Favorite Meat Loaf

Meat loaf conjures up images of tables laden with “comfort food.”  It seems to me that one of the reasons it is so popular is because of all of the ways it can be made to avoid monotony while stretching the food dollar to feed six or more people.

For some reason, for me, there is also something very soothing about making meatloaf.  And so, here at my relatives’ home to take care of them, in a kitchen where I don’t know where anything is and in a grocery store totally foreign to me, I found Betty Crocker’s Good and Easy cookbook from 1954 crammed into a bookshelf in the kitchen and I proceeded to make meat loaf for dinner.

This is a very easy recipe that goes together in just a couple of minutes and takes an hour of “go off and do something else in the house” baking time.  I will admit that the RN arrived while I was mixing everything up and I forgot to include the Worcestershire sauce when I got back to the mixing.  Not a problem.  The meatloaf was delicious even without the Worcestershire sauce.

I think a key to good tasting meat loaf is the combination of meats.  My early-marriage meatloaf adventures were ground beef only and they always seemed to be missing something.  Now, I mix up the meats and have even made meat loaf with sausage in it when I couldn’t get ground pork.  Also, if the recipe says to use fresh bread crumbs, tear up slices of day-old bread into small pieces.  Don’t use the dried bread crumbs from the supermarket.  The day-old bread helps keep the loaf light whereas the dried crumbs make it kind of dense and a little dried out.

Favorite Meat Loaf

3 slices soft bread
1 cup milk
1 egg (slightly beaten)
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 lb. ground pork
1/4 lb. ground veal
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. each of pepper, mustard, sage, celery salt, garlic salt
1 Tb. Worcestershire sauce
Chili sauce

Heat oven to 350º.  Tear bread into large mixing bowl; add milk and egg.  Add meat and seasonings; mix thoroughly.  Form lightly into loaf and spread chili sauce over the loaf.  Place in shallow baking pan.  Bake 1 hour. 6 to 8 servings.

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    I think meatloaf recipes are about as individual as the individual. I have never mixed meats. I use either hamburger or venison burger. Our favorite meatloaf has a healthy dose of barbecue sauce instead of milk. My mother used soda cracker crumbs crushed to fine texture between two sheets of waxed paper. For expediency, I often used quick oats for the filler. Thanks for the tip on the bread crumbs.