Valentine's Meatloaf

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Valentine's Meatloaf

Food is love. I’ve said it 1000 times in my career dedicated to bringing families around the table for connection and conversation. (Why isn’t food the 6th love language, anyhow?) In our household it shows up in many ways: making a cozy soup on a rainy day, or pumpkin waffles on Halloween morning. And it definitely looks like Valentine’s meatloaf (or pink beet risotto – another family favorite on February 14!) 

The first time I made Valentine’s meatloaf I was actually not at home to eat it with my family. My kids were little, I was traveling for work, and I was awash with some mom-guilt and sadness about missing Valentine’s Day fun with my family. So along with the doily Valentine’s cards and chocolate kisses, I left behind a heart-shaped meatloaf with careful instructions for my husband on how to bake. I know I was (naively) thinking, “this is how they’ll know I love them when I’m far away!”

Of course, there are loads of ways to show love for our families, not just with a big meaty heart! But if February 14 has you craving something hearty (pun intended!) and classic, you’ll definitely want to make this recipe. It can be made ahead, and pairs with anything from mashed potatoes to broccoli. I make mine with ground turkey meat and always add shredded carrots! And if this is the first time you realized you can make meatloaf NOT in a loaf shape, and on a sheet pan… you’re welcome!

Make a savory meatloaf topped with a traditional glaze, shaped into a heart to share with those you love.

  • Active Kitchen Time: 15-20 minutes
  • Bake Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings


  • ½ onion
  • small bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 ½ lbs ground beef
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg

Supper Smarts:

  • Flavor Town: Instead of ketchup, try BBQ sauce and bacon crumbles on top, or marinara sauce with dried oregano and thyme.

  • Super Swaps: Use ground pork or turkey instead of beef – there's enough flavor in other ingredients that the choice of meat here doesn't affect final taste much.

  • Mix it Up: Add nutrition by mixing in finely chopped or grated carrot, bell pepper, or celery.

  • Serving Suggestions: Serve with sauteed zucchini, glazed carrots, or garlicky green beans.


Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheet with foil.
Crack 1 egg in large bowl. Throw away shells and wash your hands. Whisk until smooth.
Peel ½ onion. Cut away ends, then carefully grate on large holes of box grater. Add to egg.
Finely mince 1 small bunch parsley. Measure 2 Tbsp and add to egg mixture.
Add 1 cup bread crumbs, ½ tsp garlic powder, and 1 Tbsp Worcestershire to egg mixture.
Add ½ cup milk, 1 tsp kosher salt, ¼ tsp ground black pepper, and ¼ cup ketchup to egg mixture. Stir until combined.
Add 1 ½ lbs ground beef to egg mixture.
Use your hands to mix until very well combined. For best texture, do not undermix.
Add meat mixture to baking sheet. Use hands to pat and shape into a large heart. Wash hands thoroughly
Stir 2 Tbsp brown sugar and ¼ cup ketchup in small bowl.
Spread ketchup mixture evenly on top of meatloaf.
Bake meatloaf 55 min. Cool 15 min. Slice to serve. TASTE & SHARE!

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Susan February 12, 2024 @ 02:01 PM
I’ve made this meatloaf and it is delicious!!