My Favorite Meatloaf Recipe with Tomato Sauce and brown sugar glaze is flavorful, fork tender and delicious. An easy dinner everyone loves, this classic meatloaf recipe is perfect for busy weeknights!
Need a meatloaf recipe without ketchup and without milk? Looking for meatloaf recipes with tomato sauce? This traditional meatloaf recipe is for you!
I found this hand-written recipe for meatloaf in my grandma's recipe stash. It's a great recipe, but it's not the one I grew up with.
My mom always made meatloaf with onion soup mix and Worcestershire sauce. And, my kids adore my Cheesy Barbecue Meatloaf, meatloaf muffins and Italian Meatloaf Muffins. But since it's actually titled "My Favorite Meatloaf Recipe," I had to make it.
I had to make a couple of minor adjustments with the directions, but I pretty much made this easy meatloaf recipe just as written. My family absolutely loved it, and the Hubs says it reminds him of his mom's old fashioned meatloaf recipe with tomato sauce!
This flavorful meatloaf is made with just a few ingredients that you probably already have on hand.
- Lean ground beef
- Slices of bread -- torn to make dry breadcrumbs
- Tomato sauce
- Yellow or white onion -- Can sub onion powder or dried minced onions
- Brown sugar
- Vinegar -- use white vinegar or cider vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Sea salt and black pepper
How to Make Meatloaf with Tomato Sauce
First, add the egg to a large bowl. I like to beat the egg slightly before adding the remaining ingredients. This is a personal preference, but it means less mixing time for the meat, which means a more tender meatloaf!
Then, combine ground beef and the rest of the ingredients in the large mixing bowl.
I recommend mixing the meatloaf ingredients together with your hands. It's really the best way to do it.
Pro tip: Don't over mix the meat mixture. If you work the meatloaf mixture too long, you get tough meatloaf.
As soon as the beef mixture starts to stick together, it's time to form into a loaf shape and place it in a prepared baking dish.
You want to form the loaf so that it's not too thick. Otherwise, it takes longer to cook. This meatloaf is about 2 inches thick.
I use a casserole dish or shallow baking dish to cook meatloaf. But you can use a rimmed baking sheet if you want.
This is a juicy meatloaf, so you need a baking dish with sides to catch the pan juices. I never use a loaf pan, but you definitely can if you want.
You can line the casserole dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper to make clean-up easier.
Make the Brown Sugar Glaze
To make the glaze for the meatloaf, combine the tomato sauce, brown sugar and remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Stir until the mixture is well combined.
I like to let the meatloaf cook for about 15 minutes before adding the glaze This is a personal preference, though. If you pour the glaze on top of the loaf before cooking, the top doesn't brown as much.
So what I do is pop the meatloaf into the oven, and then I make the glaze while the meatloaf cooks. After about 15 minutes of baking, I pour it on top of the meatloaf.
You can baste the meat loaf with the tangy glaze while it bakes, or just leave it alone.
The meatloaf takes about an hour to bake. The total cook time depends upon your oven. Sometimes, it only takes 45 to 50 minutes to cook.
When the temperature reaches 160 degrees f internally, it's done. The best way to tell if a meatloaf is done is to use a meat thermometer or instant read thermometer.
I like to top the meatloaf with chopped fresh parsley for a pop of color. Then, it's time to eat!
Best Side Dishes
How to Store Leftover Meatloaf
Store leftover meatloaf in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It keeps well for 3 to 4 days.
For longer storage, cut the loaf into individual slices. Then, wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap, and store in freezer safe containers or foil.
Favorite Meatloaf Recipe with Tomato Sauce
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 cup soft bread crumbs roughly chopped or torn ½from 3 slices of fresh bread
- 1 egg slightly beaten
- 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce divided
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 small yellow or white onion chopped, about ½ cup
For the glaze
- ½ can tomato sauce
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar, firmly packed
For the Meatloaf
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Place the ground beef into a large mixing bowl
- Add the breadcrumbs, egg, half the can of tomato sauce, sea salt, pepper and chopped onion, and mix well using your hands
- Form the meat into a loaf about 2 inches high, and place in baking pan or casserole dish
- Place loaf into oven, make the glaze, and pour glaze over meatloaf
- Bake for 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, according to meat thermometer
For the Glaze
- Pour the remaining half of the tomato sauce into a small mixing bowl, and add the water
- Add the mustard, vinegar and brown sugar, and mix until well combined
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
Recipe first published in 2019 and updated in 2021
I hope you enjoy this delicious brown sugar glazed meatloaf recipe as much as we do! If you think it's the best meatloaf recipe on the planet, let me know!
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