Mom’s Meatloaf

There are so many meatloaf recipes out there. But I think this one is really unique. Why? Well, my mom got this one from an old cookbook. That’s not the unique part. At the time, she was newly married and learning to cook. So, she picked this recipe. But didn’t read close enough.

Meatloaf is supposed to have a sauce or gravy. This recipe was no different. But my mom made a mistake and dumped the gravy in with the loaf and baked it.

My dad approved. Ever since then, we have had gravy in the meatloaf instead of gravy on the meatloaf. It’s also the only time I will eat ketchup.

I couldn’t tell you what kind of ground meat this recipe called for since I never saw it, but my mom usually did all beef or beef and pork. I opened up some Italian sausages once and it was delicious. Anyways, you’ll need a pound and a half.

My mom also did something different with the bread crumbs. She doesn’t use them. Not for anything that calls for bread crumbs. She always thought it made everything too soggy. Instead, she mixed Saltines and Ritz crackers for crunchy, buttery crumbs. I don’t actually know what the difference is since I have never eaten anyone else’s meatloaf. Ever. Don’t even ask me to because I won’t.

The quarter teaspoon sage the recipe calls for is also easily swapped out. My mom used different kinds, but I usually use thyme since that’s always on hand. I really don’t like sage.

So what do you do?

Mix together two eggs and three quarters cup of milk. Add a half cup of cracker crumbs, finely chopped onion (I just use a grater), and the sage, thyme, etc. of your choosing. Mix it all together for one soupy mess with some salt and pepper.

Now here comes the interesting part. You know the ingredients you would use for the gravy? Well, add them now. Add the quarter cup of ketchup and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and mix it into a reddish-brown soupy mess.

Now add the meat. I find it easiest to mix it all together with my hands. Mix it together until just incorporated. Now pour it into a loaf pan and stick into the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

And there you have it! Meatloaf and gravy all in one dish! Enjoy with some mashed potatoes. My mom boils potatoes and simply mashes them with a healthy amount of salt. No cream or milk or butter for us! We’re kind of purists when it comes to vegetables.


  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp seasoning (sage, thyme, etc.)
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground meat
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine eggs and milk.
  3. Stir in cracker crumbs, onion, salt, seasoning, and 1/8 tsp pepper.
  4. Add ketchup and brown sugar. Mix well.
  5. Add meat and mix until just blended.
  6. Pour into a loaf pan.
  7. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

4 thoughts on “Mom’s Meatloaf

    1. It’s a family favorite and I’ve never had any others, so I can’t really compare. I hope you like it, but my husband hates meatloaf, including this one. Oh well.

      Liked by 1 person

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