Recipe: 5-Ingredient Meat Loaf!

I am not a big meat eater, so meat loaf has never been one of my favorites. However, I found this recipe in Real Simple magazine years ago and it is so good that it now a regular dinner staple. The best part is that it is so EASY! With only 5 ingredients (well, actually 6, but the 6th ingredient is just water), you can have this on the table in under an hour. The surprise ingredient is cheese! I know that sounds crazy, but it gives the meat loaf so much flavor, yet it doesn’t make it cheesy. Again, I know it sounds crazy, but trust me!



  • 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef
  • 1 envelope of onion soup mix
  • 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend (both Kraft and Target make this – it’s right in with the other shredded cheeses)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 sleeve of saltine crackers, finely ground
  • 1/3 cup water (the “6th” ingredient)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the meat, soup mix, cheese, eggs, and saltine crackers until well combined. Add in the water and mix well.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish. You can either form it into a loaf, or you can do what I do and just press it all down into a glass baking pan. Kind of like a meatloaf cake! 😉
  4. Bake for 40 minutes

Serve with our family’s “famous” sauce, which you just mix together in a small saucepan and heat up:

  • 3/4 cup of ketchup
  • 9 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons dry mustard