Mom’s Meatloaf

Meatloaf is one of those things that either bring back good heart-warming memories or terrible memories of dry, flavorless lumps of meat. For me, I think of warm, yummy little slices of meat next to mashed potatoes. It, also, makes me think of  the movie Wedding Crashers and “Ma! The Meatloaf!!!”

When I asked Dad this week what he wanted for dinner he requested meatloaf and mashed cauliflower. I know crazy right? My dad requested mashed cauliflower? Yes, yes he did. I decided to add some color to the meal by adding roasted broccoli. I took my mom’s base for the meatloaf, added a topping and came out with a wonderfully not dry, tangy yet sweet meatloaf. It was a hit. Here is what I did.

I took 1 lb ground meatloaf mix (85% beef, 15% pork) and 1/2 lb 88% lean ground beef and placed in a bowl with 3/4 cup old fashioned oats, a palm-full (maybe about 1.5 Tbsp) of dried minced onion, 1 cup tomato juice (I used a can of V8)  and 1 egg. Give it a good mix. My mom taught me her “claw” technique in which you make a claw with your hand and gently incorporate all the ingredients. She says it helps decreased how much you have to mix leaving your meatloaf tender yet well mixed.



Dump the meatloaf mixture into a glass baking dish and form your loaf. You can use a loaf pan if you would like but I free-formed mine to allow some of the fat to seep out into the dish. Take your choice. Place in a 350 degree over and set a timer for 40 minutes.


Meanwhile mix 3 Tbsp ketchup, 4 dashes Worcestershire and 2 Tbsp brown sugar. Add more of whichever ingredient you need to get a topping you enjoy. I started with a 1:1 ratio of ketchup and brown sugar but found it way to sweet and kicked up the ketchup portion. Once the 40 minutes are up, paint on the topping and let cook for another 20 minutes. It should be a little crusty on top from the brown sugar cooking and the meat caramelizing.



Sorry about that blurry picture. It didn’t look that way on my phone. Whoops.


Slice into nice 1 inch think pieces and serve alongside roasted broccoli and mashed cauliflower. I failed at cutting my own slice but Mom and Dad’s slices were really nice, thick and held together well. I didn’t really focus on the mashed cauliflower while I was making it and therefore don’t have the recipe for you. Next time I make it I will take pictures and put up the recipe on the blog.


This was a hearty and mostly healthy  meal with only a little butter in the cauliflower and the brown sugar bringing up the unhealthy factor. I’d almost consider it a lightened-up version of meatloaf. To make it healthier switch the 1/2 lb of additional ground beef to ground turkey instead.

Mom’s Meatloaf: Serves 6


1 lb ground meatloaf mix (85% beef, 15% pork)

1/2 lb lean ground beef (or try ground turkey)

3/4 cup old fashioned oats

1 egg

Palm-full dried minced onion

1 cup tomato juice (I used V8)

3 Tbsp ketchup

2 Tbsp brown sugar, unpacked

4 dashes Worcestershire

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2. Mix together first 6 ingredients. Incorporate well but do not overmix.

3.  Free-form meatloaf mixture in a glass baking dish. I chose a football shaped loaf

4. Place in oven and set timer for 40 minutes

5. Mix together last 3 ingredients. Once time is up, paint the topping onto meatloaf and bake for another 20 minutes

6. Cut into thick slices and enjoy with mashed cauliflower and roasted broccoli for a hearty yet healthy meal.

Yum! What’s your favorite way to eat meatloaf?



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