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Meatloaf without Milk

This classic meatloaf is made without milk so it is completely dairy free. It is also extremely moist and juicy!

Meatloaf with green beans and mashed potatoes on a white plate on a white marble counter

White meatloaf is a classic American dish to the point of jokes being made about eating appearing in shows and movies. However, meatloaf actually dates all the way back to Ancient Roman.

Meatloaf only began appearing in American cookbooks at the end of the 1800s.

Then, during the Great Depression, it was a way for families to stretch the food budget by using an inexpensive type of meat and leftover ingredients.

To stretch the meat further, bread or saltine crackers were added to the meatloaf as well as spices for taste.

We continue to do this today in the version of breadcrumbs but for the purpose of moisture and binding.

This meatloaf is made without milk, which doesn’t do much for meatloaf anyone except add liquid which water can do.

Growing up, my Mom’s meatloaf (which is still my favorite) skipped most of the seasoning and used used onion soup powder.

I was tempted to share that recipe here but I figured if you’re reading this recipe you’re looking for the classic version, so here it is!

If you’re interested in another American classic made without milk, be sure to also check out my Southern Fried Chicken.



This method is the most highly recommended. Meat typically takes at least a full day to thaw. Once thawed, the poultry can remain in the refrigerator for a day or two before cooking.


This should take two to three hours.  Submerge your sealed meat in a pot or bowl full of cold water.  Change out the water every 30 minutes or so. 

Do not use warm or hot water.  It is unhealthy to do so, can start cooking your meat, and doesn’t do so evenly.


According to the USDA, you can cook frozen meat.  It will take 50% longer to cook, but it’s an option.  You should also cook it on a roasting rack or over vegetables so the heat can circulate around the meat.


If you have extra raw meat that you didn’t use but want to refreeze, you can as long as it was thawed in the fridge.

According to the USDA “food thawed in the refrigerator is safe to refreeze without cooking.”  However, you do lose quality when refreezing previously defrosted meat. 

Every time you defrost meat, it loses moisture through thawing which also leads to a loss in flavor.  To compensate for this, marinate the meat to add more flavor and juice.”

The USDA also says not to “refreeze any foods left outside the refrigerator longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F.”


Once cooled, place in an air tight container and refrigerate. Store for 3 to 4 days.


Freeze leftovers within 3-4 days.  Place in an air tight container or resealable freezer bag. 

Freeze for up to 6 months.  After that it is safe to eat however the quality begins to degrade.

Yield: 10 servings

Meatloaf without Milk

Meatloaf with green beans and mashed potatoes on a white plate on a white marble counter

This classic meatloaf is made without milk so it is completely dairy free. It is also extremely moist and juicy!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Rest Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the Topping:

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar*


    1. In a large bowl, add the beef, bread crumbs, onion, water, egg, ketchup, soy sauce, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix very well by hand until well combined.
    2. Add the meat mixture to a loaf pan and pat down into an even layer.
    3. In a small bowl, add cup ketchup, the brown sugar, and vinegar. Stir to combine.
    4. Pour the sauce on top of the meatloaf and spread it into an even layer.
    5. Bake at 350°F or 175°C uncovered for 55 minutes.
    6. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.


*red wine vinegar and even white vinegar can be used

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 198Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 512mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 15g

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