Cheddar Meatloaf

Posted 13 November, 2015 by Trish in In the Kitchen / 24 Comments

Tags: ,

Cheddar Meatloaf - An easy and delicious crowdpleaser

Meatloaf has never really appealed to me. It’s basically a chunk of tasteless meat that one must dip each bite into ketchup to enjoy. That is until I had my mother-in-law’s meatloaf for the first time. And the second, and third, etc. I finally convinced her to share her recipe with me (which she got from one of those community cookbooks that likely originally got the recipe from a magazine).

This meatloaf is so easy to throw together, makes great leftovers, and is absolutely delicious. It’s moist and flavorful, and Elle loves it so much that she calls it Meat Love. Ok, so I think she thinks that’s the real name of this dish, but I’m going with it. Meat Love. I love it, too, little one!


Cheddar Meatloaf

(or if you will, Meatlove). Serves 4-6, depending on your hunger level. Takes 60 minutes from prep to table.


1 pound lean ground beef
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup chopped onion (or equivalent dried)
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tsp mustard


1. Preheat oven to 350° and Grease a 13×9 baking dish.

2. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs and milk together. Stir in cheese, oats, onion, and salt. Add the meat and mix well. Mixture will be moist.

3. Shape meat mixture into small loaves. I usually make three and they aren’t necessarily pretty (picture above is half a loaf). Place loaves into the 13×9 baking dish.

4. Combine ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard in a small bowl. Mix well and spoon evenly over the loaves.

5. Cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until meat is cooked throughout. I use a meat thermometer to check temp as sometimes the ketchup will color the inside of the loaves.

6. Enjoy! Enjoy the leftovers, too–if you have any left!

Notes: The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup brown sugar. I cut this in half with no complaints from the family. My mother-in-law usually quadruples this recipe with great results, so feel free to double or more. Also note that despite the name, this meatloaf doesn’t taste cheesy. It adds a little something and helps bind, but if you didn’t know better, you’d likely never guess that a cup of cheese went into the recipe.


Cheddar Meatloaf - An easy dinnertime crowdpleaser

This is definitely one of our family’s favorite go-to dinners. The only time it took more than a few minutes to whip it up was when Elle dumped the entire container of pepper into the meat mixture when I had my back turned. (Thankfully we hadn’t added anything else yet so I rinsed the meat! and started over). #cookingwithkids :)

Do you have a favorite fall comfort dish?





Linking up with:

weekend cookingEvery weekend, Beth Fish Reads hosts Weekend Cooking.  “Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.”  Hope you’ll join the fun!


24 Responses to “Cheddar Meatloaf”

    • It is a bit sweeter tasting than regular meatloaf, but you can always cut down on the brown sugar (as I do). I hope you like it–much better than the dried out brick of loaf that I was served as a kid!!

  1. There are a few restaurants I love that have the BEST most fabulous meatloaf on the menu. Mmmmmmmmm. Alton Brown’s recipe for grilled meatloaf is also very VERY good.

  2. Ti

    Before being gluten free my secret ingredient for meat loaf was Ritz crackers and Parmesan but without the crackers or using GF crackers I’ve not been a fan of it since. Weight Watchers has an Italian Turkey meat loaf recipe that is always good but I have a hard time wrapping my brain around Turkey in a loaf.

    • I’m bad–I know I should probably use turkey rather than hamburger meat in my cooking but I just can’t bring myself to do it. My sister cooks with it and it always is a bit off when I have dinner with her. LOL! I think it’s a texture thing for me (though we do use incredibly lean meat). I guess oats would not be considered GF, huh?

  3. I make my meatloaf a lot like this – which is completely different from the way my mom makes hers and I like this way so much better. I’ve actually tweaked my recipe and used mozzarella and done a pasta sauce instead of the ketchup/brown sugar.

    • Oooh, I might have to try it with the mozzarella and pasta sauce just to switch it up! Do you use oats in yours or bread crumbs?

  4. I loved my mother’s meatloaf with mashed potatoes. She used canned tomato on top. Your recipe sounds delicious. I never thought of making small loaves, I’m used to one big loaf.

    • I hadn’t thought about the little loaves until this either but I definitely think it helps with the cook time! Plus easier to slice–we each usually have a half to ourselves and don’t have to worry about slicing nice pieces from the giant loaf. I love it with mashed potatoes, too!!!

  5. My guys love meatloaf, but I’m not a fan. I think it is a texture thing for me. I make Pam Anderson’s Perfect Meatloaf recipe, or I put ham and cheese in the middle of the loaf, which my husband enjoys.

  6. Yum! I love Meatloaf but haven’t made it in awhile because in my brain it’s a cold weather food. I’m working on my menu plan for the next 2 weeks and this just went on it.

    BTW – I signed up for Le Tote last week. I went to the website just to look around and before I knew it I had lost all control and signed up for it. Didn’t even think to use a referral link. I LOVED my first tote and I just finalized my 2nd one. Less thrilled about the clothes available but it’ll be fun experimenting and if I hate them all I can just send it back faster. I’m totally thrilled with it! Thanks for talking about it even though I failed on using your referral.

    • If you try the meatloaf, let me know how it goes. I’m always so nervous recommending a recipe but this is one we’ve made so many times and make it basically the same way every time.

      Glad you’re enjoying Le Tote! I haven’t browsed the regular clothes selection so I’m not sure of the variety. The maternity does feel a bit limited but they just started offering it a month ago and seem to be adding new pieces all the time. I still figure I can get a box a week and even though I wouldn’t mind getting repeat pieces I likely won’t have to. I’ll probably freeze my account after baby but when I start heading back to work I’ll be very curious to see what they offer!! I think it’ll be great for a fluctuating body weight–not having to stress so much about my old clothes not quite fitting right away! :)

  7. My husband’s not a meatloaf fan, either, but this sounds like a good recipe to try! We’d probably cut out the brown sugar completely because even a quarter cup along with the ketchup seems like a lot for two oldish people. I would definitely include it if I were cooking for kids, though!

  8. Love the sound of this variation — I’ve never put cheese in mine. And the other variations mentioned by everyone else sound good too. I also like the idea of making smaller loaves, which shortens the cooking time.

  9. Definitely going to try this since I’m curious about the cheddar cheese. I’ve been making meat loaf for years and have no idea where I got the recipe, but it has a similar topping as yours, although I never include it. I’m pretty sure my mom did, so maybe that’s where I got the recipe. You can take a peek at it on my defunct food blog here, if you’re interested. :)