Layered Meatloaf – aka Tom’s Mom’s Meatloaf

Posted on Jun 26 2013 - 6:29am by RetroRuth

The first time I made meatloaf for Tom, it was a great meal. Perfectly browned meatloaf, creamy mashed potatoes, and chocolate cake for dessert. As we sat down and I started plating food, I was feeling pretty proud of myself. Pretty proud of myself until I placed a piece of meatloaf on Tom’s plate, and he stared at it like I had just thrown down a handful of mud.

He poked it with his fork. “What is this?”

I was speechless for a moment. Then I choked out, “What do you mean, ‘What is this?’ It’s meatloaf!”

“Where’s the middle layer?”

“What middle layer?”

“The bread one. You know, the layer with the bread.”

“The layer…with the bread.”

“Yeah, the bread layer.”

“Meatloaf doesn’t have a bread layer. The bread gets mixed in to the loaf.”

“It does too have a bread layer! It sucks up all the good stuff and it’s, you know, delicious.”


“It’s the bread layer!”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about. Also, you’re crazy.”

“I’m not crazy and this isn’t meatloaf.”

“And now you don’t get any chocolate cake.”

Well, as it turns out, Tom isn’t crazy and his mom’s meatloaf DOES have a bread layer in it. And last time Tom’s parents came to visit, they brought proof. Not only did they bring the proof, but it turns out that the bread layer in Tom’s mom’s meatloaf comes from a classic mid-century cookbook!



We have photographic proof. There IS a bread layer!

5.0 from 5 reviews
Layered Meatloaf
  • 1½ lbs ground beef
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp pepper
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • ½ cup milk
  • For Dressing:
  • 2 cups soft bread cubes
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs minced onion
  • T Tbs minced parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp pepper
  1. Combine meatloaf ingredients in a large mixing bowl and blend well. In a separate bowl, combine ingredients for dressing.
  2. In a 9x5 loaf pan, alternate layers of meat and dressing mixtures (2 layers meat, 1 layer dressing).
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 mins.







Tom TastingIMG_1957


“Are you finally happy?”

“Now this is meatloaf. Isn’t it good?”

“Yeah well, you still don’t get any chocolate cake.”

The Verdict: Very Good

From the Tasting Notes:

Very good meatloaf! The actual “meat” part of it was really, really good and tasted exactly like what you would expect a good, classic meatloaf to taste like. But while Tom was in raptures over his beloved “bread layer”, I didn’t really care that much for it. However, I also don’t like bread stuffing in a turkey either, so I think it is just my general dislike for soggy bread. Tom gladly took my portion of the bread stuffing and ate it up while I ate the “meat” layer like crazy. This meatloaf was eaten all in one meal! Thanks, Ma!

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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21 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Nina June 26, 2013 at 7:51 am - Reply

    You reminded me of a rolled meatloaf I used to make. Its stuffed with Mozzarella and prosciutto or ham! I’ll have to dig that recipe out! Tom’s meatloaf looks great! But where’s the ketchup?

  2. Yinzerella June 26, 2013 at 9:03 am - Reply

    This is totally awesome.

  3. veg-o-matic June 26, 2013 at 11:44 am - Reply

    I guess it’s all about what you grew up with. This looks okay to me, but since my Mom’s meatloaf was unilayered, I can’t get excited about the bread part. And hubs doesn’t like dressing in the first place, so I guess I won’t be trying this any time soon.
    From now on, whenever I’m surprised I’m going to shout “It’s the bread layer!” because I like the way it sounds.
    Thoroughly approving of Tom’s beard.

  4. David June 26, 2013 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    Mmm, that looks pretty good. I’m going to try this. Tonight. With macaroni and cheese! I hate deviating from a classic recipe, but I’ll do 50/50 beef and pork, add sage and rosemary to the dressing. and use celery salt.

  5. disneypal June 26, 2013 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    Hmmm – I never heard of a bread layer before either. I love the cookbook – how great! I am going to have to try this out.

  6. Libby June 26, 2013 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    OMG! Even his “very good” face looks like he hates it LMAO!!!!!!!!! I may need to try this one. Any recipe that includes “dressing” is a nummynummy in my book 😉

  7. Lily June 26, 2013 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    Your meatloaf looks scrumptious, and your husband looks damn fine. You lucky girl.

  8. Cristina June 26, 2013 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    I love that cookbook! And the bread in the middle of a meat loaf? I never heard of it before I saw this post! I heard of Mozzarella in the middle (which my husband grew up with). Although I am not a fan of meat loaf, I will try this for my husband, he gave Tom a thumbs up…he said it looks good! =)

  9. Kibo June 27, 2013 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    The spiraled beef-and-pork meat loaf recipe on the same page is odder — it calls for mixing tomato juice into both of the meat mixtures. It seems like it would be pretty good as long as you limited yourself to a small amount of tomato on the outside rather than soaking the whole thing in canned tomato juice.

    It’s amazing to me that this is a Pillsbury cookbook and yet those two recipes don’t call for Pillsbury® brand Bisquick, etc. It must have been a more genteel era when corporations felt that such overt marketing was trés gauche. By 1980, such cookbooks had morphed into “Buy these two branded products, stir them together, and you’re done!” You know, “Pudding in a Cloud”.

    I want to know more about the “HOW TO USE THE NEW FOODS!” on the cover. That’s just got to be a treasure trove of specialness.

  10. Godzilaw June 27, 2013 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    Everything tastes better with New Glarus – yum!

  11. Kibo June 27, 2013 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    As long as we’re looking at meat loaves with weird stuffing inside, here’s a recipe I found for a meat loaf whose stuffing contains curried bread crumbs in mayonnaise:

    Looks like it needs to be lanced.

    It might taste good, but I have an instinctual mis-trust of any recipe that includes powdered salad dressing seasoning as an “ingredient”. It’s right up there with Shake & Bake or instant pudding mix as things that undermine the credibility of any recipe where they’re mixed in.

  12. David June 28, 2013 at 12:07 am - Reply

    Well, I tried this recipe the way I said I’d prepare it, and it’s a keeper! I like it because it’s one less side dish to prepare, with stuffing in the middle! Very good.

  13. Patrick M. June 29, 2013 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    I’d ask “where’s the Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup?” but I want cake after dinner.

  14. Liz July 1, 2013 at 11:59 am - Reply

    This is simple and sounds good. The middle layer sounds nice to me. I’ll give it a try. Happy 4th.

  15. Ruth July 4, 2013 at 2:23 am - Reply

    What year is that cookbook? I have really old and newer versions of my favorites and the recipes in the older ones seem to be better most times.

    • RetroRuth July 4, 2013 at 10:37 am - Reply

      I think it is from the 1970’s, maybe 1977?

  16. Angela January 16, 2014 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    After I saw this recipe I literally daydreamed about making it until I could a couple days later. It actually wasn’t how I imagined it, but it was still good and my family enjoyed it well enough. My SO had to whip out the ketchup (“It’s not meatloaf without ketchup”) and it took a few light suggestions that I should have mixed in the bread better before it actually came across that there was SUPPOSED to be a bread layer. Looking forward to having the leftovers for lunch.

  17. carrie June 6, 2014 at 11:11 am - Reply

    So I made this last night with ground turkey, and since I didn’t have quite enough ground turkey I also added chopped up uncooked bacon! OMGOODNESS! IT was like thanksgiving on a plate! It was SO good!! I LOVED it! I think next time I make it, especially with ground turkey I’ll top it with some sort of cranberry sauce. We didnt’ use ketchup or anything because I liked the thanksgiving vibe with the stuffing in the middle..this was SO good!!! Try it with ground turkey and BACON! YUM!

  18. Lauretta September 26, 2015 at 12:58 am - Reply

    This sounds similar to an item we were served in high school lovingly referred to as the “hunk”. It had more layers and was cube shaped with brown gravy poured over it. I will have to try this soon!

  19. smudge August 23, 2017 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    Like Lauretta, this was served in our high school cafeteria and I’ve been looking for a recipe for the layered meatloaf for a long time. I’d like to replicate what they made and this recipe is a great start. Just picked up a bunch of ground beef to give it a whirl. Also, like her school, ours was served in cubes. It was made in huge 2″ deep trays, not loaf pans, so it was cut and served like brownies.

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