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Sweet-and-Sour Meat Loaf

My husband and I like basic, hearty meat-and-potatoes meals. The sweet-and-sour flavor adds a deliciously different twist to this longtime standby. —Debbie Haneke, Stafford, Kansas
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 1 hour
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons prepared mustard


  • In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs, salt, pepper and eggs; crumble beef over top and mix well. Add onion and half of the tomato sauce. Press into a 9x5-in. loaf pan.
  • Bake at 350° for 50 minutes. In a saucepan, combine the sugars, vinegar, mustard and remaining tomato sauce; bring to a boil. Pour over meat loaf; bake until no pink remains and a thermometer reads 160°, about 10 minutes longer.
  • Freeze option: Securely wrap and freeze cooled meat loaf in plastic wrap and foil. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Unwrap meat loaf; reheat on a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan in a preheated 350° oven until heated through and a thermometer inserted in center reads 165°.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 419 calories, 17g fat (6g saturated fat), 146mg cholesterol, 969mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (23g sugars, 1g fiber), 28g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Sunkitten
    Jan 18, 2020

    This is the best meatloaf I have ever made!!! This is the best meatloaf I have ever made! I made it exactly as described, and it was so flavorful and moist! My husband was very hesitant to try this new recipe, but once he took his first bite, he was amazed! This is a keeper!!!

  • puzzlemad
    Aug 10, 2019

    It was ok. I may make it again. I mixed the sauce and added half of it to the meatloaf instead of just the tomato sauce as others suggested. It was nice

  • jmkasprak
    Jul 30, 2019

    This is one of the easiest meat loaf recipes. I've used it quite often and it is pretty good. The dried onions add flavor but not texture. If you are looking to step it up a notch, try Paula Deen's home style meatloaf with onions and celery and a topping made with tomato paste, brown sugar and lemon.

  • Debglass11
    Sep 27, 2018

    Really good meatloaf! I used panko crumbs and chopped fresh onion instead of dried, and used ketchup instead of tomato sauce. Since I used ketchup, I eliminated the 1/2 cup sugar and just used the brown sugar, along with the other ingredients. I just mixed the sauce ingredients together and poured it over the meatloaf. Baked the loaf on a roasting rack and it came out perfect. Served it with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. Will definitely make this again!

  • Loiscooks
    Mar 6, 2018

    Good recipe. Nice that it did not require milk. I used another topping instead of the sauce recipe. This was a good meatloaf that stayed together well. I will make this again. Thanks for the recipe.

  • bakingmad
    Oct 2, 2017

    Though I use a slightly different meatloaf mixture, I make the sauce (using regular white vinegar), pour just enough to cover the top of the meatloaf the last 5 minutes of baking, and pass the rest to serve. My husband was initially hesitant to try it, but, since finding this recipe some years ago, he won't eat meatloaf any other way and I never make "plain" meatloaf anymore! We especially like it with garlic smashed potatoes, buttered green beans, and homemade biscuits. Comfort food at its best!

  • TrishtheDish1
    Sep 16, 2017

    We enjoyed this twist on the classic meatloaf. Especially liked the sweet and sour sauce!

  • pattycake10
    Jan 24, 2017

    My family likes this recipe. You can make the sauce more sweet and sour if that is the taste your family prefers. I found the recipe to be good just the way it is for my families taste.

  • ladydi001
    Jan 13, 2017

    Great Recipe. I made as written and it was delicious but I prefer using crackers instead of bread crumbs in my meat loaf (guess it's what you get used to), so the next time I doubled the recipe and made it with a sleeve and a half saltine crackers and added a packet of onion soup mix for more robust flavor. It was absolutely delicious. I froze one of the loafs uncooked along with a baggie of the prepared sauce for an easy fix meal later. Next time I might also try making all the tomato sauce into the topping sauce and adding half to the mixture instead of straight tomato sauce. I am also going to use this sauce for my meatball appetizers in my slow cooker.

  • JohnRascal2
    Jan 12, 2017

    Great recipe. My only adjustment was to prepare the topping sauce and add that to the meat mixture rather than straight tomato sauce. Delicious. I definitely will make again.