Meatloaf with Spicy Tomato Gravy

Derrr, I’m not really sure what I can tell you about Meat Loaf that you don’t already know. I mean, he only created one of the BEST SELLING ALBUMS OF ALL TIME.

And then invented one of the MOST FAMOUS RECIPES OF ALL TIME.


I mean, come on. The guy’s a genius right? Bat Out of Hell AND ground meat with seasonings and eggs and grains all baked into one tasty sliceable loaf? He’s obviously a total champion of both his left and right brain hemispheres.

But enough about my idol. Here’s my simple meatloaf recipe (with a tasty twist) and spicy tomato sauce to top it. Eat it fresh out of the oven, or make meatloaf sandwiches! They are SO GOOD!

If you want to do that, I recommend slicing it while it’s still warm, then chilling it. When you’re ready for a hot meatloaf sandwich, fry a slice of it in a little butter, then put between some soft bread with fresh onion and pickles and some leftover spicy tomato gravy or ketchup. Ooh, maybe even melt some cheese on that sucker and make a meatloaf cheeseburger! Omigod, I can’t believe I just thought of that and I am all out of meatloaf! ARGH!


Simple, Perfect Meatloaf with Spicy Tomato Gravy

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4.2 from 6 reviews

Your basic juicy meatloaf, with a spicy tomato sauce

  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 1 pound of lean ground beef
  • 24 ounces pork sausage
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup oatmeal, bread crumbs, cracker crumbs, cornflakes, sand (Just kidding about that last option)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Optional additional vegetables: 1/2 cup grated carrot, squash, spinach
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 12 tablespoons minced jalapeno
  • 1/2 teaspoon oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon honey or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon wine or cider vinegar


  1. For the meatloaf, preheat the oven to 350 F
  2. Combine meat, egg, oatmeal, seasoning, onion, parsley, and garlic and any additional vegetables you like. Mix it up well with your hands. Put it into a loaf pan, or shape it into a loaf and put it on a baking sheet. Bake one hour, or until the internal temperature reaches 160-165 F.
  3. Make the sauce: Saute the onion, garlic, and jalapeno in the oil for about 5 minutes or until it’s softened. Add the broth, tomato, honey, and vinegar. Simmer 30 minutes.
  4. Allow meatloaf to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with the tomato gravy.

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Serve the meatloaf with this mashed potatoes recipe.


  1. Great Stone Face on February 22, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Great recipe, especially the spicy sauce.

    There may be no dish that has such a wide variation of personal recipes as meatloaf (which is why this comment is so long). I think the “classic” mix of 1/3-veal, 1/3-pork, and 1/3-beef is perpetuated more by supermarket packaging than anything else. We’ve almost always used all-beef at our house, but your mixing-in of pork sausage looks great, too. I usually have a rough idea of how I’ll make the loaf, but I just eyeball the proportions. I also make two loaves, one for today’s dinner and for next day’s sandwiches or dinner, the other for the freezer.

    I’ve used oatmeal as the starch ingredient, but was disappointed. It tasted too mushy to us. I prefer to use plain or seasoned breadcrumbs. Panko or matzo meal make it too dry. Sometimes, I’ve added a little grated parmigiano.

    What would you think of making a panade, like folks do with meatballs, to add starch to the loaf? Would that be too mushy, too?

    When our sons were little, we’d mix in as many veggies as we could hide in the meatloaf — carrots, peppers, etc. Sometimes, I’d put half the meat in then drop in a could of whole hardboiled eggs and cover with the rest of the meat. That slices up very pretty. A recipe for Meat Loaf Wellington turned out very well, too.

    I like that you mentioned that we can free-form the loaf on a baking sheet, as well as put it in a loaf pan. We used to use the loaf-pan, but my father started us on using a sheet and it gives a much tastier crust — a big plus in our house. A sheet is easier to clean up, too, if you cover it with foil.

    One big difference I saw between your recipe and ours is that you don’t glaze the top of the loaf. I always slather the loaf with ketchup or Heinz chili sauce. I throw a little into the mix, too. It probably follows from us being a family of meatloaf crust-lovers.

    • Randy on February 23, 2012 at 8:15 pm

      I totally agree about beef vs. beef-veal-pork. The bland veal and pork just make for a blander meatloaf. But pork sausage is a genius idea. I’m already debating with myself about using hot Italian (complimentary to the sauce?) or sweet Italian (hot-sweet yin and yang, Italian-style?)

    • Randy on February 26, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      GSF, ironically the only experimenting with recipes I did before being inspired by our muse, Hilah, was with the filler in a Betty Crocker meatloaf recipe. Betty’s recipe calls for a cup and half of milk if using toasted breadcrumbs or just a cup if using fresh bread cubes. The first time I tried using seasoned croutons as the filler, it was too dry. On the next go around with croutons, I added too much liquid and ended up with something more like a pâté consistency. I finally found the ratio of liquid to filler that results in the right consistency/density and accomplishes what I consider the filler’s main purpose, soaking up the melting fat from the meat thereby keeping in more flavor and eliminating the shrinkage that occurs during baking if the fat is left to leak outside of the loaf.

  2. Carlo/Carlo At Your Service Productions on February 22, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    See… That’s what I’m talking about. Downhome-style comfort food with a bit of a twist. Gotta love that. And for me, this recipe is right up my alley because I’m all about “all things spicy”.

    Thank you for the “heads up”, sharing this with everyone. It sounds awesome.
    Bookmarking the page, so I remember to try it.

    Thanks again!

  3. Randy on February 23, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Oooh, at the risk of causing major musical warfare east of IH35, I have to say that Mr. Aday is nothing but the voice (but what a voice!) of the true genius: Mr. Jim Steinman. And let’s throw down the gauntlet over the major issue of who is the better female singer on Paradise by the Dashboard Light, Mr. Loaf’s studio accomplice Ellen Foley or his live foil, Karla DeVito. For me, it’s all the way with Ms. DeVito (despite my horror that she would marry Robby Benson).

    Well, enough about Meat Loaf (two uppercase words) and on to lowercase/one-word meatloaf! Comfort food at its finest. But comfort food can be a two-edged sword. There’s a lot to be said for being comforted, but if it gets too comfortable then boredom ensues. I’ve been making the same meatloaf recipe for over 40 years from the first cookbook I ever bought: Betty Crocker’s. It’s about time I spiced up my meatloaf. It’s interesting that you bake the meatloaf without the sauce. I always loved baking meatloaf topped with Betty’s (I’m old enough that I don’t call her Mrs. Crocker anymore) special red sauce, AKA ketchup.

    Gravy versus sauce is one of my favorite regional terminology controversies. Years ago, when the Food Network still had shows worth watching, Sara Moulton would ask most of her Italian-American guests (like Stanley Tucci) whether they called it gravy or sauce. Before then, I’d never have dreamed of calling anything with a tomato base a gravy.

  4. Randy on February 26, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    I just picked up the March 2012 Bon Appétit which has a very intriguing cross-cultural food mashup: banh meatloaf sandwiches (meatloaf meets the Vietnamese bahn mi). The “salad” topping is pretty much a straight, though simplified, steal of do chua, the Vietnamese daikon and carrot pickle that is de rigueur for a banh mi. The meatloaf subtitutes for both the pâté and Vietnamese cold cuts in a banh mi thit nguoi (the classic “special” banh mi) and is given an Asian twist with the addition of ginger and star anise along with a hoisin-based glaze. I think they went too far, though, in Americanizing the bread: white toast. I will definitely either use Vietnamese baguettes or make it a three-nation mashup with bolillo rolls.

    If you’re interested the recipe is available online here: But this particular issue of Bon Appétit is actually worth buying, thanks to this article and an article on Jim Lahey’s (the inventor of kneadless bread) kneadless pizza dough and broiler-method for baking pizza (I included the link for that article in a comment on Hilah’s Homemade Pizza episode here: ) There’s also a recipe for making a Spanish take on cassoulet.

    • Hilah on February 27, 2012 at 12:21 pm

      That sandwich sounds amazing. I don’t normally buy food magazines (only because I can never throw them away but I also don’t re-read them, so then I end up with stacks of magazines around) but I did pick up last month’s Bon Appétit at the airport and it, too, was full of good information and recipes.
      I might have to rethink my position on food magazines.

  5. warrk21 on February 28, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    I just don’t know why, but I still like your work, once again i will say you need Your Own TV Show

    • Hilah on February 29, 2012 at 10:04 am

      Thank you again! 🙂

  6. cck15 on August 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Made this a few weeks ago for my new husband and he said it was the best meatloaf he’s ever had. I’m a beginner cook and your videos have helped me greatly! Thanks Hilah!

    • Hilah on August 7, 2012 at 5:27 pm

      Wonderful! That is just just what I like to hear! 🙂

  7. warrk21 on August 7, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    are you from the South ?
    I like your work
    (you need your own TV Show)

    • Hilah on August 8, 2012 at 8:59 am

      Indeed, well, if you consider Texas to be the South.

  8. Erik on January 20, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Making that sauce for some wings this weekend. One w/ jalapenos and one w/ habaneros. Meat Loaf tonight but the kiddos won’t be liking a spicy loaf. Since I’ve found you this has been my GO TO of what I want to make (maybe change a few things). I’m just a Dad that loves to cook when I have the time plus you use fresh ingredients is awesome. Plus this will be Elk meat so I for sure want to add some pork. Need to fatten that bitch up a touch.

    • Hilah on January 20, 2016 at 9:58 am

      That makes me so happy, Erik! I love when a recipe becomes a regular in someone’s house. 🙂

  9. Paul Hodgins on March 30, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Beautiful recipe. It’s a real winner with my family. I’ve recently taken to adding some ground allspice to the loaf mixture.

    • Hilah on March 30, 2016 at 6:03 pm

      Glad to hear, Paul! Love the idea of allspice in the meatloaf.

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