Not your mother’s meatloaf

Colorful flavorful meatloaf recipe

Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf ~ a meatloaf recipe filled with flavor, texture, color, and nutrition, definitely not the bland and boring meatloaf your mother made (sorry mom!)

My mother actually made a great meatloaf. Hers was made from lots of good quality meat, chunky white onions, a few breadcrumbs, an egg and some salt and pepper. That’s it. I made it that way for a long time. But somewhere along the line I realized that that wasn’t all that a loaf of meat could be.

Don’t be afraid of the ingredients in this, the end result is moist and delicious with a nice unexpected depth of flavor. The wheat germ functions the same way that breadcrumbs do, but they add so much more flavor and nutrition. The curry powder is subtle, it makes a difference but you won’t really know it’s there. Leave out the hot pepper if you don’t like the heat.

Meatloaf is fun to make because it comes together more like a cake or a batch of cookies…you dump everything in a big bowl and mix it all together (best with your hands).

I could gave called this ‘rainbow confetti’ meatloaf!

Just be sure not to over mix…you want your loaf to be loose and tender, not compacted. Get it all evenly combined with as little fiddling as possible. Making sure to beat the egg first helps.
Form the meat into an even loaf, not too high, not too squat. Try to make it even all around so it cooks evenly. I like to bake my meatloaf in a larger baking dish rather than a loaf pan, so the fat and extra juices can run off instead of having the meatloaf swim in them.

We welcomed in the cooler weather with this dinner. I roasted up some small red potatoes to go along with it. I tossed them in olive oil, sprinkled them with my HOMEMADE SPICE BLEND and a few sprigs of rosemary, and roasted them at 375F until they were crisp and brown, about 30 minutes.

Gotta love meatloaf ~

Meatloaf is one of my favorite all time comforting dinners. 

  • I also love my BOURBON GLAZED MEATLOAF the spiked glaze takes it to a totally new level, and it’s another one that mom never made!
  • My 1770 HOUSE MEATLOAF is actually an Ina Garten recipe that is out of this world.
3.56 from 25 votes

Not your mother’s meatloaf

Not Your Mother's Meatloaf ~ a meatloaf recipe filled with flavor, texture, color, and nutrition, definitely not the bland and boring meatloaf your mother made (sorry mom!)
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Yield 6 -8 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 2 pounds Angus ground beef 80-85%
  • 1/2 a medium white onion minced
  • 1/2 cup minced bell peppers any color
  • 1 hot cherry pepper or jalapeno minced
  • 1/2 cup crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • lots of salt
  • fresh cracked pepper


  • Set oven to 350F
  • Mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Use your fingertips to combine everything well, but don't over-mix or compact the meat. I like to break up the meat into smaller pieces as I add it to the bowl to give the mixing a head start.
  • Form the meat into an even, squat loaf, and try to get it the same width and height from end to end so it will cook evenly.
  • Bake it for about 50-60 minutes. You'll check with a thermometer, and it's done when the center reaches 155. Take it out, cover it with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes or so before slicing.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


  • I’ve found that my KitchenAid stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachement works great for blending meatloaf and meatball mixtures without compacting the meat. My hands stay clean as a bonus.



Don’t forget to pin my Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf!

Not Your Mother's Meatloaf ~ a meatloaf recipe filled with flavor, texture, color, and nutrition, definitely not the bland and boring meatloaf your mother made (sorry mom!) #groundbeef #dinner #maincourse #familydinner #angusbeef #meatloaf #beef #bestmeatloaf



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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Margie MacKenzie
    October 6, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Sue, I like adding your recipes to my Ziplist recipe box. Are your not using Ziplist anymore? I love this meatloaf recipe and have a client who loves meatloaf!

    • Reply
      November 10, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      Unfortunately Ziplist went out of business Margie. I’m working on a way for my readers to save their favorite recipes right here on the site.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    5 stars
    these photos are gorgeous!!! enough to convert me to a meatloaf lover

    • Reply
      November 10, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      That’s music to my ears!

  • Reply
    September 11, 2011 at 8:25 am

    5 stars
    would you think less of me if i admitted that i slather my meatloaf with ketchup? 🙂
    this is a great twist on a classic–i love the colors and new flavors!

    • Reply
      November 10, 2017 at 2:44 pm

      I love meatloaf every which way, so I support your ketchup habit, Grace 😉

  • Reply
    Inside a British Mum's Kitchen
    September 10, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    5 stars
    Really super photos! Love the addition of the hot pepper and the curry – YUM

    • Reply
      November 10, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      The curry is so unusual and gives the meat a hint of exotic flavor that you can’t really put your finger on.

  • Reply
    September 10, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    5 stars
    Oh hellosies, that has got my name written all over it. Meatloaf isn’t well known over here but I tried a recipe last year and it was tasteless. This not only looks amazing with all of its little jewels I bet it tastes amazing
    I think I just need to print out everything on your site Sue!
    The onion tart is on the menu for tomorrow.

  • Reply
    September 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    5 stars
    gorgeous!!! yum yum yum

  • Reply
    Gerlinde in Dallas
    September 10, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Delicious looking meatloaf! I will give this a try the next time I make one.

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