My sweet and sour meatloaf combines tender and seasoned meatloaf with a sweet and sour sauce! Plus, it is so easy to make. The flavorful meatloaf pairs perfectly with the tangy glaze to make a family meal that is anything but ordinary!
Meatloaf is one of my all-time favorite dinners to make! It’s just so easy, and it’s always a crowd-pleaser! This meatloaf is coated with a sweet and sour sauce instead of traditional ketchup.
The sweet and sour sauce turns into a fantastic glaze that coats the meatloaf perfectly. You’re going to love this spin on the basic meatloaf!
This meatloaf only takes 10 minutes to prep! That’s one of my favorite things about meatloaf –a hands-off meal that’s as hearty and filling as easy.
While it bakes in the oven, you can make a few quick sides and relax!
Tasty, easy-to-make sweet and sour meatloaf uses simple ingredients! I love the addition of the ketchup inside the meatloaf – it makes it so moist and flavorful!
- 2 Pounds Ground Beef – I like to use 80/20 ground chuck for how juicy it is! You can also use leaner ground beef, like 90/10 ground sirloin if you prefer.
- 1 Cup Plain Breadcrumbs – Breadcrumbs are the classic binder for meatloaf! Make sure you use plain, unseasoned breadcrumbs for this recipe.
- 2 Large Eggs – Eggs help tenderize the meatloaf! Bring the eggs to room temperature to make them easier to blend into the meat.
- ¼ Cup Red Bell Pepper – This is about ½ a pepper! It should be diced finely.
- ¼ Cup Green Bell Pepper – The green bell pepper should also be finely diced for this recipe! As with the red pepper, ¼ cup is about ½ a pepper.
- ¼ Ketchup – I love adding ketchup to the meatloaf mixture! It adds flavor and moisture to the meatloaf.
- Seasoning – For the meatloaf, we’ll season with ¼ teaspoon each of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. These can all be adjusted to your taste preferences if desired!
- 1 Cup Sweet and Sour Sauce – Sweet and sour sauce makes such a great glaze on top of the meatloaf! Use my simple, easy recipe or your preferred store-bought brand.
*Be sure to see the free printable recipe card below for ingredients, exact amounts & instructions with tips!*
🧂 Substitutions & Additions
Not a fan of beef? Try making this meatloaf with ground turkey, chicken, or a ground meat-free alternative!
To make this meatloaf gluten-free, you can easily substitute gluten-free breadcrumbs for regular breadcrumbs. There are several great gluten-free breadcrumb options on the market now!
Red and green bell peppers have very different flavor profiles! I like the mix of the two in this recipe, but you can also use more than one type of bell pepper if preferred.
🔪 How To Make A Sweet & Sour Meatloaf
Tasty sweet and sour meatloaf is super easy to make! Try making and freezing the meatloaf ahead so you can eat this delicious main whenever you want!
- Prep. Begin the meatloaf by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). Then, place a wire cooling rack inside a roasting pan or 9x13 baking pan. If preferred, you can also use a loaf pan to help shape the meatloaf!
- Make the meatloaf mixture. In a large bowl, add the meatloaf ingredients: 2 pounds ground beef, 1 cup of plain breadcrumbs, 2 large, room temp and beaten eggs, ¼ cup diced red bell pepper, ¼ cup diced green bell pepper, and ¼ cup ketchup. Then, add the seasoning: ¼ teaspoon each of salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Mix and shape. Mix the meatloaf mixture until just combined (do not over-mix!). Then, shape the mixture into a 9x5-inch oval and place it onto the cooling rack-lined baking pan. You can also transfer the mixture to a loaf pan if preferred!
- Bake. Put the meatloaf in your oven and cook at 350°F (175°C) for 50 minutes. Then, remove the meatloaf from the oven and pour 1 cup of sweet and sour sauce over the top center of the meatloaf. Use a pastry brush to cover all the sides of your meatloaf, leaving any extra sauce on top.
- Finish the meatloaf. Return your glazed meatloaf to the pan and finish baking for an additional 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 155°F (68°C) with a digital meat thermometer.
- Rest and serve. Once it’s ready, take the meatloaf out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing it up and serving.
This incredible meatloaf is sure to please the entire family! It's just as suited to an everyday weeknight dinner as it is to a weekend family meal, too! Enjoy!
If you're looking for more ideas to round out your meatloaf dinners, be sure to check out my guide for what to serve with meatloaf!
💭 Tips & Notes
- If you don’t have any sweet and sour sauce, you can use this quick sauce combo! In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup ketchup, ¼ cup water, 2 tablespoons mustard, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon white sugar, and 2 tablespoons white vinegar (or rice or apple cider vinegar). Spread on the meatloaf after 50 minutes of cooking it.
- If you cook your meatloaf in a loaf pan, be sure to drain the excess grease before adding the sweet and sour sauce topping.
- I recommend beating the eggs before adding them to the meatloaf mixture! It will help prevent over-mixing and toughening the meat.
🥡 Storing & Reheating
Store leftover meatloaf refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days! Be sure the meatloaf is cooled before storing it for the best quality.
Meatloaf freezes so well! You can freeze a whole meatloaf or freeze slices of leftover meatloaf for up to 3 months. I suggest wrapping the meatloaf well in a layer of plastic cling film or aluminum foil before placing it in a freezer storage bag.
To reheat the meatloaf the oven is the best way to reheat it without drying it out! Cover the meatloaf or slices in a baking pan with aluminum foil. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 15 to 20 minutes or until it reaches a reheat temp of 165°F (74°C).
🥩 More Great Meatloaf Recipes!
Check out all my different meatloaf recipes.
- Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf
- Classic Meatloaf (with Oatmeal)
- BBQ Meatloaf
- Smoked Meatloaf
- Air Fryer Meatloaf
- Meatloaf Seasoning
I love how the red and green bell peppers add amazing flavor to this meatloaf! However, not everyone is a fan of bell peppers! If you decide to skip them, I recommend adding more seasoning, like my tasty meatloaf seasoning recipe. Otherwise, the meatloaf might be a bit bland, and nobody wants that!
I like to use a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet for meatloaf because it helps the grease to drain away from the meatloaf so it isn’t sitting in excess grease! The cooling rack also helps the heat of the oven to get to the underside of the meatloaf, which makes it cook more quickly and evenly!
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📖 Recipe Card
Sweet and Sour Meatloaf
- 2 lbs ground beef (80/20 ground chuck or lean ground beef)
- 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup red bell pepper (diced, about ½ a pepper)
- ¼ cup green bell pepper (diced, about ½ a pepper)
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ¼ teaspoon each, salt & pepper (to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 cup sweet and sour sauce (see recipe or use your favorite brand)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place a wire cooling rack inside a roasting pan or 9x13 baking pan (or use a loaf pan).
- In a large bowl add the meatloaf ingredients including ground beef, plain breadcrumbs, large eggs, diced red and green bell peppers, ketchup, and seasoning - ¼ teaspoon each of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Mix the mixture until just combined then shape your loaf into a 9x5 inch oval and place it onto your cooling rack, or transfer it into a loaf pan.
- Cook at 350°F (175°C) for 50 minutes then remove it from the oven and pour the sweet and sour sauce over the top center of the loaf. Use a pastry brush to cover all sides of your loaf (leaving any extra sauce on the top).
- Return your sauced meatloaf to the oven and finish cooking for an additional 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the meatloaf reaches 155°F (68°C).
- Remove the meatloaf from your oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- If you don't have sweet n sour sauce in the fridge, and don't want to cook up some sauce, you can use this quick sauce combo to top your meatloaf:
1 cup ketchup, ¼ cup water, 2 tablespoons mustard, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon white sugar, 2 tablespoons white vinegar (or rice vinegar, or apple cider vinegar). Mix and spread on meatloaf after 50 minutes of cooking time.
- The red and green bell peppers add amazing flavor to this meatloaf! Without them the meaty mixture can be a touch bland. If you want to skip the peppers be sure to add more seasoning like my tasty meatloaf seasoning recipe. Use 1 whole recipe for this 2 pound meatloaf.
- If cooking your meatloaf in a loaf pan, be sure to drain off the grease before adding the sweet n sour sauce topping.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!