Mom's Meatloaf Recipe: The Ultimate Comfort Food

By Liz Ellis

December 22, 2020

A sliced meatloaf with red catsup sauce on top sits on a cutting board. Behind it is a plate filled with green vegetables, waiting for a slice.

In This Article

  • Filling, warming and easy to whip up - this is the last meatloaf recipe you'll ever need.
  • Serve with peas, asparagus or roasted broccoli for the perfect meal for all seasons.
Liz Ellis (right) and Donna Kilpatrick (left) enjoy Mom's Meatloaf during a virtual dinner party with a friend.
Liz Ellis (right) and Donna Kilpatrick (left) enjoy Mom's Meatloaf during a virtual dinner party with a friend.

Comfort food, a delicious slice of nostalgia that soothes your soul — for me, that's my mom's meatloaf. Of all the dishes my mom made for our family growing up, this meatloaf was hands down our favorite meal. Even with only three of us to enjoy it, the loaf pan of juicy, sweet and savory goodness almost never lasted long enough to become leftovers. And it’s not hard to understand why — Mom’s take on this classic recipe is the dinner version of a warm hug. I’m pretty sure it’s therapeutic. Featuring simply seasoned beef and a tangy, sweet tomato sauce, Mom’s meatloaf is the perfect recipe to add a touch of homecooked goodness to your next Zoom dinner party or small (and properly precautious) family gathering. As we reflect on 2020 and gather ourselves to face new challenges and meet our resolutions in 2021, a taste of comfort is more than a reminder of good things. It’s an opportunity to nourish ourselves and be kind to the Earth. We may not be able to share a meal with loved ones quite yet, but we can reach out in ways that are available to us, and we can eat amazing food while we’re at it. 

 

Mom's Meatloaf

Serves 6

Loaf Ingredients

  • 2⁄3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1½ pounds ground beef 
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten 
  • ¼ cup onion, minced finely
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sage, dried
  • Dash of pepper

Sauce Ingredients

  • ¼ cup ketchup 
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
    Liz Ellis mixes meatloaf ingredients together. You can see the full process in the video above!
    Liz Ellis mixes meatloaf ingredients together. You can see the full process in the video above!
  2. Combine the loaf ingredients in a large bowl and mix them together well, making sure to incorporate the egg and the breadcrumbs thoroughly.
  3. Press the mixture firmly into a greased loaf pan, and smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. 
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients and spread evenly over the loaf. 
    My mom's meatloaf is so good, it's therapeutic. It's the dinner-version of a warm hug!
    My mom's meatloaf is so good, it's therapeutic. It's the dinner-version of a warm hug!
  5. Bake at 350°F for 50 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes prior to serving. 
  6. Plate up the piping-hot goodness alongside potatoes and green peas or asparagus for a perfect and easy springtime supper with soul.

Make Your Meatloaf Extra Special and Do Some Good with Your Fork

When I worked as a chef at the former Heifer Farm in Rutland, Massachusetts, I delighted in sharing this meatloaf with crowds of hungry Heifer supporters. Because I used beef that had been sustainably raised with room to roam on Heifer Farm, it was extra special. Though my grass-fed beef comes from Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative these days, I still like to add that extra-special touch when I make Mom’s meatloaf for friends or family. If you can, I encourage you to do the same. Fortunately for you, Grass Roots Farmers’ Co-Op delivers. With a click of your mouse, you can not only support small-scale farmers in the United States, but you can also feel good by supporting a food system that betters the Earth, improves the soil, and treats people and animals with respect. Go ahead – do some good with your fork.