Dinner Tonight: Mom’s Meatloaf

This is my husband’s favorite meal.  Period.  Favorite.  I started making this when we were dating (my mom has been making it for years and years) and he was in love.  Hands down, if I ever ask him what he wants for dinner, this is it.  It’s super easy…can be prepared in advance and then popped in the oven at the last minute…and you probably already have all of the ingredients on hand.  Served with a side of mashed potatoes, this is a man’s dinner.  A real man’s dinner.

This recipe serves four large portions.

Shopping List
1 pound ground beef
1 cup Saltine cracker crumbs (that’s about 12 crackers)
2 eggs, beaten
1 onion, chopped
pinch of salt
5 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, divided
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup ketchup
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon mustard
a few chopped green onions for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease (I used Pam) an 8×8 baking dish.  Set aside.
Combine ground beef, cracker crumbs, eggs, onion, salt, 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, and tomato sauce in a large mixing bowl.  Pour mixture into prepared dish and bake 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine remaining 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, brown sugar and mustard in a bowl.  Once 30 minutes is up, top casserole with sauce and return to oven for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and garnish with a few chopped green onions.

That’s it!

If you ever need to cook for my husband, please make him this.  He won’t be disappointed!


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  • Amber Massey November 28, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    I, too adore this dinner. My number one go to meal since I got married to a Massey 6 years ago. Thanks to this MMM that so graciously shared this recipe way back when:) Love you!

  • Lori December 6, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    I call this meatloaf, friend. šŸ™‚

  • kristinwithani February 7, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    I hate meatloaf because it always seems to have green peppers. I don't like those little things.

    BUT this looks yummy!

  • Rxsavings February 11, 2013 at 1:43 am

    I made this for dinner tonight. I must have done something wrong. Are you supposed to shape into a loaf? It was too wet to do that. So I just patted it into the pan. It tasted fine, but way too soupy texture. Just falls apart and won't keep a shape.

  • Mix and Match Mama February 11, 2013 at 2:07 am

    I put it in a casserole dish (not a loaf pan), so it slices like a casserole should. You might have under-cooked it just a tad. Did it taste good? That's the most important part!

  • axellskitchen February 13, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    I was planning on making my hubby meatloaf for Valentine's Day tomorrow and this looks great! It seems very similar to the one my dad used to always make but it's nice to have it written down in recipe form since he just randomly adds the ingredients and couldn't really give me measurements..thanks!

  • Mira Appleby February 14, 2013 at 12:27 am

    I too am planning on making it for vday tomorrow – but was wondering how to go about making it in advance as you suggested. Can I just prepare the mixture and refrigerate in the pan until ready to bake? Thanks!

  • Mix and Match Mama February 14, 2013 at 3:09 am

    You can absolutely make this in advance and just pop it in the fridge until you're ready to bake it. You could freeze it too.

  • Anonymous February 14, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Just wondering if you have every tried using ground turkey instead? I wanted to make this tonight, but I sometimes prefer turkey rather than ground beef and wondered if it work ok with this recipe! Looks awesome and THANK YOU for sharing!

  • Mix and Match Mama February 14, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Turkey would be delicious in this! You might want to add a tablespoon of olive oil to the mixture too…it will help keep the mixture moist if you're using turkey.

  • Lori C. February 15, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    I made this last night and went ahead with the turkey instead! SO delicious! My boyfriend came over for dinner and left with a full, very happy belly! He's still talking about it today! I'll certainly be using this one again! He said that if I had not told him, he wouldn't even have known that I didn't use beef! Thank you for sharing!

  • MrsDevilGuy February 27, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    I made this last night for dinner – it was delicious! But like rxsavings it seemed a bit wet prior to putting in the pan. One other quick question, the ingredients call for 5 tbsp of worcestershire sauce but the directions only show 4 being used.

  • Mix and Match Mama February 27, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Mrs. DevilGuy!
    This is one of my most popular recipes (if not, the most popular) and you're the first one to spot the typo! Thank you for letting me know…I have corrected it. The recipe is wet…that keeps the meat loaf nice and moist. Thanks again!

  • Susan Pentz March 13, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    I met my sweet man just under two years ago and he despised meatloaf til he tried a recipe I found….I have to share it with you and I MUST try yours!!!!!

  • Pure Romance by Sarah March 19, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Hi Shay! Dumb question, but what do you serve with this?? I'm assuming mashed potatoes, but I'm trying to start eating healthier, and mashed potatoes tend to not be great for you.

    Thanks so much! You're the queen of recipes and blogging!


  • Mix and Match Mama March 19, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Sometimes I serve mashed potatoes, sometimes I serve peas and sometimes, I just serve a big green salad. No matter what, you'll love it!

  • Tara March 21, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    I made this last night and my husband almost ate the whole pan! Thanks for the recipe. I love your blog!

  • Anonymous April 14, 2013 at 2:28 am

    I have a stupid question. Most meat loafs end up floating in the grease from the hamburger. Do you use extra lean meat or how do you avoid this?

  • Mix and Match Mama April 14, 2013 at 11:43 am

    I use really lean ground beef…but you could also drain off the top of the meatloaf before adding your sauce and returning it back to the oven.

  • Anonymous May 6, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    hi – looking for a new meatload recipe and this looks great! do you think its ok in a loaf pan? same cook time?

  • Mix and Match Mama May 6, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    A loaf pan will be perfect too! Same cooking time!

  • Carly May 29, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    I was reading the blog and saw this receipe, coming from Ireland I'd heard of meatloaf but never seen it. Just realised I make this but we call it shepherds pie over here! And I top with mashed potato then bake. Also doesn't adding the evoo make it greasy? I normally only add teaspoon of water to minced beef. Any way love the blog, great receipes. If you ever want the receipe for irish soda bread let me know!

  • Anonymous July 24, 2013 at 2:04 am

    Hi Shay,
    I just made this tonight and used ground turkey instead of beef because my family likes the taste better and its a lot less calories. Like other readers i did find this meat mixture to be too wet, I think next time I will add a little more crushed crackers. I did have to drain the liquid the formed on the top before i topped it with the ketchup sauce. I was kind of in a hurry so i only let the loaf cook the 15 minutes with the ketchup sauce, I think it could have used more time in the oven so it could have become more carmelized/sticky. I did not have a 9×9 pan so i just put it in a loaf pan. So the consensus is that my family actually liked it more than the Rachel Ray BBQ muffin meatloaf I've been making for years. I think by adding a little more crackers it will give the texture I am looking for, otherwise it is a very good meatloaf!


  • SadieRose January 21, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Shouldn't it be 2 pounds of ground beef? You can also substitute some ground pork or sausage for it. That's the way my Mom used to make it. I like to use 1 C. of oats instead of crackers.

  • Mix and Match Mama January 21, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    My mom's recipe just calls for one pound of ground beef :). Enjoy!

  • Mix and Match Mama January 21, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    My mom's recipe just calls for one pound of ground beef :). Enjoy!

  • Abby Brooks October 8, 2014 at 1:53 am

    Oh my goodness Mrs. Shay! I made this recipe tonight for my family and they loved it! It was so delicious! I just graduated high school back in May and am trying to practice my cooking/develop some sort of cooking skill, so I am loving your recipes and blog. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jamie Steigerwalt November 17, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    Do you cover the meatloaf when baking it?

  • Mix and Match Mama November 17, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    I do not cover it when I'm baking!

  • Leslie N. May 22, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    HI Shay, I have made this recipe a few times and we LOVE IT!! I know you are a super busy mama and I hope you see this today. I am going to make this for dinner tonight and I am going to double it, do you have any idea how to adjust the cooking time? You're my favorite blogger BTW. Just love you!

  • Mix and Match Mama May 22, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Leslie, I would bake this in a 9×13 for the same amount of time. Enjoy!!

  • Amy Lynn September 4, 2015 at 1:42 am

    Hi Shay! I made this for dinner tonight and it was a huge hit, the only little issue was it was slightly "wet" and I just wanted your input… I felt like it was super moist when I was putting it together but I wonder if I need to add more crackers (I did about 20) or cook longer? I did 45 min, added the sauce, and did about 25 more, so probably 70 min total. I did use an 85/15 and poured some grease off before adding the sauce too. Do you think it was just too fatty? My family absolutely loved the taste, so just want to adjust before I make it again (which I will for sure!) Any tips?

  • Amy Lynn September 4, 2015 at 2:08 am

    One more thing I forgot to ask.. do you use all of the sauce when topping the loaf before returning it to the oven? I felt like it might be just a tad too much sauce when I used it all… Just wondering if you drizzled it or if you covered the loaf completely. Using the amount of sauce that I'd probably prefer, I feel like there would be half of the sauce left, so just wondering how you do it. Thanks again! (ps. let me just say again that we loved it- I am just relatively new at cooking so I need help from time to time). šŸ™‚

  • Megan Klotsche October 9, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Quick question: what kind of mustard?

  • Katie Marsico October 26, 2015 at 4:43 am

    Hi Shay,
    I'm going to make this for my grandfather on the weekend & I was wondering about how he would go about freezing & reheating portions?
    What would you suggest for defrosting & reheating?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Mix and Match Mama October 26, 2015 at 5:02 pm

      this freezes beautifully (uncooked) and reheats so well after it's been baked!

  • Stephanie Trovato October 12, 2016 at 10:48 am

    Hi! I tried making this last night after seeing it in yesterdays post! Super easy, and my husband loved the taste, but it was SO soggy and greasy! I was trying to think what I did wrong, but followed your instructions. Could it have been the type of ground beef? I think I used 85%… should I add more crackers? Also have you ever done this with breadcrumbs instead of crackers?

    • Mix and Match Mama October 12, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      I really try and make everything with 96/4…so that might have been the problem. Next time, drain the fat after you brown it.