Mama’s Meatloaf

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First you should know that I call my mother “mama”.  Yes, it’s true, I can admit it with no problem.  I still call her mama to this day.  She called her mother mama and my Grandma called her mother mama and Billy calls me mama. That’s at least four generations that I know of!  I’m thankful that we have this sweet tradition. I think “mama” sounds more soft and tender than “mom” for some reason. I told Billy that he can call me “mom” in front of his friends so he can save face. But sometimes he forgets and I just kind of smile to myself!

My mother always made meatloaf when we were kids. Whenever I eat it now, it takes me right back to being young and feeling comforted. My mother was a good cook and always made tasty, simple food. From a young age, I learned to cook by watching her in the kitchen. In fact, I wanted to cook so badly, that there are some funny family stories involving obedience, extensive sneaking around and potential kitchen disasters!

Mama’s meatloaf was easy to make because she used a meatloaf seasoning packet from the store. I prefer to stay away from those due to some unidentifiable ingredients so I’ve made the recipe using individual spices. Either way, your meatloaf should evoke feelings of comfort, that is if you’re from the “meatloaf generation”, which means you’re probably over 50!

Mama’s Meatloaf

  • 2 lbs ground hamburger or turkey
  • 1 onion
  • 3 slices bell pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup oatmeal
  • Spices – 1 tsp onion powder, 2 tsp garlic powder, 1 T dried onion flakes, 1 T dried parsley,1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp dry mustard, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 can tomato sauce or ketchup


Put hamburger in a big bowl.  Thinly slice 2-3 pieces each of onion and bell pepper for the top of your meatloaf.  Then either grate or chop the rest of the onion into small pieces and add to the meat.  Then add the egg, milk, oatmeal and spices. Mix up this mess with your hands (if you can “handle” it-haha) or use a spoon until well combined.  Form meat into kind of a 1/2 football oval thing in a greased baking dish.  Pour tomato sauce over meatloaf, then place onion and bell pepper slices on top.  Bake at 350º for 45-60 minutes or until internal temperature registers 160º on a meat thermometer. Serve with baked or mashed potatoes, veggies and a green salad.  Enjoy!

Root Notes

  • My mom used a meatloaf seasoning packet when I was a kid. Here are the ingredients for the ‘McCormick Classic Meat Loaf Seasoning’: brown sugar, onion, salt, spices (Including paprika, celery seed, mustard, black pepper), hydrolyzed corn gluten, soy protein and wheat gluten, garlic, caramel color, malted barley flour, and natural flavor (Including smoke). I prefer to avoid some of these ingredients so I just use the individual spices as outlined above.
  • Feel free to use bbq sauce, ketchup or beef gravy on top of your meatloaf. Whatever your family likes is the way to go! My husband prefers beef gravy so when I have time, I make it for him. No matter how you top it, this meatloaf is comfort food at its best!

Note: This is a re-post from November of 2013 with improved recipe and photos!


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