Classic Meat Loaf with Homemade Tomato Sauce

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8 servings
25 mins
1 hr 10 mins to 1 hr 15 mins 350°
10 mins
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Classic Meat Loaf with Homemade Tomato Sauce

cup finely chopped onion (1 medium)
cup finely chopped celery (1 stalk)
cup finely chopped carrot (1 medium)
cup fine dry bread crumbs
cup ketchup
eggs, lightly beaten
teaspoon salt
teaspoon ground black pepper
pound extra-lean ground beef
pound lean ground pork


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl combine onion, celery, carrot, garlic, bread crumbs, 1/3 cup of the ketchup, the eggs, salt, and pepper. Add ground beef and ground pork; mix well. Pat mixture into a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.
  2. Bake for 70 to 75 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F,* spooning the remaining 1/3 cup ketchup over meat loaf after 1 hour of baking.
  3. Let meat loaf stand for 10 minutes. Carefully tip the pan over a heatproof bowl; pour off fat. Cut into eight slices while still in the pan. Serve using a spatula.

From the Test Kitchen


The internal color of a meat loaf is not a reliable doneness indicator. A beef, veal, lamb, or pork loaf cooked to 160 degrees F is safe, regardless of color. To measure the doneness of a meat loaf, insert an instant-read thermometer into the center of the loaf.

Spanish Meat Loaf:

Prepare Clasic Meat Loaf as directed, except add 1 cup chopped cooked potato; 4 strips bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled; and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika to the meat mixture. Serve with Mushroom-Thyme Sauce. Sprinkle an additional 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves on top of meat loaf.

Mushroom-Thyme Sauce:

In a medium skillet heat 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until butter is melted. Add 8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms and 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion; cook and stir for 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour; cook and stir 3 to 5 minutes or until light brown. Add 1/4 cup dry white wine; cook and stir until reduced by about half. Add 1 cup chicken broth; simmer about 10 minutes or until sauce thickens. Add 1 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper.

Mini Meat Loaves:

In a medium skillet melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add 2 cups chopped fresh fennel; cook and stir for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender. Set aside. Prepare Classic Meat Loaf as directed, except add cooked fennel and 1-1/2 cups finely chopped cooked sweet potato (1 large) to meat mixture. Spray 12 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. Divide meat mixture among prepared muffin cups; brush tops of meat loaves with the remaining 1/3 cup ketchup. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.* If desired, garnish finished meat loaves with fennel fronds.

Nutrition Facts

(Classic Meat Loaf with Homemade Tomato Sauce)
    Per serving:
  • 248 kcal cal.,
  • 7 g fat
  • (2 g sat. fat,
  • 1 g polyunsaturated fat,
  • 3 g monounsatured fat),
  • 115 mg chol.,
  • 728 mg sodium,
  • 17 g carb.,
  • 1 g fiber,
  • 7 g sugar,
  • 28 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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