It is life-saving to have frozen meals on hand for busy days, and making 6 pans of meatloaf hardly takes more time than making one. You can also purchase the bulk meat packages that typically cost less per pound, making batch cooking more economical.
You will need 6- 9 x 5 aluminum foil bread pans for this recipe, or 5 plus your regular meatloaf pan if you plan to use one immediately. Each pan will serve 8.
- 10 pounds lean ground beef
- 2 large diced onions
- 5 c. milk
- 6 eggs
- 3 c. dried bread crumbs or oatmeal, whichever you have on hand
- 1/4 c. Worcestershire Sauce
- 3 Tbsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
- 3 Tbsp. dried italian herbs
- 1 Tbsp. ground mustard
- 1 Tbsp. pepper
- Glaze: mix 3- 8oz. cans of tomato sauce with 1 c. brown sugar and 1 Tbsp. salt
Add all of the ingredients (except the glaze) to a very large bowl and mix thoroughly. Seriously, that’s it — SO easy! I find it easiest to roll my sleeves up, wash my hands, and mix it all by squishing it through my fingers and fists. It was gross the first time, but you get used to it.
Pack the beef mixture into your loaf pans and top each with 1/6 of the glaze. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, pressing the air out, and then wrap in aluminum foil. Be sure to write the cooking instruction on the top with a sharpie: thaw overnight in refrigerator, then bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes with 8 scrubbed, forked potatoes.
I add that bit about the potatoes because I like to serve meatloaf with a baked potato, and I like for my kids to be able to put the meal together without my help. Sometimes I even write ‘serve with a salad’ on the entree, so whichever child is in charge of dinner will take care of that, too.
That’s all there is to it!
I have to tell you, we use a ton of ground beef at our house! Whenever we have a bull calf, we grow him to maximum size and then have him butchered. But the last four years we have only had female calves, which we grow into dairy cows, so I’ve been purchasing beef. I love to buy 40 lb. or more of ground beef when I find it on sale.
I like to immediately turn half of the beef into freezer meals, like this meatloaf, and freeze the rest in 2 lb increments in freezer bags. 40 lb. might sound like a ton of ground beef to you, but it doesn’t really take up that much room in your freezer. At our house, it seems to disappear so fast, I often wish I had purchased double what I did. It really keeps costs down.
Just throw a pan of meatloaf in and 40 minutes later there’s a piping hot meal waiting with virtually no work on your part.
Fun Note: I also like to freeze these in mini loaf pans for my two college kids to take home. I love knowing that they are getting at least occasional nutritious meals with protein along with their standard fare of Ramen noodles and mac ‘n cheese. And I hope that they feel loved eating a homemade meal from mom.