Brown Sugar Meatloaf

Brown sugar meatloaf

Meatloaf is one of those meals people joke about a lot. There’s good reason for that – dry meatloaf is awful. Properly made, on the other hand, meatloaf is a wonderful meal. My family loves this recipe for brown sugar meatloaf.

I often make a double recipe when I do this – one to cook that night, the other for the freezer. It freezes well, and that means the next time we want meatloaf, it takes hardly any effort. Best of all, making a double batch is hardly any more work than making a single. It’s always nice to have a few meals ready in the freezer. They make busy days so much nicer.

I hardly ever get complaints from my kids about meatloaf. The only one who does complain can be soothed with the addition of ketchup to her meal.

The only bad part about meatloaf is the prep and cook time. It’s not something you can make if you’re in a rush. Cooking time usually runs about an hour.

Meatloaf is a great recipe to have the kids help make. They’ll either love the mess or be completely horrified at how raw meat feels. Either one works for me. They have to get comfortable with all that sometime.

I start out by sprinkling some brown sugar in the bottom of my pan and topping it with some ketchup. This isn’t absolutely necessary, but I think it helps. I don’t use a loaf pan. I prefer my 8×8 baking pan. I’m not going for pretty looks here. It gives me more flexibility on the size of the brown sugar meatloaf.

Then it’s time to get my hands dirty and mix up the ingredients. Everything except the brown sugar and ketchup go into a large mixing bowl. If you’re doing a double recipe so you can freeze one for later, it needs a pretty big bowl. Get your hands in there and mix those ingredients together.

brown sugar meatloaf ingredients

When everything is sufficiently mixed, make the meat mixture into a loaf or two. If you made one for the freezer, put it in a freezer bag and get it put away. Otherwise, put the loaf into the pan on top of the brown sugar and ketchup.

Wash your hands really well. They’re a mess after handling all that meat.

Sprinkle the top of the meatloaf with brown sugar and spread ketchup over the top.

brown sugar meatloaf in pan

Put the whole thing in the oven and bake for about an hour or until the interior temperature of the meatloaf reaches 160 degrees F.

brown sugar meatloaf temperature

Brown Sugar Meatloaf


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1-1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 cups oatmeal


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Spread half the brown sugar in your baking pan, topped by half the ketchup.

  3. In a bowl, thoroughly mix remaining ingredients, except ketchup and brown sugar. Shape into loaf and place in pan.

  4. Cover with remaining brown sugar and ketchup.

  5. Bake for 1 hour or until interior temperature reaches 160 degrees F

Recipe Notes

Double this recipe and put the extra meatloaf into the freezer for an easy meal another day.

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