There was nothing better than finding a hearty meal, like Childhood Meatloaf, waiting on the table after a long afternoon of outdoor fun with the neighborhood crew. The flavorful yet perfectly simple beefy base provides a filling foundation to energize you after a long day, whether it be work or play. The best part is the brown sugar and ketchup topping that makes your taste buds as giddy as a kid in a candy shop. Childhood Meatloaf is guaranteed to bring back memories and bring out the kid you once were!

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  • For the meatloaf:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the topping:
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard


Step 1 –Preheat the oven or grill to 350 degrees F.

Step 2 –Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 3 –In a sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat.

Step 4 –Add the onions and cook until they are fragrant and slightly brown, stirring occasionally, about 3-5 minutes.

Step 5 –Reduce the heat to low.

Step 6 –Add the garlic cloves and cook until they are fragrant, for about 2-3 minutes.

Step 7 –Remove the garlic mixture from the heat and set it aside to cool.

Step 8 –In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, egg, panko bread crumbs, milk, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, salt, and cooked onions and garlic.

Step 9 –Use your hands to mix the meat well, but be cautious not to overwork it.

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Step 10 –Move the meat to the prepared baking sheet and shape it into a loaf.

Step 11 –Use a sharp knife to cut a criss-cross pattern on top of the meatloaf.

Step 12 –Bake the meatloaf for 40 minutes.

Step 13 –While the meatloaf is baking, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, and spicy brown mustard in a bowl. Set aside.

Step 14 –After 40 minutes of baking, carefully take the meatloaf out of the oven.

Step 15 –Spread the ketchup mixture over the top of the meatloaf.

Step 16 –Continue baking until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F, about 30-35 minutes.

Step 17 –Let the meatloaf cool for 5 minutes.

Step 18 –Plate and serve.