Brown Sugar Meatloaf

Growing up Meatloaf made a pretty regular appearance on our family dinner table. I wasn’t a huge fan of Mom’s meatloaf.  I’m lying…I hated Mom’s meatloaf! (I may have just lost my only reader! Sorry Mom!) 

In my defense…if you ask my Mom if she is a “good” cook she would say “No!”.  Now, I wouldn’t say that (I mean I do need to hang on to my biggest fan!). My Mom can follow any recipe and make anything. She is a REALLY good cook and an AMAZING baker!  She joked around when I was growing up that she needed a recipe for P.B.& J and to boil an egg. I don’t think I’d go that far! (Well…the egg maybe! lol)

My memories of meatloaf were not “happy” memories…So I never made it for my family. That’s one perk of being the “head cook” of  your own kitchen. If there’s a childhood dish you didn’t like…ya don’t make it! For my Mom it was Grandma’s Liver and Onions! (Praise the LORD!!!) 

One day I was reading a wonderful WWII series and became intrigued with the notion that women, because of food rations, began adding ingredients to their ground beef to make it stretch. Now I know “meat loaves” have been around for centuries, but I was so impressed with the thriftiness of these women during a really difficult time in our country’s history, that I was determined to find a GREAT meatloaf recipe and give it a try.

I did! I made this Brown Sugar Meatloaf and to my surprised my family DEVOURED it! I mean the raves coming from the dinner table…I had to pinch myself to make sure I was actually serving meatloaf! This is NOT the meatloaf of my childhood.  This meatloaf is dense and meaty! Then it’s coated in this drool worthy glaze that makes itself while baking. It is truly the BEST meatloaf I’ve ever had… in my entire life. You have got to try this recipe! So let’s…

In a large bowl combine the following ingredients…1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef, 3/4 cup of milk, 2 eggs, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 small onion, chopped OR 1/4 cup dried onion flakes, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 3/4 cup regular breadcrumbs.

Please, please, please…leave that ginger in the recipe! You’re just gonna have to trust me on this one!

I know the “milk” seems a bit strange. It’s okay. This will bind together beautifully so don’t worry if it seems a little “wet” to you. Just dig in with your hands and blend all this together really well.

This is your chance to get every frustration out! Remember your three old having the tantrum in the super market and the old lady behind you giving you advice and wanting to “ring her neck”…DO IT NOW! Pretend this meaty concoction is her neck and squeeze and twist away! Doesn’t that feel great! lol (Whoa! I might a little anger management therapy!) 

In a lightly greased 5 x 9 inch loaf pan.  Press 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar into your prepared loaf pan.

Next spread the 1/2 cup ketchup over the top of the brown sugar.

Shape your meatloaf mixture into a loaf. Place on top of the brown sugar and ketchup.

Bake in a 350°F oven for 1 hour or until juice are clear. Take out of oven and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.

The easiest way to remove this meatloaf from the pan, is to carefully place a plate larger than the loaf pan, on top of the meatloaf, and carefully invert it on to the dish. PLEASE do this carefully so the hot glaze does not get on you.

Look at all that “glazey” goodness! (Okay so “Glazey” isn’t a real word…it is here at Norine’s Nest! lol) Go ahead and smack your lips together. It’s perfectly acceptable where this dish is concerned.

The sauce that is created between the brown sugar, ketchup, and the meat juices is just OUT OF THIS WORLD! (If you’re drooling you should be!)

I like to cut my meatloaf in 3/4 – 1 inch thick slices. Everyone is going to fight over the ends. May the force be with you! I’ll be praying for ya! 😉

I love to serve this dish with a big green garden salad, baked potato, and a nice dinner roll or muffin!

I really love this meatloaf recipe! It’s simple to make and beyond delicious! I promise your family will love this recipe as much as mine does. It’s such a fantastic family dinner! No more meatloaf boycotts!

Let’s bring Meatloaf back to the dinner table!!! Make those thrifty women of WWII proud of us for stretching our family budgets, even in time of plenty!

I hope this becomes a regular at your family dinner table! It deserves to be. The leftovers heat up well and make a spectacular “BBQ Meatloaf Sandwich”!

I want to thank everyone who signed up for my Newsletter this past week! I’m completely BLOWN away by your response, and feel truly honored to have you join me here at my little Nest! If you’re ever looking for a recipe or need help in the kitchen… feel free to shout out to me via comments or e-mail! I LOVE hearing from you!

I’m sharing this recipe on the Weekend Pot Luck Party…Click HERE to join in the fun!

The Printable recipe is below…have a fantastic day!









Brown Sugar Meatloaf
Brown Sugar Meatloaf
Adapted from All Recipes

This tasty meatloaf flavored lightly with ginger, has a sweet brown sugar and ketchup glaze. It's the BEST meatloaf EVER!

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 small onion, chopped OR 1/4 cup dried onion flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup regular bread crumbs

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 5 x 9 inch loaf pan.
  2. Press the brown sugar in the bottom of the prepared loaf pan and spread the ketchup over the sugar.
  3. In a mixing bowl, mix thoroughly all remaining ingredients and shape into a loaf. Place on top of the ketchup.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until juices are clear.
  5. Invert meatloaf onto a serving platter and slice into 1 inch thick slices.
  6. Be careful of the hot glaze when inverting.

Prep Time: 20 minutes - Cook Time: 1 hour ; Yield: 8 servings
Serving Size: One slice of meatloaf


  1. Connie | 14th Apr 17

    I would love to know the title of your book. I have been watching the PBS series Homefires. By the way, love your blog. Beautiful recipes and the photos are great. Thanks for sharing.

    • | 14th Apr 17

      Hi Connie! Aren’t you the sweetest! I’m pretty sure I have never been so flattered! Thank you for your kind comments. They mean the world to me. I don’t have a book…yet! 😉 I am in the process of writing a cookbook that will be filled with my favorite recipes and hopefully include some of my stories. (My mother will be thrilled that someone actually asked me this question. She has been begging me for years to write a book. Did she pay you? lol) I LOVE PBS TV shows! I have been wanting to see Homefires. I will have to remember to watch it. Thanks again for your sweet comments and for stopping by my Nest! Have a Wonderful Easter! ~ Norine

  2. Lexie | 24th May 17

    My husband is a pretty picky meatloaf guy and every time I try a new recipe on him he says “It just isn’t the same as my mission”. I decided to try this one last night and I finally got the 100% approval from him that this recipe was a keeper! Thanks for sharing this recipe:)

    • | 24th May 17

      Hi Lexie!
      Oh my goodness! You mean we beat the “mission comparison” test!!! THAT’S HUGE! Oh I’m so excited that I was able to help you find a recipe that he likes! I totally understand though…until this recipe came into my life…I struggled with meatloaf love! 😉 Thanks so much for all your support and for sharing with me. Totally made my day! Have a GREAT 3 day weekend. 🙂

  3. Wanda | 1st Aug 17

    Would this freeze well?

    • | 3rd Aug 17

      Hi Wanda!
      I’m not sure if you mean before cooking or after? Regardless I’m not sure it would be the best, if frozen, because of the “glaze” that is on the meatloaf. I think if you were to make just the meatloaf and omit the glaze for freezing then the meatloaf portion would be fine. I know that isn’t the answer you are looking for, I hope it helps in some small way. Thanks for visiting my Nest! Have a Great day.

  4. Michelle | 20th Sep 17

    12 cups of ketchup… is that right?

    • | 20th Sep 17

      Oh Michelle…NO! That is NOT right. Oh my goodness gracious how did I over look that typo?!!! I am SO sorry! It’s a 1/2 cup of ketchup. I suppose if you REALLY like ketchup you could do 12 cups and I’d say a prayer for ya. lol 😉 Thank you SO much for bringing that to my attention. I try so hard to make sure the actual recipe has no typo’s…I guess my motto was “Go Big or Go Home” on that one! Yikes!
      Thanks for visiting and thank you so much for sharing that with me. Have a Great week!

  5. Mindy | 20th Jan 18

    This is the best meat loaf I’ve ever had. I have never been a fan of meat loaf, but you’re right with the brown sugar and juices. It’s amazing. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    • | 23rd Jan 18

      Hi Mindy!
      I know how you feel! Like I said, I was never a fan of meat loaf. This recipe was a game changer for me too! There is just something about that Brown Sugar Glaze that makes this the BEST! I’m so glad you liked it as much as I do! We should start a club for “Meat Loaf Converts”! lol
      Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a GREAT week!
      Happy Nesting!

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