This Brown Sugar Meatloaf recipe is the best meatloaf ever! It is even better than Mom’s meatloaf with its brown sugar, onion soup mix, Worcestershire and hot sauce!
What Is Meatloaf?
To me meatloaf was a comfort food staple in our Southern household growing up. We had it for dinner once a week. However, for others, it was not a food they grew up with and are not familiar with.
Therefore, for those unfamiliar with meatloaf, it is a main dish made typically with ground beef or a combination of ground beef and sausage, usually combined with an egg and breadcrumbs, that is shaped into a loaf and baked in the oven.
For many, this Brown Sugar Meatloaf is the epitome of comfort food. It brings back childhood memories of the family dinners that either my Mom or Dad would make. We saw meatloaf fairly often, probably every other week. I love to serve it with Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes or Mashed Potatoes with my Balsamic Bacon Green Beans and an Apple Walnut Cranberry Salad to round out the meal.
While most people rave about their Mom’s meatloaf, my Mom’s meatloaf was not the one we looked forward to. It was Dad’s meatloaf that all us kids loved, why? Because his meatloaf had way more flavor.
I wish I could say that this was his recipe. However, I never learned my Dad’s recipe. He usually ran us kids out of the kitchen when he was cooking. However, I made this recipe and it does remind me of my Dad’s meatloaf recipe from my childhood.
For those looking to make meatloaf using an Instant Pot instead of the oven, be sure to check out my Instant Pot Philly Cheesesteak Meatloaf recipe.
How To Make Meatloaf Moist?
It is important to use a beef with an 80/20 ratio, which means that it has a ratios of 80% to 20% fat. The right amount of fat makes the meatloaf moist, while too much fat will make the meatloaf greasy.
In addition, add chopped vegetables, such as onions, celery, garlic to add more moisture as well.
What Meatloaf Seasonings To Use
While various meatloaf recipes will vary the seasonings to customize the meatloaf. There are some seasonings that are common to many meatloaf recipes. These include salt, pepper, onion powder, or often a packet of dry Onion Soup Mix.
How To Make Brown Sugar Meatloaf
Unlike many meatloaf recipes of decades ago, this meatloaf has loads of flavor.
In a large bowl, combine ground beef, chopped onion, onion soup mix, minced garlic, eggs, Italian Seasoned bread crumbs, ketchup, Worcestershire, and if you like, hot sauce. Mix to combine the ingredients but don’t overwork it.
To make the sauce, in a small bowl, stir together ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire, mustard and hot sauce! If you don’t want it hot, you can leave out the hot sauce.
Mold the meatloaf mixture into a loaf and put into a loaf pan or baking dish. Brush the sauce on top of the meatloaf.
What Temperature To Cook Meatloaf
I typically cook meatloaf at 350 degrees F in a preheated oven to get it done in time for dinner. However, for a really moist meatloaf, turn the temperature down to 325 degrees to let it cook more slowly.
How Long To Cook Meatloaf
Bake in a preheated 350-degree F oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes or until juices run clear and the meatloaf reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees. For cooking at 325, it will take longer, maybe up to 1 hour 20 minutes.
Tips For Perfect Meatloaf
- One of the most important tips is to buy good quality, high-fat ground beef for meatloaf. Leaner ground beef will make the meatloaf drier. I recommend using an 85/15 or 80/20 ground beef, meaning that the ground beef has at least 15% fat to 85% lean meat.
- Add the onion soup mix for a big savory flavor boost to the meatloaf. However, if you use onion soup mix, I would recommend limiting any other added salt to the meat because the onion soup mix has quite a bit of salt.
- Don’t overmix the meat mixture. Why? Because overmixing will make the meatloaf dense.
How To Store Meatloaf
- After leftover meatloaf has cooled, cover it in foil or plastic, or place it in an airtight container, and keep it refrigerated for up to 3 days until you are ready to serve.
How To Reheat Meatloaf
- Cover the meatloaf with foil. You can reheat the whole meatloaf in the oven at 250 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Another option is to reheat individual servings in the microwave.
What To Do With Leftover Meatloaf
- Make a meatloaf sandwich. These were one of my favorite things to eat as a kid. Place a slice of meatloaf between 2 slices of bread with mayonnaise and ketchup. It was so good.
- Crumble meatloaf over a green salad or over a baked potato.
Other Variations On Meatloaf
What To Serve with Meatloaf
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Brown Sugar Meatloaf
- 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1/2 cup onion , chopped
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs
- 1 ounce package onion soup mix
- 2 Tablespoons Ketchup
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire
- 2 dashes hot sauce (More or less to taste)
Brown Sugar Glaze
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire
- 1 Tablespoon Yellow Mustard
- Hot Sauce to taste
- In a large bowl, combine ground beef, chopped onion, onion soup mix, minced garlic, eggs, Italian Seasoned bread crumbs, ketchup, Worcestershire, and if you like, hot sauce. Mix to combine the ingredients but don't overwork it.
- To make the sauce, in a small bowl, stir together ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire, mustard and hot sauce! If you don't want it hot, you can leave out the hot sauce.
- Mold the meatloaf mixture into a loaf and put into a loaf pan or baking dish. Brush the sauce on top of the meatloaf.
- Bake in a preheated 350-degree F oven for 1 hour.
- Let the meatloaf rest for about 10 minutes.
Originally published October 22, 2018 and republished with additional information on May 16, 2020.