This famous 1950s quick meatloaf recipe cooks up in just 15 minutes

The famous 15-minute quick meatloaf recipe (1955)

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This vintage 1955 recipe for a super quick meatloaf is a delightful throwback to a time when simplicity and speed were beginning to make their way into the American kitchen. At the heart of this dish’s timeless appeal is its promise of a hearty family meal without spending hours in the kitchen — a selling point that resonates just as much today as it did back then.

Tomato sauce, a pantry staple, is the star ingredient that brings this meat loaf to life. It infuses the meat with moistness and a tangy depth of flavor that’s bound to satisfy even our modern palates. This recipe combines convenience with a touch of homemade comfort, offering a quick solution for busy home cooks — a truly timeless quality.

Our taste test

We made this recently to see how well it held up to a modern palate and the verdict is: Recommended! With some variations. It was incredibly moist and flavorful, but an egg or two and maybe some breadcrumbs would certainly make for a slightly sturdier loaf. Not required, though.

Trying vintage 1950s recipe for quick meatloaf at

We also sautéed the onion and pepper to soften them before adding to the mixture (as we do for all meatloafs — no crunchy bits for us, thank you very much). That added time and another dirty pan to clean, but totally worth it!

Making this vintage version of a quick meatloaf is a nod to the 1950s brand of efficiency and innovation in the kitchen that persists to this day. Plus, its simplicity makes it a perfect recipe for you to put your own spin on it. -BB

15-minute quick meatloaf recipe (1955)

When Hunt’s home economist developed this recipe, she said, “I think busy homemakers and career girls will really appreciate this one!”

And you will! Because, besides being a “quickie” — just fifteen minutes cooking time — it is truly delicious with its savory tomato gravy!

Be sure to use Hunt’s Tomato Sauce when you make it. For Hunt’s brings you true tomato goodness seasoned just right. The beautiful color tells you it’s all tomato — not diluted, no starchy fillers — an honest-to-goodness Tomato Sauce.

Try this quick stunt with Hunt’s. Then, try Hunt’s Tomato Sauce in your own family favorites. Simply add it when you make your stews, casseroles, soups, spaghetti sauce, rice, pan gravy, leftovers — for the wonderful flavor your family will love.

ALSO SEE: Roll-in-one stuffed meatloaf recipe: An easy one-dish meal from 1966

The fifties' famous 15-minute quick meatloaf recipe (1955)

The famous fifties’ 15-minute meatloaf recipe

The famous 15-minute quick meatloaf recipe (1955)

Famous 15-minute quick meatloaf recipe

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This classic meat loaf recipe comes to you direct from the fifties!


  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green pepper (optional)
  • 2 8-ounce cans Hunt's Tomato Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce


  1. Combine beef, salt, pepper, onion, green pepper and 1/2 of an 8-ounce can Hunt's Tomato Sauce.
  2. Press into greased 9- x 12- x 2-inch baking dish.
  3. Bake on lowest shelf in hot oven (450 F) for 10 minutes.
  4. Place 1 inch under medium broiler heat, and broil 5 minutes longer.
  5. While meat cooks, combine remaining tomato sauce, sugar and Worcestershire in small saucepan and boil 3 minutes.
  6. Add meat drippings, if desired.
  7. Cut meat in half crosswise.
  8. Arrange sandwich fashion on platter, pouring sauce between and on top.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 431Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 845mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 41g

Click Americana offers approximate nutrition information as a general reference only, and we make no warranties regarding its accuracy. Please make any necessary calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, and consult with a qualified healthcare professional if you have dietary concerns.

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Comments on this story

3 Responses

    1. I just checked some newspapers from 1955, and confirmed they are the 8-ounce cans. Thank you for letting me know this was missing! We will update this recipe now.

  1. I lived in that era.
    We used oatmeal and a large egg mixed with the other ingredients to make it lighter. Some people also mixed in sweet pickle relish for a tang.

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