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Homestyle Meatloaf with Brown Sugar Glaze

Make ahead dinners are more than freezer food and slow cooker soups. This homestyle meatloaf with brown sugar glaze can be tossed together the night before and baked after you get in from work. It’ll be done before the news is off. 

sliced meatloaf with red sauce on a brown plate with a green salad on a red and white and white napkin

“I guess I’m going to have to castrate my own cow. ” I told my husband over dinner a couple of nights ago.

Most men would have choked on their dinner, but my husband never broke his chewing stride.

“Do you know how to castrate a cow?” He asked.

(This is where most men would say something like “Honey I’ll help you” or “I don’t want you to get hurt, I’ll make sure it gets done”  but not my husband. He’s totally willing to let me go it on my own.

“Well I don’t know how to do it your way but I do know one…” We went on to discuss topics that don’t belong on a food blog, but let’s just say I am no further in my quest for fresh beef than I was when I started. We have black Angus cattle in the pasture right outside, but I’m still buying my meat at the grocery. Why?

Mostly because by the time Jeremy decides we might “make a beef” (aka slice-o the cow’s pair-o) the calf is 400 pounds and almost looking us in the eye. It’s too late then folks. I have had too many bruises to name from my husband’s big cattle working ideas and I don’t need any more.

No matter where you get your beef, you can make a great meatloaf and you can do it faster than you think. This tried and true favorite hasn’t met a pair of lips that didn’t like it and it can be made the night before (I think it has its best flavor then) and baked when you come in from work. Toss together a salad and make a batch of my no-yeast rolls to go along side and that’s the heartiest of hearty dinners in under an hour.

An overhead shot of sliced meatloaf on a platter with green salad

I use ground chuck for the best flavor and drain it twice as it cooks. Just tip the pan carefully at an angle until you can dip out most of the drippings with a spoon or hold the meatloaf steady with a spatula and slowly tip it to drain it.

Chop your veggies small, or leave them big if that’s your style and don’t leave off the brown sugar glaze–it’s a sweet flavor punch you can’t miss.

Homestyle Meatloaf with Brown Sugar Glaze

A traditional meatloaf recipe you will come back to again and again. A true family favorite!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6
Author Rachel Ballard


  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 8 ounce can diced tomatoes with the juice
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • Brown Sugar Glaze:
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard


  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  • Mix the ground beef, salt, pepper, onion, green peppers, egg, oats and diced tomatoes well. You may have to use your hands, but don't overwork the meat. Just until the ingredients are mixed in.
  • Form a loaf and place in a baking dish.
  • Mix ketchup, brown sugar and mustard together and spread over meatloaf.
  • Bake uncovered 1 hour, draining grease away twice by tipping the dish and using a spoon or holding the meatloaf with a spatula and draining straight from the dish.
  • Weight Watchers Points + estimated value (recipe is not endorsed by Weight Watchers): 3 points in 4 ounces. This recipe serves about 6.


Calories: 175kcal
Tried this recipe?Tag us on Instagram @feastandfarm and hashtag it #feastandfarm
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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    1. You’d need to 5x all of the ingredients of course and then I’d probably bake two 2.5 pound loaves in individual pans instead of one huge one. I’ve made this recipe many times in large servings and it works great. Bake temp will be the same and the bake time will need to increase but how long is hard to say exactly. If you shape the loaves sort of thin–no more than 3 inches thick it should be done in an hour and a half but just stick a knife in there and see what the middle looks like and go from there. –Rachel

  1. I love this recipe…since I made it, I have now been diagnosed with diabetes type 2. can you substitute the brown sugar with honey? Thank you.

  2. 3 stars
    Everyone has different taste & I respect that but my family & I have never understood or agreed with green peppers in meatloaf. They’re just too strong of a flavor that takes away from the beefy, ‘tomato-y’ &/or sweet brown sugary, delicious combo of all the traditional meatloaf ingredients. I’ve seen them in meatloaf recipes here & there over the years (& unfortunately in the most terrifying looking meatloaf we’ve ever seen…we still refer to it many years later as the ‘Peppered-Porcupine-Loafa-meat’ lol. There were SO many HUGE chunks of green pepper sticking out all over this poor meatloaf…you couldn’t look at it & not be flabbergasted & giggle to yourself). Anyway, we just find meatloaf much more delicious & comforting minus the green peppers. If you feel it just has to have some sort of pepper in it to be “correct” try a milder version of a bell pepper (yellow, red, or orange). But trust me, it’s wonderful without. Leave the ground beef, tomato, & green pepper collaboration to stuffed green peppers!

  3. 5 stars
    Our new favorite meatloaf and we have tried hundreds. I used chopped onion, carrots, and celery and sauteed those until medium-soft, and then added them to the meat mixture. Very simple recipe and really good!

  4. I followed the directions exactly how it is written. This is the best meatloaf recipe I’ve ever made. It’s delicious!! Thank you.

  5. 4 stars
    Didn’t have all the ingredients but we improvised not a bad meat loaf I would definitely recommend to anyone

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About the Author

Rachel Ballard, RN, BSN brings more than 20 years of professional nursing expertise to Feast and Farm. With a love for nutrient dense foods that support wellness, she works to distill complex health information and current trends into recipes that fuel the best version of yourself. Read more about Rachel here.