe; it’s just beef, perhaps with some pork added, combined with bread crumbs to make it more tender, eggs to hold it together, and seasonings for flavor. It is almost always baked, and it has to be baked to 160°F for food safety reasons.

This old recipe was one my mom made a lot when we were growing up. It’s simple and appeals to picky palates. The only change I made was to add a sweet and sour topping; that’s a must on meatloaf for me.

Of course, you can jazz it up if you’d like; add some dried chili flakes (just don’t tell me about it) or other chopped and sautéed vegetables, such as bell peppers or mushrooms.

Just make sure that all the veggies are well cooked and soft before you add them to the meatloaf mixture. The baking time for the meatloaf isn’t long enough to soften them when they are surrounded by, well, meat.

This classic recipe deserves some classic sides. Scalloped potatoes are a must, for me, but you can serve mashed cauliflower or mashed potatoes if you’d like. And corn, that sweet and sunny vegetable, is the perfect choice.

How to make the best My Mom’s Meatloaf

  • Cook the onions and garlic well and let them cool a bit before you mix them with the eggs, oatmeal, and bread crumbs.
  • Be sure you mix all of the ingredients instead of the meat together first, then add the meat. This ensures that the meatloaf is tender.
  • Do not mix the meatloaf mixture with any strength, and do not press it together hard. Overworking makes the meatloaf tough.
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure that the meatloaf is cooked to 160°F. Every time.
  • Let the meatloaf stand, covered, for 10 minutes before slicing so the juices can redistribute.

Why this recipe works

  • The combination of tender and mild meatloaf with the sweet and sour topping is divine.
  • This meatloaf is very tender because of the preparation method and because it is not handled much.

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Preheat the oven to 350°F


In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter, and sauté the onions and garlic until tender but not brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove to a large bowl to cool for 10 minutes.


When the onion mixture has cooled slightly, beat in the eggs, tomato sauce, bread crumbs, oats, salt, and marjoram and mix well.


Then add the ground beef. Mix with your hands, gently, until the mixture is combined. Do NOT overwork. Form the mixture into two loaves and put them on a broiler pan with slits and a bottom section for drippings.


In a small bowl mix the ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar and spoon over the meatloaf.


Bake to 65 to 75 minutes or until a food thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf is 160°F. Cover the meatloaf with foil and let stand for 10 minutes, then slice to serve.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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