A cooked meatloaf on a cutting board.
How Meatloaf Nestled Into The Heart Of American Dinner Tables

The U.S.’s love of meatloaf began during the Great Depression. When ingredients became scarce, meatloaf was a way to stretch what little many could afford into a filling meal.

By the 1950s, meatloaf had become a favorite dish among the Greatest Generation, who fed it to their Baby Boomer children.

The first recipe resembling meatloaf was actually written in the 1870s and included instructions to finely chop cold meat and mix it with spices, milk-soaked bread, and eggs.

Twentieth-century Depression-era and wartime meatloaf included meat mixed with ingredients like evaporated milk and dried cereals to create a filling main course.

Meatloaf may symbolize resilience and perseverance through challenging times, but any way you look at it, meatloaf is comfort and a literal slice of history.