A Hearty Meatloaf Recipe Packed with Unforgettable Flavors

Are you ready to transport yourself back in time to the classic era of 1950’s diners and home cooked meals? Look no further than this famous 1950’s-style meatloaf recipe. This dish has stood the test of time and remains a classic favorite for its juicy and tender texture, savory flavors, and comforting aromas. This recipe is sure to bring back nostalgic memories of mom’s cooking or your favorite diner.

But don’t be fooled by its simplicity. This meatloaf packs a flavorful punch that will leave you craving more. The combination of ground beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, ketchup, milk, onion, salt, and pepper create a mouth-watering masterpiece that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.

So why wait? Grab your apron and preheat the oven to 350 degrees because it’s time to impress your family and friends with the best meatloaf they’ve ever tasted. Let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

1950's Meatloaf
1950’s Meatloaf

With so many options to choose from, it’s not easy to decide which meatloaf recipe to invest your time and money in. However, this 1950’s Meatloaf Recipe is a classic that will appeal to your taste buds, and you are guaranteed to love it.

One of the things that sets this 1950’s Meatloaf Recipe apart is its unique blend of ingredients. With a mixture of ground beef, ground pork sausage, eggs, bread crumbs, ketchup, milk, onions, salt, and pepper, there’s no denying the flavor explosion that awaits you.

This recipe is perfect for busy people who don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen. It only takes 15 minutes to prepare the meatloaf mix and an additional hour in the oven. The aroma from your oven will make your friends and family members’ mouths water.

If you’re looking for ways to tweak the recipe slightly, you can try adding some different ingredients as variations. For example, tomato sauce or apple cider vinegar can be substituted for ketchup; yellow mustard complements the flavor excellently. Or maybe you can throw-in some bell peppers or oregano into the mix.

This classic recipe not only looks great on your plate but also pairs with a variety of side dishes such as mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. You will be amazed at how well they complement each other in terms of taste.

This 1950’s Meatloaf Recipe has become iconic due to its inclusion within a famous magazine during that era – Life Magazine. There’s a reason it remains popular – it is delicious and satisfying! Try this old-school style meatloaf today and relive a piece of flavor-packed nostalgia. What are you waiting for? It’s time to give your taste buds an unforgettable ride.

Ingredient List

Take a Peek Inside the Ultimate 1950’s Meatloaf Recipe

Are you ready to travel back in time to the era of diner-style meatloaf? With this famous 1950s meatloaf recipe, you can experience a taste of retro Americana right in your kitchen. To make this classic comfort food, you will need to gather the following ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of ground beef 1:1
  • 1 pound of ground pork sausage
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs 1:2 (bread crumbs soaked in milk and eggs)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped onion
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup of ketchup
  • 1/4 cup of whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons of yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

This recipe yields a meatloaf that serves around six people. Make sure you have all these ingredients on hand before starting to prepare the dish.

The Recipe How-To


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius)

Before starting with the recipe, preheat the oven so that it’s ready when you need it. This will ensure that your meatloaf cooks evenly and fully throughout.

Combine ingredients in a large mixing bowl

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 pounds (900g) of ground beef 1/2 pound (225g) of ground pork sausage, 1 cup (225 ml) of soft bread crumbs, 2 beaten eggs, 1 cup (240 ml) of milk, 1/2 cup (120 ml) of ketchup, 1/4 cup (60 ml) of diced onion, 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of apple cider vinegar, and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of yellow mustard. Mix all ingredients well using your hands until everything is evenly combined.

Tip: To make bread crumbs, simply blend any sliced bread in a blender or food processor until finely grounded.

Form mixture into a loaf

Place the mixture on a lightly greased baking sheet or pan and form it into a meatloaf shape that’s about 9×5 inches or as desired. Be sure to pack the meat mixture well and create an even surface around it.

Bake in preheated oven for an hour

Place the meatloaf in the preheated oven, and bake it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately one hour or until completely cooked throughout. You can check if your meatloaf is completely cooked by inserting a meat thermometer into the center. It should register at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 °C).

Tip: If you prefer a crispy crust on top, brush some more ketchup on top before placing it in the oven.

Let rest for about five minutes before serving

After taking out the meatloaf from the oven, let it rest for about five minutes before slicing it to serve. This allows it to cool slightly so that it firms up and cutting will be much easier.

Serve your meat loaf hot with your favorite side dishes like roasted veggies, mashed potatoes or salad. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

In the kitchen, we like to keep things interesting by changing up recipes with creative substitutions and variations. This 1950’s meatloaf recipe is no exception. While it’s a classic dish favored for its simplicity and heartiness, there are plenty of ways to add your own twist to it.

For those looking to cut down on red meat, you can substitute ground beef with ground turkey. The result is a lighter yet equally flavorful meatloaf, perfect for those watching their waistline or cholesterol levels.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try combining different meats such as pork sausage and ground beef in a 1:1 ratio. Doing so will add an extra dimension of flavor and juiciness to the dish.

You can also play around with the spices and condiments used in this recipe. For example, try replacing yellow mustard with Dijon mustard for a tangier taste. Or add 1/4 cup of tomato sauce to the mixture for more moisture and a subtle sweetness.

Want a meatloaf sandwich? Use thick slices of homemade meatloaf between two slices of freshly toasted bread. You can even mix in some Quaker oats with breadcrumbs for an interesting texture.

Whether you’re looking for a healthier alternative or just seeking to mix things up in the kitchen, these substitutions and variations will make your meatloaf even better than ever before!

Serving and Pairing

This 1950’s meatloaf recipe is a comfort food classic that pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Whether you’re looking for something hearty and filling or light and refreshing, there are plenty of options to choose from.

One classic pairing for meatloaf is mashed potatoes. Creamy and buttery, mashed potatoes complement the rich flavors of the meatloaf and bring a comforting warmth to the meal. For added flavor and texture, try adding some chopped chives or grated cheese to your potatoes.

Another popular option is roasted vegetables. Carrots, Brussels sprouts, green beans, and squash are all delicious roasted alongside the meatloaf. The caramelized edges of the vegetables provide a lovely contrast to the savory meat.

If you’re looking for something lighter, a simple green salad is a great option. Fresh greens tossed with a tangy vinaigrette bring an acidity that balances the richness of the meatloaf.

For a sandwich-style meal, slice the leftover meatloaf and serve on sliced bread with mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato for a flavorful homemade meatloaf sandwich.

Overall, there are countless ways to enjoy this classic American comfort food dish. Whether served as a family dinner or cooked for a party with friends, this 1950’s style meatloaf recipe pairs perfectly with various sides and is sure to please any crowd.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

A meatloaf is the type of dish that works wonderfully for meal prep. If you are planning to make this 1950s Meatloaf Recipe for a busy week ahead, doing some portioning will pay off. Once the meatloaf has set and cooled down, you can either slice it or cut a few square pieces and store them in an airtight container. It will keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days and will make the perfect grab-and-go lunch or dinner.

Another option is to freeze your meatloaf. Cooked meatloaf freezes well, so if you want to make an extra batch of this recipe, then go ahead! Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and freeze for up to 2-3 months. To thaw it, transfer it from the freezer to the fridge and let it defrost overnight.

When reheating meatloaf, there are various methods you can use depending on your preference and available resources. One easy way is to warm-up individual slices in a microwave-safe plate for about 1-2 minutes – just don’t overheat it, as that can result in dry pieces. Another option is to heat up the whole meatloaf, wrapped in foil, in the oven at 325°F for around 25-30 minutes.

To add extra moisture while reheating, adding a spoonful of tomato sauce on top of each slice before reheating can help keep it moist and flavorful.

Whether you decide to meal prep or freeze your meatloaf for later use, remember that it’s always good practice to label your containers with dates and portion sizes. That way, you’ll be able to quickly identify what’s inside and how long they’ve been stored.

Tips for Perfect Results

When it comes to a 1950’s meatloaf, every ingredient and step is essential in creating that classic diner-style flavor. However, there are a couple of tips you should keep in mind to ensure perfect results.

Firstly, don’t overmix the ingredients. While it’s important to combine everything evenly, overmixing can lead to a dense and tough loaf. So, mix until just combined and leave it there.

Secondly, ensure that the loaf is not packed too tightly. This can also result in a heavy and dry meatloaf. Instead, place the mixture into the loaf pan with a light hand and leave some space for it to expand while baking.

Thirdly, let the meatloaf rest outside of the oven for at least 10 minutes before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute. This will not only make for easier slicing but also lead to a juicier meatloaf.

Lastly, if you want an extra burst of flavor, consider adding green bell pepper or oregano to your loaf mixture. These subtle additions can elevate your 1950’s meatloaf from good to great.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to make the best homemade meatloaf ever made – the classic 1950 recipe that everyone will love.


Before we dive into the FAQ section of this meatloaf recipe article, let’s take a moment to recap the most important points. We’ve covered the key ingredients, steps, and tips for making this classic 1950s-style meatloaf dish. From combining ground beef and pork sausage to mixing yellow mustard and apple cider vinegar with ketchup to create sauce, following these instructions will help you create a savory and flavorful meatloaf that’s sure to impress. Now, let’s answer some common questions about this recipe.

Was meatloaf popular in the 1950s?

During the era of the Great Depression and World War II, stretching food resources was essential for survival, causing the term “meatloaf” to frequently appear in the New York Times in the 1930s and 1940s. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s that America truly embraced the homely-but-nourishing dish.

What is the secret to moist meatloaf?

When preparing meat dishes, it is essential to keep them moist at every step of cooking. Neglecting to add ingredients such as eggs, ketchup, tomato paste, mustard, Worcestershire, or barbecue sauce, which are considered wet seasonings, will result in a dry and bland finish. These seasonings are crucial not only for their distinct flavors and textures but also for ensuring the meat’s succulence. So, to achieve a mouth-watering and juicy meat outcome, do not skip these wet additives during the cooking process.

What ingredient keeps meatloaf from falling apart?

When preparing meatloaf, it’s important to ensure that it doesn’t fall apart while cooking. One common reason behind this issue is the lack of binding agents such as eggs and breadcrumbs. These ingredients play a crucial role by holding the meatloaf together and keeping it intact as it cooks. It’s essential to include them in the recipe in adequate proportions to avoid the meatloaf from crumbling.

Why do some people put milk in meatloaf?

Adding milk to meatloaf is a popular technique to help moisten the bread crumbs and, in turn, tenderize the meat. However, for those who prefer to avoid milk, there are various alternatives that can be used, such as low sodium beef or chicken stock, water, or non-dairy milk substitutes.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this 1950’s-style meatloaf recipe is a classic dish that will never go out of style. With its simple and delicious ingredients, it is easy to make and can be customized to fit any taste preference. This recipe has been enjoyed by many generations and will continue to be a family favorite for years to come.

By using quality ground beef, pork sausage, eggs, bread crumbs, ketchup, onion, salt, and pepper, you can create a mouth-watering dish that will have everyone asking for seconds. Whether you are looking for a quick weeknight meal or a comforting Sunday dinner, this meatloaf recipe is the perfect choice.

So why not bring some retro charm into your kitchen with this delicious 1950’s-style meatloaf? Trust me; you won’t regret it!

1950's Meatloaf

1950’s Meatloaf Recipe

This is my sister-in-law's recipe for meatloaf. She shared with me for a family cookbook. It is sweet so you might want to cut back some on the brown sugar, I only use about 3/4 cup. Hope you enjoy it
No ratings yet
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 512.6 kcal


  • 2 lbs ground chuck
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine ground chuck, eggs, bread crumbs, ketchup, milk, onion, salt and pepper.
  • Mix well.
  • Place and form mixture into greased loaf pan or baking dish.
  • In medium bowl, combine brown sugar, water, vinegar and mustard. Mix well. Pour over meat mixture.
  • Bake uncovered at 400°F approximately 1 hour.
  • Let stand 15 minutes before slicing.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 314gCalories: 512.6kcalCarbohydrates: 56.4gProtein: 34.5gFat: 15.9gSaturated Fat: 5.8gCholesterol: 170.2mgSodium: 1103.2mgFiber: 1.2gSugar: 42g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Meat
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You