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Brown Sugar Meatloaf

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

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!) 

Meat loaf with a brown sugar glaze

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! 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 supermarket 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

How to Make Brown Sugar Glaze

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

Baking Meat Loaf

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! LolGo 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

How To Serve Brown Sugar Meatloaf

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

What to serve with Meatloaf

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! 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!

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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

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Thursday 6th of April 2023

I just popped your meatloaf in the oven. Have 10 family members staying for Easter and requested meatloaf. My husband said to make this recipe. Best he has ever had, and only one he wants now. Definitely a hit in our housw!

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Tuesday 18th of April 2023

Hi Cat! Thanks so much for sharing with me! I'm so glad your family loves this recipe. It's my all time favorite meatloaf! Tell your husband he has great taste! I hope you had a wonderful Easter! Norine

Rebekah L.

Thursday 31st of March 2022

This is my favorite meatloaf recipe by far. Nothing comes close. Something I do differently is replace the meat for plant based meat. I made this (with my plant based meat substitute) for my (heavy meat eating) family and they raved saying, “this is the BEST!”. They were all shocked to find that it was vegetarian friendly. Thank you for sharing your recipe! This is now a staple in my home.

Kat Mason

Wednesday 22nd of February 2023

@[email protected], Hi There, Just have a question I’m not a fan of Ketchup at all I know strange right!? Lol so any ideas of something else I can use with the brown sugar? Thank you Kat

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Monday 4th of April 2022

Hi Rebekah! Thanks so much for sharing this! This is awesome! Hooray for your creativity and adjusting the recipe to fit your needs. Have a Great Day and come back again soon! Norine


Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

My husband said "just like you grandmas!" Hard to get his approval on anything. This goes into the rotation!

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Wednesday 23rd of March 2022

Hi Karen! That's the BEST possible compliment! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing with me. I hope you have a great week and come back soon! Norine


Thursday 10th of February 2022


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Friday 11th of February 2022

Hi Tara! I'm happy to answer your question here. You could use tomato paste but the outcome will not be the same. Ketchup has additional sugars and is less thick than tomato paste. You could slightly thin the tomato paste and add the brown sugar. That would work. Hope this helps and I hope you enjoy this recipe. Norine


Thursday 13th of May 2021

I followed the recipe but after baking it there was a lot of liquid in the loaf pan and the glaze was not there. What did I do wrong?

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Monday 17th of May 2021

Hi Bev! I'm not sure, so let's go through a few things. The brown sugar goes on the bottom of the loaf pan with the ketchup on top! The brown sugar creates the glaze. Without the brown sugar you won't get a thick sticky glaze. Next up...what percentage fat was the ground beef? I never use anything less than 80% 20% and I really prefer $85% 15%. Did you remember the bread crumbs in the meat loaf and did you make sure not to add more milk than what the recipe calls for? Those are the only things I can think of that would contribute to there being a lot of liquid and no glaze? I'm sorry this recipe didn't work well for you. I've always had great luck with this recipe and my kids love it. Thanks for stopping by! Norine

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