Original Ann Landers Meat Loaf Recipe | CDKitchen.com (2024)

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Meat loaf has stood the test of time and so has this recipe. Topped with bacon strips and tomato sauce this version is classic and foolproof. Plus, it makes great leftover sandwiches.

Original Ann Landers Meat Loaf Recipe | CDKitchen.com (1)


ready in:

1-2 hrs

15 reviews
1 comment


2 pounds ground beef
1 egg
1 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
3/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon Accent seasoning mix
1/2 cup warm water
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
2 slices uncooked bacon
1 can (8 ounce size) tomato sauce


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, ketchup, Accent, water, and onion soup mix in a bowl. Mix well. Form the mixture into a loaf and place in a loaf pan or meatloaf pan.

Place the strips of bacon over the top of the meatloaf. Drizzle the tomato sauce over the top.

Place the pan in the oven and bake at 350 degrees F for one hour.

Remove the pan from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

recipe tips

Mix the ingredients gently and do not overwork the meat or the meatloaf may end up dense and dry.

Let the meatloaf rest for a few minutes after baking for the juices to reabsorb a bit.

For a healthier version, use lean ground beef or a mix of beef and turkey.

Drizzle additional ketchup or barbecue sauce on top in the last 15 minutes of baking for extra flavor.

Bake the meatloaf uncovered to allow the bacon to crisp up.

For added moisture and flavor, consider soaking the bread crumbs in milk before adding.

Try adding herbs like parsley or thyme to the meat mixture.

Try making a sweeter glaze with the tomato sauce by adding brown sugar and mustard to pour on top before baking.

Use the leftovers in sandwiches or crumbled into pasta dishes.

common recipe questions

Can I substitute ground turkey or chicken for the beef?

Yes, you can use ground turkey or chicken, but the texture and flavor will be different. You may need to add additional liquid or fat to help bind the ingredients.

Is there a gluten-free alternative to the bread crumbs?

You can use gluten-free bread crumbs or alternatives like crushed rice cereal or almond flour.

Can I omit the Accent seasoning mix?

Yes, you can omit it, but it adds umami flavor. Alternatively, use a dash of soy sauce.

What can I use instead of canned tomato sauce?

You can use tomato paste diluted with water, crushed tomatoes, or even additional ketchup (but that may make the meatloaf overly sweet).

How do I know when the meatloaf is fully cooked?

The meatloaf is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.

Can I add vegetables to this meatloaf?

Yes, you can add up to 1/3 cup finely chopped onions, minced bell peppers, or grated carrots for extra flavor.

Is there a substitute for the dry onion soup mix?

You can use a combination of dried onion flakes, beef bouillon powder, and a pinch of onion powder. Or, use this homemade onion soup mix recipe.

Can I make this meatloaf without the bacon?

Yes, you can omit the bacon, but it adds flavor and helps keep the meatloaf moist.

How should I store and reheat leftovers?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and reheat in the oven or microwave.

Can I make this meatloaf in a muffin tin for individual servings?

Yes, adjust the cooking time accordingly, as they will cook faster in a muffin tin.

Can I freeze this meatloaf?

Yes, it freezes very well. Wrap it tightly and store in an airtight container (you can also wrap individual slices). Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then reheat as desired.

Who is Ann Landers?

Oof. Thanks for making me feel old! Ann Landers was a famous advice columnist whose real name was Esther Pauline "Eppie" Lederer. She wrote the "Ask Ann Landers" column, which was launched in 1955 and quickly became a staple in American newspapers. Her column offered advice on a wide range of topics, including family, relationships, etiquette, and various personal issues. Ann Landers was known for her direct, often witty style, and her ability to distill complex problems into practical advice. Her column was syndicated in numerous newspapers across the United States and reached millions of readers, making her one of the most influential and widely read advice columnists of the 20th century. She continued writing the column until her death in 2002.

nutrition data

662 calories, 44 grams fat, 34 grams carbohydrates, 32 grams protein per serving.

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reviews & comments

  1. Pam REVIEW:
    December 17, 2019

    Best meatloaf ever. Everyone likes it. I like it for it’s simplicity.

  2. Patricia REVIEW:
    December 2, 2019

    It’s easy and delicious! What more could you want? I skip the bacon but follow the rest of the recipe to the letter!

  3. tony May 15, 2019

    Sounds great, will make.

  4. Jim REVIEW:
    February 19, 2019

    I cooked this yesterday. After one hour at 350F, the ground beef was still quite pink in many places, so I cooked it longer. The only way I knew it was undercooked was that I forgot to add the ketchup. If I had added it, I would not have been able to see the pink. 1 hour at 350F is not long enough.

  5. Guest Foodie REVIEW:
    February 14, 2018

    I got this recipe out of the newspaper many, many years ago. My family love it, including my great grandchildren. Hated meatloaf until this one came along.

  6. Mediocre cook REVIEW:
    June 8, 2017

    Been cooking this meatloaf since I was a teenager. Made it for my husband almost 30 yrs ago. Everyone loves it

  7. Guest Foodie REVIEW:
    April 27, 2017

    I have loved it for years perfect n easy

  8. cow REVIEW:
    July 14, 2016

    I've never been a meatloaf fan probably because I never had a really good meatloaf to change my mind. Husband loves meatloaf but I rarely make it. He asked me to make one and I used this recipe and we BOTH loved it! My mind has been changed. I think this will be the only recipe I use now.

  9. susandana REVIEW:
    October 21, 2013

    You can't go wrong with this recipe. Although I don't use Accent, I use my own seasonings based on my mood. You don't need salt though with the soup mix and bacon.

  10. Liv REVIEW:
    July 9, 2013

    This is the only meatloaf I make anymore. It turns out great every time!

  11. Guest Foodie REVIEW:
    July 1, 2013

    I skip the Accent in this recipe because the onion soup mix offers enough flavor and salt. Everyone always loves it.

  12. Herself REVIEW:
    September 23, 2012

    My grandma gave me her newspaper clipping of this recipe with the bacon listed, exactly as shown above many years ago, been married 18 years and my husband and kids absolutely still love it!!

  13. thingfinder REVIEW:
    June 16, 2010

    I have made this for 30 years. Original recipe from paper in the 70s DID not have [edited - that word was unnecessary] bacon or tomato sauce to put on top. Much better to spread ketchup over top and add about 1/2 cup chopped onions to mixture. ( my addition) I won hands down in a meat loaf contest 2 years ago doing this recipe with the added ketchup and onions. Replace tomato sauce with ketchup for a beautiful and tasty topping!!!!!

  14. spikeitup REVIEW:
    January 14, 2010

    This is the only meat loaf recipe that I have used for the last 30+yrs. Ann Landers included the recipe in her column. I also stuff bell peppers with the mixture

  15. Tom REVIEW:
    October 29, 2009

    My wife has also been making this recipe for many years and always leaves off the bacon--not necessary. Recently she started substituting ground lamb for the ground beef, and it jumped the rating to six stars.

  16. Guest Foodie REVIEW:
    October 16, 2009

    My Mom got this years ago when she saw it in the Newspaper. She made it for our family when I was growing up and I now make it for mine and is always a hit.The only change I have ever made to recipe is not always putting bacon on top.I Hope your family Enjoys!


Original Ann Landers Meat Loaf Recipe | CDKitchen.com (2024)


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