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Mom’s Best Meat Loaf

Mom’s best meat loaf recipe is my favorite. It is full of flavor and is so easy to make! Each layer is brushed with a simple homemade sauce and topped with cheese.

Mom’s Best Meat Loaf

Old-Fashioned Meat Loaf with a Little Twist

This recipe is not fancy and uses simple ingredients. I have had a few meatloaves in restaurants and have tried a few different recipes. For me, this old-fashioned meat loaf is still the best one I have ever made.

When I make my mom’s meat loaf, we eat way too much of it, but it is so good!  This really is our all-time favorite way to make this. For us, we use the family package of hamburger, stuff ourselves on it the first day, and still have plenty of leftovers to enjoy the next day.

Serving Mom's Best Meat Loaf
Serving Mom’s Best Meat Loaf

Then I will freeze it in portions. Perfect to thaw and reheat. 

Find out the Secret Ingredient that adds just the right amount of sweetness and it is good for you!

Meat Loaf Ingredients Bowls of Carrots cheese Onion Bread Cubes
Meat Loaf Ingredients

Ingredients Used in This Ground Beef Recipe

Meat. I like to use 80% lean ground beef when making this recipe. Leaner meats tend to dry out. However, this can be made with any type of ground meat. If you do use a leaner meat, mix it with ground pork.  Use a ratio of ¼ of the meat mixture being the pork to your leaner meat choice.

Bread. While you can use any type of bread in this recipe, stale or fresh. I tend to prefer soft white bread because it mushes into the ground beef better.

Eggs. They help hold the ground meat together without having to press the mixture together too much.

Milk. I use whole milk. However, this recipe would lend itself well to any type of milk that you enjoy. It helps add a bit more moisture to the mixture.

Onion. It seems whenever I make hamburger, I add onion. It just brings out the flavor in the beef.

So far, all the ingredients are something that you would see in a traditional meat loaf recipe. These next two ingredients I rarely see, but they add just so much flavor.

Mixing Hamburger Mixture

Cheese. I used Colby/Jack grated cheese today. However, this would be perfect for cheddar, muenster, or if you prefer a bit more spice, use Pepper Jack cheese. When you mix the cheese right in the meat mixture, it is difficult to tell that this is in the recipe. However, if you layer the cheese in a casserole, the cheese becomes one of the stars of the recipe. Try it both ways and see which method you prefer.

Carrots. Yes, I use shredded carrots in this recipe. If you are trying to sneak in a bit of vegetables in your family’s meals, this is a great recipe for that. I just think it adds just the right amount of sweet flavor to this recipe.

Homemade Glaze Sauce Brown Sugar Yellow Mustard Ketchup

3-Ingredient Meat Load Glaze

This glaze is made from three ingredients that you most likely have in your pantry. ketchup, brown sugar, and yellow mustard, Th

Container Options

I like this recipe layered in a cake pan because I layer the cheese and tasty homemade sauce in the middle and on top.

When I make this in a meat loaf pan, I incorporate the cheese throughout the ground meat and add the sauce to the top. This is even nicer if you have the pan that is made specifically for meat loaf because it has an additional metal layer inside that has holes in it. The grease from the hamburger will go through the holes and drain away from the meat. It is a nice option. 

Easy Hamburger Recipe
Easy Hamburger Recipe

Best Simple Hamburger Recipe

Sometimes simple is best because you usually have all the ingredients on hand and the dish comes together quickly. The ingredients really enhance the flavor of beef and you end up with a meat loaf that tastes just like you are expecting it to taste.

The result is juicy, flavorful hamburger dish. My husband loves to have this on a hamburger bun. Since there is already a bit of bread in the mixture, I tend to eat this as is and pair this with mashed potatoes and vegetables.

Mix the ingredients together, but do not overmix. The consistency will be tough.

Meat Loaf Sandwich
Meat Loaf Sandwich

Make This Meat Loaf Recipe Ahead of Time

This is a great make-ahead recipe. Prepare the ingredients, add to your cooking vessel, cover with plastic wrap, or foil and refrigerate until ready to bake. This can be made one to two days ahead of time.

Mom’s Best Meat Loaf
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Mom’s Best Meat Loaf

Mom’s best meat loaf recipe is my favorite. It is fullof flavor and is so easy to make! Eachlayer is brushed with a simple homemade sauce and topped with cheese.
Old-Fashioned Meat Loaf witha Little Twist
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 45 minutes
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: comfort food, easy recipe, healthy recipe, low carb, lunch recipe, make ahead
Servings: 16 Servings
Calories: 532kcal

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  • 5 Lbs. Ground Beef
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 2/3 Cup Milk
  • 5 Slices White Bread You can use any type of bread-even stale
  • 1 Medium Onion Diced
  • 2 Cups Cheddar Cheese Shredded
  • 1 Cup Carrot Shredded
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Pepper

Homemade Glaze Sauce

  • 1 Cup Ketchup
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Yellow Prepared Mustard


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. F. Prepare a 9 X 13 inch cake pan by lightly oiling.
    Meat Loaf Ingredients
  • In a large bowl, add the ground beef, eggs, milk, bread, onion, carrots, salt, and pepper. Using your hands, mix the ingredients until incorporated.
    5 Lbs. Ground Beef, 3 Large Eggs, 2/3 Cup Milk, 5 Slices White Bread, 1 Medium Onion, 2 Cups Cheddar Cheese, 1 Cup Carrot, 2 tsp. Salt, 1/2 tsp. Pepper
    Mixing Hamburger Mixture
  • Make the glaze by combining the ketchup, brown sugar, and yellow mustard. Set aside.
    1 Cup Ketchup, 1 Cup brown sugar, 2 Tablespoons Yellow Prepared Mustard
    Homemade Glaze Sauce Ketchup Brown Sugar Yellow Mustard
  • Transfer the half of the ground beef mixture to the cake pan. Add half of the glaze and spread so there is a thin layer all over the hamburger mixture. Add half of the shredded cheese.
    Glazing the First Layer of Hamburger Mixture
  • Add the rest of the hamburger mixture, cover with the glaze, and finally top with the rest of the cheese.
    Adding the Second Layer of Glaze and Shredded Cheese
  • Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes or until meatloaf is cooked through. A thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 160 degrees F. 70 degrees C. Let cook a few minutes. Cut into slices and serve.
    Easy Hamburger Recipe

Your Own Private Notes


Calories: 532kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 643mg | Potassium: 536mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 1618IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 184mg | Iron: 4mg

If you enjoy time-saving casserole recipes like this one, along with the recipes you can find at Wholesome Farmhouse Recipes, you can find more at All Free Casserole Recipes. We share many of our recipes there too.


You can find Victoria crocheting, quilting, and creating recipes. She has cooked in restaurants for over 20 years, including many larger parties. In her professional career, she has worked in management in a wide variety of businesses including higher education as a dean of a division. All the while attending college part-time to achieve her doctorate in higher education with an emphasis in e-learning.

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