Skip to Content

Brown Sugar Meatloaf

Meat loaf with a brown sugar glaze

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

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may make a commission from any purchases at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!

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!!!) 

Brown Sugar Glazed Meat Loaf on a platter

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! Thanks to Allrecipes I stumbled onto this recipe. 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…

How To Make Brown Sugar Meatloaf

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!

Dried Onions, bread crumbs, milk, and ground beef in bowl for Meat loaf

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!) 

Meat Loaf ingredients all mixed together

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

Brown sugar pressed into bottom of loaf pan for brown sugar glaze

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

Ketchup on top of brown sugar in loaf pan to create brown sugar glaze

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

Meat loaf mixture placed on top of ketchup and brown sugar

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!)

Brown Sugar Meat Loaf cooked and out of pan on platter

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! 😉

Brown Sugar Meat Loaf sliced and on a serving platter

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!

Brown Sugar Meat Loaf sliced and on platter

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”!

Here are some other Family Favorite Recipes I think you might enjoy!

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!

The Printable recipe is below…have a fantastic day!

Norines Photo and signature

Yield: 8 servings

Brown Sugar Meatloaf

Brown Sugar Meatloaf

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

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Inactive Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 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.

Nutrition Information:


8 servings

Serving Size:

One slice of meatloaf

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 333Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 714mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 1gSugar: 16gProtein: 28g
Easter Bonnet Cookies
Tortellini Olive Salad

Nancy J Anderson

Sunday 29th of March 2020

oh my so gosh this is super yummy!!!

Tuesday 31st of March 2020

Hi Nancy! I'm so glad you enjoyed this meatloaf! It really is a favorite at this Nest! My kids love this meatloaf and so do I! Now I'm craving it again. lol Think I'll ad it to the menu for this week. Hope you are all doing well and staying safe! Happy Nesting! Norine

Diane Smith

Wednesday 17th of July 2019

Hi Norine, I made this meat loaf this week, and it is AMAZING! My husband & daughter LOVED it! They’re both health nuts & won’t eat any shhhhh!

Wednesday 17th of July 2019

Hi Diane! You're secret is totally safe with me! My lips are sealed! I'm so glad y'all loved this meat loaf. I've been craving it and thinking it's time to make this for dinner! Thanks for stopping by and sharing with me. This made my day! Have a great week! Happy "Sugar Free" Nesting! (wink, wink) ~Norine

Tobi simonsen

Tuesday 7th of May 2019

You are super cute. I love how you explain the directions. I'm going to give it a shot tonight. Wish me luck.

Wednesday 8th of May 2019

Hi Tobi! Awww! Thanks! I try to have fun in the kitchen and want to share that fun with my readers. I hope you liked the Meatloaf? My family loves this meatloaf and can polish one off with no problem! Hope you have a Great week and I'd love to hear how that meatloaf turned out! ~Norine


Thursday 14th of March 2019

Do you think ground Turkey would change the "drippings" too much?

Friday 15th of March 2019

Hi Tracy! I wish I had great news for you...but I do think it would change the "drippings" too much! Basically Turkey is lean and ground beef has the necessary fat content to create the drippings that will make the brown sugar glaze for this dish. Sorry. Wish I had better news for ya. You could try it...and see. I'm just concerned it isn't going to work. If you do try it...let me know. I'd love to hear how it turns out. Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you have a GREAT weekend! Happy Nesting! ~Norine

Alyson King

Friday 15th of February 2019

Hi Norine! I put together this recipe today and plan on cooking it tomorrow. Should it be covered or uncovered while cooking? Aly

Friday 15th of February 2019

Hi Alyson! I bake mine uncovered. I love that you made it ahead of time. Great time saver for dinner! Hope you love this recipe as much as we do. It's always on the rotation! Have a GREAT weekend! Happy Nesting! ~Norine