Cheddar Meatloaf and Tangy Sauce

Cheddar meatloaf recipe
Diana Rattray
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 85 mins
Total: 100 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
678 Calories
38g Fat
31g Carbs
52g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 678
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 38g 49%
Saturated Fat 18g 90%
Cholesterol 311mg 104%
Sodium 995mg 43%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 52g
Calcium 508mg 39%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A homemade barbecue sauce mixture provides a tangy topping for this cheddar and beef loaf. The shredded cheese adds flavor and color to an otherwise ordinary meatloaf. Seasonings include chili powder and Worcestershire sauce. 

The meatloaf includes ground pork in the meat mixture. If you choose to use all ground beef, the best ratio for a juicy, flavorful meatloaf is 75/25 to 85/15. Feel free to use a leaner ratio if you use the ground pork. If you prefer to avoid red meat, make the loaf with ground turkey thighs.

Serve this delicious meatloaf with mashed or baked potatoes and green beans or corn. Leftovers make fantastic sandwiches!


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (packed, light or dark)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (or Creole mustard)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder (divided)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup soft bread crumbs (2 to 3 slices of bread, finely ground)
  • 1 1/2 cups/6 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  2. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan or spray it with nonstick cooking spray. 

  3. In a large cup or small bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon of the chili powder. Mix until well blended.

  4. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef and pork, chopped onion, bread crumbs, cheese, egg, salt, pepper, the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of chili powder, and 1/3 cup of the ketchup mixture.

  5. Shape the meat mixture into a large loaf in the baking pan and make a long indentation down the center. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the ketchup mixture into the indentation.

  6. Bake the meatloaf for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

  7. Brush the loaf generously with the remaining ketchup mixture and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer.

  8. The minimum safe temperature for ground meat is 160 F/71.1 C. For ground poultry, the minimum safe temperature is 165 F/73.9 C.


  • Make It Ahead: Did you know you can freeze uncooked meatloaf? Line the loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving long ends. Pack the meatloaf mixture into the loaf pan. Fold the ends of the plastic wrap over the loaf and freeze. Use the long ends of the plastic wrap to lift the frozen loaf out of the pan. Wrap it well in the plastic wrap and then with foil. Put the frozen meatloaf in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 4 months. Defrost the meatloaf in the refrigerator overnight. Bake as directed.
  • Make two loaves, one to eat right away and one to freeze for another day.
  • Vary the shape. Make meatloaf muffins (they cook in about half the time) or shape a freeform loaf on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • For a faster meatloaf, pat the mixture into a large greased pie plate and bake the thinner meatloaf for approximately half the time.

Recipe Variations

  • Top the loaf with an extra 1/2 cup of shredded cheese after you add the ketchup topping, or overlap 3 to 4 thin slices of cheese. Bake as directed for 10 to 15 minutes longer.
  • Vary the ingredients to suit your tastes. Omit the onions if you aren't a fan or add about 1/2 cup of chopped sauteed mushrooms. Chopped bell pepper is another option for extra flavor and color.
  • The ground pork adds juiciness. If you are using lean ground beef with no pork, add about 1/4 cup of vegetable or tomato juice, brown gravy, or beef broth.