Family Favorite Glazed Meatloaf

By Ann Fulton

Family Favorite Glazed Meatloaf recipe offers prep ahead convenience and tips for a perfectly shaped loaf
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Family Favorite Glazed Meatloaf tastes great and slices perfectly! The recipe also offers prep ahead convenience and tips for a perfectly shaped loaf.


Most children are discouraged from playing with their food. I learned this lesson at a young age, but as I get older, I occasionally ignore this piece of advice.

Let’s face it. There’s a lot of bad news in this world. Headlines too often tell of violence and despair. Friends get sick, kids get bullied, and Mother Nature wreaks havoc.

I decided long ago that my little place in the newspaper and online should be a happy one. A recipe won’t create world peace, but perhaps the story behind it can shine a light on good causes, great people, and maybe even some silly antics.

April Fool’s Day is the perfect excuse to have fun with your food. Over the years, I’ve served April Fool’s fruit punch for an after school snack and meatloaf “cake” for a memorable dinner. The easy fruit punch trick produced peals of laughter.  The cake didn’t truly fool anyone but it sure was fun.

A family favorite meatloaf recipe with a fun twist for April Fool's Day

To add a fun April Fool’s twist to this family favorite meal, click on the photo.

Of course, a meatloaf baked in a cake pan and frosted with mashed potatoes is fitting on April 1st, but on the other 364 days of the year, most people would disregard the gimmick. I, however, make that same meatloaf frequently throughout the year, swapping the “frosting” for a lightly tangy, three-ingredient glaze.

Family Favorite Glazed Meatloaf recipe offers prep ahead convenience and tips for a perfectly shaped loaf

For a perfectly shaped loaf that cooks evenly, see the tip in the recipe instructions.

A small amount of sausage enhances the flavor of this easy-to-assemble meal, and the right amount of binders ensures easy slicing. In all my years of making meatloaves, this is the only one for which no one reaches for ketchup—except my brother Bill, whose love of ketchup is limitless! Technically speaking, the glaze does provide a hint of ketchup flavor that caramelizes beautifully as the loaf bakes.  Family Favorite Glazed Meatloaf recipe offers prep ahead convenience and tips for a perfectly shaped loaf

Family Favorite Glazed Meatloaf
Yield: 8 servings
For prep ahead convenience, the meatloaf can be formed into a loaf and refrigerated until ready to bake. For a perfectly shaped loaf that cooks evenly, follow the tip in the third step of the instructions.
For the meatloaf
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 pound pork sausage (removed from casings; I use sweet Italian)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (I’ve also used gluten-free bread, finely chopped or processed into crumbs)
  • 2-3 green onions (white and green parts, very finely chopped)
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari (may substitute Worcestershire sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the glaze
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon lightly packed brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, and (for easy cleanup) line a rimmed baking sheet or dish with foil or parchment paper. Mix the glaze ingredients and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with the milk and eggs. Stir in the green onions, parsley, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Add the ground beef and sausage. Thoroughly combine the ingredients, but avoid over mixing. (I find this easiest to do with my clean hands.)

At this point you can form the mixture into a loaf on the prepared baking sheet. Alternatively, for perfect shaping you can press the mixture into a lightly greased 9×5-inch loaf pan, patting to level it off. Then unmold the loaf onto the baking sheet so that the excess fat can cook out of the loaf. (Tip: You may do this in advance, cover, and refrigerate in the loaf pan. When ready to cook, unmold the loaf onto the baking sheet, using a dinner knife to release it if necessary.       The mixture will firm up slightly when chilled, and the flavors will meld over time. When refrigerated, rest the loaf on the counter as the oven preheats.)

Brush the glaze mixture over the top and sides of the uncooked meatloaf.

Bake the meatloaf until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F, or about 50-60 minutes. Cover loosely with foil, and let stand for 10 minutes.

Slice the meatloaf, and enjoy. If not serving immediately, the meatloaf can sit at room temperature for up to two hours. Reheat at 300 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until hot. Or very gently warm individual pieces in the microwave. Leftovers taste great and freeze well.

A few more things...
  • Whether making meatloaf or meatballs, mixing all of the ingredients except the meat makes it easier to evenly incorporate everything without over-mixing once the meat is added.
  • The meatloaf will not look as pretty as the pictured loaf when removed from the oven. Why? Because much of the fat from the meat will cook out and pool, rather unattractively, around the base of the loaf. I simply scrape it away. If you’d like to transfer the loaf to a platter for serving, it helps to use two firm spatulas to get under both ends of the loaf. For best slicing, do give the meatloaf time to rest.


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Family Favorite Glazed Meatloaf recipe offers prep ahead convenience and tips for a perfectly shaped loaf




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  1. Sandy Tshudy

    Quick comment … I have always added a ton of shredded raw carrots (well, about two cups carrots = 1 1/2 lb. beef)… My next recipe will include the sausage! Thanks for all you do. Sandy T

    1. Ann Post author

      Thank you for mentioning, Sandy! Shredded carrots would be a great way to provide additional moisture and nutrients to the meatloaf.

  2. Holly Post author

    I made your meatloaf for Sunday dinner and it’s my new go to – so good the tamari sauce made it really good plus the fresh parsley and green onions.

  3. Louise Brewer

    This looks like a great recipe and I’m going to try it soon. I wondered if you have a % of fat preference in your ground beef? I usually use the 85%.

    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Louise, I’ve used a variety and my preference is something in the 85-90% range. I also like to bake the meatloaf on a baking sheet instead of in a loaf pan, as mentioned in the recipe. That way, the excess grease cooks out instead of collecting in the bottom of the pan. Hope you enjoy!

  4. Deb

    Amazing meatloaf, best recipe I have ever tried as far as meatloaf! I do like to use ground beef/pork/veal myself. Very delicious.

    1. Ann Post author

      Great news, Deb! I’m delighted this ranked high, and I agree with the meatloaf mix. It’s a great alternative.

    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Bridget, I haven’t but I think it would work well. If you happen to try, please report back!

  5. Marsha Phillippi

    Cooking for one now and am wondering if the recipe could be divided in half. One for now and one in the freezer for later. How long would you cook a smaller meatloaf? Many thanks!

    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Marsha, You could absolutely divide the loaf in half or make three mini loaves. For the mini loaves, I’d reduce the oven temperature to 350 and figure they will take 40 minutes, give or take, depending on oven and precise size and shape of loaf. You could also bake a full loaf as directed and freeze one of the halves or individual slices. Enjoy!

  6. Maya Burruso

    I love meatloaf! And I don’t think it gets the respect it deserves. I’ll try this for sure. I’m sure it’ll be yummy. Even the photos are making me drool.

  7. Tina Post author

    Utterly delicious meatloaf! Made this recipe last night for dinner and just enjoyed meatloaf sandwiches for lunch. Will make again soon!

  8. Denise Post author

    OMG. This was the best meatloaf I’ve ever had. It’s going into the weekly rotation. Thank you!!

  9. Jake Post author

    Hi, My mom used 1/3 rd each of ground pork, beef and veal…of course in the middle was the hidden hard boiled egg.
    Her glaze was a heated can of bing dark cherries thickened with a little corn starch and served piping hot over your serving….yum.

    1. Ann Post author

      Thanks so much for letting me know, Jacob. The cherry topping is a new twist—I’ve never heard of that—and I love the hidden egg!