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Butteryum food blog recipes

Pretty Darn Good Meatloaf

Patricia Reitz

Believe it or not, my mother didn't do meatloaf.  She didn't do a whole lot of foods other people's mothers made... no casseroles, no cool whip, no country time lemonade (sniff-sniff).  For dinner we had one of two things, pasta or some sort of roasted meat with veggies on the side.  That was it, A or B.  Nothing wrong with that, but I don't think I had my first bite of meatloaf until I was in my 20s.  I liked it, the hubby liked it, the kids liked it (except for the picky one), but I didn't think to make it very often because it just wasn't one of the food memories I grew up with.

So I was looking at a blog post the other day about a girl who's late father-in-law, Grandpa Mark, made a mean meatloaf.  It was such a sweet post that I decided to give the recipe a try.  I'm so glad I did because we really liked it, even the picky one (he had 3rds!).  I've made the recipe twice now, once as written, and once with modifications to suit my family (which is how I'll be sharing the recipe with you below).  It's already a new favorite!

Grandpa Mark's Meatloaf

makes 2 loaves

Printable Recipe



  • 2 1/2 pound ground beef

  • 1 1/2 onion, minced

  • 2 sleeves Saltine crackers, processed into crumbs

  • 4 eggs, beaten

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons honey mustard (I used half honey; half mustard)

  • 1/2 cup ketchup

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark)

  • 1/2 cup ketchup


  1. Preheat oven to 375F and line a half sheet pan with foil.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the meatloaf ingredients.

  3. Form into 2 equal size loaves and place on a foil-lined half sheet pan, leaving an inch or two between the loaves.

  4. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and ketchup and brush half evenly over the loaves.

  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes before brushing the remaining ketchup mixture over the loaves.

  6. Return to the oven and continue baking for an additional 30 minutes, or until an internal temperature of 160F is reached.

  7. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Note:  Meat loaves can be frozen before baking.  Shape loaves, wrap extremely well (I suggest vacuum sealing to prevent the smell of onions and garlic from getting into your freezer), and freeze for up to 6 months (make glaze on the day you plan to cook the meat loaves).  To cook, thaw in the fridge overnight, remove from vacuum sealed bag, place on prepared sheet pan, pat dry with paper towels, and resume recipe beginning at step #4.  

adapted from