Family Recipe Friday – Mom’s Meatloaf

Posted by: Eileen A. Souza

This is my mother’s recipe but I believe she got it from her mother. The women in this family have been making this meatloaf for several generations. My maternal line is primarily Pennsylvania German contributing many excellent family recipes to my heritage. I love it.

Meatloaf was and remains one of my favorite meals. Talk about a comfort food…

As a young girl, the birthday tradition at my house was that we could invite one friend to dinner, choose our favorite birthday dinner and pick our favorite birthday cake. My choice for cake was always angel food cake with milk chocolate frosting and my dinner selection was always meatloaf. This used to upset my mother because meatloaf was considered an economical dinner and she thought it would give the wrong impression to my friend; but really, I did not like steak as a child.

In our family, it was traditional to serve meatloaf unadorned with sides of mashed potatoes and either peas or string beans. Either beef gravy or stewed tomatoes were served to top off the potatoes and meatloaf (if desired). My favorite portion is from the ends of the loaf.

The big difference between the way we make our meatloaf and most others that I’ve eaten is that we use bread slices instead of bread crumbs.

This recipe makes around 8 to 10 servings, depending upon the serving size.

Mom’s Meatloaf


1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
3 whole bread slices
1 large egg
1 cup milk
¼ cup onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper


Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix all the ingredients except the bread slices together. Dampen bread with water, tear into small bits and add to mixture. Thoroughly knead mixture by hand until well-blended. Spread the meat mixture into an ungreased loaf pan, 9 X 5 X 3-inches or shape into a loaf in an ungreased baking pan. Bake, uncovered, for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until done.


For best results, have the beef ground once more as it gives a finer texture. As an alternative, you can use a mixture of 1lb. lean beef, 1/4lb. lean pork and 1/4lb. veal, all ground together twice.

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2 Responses to Family Recipe Friday – Mom’s Meatloaf

  1. Donna says:

    Thank you for your posts. I have a feed reader and keep up to date with yours. I liked this recipe by your Mom. Very similar to mine (passed down too) The only thing I change is to make 2-3 loaves and shorten cooking time a bit. More ends to enjoy.

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