While I was growing up, whenever my dad was in charge of dinner, it was either fast food or meatloaf. With enthusiasm and a twinkle in his eye, he would say, “Guess what’s for dinner?!! We’re having Dad’s Speeeecial Meatloaf!” His excitement had me thinking there really was something magical about it, so I’d ask him, “What makes it so special?” Most of the time I wouldn’t get an answer, but sometimes he’d say “That’s my little secret.” Such a great memory!! Still puts a smile on my face! 🙂 And it turns out that what was special about it, was it was one of the very few meals he knew how to cook, LOL!

This is the best meatloaf I have ever tried! Thank you, dad, for the inspiration!! My dad used to top his with ketchup, and he would add olives. So if you are also an olive lover, add them! I’m not, so I left them out. To perk up my meatloaf recipe, I found a couple of sauce ideas, and tweaked them to my liking. The sauce below adds a sweet tanginess that makes meatloaf taste amazing! Enjoy!

Serves: 4-5
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 75 minutes

1 slice wheat bread
  • 1 cup milk
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 medium onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves minced/crushed garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons mustard (or 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Soak the bread in the milk for 30 seconds.
  3. Combine first seven ingredients and mix well.
  4. Place into a loaf baking dish.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine sauce ingredients and mix well.
  6. Cover the top and sides of the meatloaf with 1/2 of the sauce (keep the other 1/2 for later).
  7. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove the meatloaf from the oven. Carefully tip the pan and drain out excess liquid and fat. Top the meatloaf with remaining sauce, and place back into the oven.
  9. Cook for another 30 to 45 minutes, or until cooked through (make sure to leave the meat slightly pink in the middle, so it stays nice and tender).
  10. After baking, let cool for a few minutes, and carefully drain out excess liquid again.
  11. Serve and enjoy!
For the original sauce recipes, go to:


Kim Cameron Valencia CA



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