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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. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was delicious! The only thing I added was just a little garlic powder to the other ingredients. The sweetness of the glaze was a perfect compliment to the savory flavor of the meatloaf. This will be a go-to meal for my family from now on… thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    My family loved this meatloaf. My 3 1/2 yr old grandson, for the first time, was willing to eat meatloaf! Not going to lie, it was the Brown Sugar Glaze! He LOVES the glaze.
    Thank you!

  3. I have everything here except the oats. Can I make this without them?
    I made you Mac n cheese last night and it was a huge hit so I figured is stick with you ?
    Question is there a way I can i can search the ingredients I have for recipes? If not no worries. Just wondering.
    Thanks for all your clearly done hard work especially with all you e been through medically. I’m a NICU nurse by trade but when I was in school many many (lol) years ago I cared for people with GBS. I admire your strength and perseverance.

    1. You could use crushed crackers or even fresh bread crumbs if needed Keri.

      And no, I don’t have the ingredient search feature right now, but it can be added!

      And I’m a maternal-newborn nurse and spent a decade in normal nursery myself. I loved that job!! I had the first transposition of the great arteries baby born in over 3 decades born on my shift once–boy what a day that was!

    2. Oh WOW!! I now care for babies who have graduated from the NICU at home as a VNA nurse. I see TPGA babies after surgery.

      Ok I’m going in. I’m gonna try this recipe. Wish me luck!!
      Thanks for getting right back to me. I’m defrosting right now and not in the microwave. You’re the best Rachel.

  4. This looks like a great recipe and I’m making it for supper tonight! I think my 4yo will enjoy this with whipped sweet potatoes. I am going to make some changes, because I live with stage 4 kidney disease I have strict dietary needs and can’t do the tomatoes 🙁 (if I had roasted red peppers on hand tonight I would substitute that for the can tomatoes ) so I will opt for a little extra onion (I shred mine instead of dice since my daughter doesnt like onion, if it’s shredded she has no idea lol). So I will make some changes to make it CKD friendly, and I think other than that it should be perfect!

    Cheers and thank you for the recipe!

    1. Hey Alicia, I’m so glad you are able to adjust this recipe to work for your health needs and yes, roasted red peppers would be a great swap for the tomatoes. You may want to add a bit of some liquid as well because the tomatoes add quite a bit of moisture. I’m not sure if a low sodium chicken stock would work? I hope you enjoyed it! –Rachel

  5. Rachel, do you ever substitute saltine crackers for the oats? How many do you think, a whole or 1/2 sleeve? We don’t usually have oats except for the instant packets. Thanks!

    1. Hey Kim! No I’ve never swapped in crackers–I trust those oats to be my grease absorbers–but if you wanted a swap, just put in equal parts crushed crackers and see if that works. Should be fine.–Rachel

  6. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I make something similar but instead of plain oats I always use a package or two of brown sugar instant oatmeal depending on the size meatloaf I make. I did it once when I was out of plain oatmeal and I was hooked after that. The brown sugar in the meatloaf just makes it better somehow. Other than that, I use all the same ingredients except the diced tomatoes. Today, I tried the meatloaf and added the diced tomatoes and loved it. My sisters always thought I was crazy for adding brown sugar to my meatloaf and glaze. Glad to see I’m not alone!

    1. Well Kelly it sounds like you are really inventive! And I don’t know if I’ll put any oatmeal on top of mine since there’s oatmeal in it, but we do love the sweet glaze–glad you do too. 🙂 You certainly aren’t alone. –Rachel

  7. I didn’t have oats so I used bread crumbs and milk instead of tomatoes or water. I felt the glaze is too sweet so I just used a lot less sugar. My meat loaf was a hit with my husband and our boys

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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.