recipe: michelle’s meatloaf + homemade ketchup {tasty thursday}

Meatloaf and Homemade Ketchup

Let me be clear from the start, this is not exactly my first-Atlanta-roommate Michelle’s meatloaf, because I’ve tweaked it quite a bit over the years, but it certainly emerges from her inspiration.

And she taught me two very important lessons about meatloaf:

meatloaf 2

Growing up, my mom always put the meat concoction in actual bread-loaf pan; however, all the excess grease would collect at the bottom [naaaaaaasty]. Speaking of grease, I actually think 85/15 or 80/20 beef creates a more moist meatloaf. For this particular meal, I had to use 90/10, because that’s all I had. [My family goes together to buy a locally raised grass-fed cow, and we ask that all the ground beef be processed leanly. Usually this is ideal, with the exception of meatloaf.]

Anyway, the next lesson is infinitely important:

meatloaf 3

It’s become a cliche, but bacon does, indeed, make everything better. Michelle would put the bacon on the bottom of the loaf, but I like it a little crispier, so I put it on top.

Aaaand, I know this is obnoxious, but I also like to make my own ketchup. It is easy and fantastic. Not at all necessary for this recipe, but highly encouraged.

Here goes:




1 ½ lbs ground beef

1/3 cup, plus 2 Tablespoons ketchup (recipe below, or use any ‘ol kind)

1 egg

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup finely diced green pepper

1/4 cup finely diced onion

3 pieces of bread torn apart*

5 to 6 pieces of bacon (raw)


1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Mix everything together, except the bacon and 2 T of ketchup.

3. Mold into a loaf in a roasting pan.

4. Spread the 2 T of ketchup on top, and wrap with bacon.

5. Bake covered for 40 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.



Adapted from this recipe at Heavenly Homemakers.

12 ounces tomato paste

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon*

scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves*

scant 1/4 teaspoon allspice

pinch of cayenne

3 Tablespoons maple syrup


1. Mix everything together well.

2. Store in an airtight container (like a jar) in a refrigerator. It should last up to 2 weeks, but you can always freeze extra.

Note: this makes very thick ketchup, so if you want it a little thinner (especially if you use it in a squeeze bottle), just add water a Tablespoon at a time until desired consistency.

*IMPORTANT UPDATE: After making this recipe soooo many times, there are a few things I have changed. The bread torn apart is great, but I have also just pulverized some almonds in my food processor (about 1/2 cup after processing) and added that. It makes the texture slightly different, but it is still excellent.

Regarding the ketchup- I think I have decided that this recipe has too many spices. Lately, I’ve been eliminating the cloves and just doing an 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon. It is still very flavorful.


8 thoughts on “recipe: michelle’s meatloaf + homemade ketchup {tasty thursday}

  1. i so enjoy all of your blog posts but am so very terrible about commenting because i’m usually on my phone and too lazy. i was happy to see ribsy the roasting pan featured in this recipe.

    question: i always use bread crumbs in meatloaf, but get annoyed with making them. (one extra step. again-laziness.) so just tearing up the bread is enough? it doesn’t make for bites ‘o’ bread?

  2. This looks great! I love the font/style of the words on the pics. Do soundings with older? I’ve made meatloaf with bacon pieces but not with whole strips so I’ll try that next time. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Mmmm. Our family are BIG fans of meatloaf around here. Is that weird to say? I’m not sure why it feels like it should be

    This one looks amazing! And I’ve never tried bacon. I think I’m adding this to my meal plan this week :)

  4. Pingback: meal plan: week of Jan. 28 | sarahunfiltered

  5. Pingback: meal plan: weeks of Jan 5-12; Jan 13-19 | sarahunfiltered

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