This Classic Easy Meat Loaf is an old family favorite that always gets rave reviews!
Don’t mess with a man and his meat loaf. Words to live by at our house.
Meat loaf, mashed potatoes and green beans. A classic meal that never, ever goes out of style.
This is one meal Tom really enjoys. It brings back memories of his childhood.
His mom, Grandma, as we all called her, did not like to cook. It wasn’t that she wasn’t good at it, she just didn’t enjoy it.
She wasn’t adventurous in the kitchen. She had certain go-to meals that she served on repeat, and this Classic Easy Meat Loaf was one of them.
She gave me this recipe and her meatballs and sauce recipe when Tom and I first got married.
And I learned early on not to change a single thing about either one, because after eating them for years, Tom could detect any slight change, and according to Tom you should never mess with success.
Grandma wasn’t into long lists of ingredients for her recipes either, so this classic meat loaf is a combination of only a handful of ingredients, but makes for one delicious loaf.
A Few Cook’s Notes for Classic Easy Meat Loaf Recipe:
You can make this meat loaf with a mixture of beef and pork and omit the veal, if desired. I would then use 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef and 1/2 lb. ground pork.
Tom swears the saltines make a difference, so if you know what’s good (lol!) don’t substitute regular bread crumbs.
I add my saltines to a Ziploc bag and crush with my rolling pin. First I crush the 20 saltines for the loaf, then I crush the final 3 for the topping.
Grandma’s recipe calls for meat loaf mix, a combo of beef, pork and veal that you can find at your local market, eggs, chili sauce, chopped onion, garlic, bacon, Worcestershire sauce and crushed saltine crackers.
It’s topped with extra chili sauce and a few more crushed saltines and baked in a loaf pan.
I serve it with mashed potatoes and green beans. Never anything different.
You know. Why mess with success? Enjoy!
- 2 lbs. meat loaf mix, combination of beef, pork and veal
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 4 slices bacon, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup chili sauce, divided
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 23 saltine crackers, divided
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together meat loaf mix, onion, bacon, garlic, eggs, 1/2 cup chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and 20 crushed saltine crackers until well combined.
- Using your hands, shape mixture into a loaf and place in prepared pan. Top the loaf with the remaining 1/4 cup of chili sauce. Spread with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with remaining 3 crushed saltine crackers.
- Bake on the middle rack for 1 hour, or until meat thermometer registers 155 degrees F. (My loaf took about 65 minutes to reach 155 degrees F) Let meat loaf rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.