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Brown sugar meatloaf recipe

This brown sugar meatloaf recipe is one that your whole family will love.  It’s super easy to prep and tastes like love-filled comfort food.  The brown sugar glaze gives it an extra special twist on the typical meatloaf recipe and makes the final product oh-so-yummy.

Brown Sugar Meatloaf Recipe

I’ve made this brown sugar meatloaf for years.  My husband requests it all the time and my dad loves it too.  (And my dad is a meatloaf aficionado, so that’s saying a lot.)

I think it’s safe to say that once you try this brown sugar meatloaf recipe, you’re going to want to add it to your regular dinner rotation too.

To make your life even easier, you can freeze this meatloaf ahead of time for a night when you don’t have time to cook.  It’s one of the meals that I froze before my second daughter was born, and you can bet it will be one of the 30 meals that I’m freezing before my third baby arrives this fall.  (Yep, you read that right.  I’m attempting to freeze THIRTY meals this time around.)

The awesome thing about freezing this meatloaf is that you can freeze it raw.  Since it cooks for the very first time out of the freezer, it doesn’t taste like leftovers at all.  (If you’re new to freezer cooking, check out my very best freezer meal tips for beginners.)

Since you’re not doing any cooking ahead of time, you can freeze this brown sugar meatloaf in a snap, just like all of the recipes in my ‘15-Minute Freezer Recipes‘ cookbook.

Brown Sugar Meatloaf Recipe


  • 2 pieces of bread
  • 1.5 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk (or whatever you have on-hand)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 package onion soup mix
  • 3/4 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Simply Heinz ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcheshire sauce
  • Cooking spray


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare 9×5″ loaf pan by coating with cooking spray and placing two slices of bread at the bottom of the pan.  (The bread will absorb the grease from the cooked meatloaf.)
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine beef, milk, eggs, onion soup mix, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and ground ginger.  Spoon into prepared pan.
  4. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, ketchup, and Worcheshire sauce.  Spread on top of meat mixture in pan.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 75 minute or until cooked through.

To Freeze

  • Complete Steps 1-4, cover with layers of plastic wrap and foil, and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To cook, bake at 350 degrees for 90min-2hours, or until cooked through.  (To shorten the cooking time, defrost the meatloaf overnight in your refrigerator the night before you’re going to cook it.)

Cut bread from bottom of meatloaf, and enjoy!!

Other comfort food recipes you need to try:


  • Kat Meller says:

    Hi Kelly,
    I will be trying this one very very soon. I have a question about freezing this. It says to prepare steps 1 – 4 and cover with plastic wrap. Am I putting the plastic wrap in the loaf pan, then the bread, then the meat (so the bread is frozen too) or am I just putting the meat in the pan that is lined with the plastic wrap until it is frozen, then removed and wrapped in foil to freeze for up to 3 months?

    Or doesn’t it matter and I’m just being too literal?

  • kim says:

    love this recipe, I changed it very slightly. I might have to double the batch next time so that I can have seconds or have some leftovers 🙂

  • Dawna says:

    Hi there. Has this recipe been tried in the crock pot? How long would it cook?

  • Do you still add the bread and spray to the bottom of the pan if you are freezing it? And so you cook the bread before freezing or just do it all at once when you take it out of the freezer to bake? Thanks!

    • Kelly says:

      Yes, add it before freezing. I use store-bought bread and freeze the entire meatloaf assembled (ground beef, egg, etc is raw).

  • […] I started off by heating the water and browning the meat for the Lasagna Rollups. Once that was in full swing I set about making the Brown Sugar Meatloaf! […]

  • Christine says:

    I made this yesterday and it was amazing!! Love the sauce on top. Thanks!

  • jacki says:

    loved it………….but I still cooked it ahead of time

  • Jennifer says:

    Is it okay to leave space between the sauce and top of pan when freezing or should I lay plastic wrap right on top of the sauce? I dont want to loose my sauce after thawing, but I don’t want frost bite either.

    • Kelly says:

      I leave space between the sauce and the plastic wrap and never seem to have an issue with freezer burn.

      • Jennifer says:

        Thanks for the quick reply!! In 4 days I have 2 meatloaves, sweet and spicy bbq chicken, and sauerkraut pork all in my freezer! All your recipes : ) We had cranberry pork for dinner tonight. Hubby LOVED it! Should have 2 more pork dinners frozen by the end of the week! 55 days until due with baby #3. You are my life savior! I am going to freeze more of your recipes each week.

  • Katherine says:

    I was just talking to my mom the other day about her meatloaf recipe- I asked if I could freeze it before cooking – and she told me not to do it because “ewww it has raw eggs in it!!!!” I wasn’t sure how raw eggs are so different from raw meat (which pretty much everyone freezes on a regular basis) but had no experience freezing uncooked meatloaf so I just baked it instead of freezing based on my mom’s horrified reaction to the thought of freezing it. Now I find this a see that yes it is possible to freeze uncooked meatloaf (even with raw egg mixed in)! It’s so helpful to know this method works for you!!! I will try it sometime! I probably need to try dividing the recipe to make several mini meatloaves instead of one big one- I am cooking for only 1-2 people depending on the night!

    • Kelly says:

      Yep, you can absolutely freeze raw eggs. I do in this recipes and in cookie dough too. Mini meatloaves sound like a great idea!

  • Arlene says:

    I think to avoid the confusion
    it should read – to freeze and cook later – complete steps 2 – 4

    🙂 Hope this helps

  • Christine says:

    Have you ever made this in the crockpot? It’s almost 100 here, and I’m six months pregnant and craving meatloaf…but I can’t bear the thought of heating up the oven!

    • Kelly says:

      No, but I’m pretty sure it will work. I’ve cooked ground beef in the crockpot for burgers and it works perfectly so I don’t know why it wouldn’t work in this case too.

  • Lyubov Berezina says:

    Hello! Thanks a lot for this recipe! Can I substitute Worcheshire sauce with anything? I cannot buy it here where I live 🙁

  • Rose says:

    Just to clarify, does the recipe above make 1 or 2 loaves?

  • Kelly T says:

    Wow, this recipe is really great. Made it tonight (minus the ginger because I was all out) and it was a big hit with the whole family. Even my 2 & 3 year olds ate it! Yum! I’ve already prepped another one for the freezer for postpartum time. Thanks!

  • Heather says:

    I’ve been in search of a go-to meatloaf recipe- this is it! The meatloaf held together so well and the sauce was amazing! Next time I plan to double the sauce recipe and have some set aside to serve with the meatloaf. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  • Adrienne says:

    Can i use turkey just the same as beef or do I need to do any kind of substitution?

  • Marie says:

    Do you freeze it in the loaf pan?

  • Elisabeth says:

    First of al sorry for commenting on an old post. I’m 2 months away from our first baby dude date and just stumbled upon your great website.
    Just a question, what is onion soup mix? Is it in powder or liquid form? What brand do you usually use?

    • Kelly McNelis says:

      Powder. It’s usually sold in envelopes by the canned soup. Brand doesn’t matter to me – I typically buy generic.

  • Carie says:

    I have found so many yummy-sounding recipes on your site. I’m having trouble finding links to “printable” versions. Am I just missing them? Specifically looking for this brown sugar meatloaf one, but curious for other recipes as well. Thank you!

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