Make It Meatloaf With “A Christmas Story”

Make it meatloaf with “A Christmas Story” this holiday season and enjoy a tasty, vintage meatloaf dinner. No way you’ll shoot your eye out. We promise!

“The Christmas Movie Cookbook”Red Dot Dinner Plate

“Meatloaf, smeatloaf, double beatloaf. I hate meatloaf,” said my husband never. Actually, he loves meatloaf. It was, after all, Randy, little brother of Ralphie, the main character in “A Christmas Story,” who loathed meatloaf and said those words.

Nevertheless, food historian Andrew Smith reports that the first recipe for what we consider American meatloaf today appeared in the late 1870s. Indeed, many consider meatloaf to be derived from scrapple, a mixture of ground pork and cornmeal. (German-Americans in Pennsylvania have made scrapple since colonial times.) In its earliest days in America, however, meatloaf was a breakfast staple, not the dinner dish it is today. No doubt, you won’t regret making it meatloaf with “A Christmas Story”!

Moreover, meatloaf became a cost-effective way in the 1940s to feed more people with less meat during wartime. Then in the 1950s meatloaf recipes made their way into Betty Crocker cookbooks. Meatloaf was here to stay.

Meatloaf’s Side Dishes

As a result, you can choose from a number of traditional or not-so-traditional sides to go with your meatloaf. Traditional options include mashed potatoes, sweet and sour cabbage, macaroni and cheese and green beans almandine. In fact, I recommend you try our recipe for Aunt Beatty’s rolls. Sample, too, our cheesy mashed potatoes and sweet and sour cabbage recipes from Bronner’s Flavorful Favorites, Book 2 staff cookbook. Or our baked macaroni and cheese from our original Bronner’s Flavorful Favorites staff cookbook. However, if you’re looking to go non-traditional, you might want to consider potato wedges, mashed cauliflower and asparagus for sides.

Time to dive into “The Christmas Movie Cookbook” for an old-fashioned meatloaf recipe ala “A Christmas Story”! Serve it on our red dot dinner plate, perfect for Christmas or any time of the year.

grated zucchini surrounding stainless steel grater for Make It Meatloaf With "A Christmas Story"
meatloaf mixture with wooden spoon in stainless steel mixing bowl

Old-Fashioned Meatloaf from “The Christmas Movie Cookbook”

This old-fashioned meatloaf recipe from "The Christmas Movie Cookbook" captures the flavors of the vintage 1950s family dinner straight from the classic movie "A Christmas Story."


  • 1 9×5-inch loaf pan lined with foil
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 small mixing bowl
  • 3 wooden mixing spoons
  • measuring spoons
  • 1 1-cup dry measuring cup
  • 1 liquid measuring cup
  • 1 large skillet
  • 1 hand grater or food processor
  • 1 knife
  • 1 meat thermometer


  • 2 cups (about 5 slices) lightly packed cubed whole wheat or sourdough bread
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound extra-lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork, chicken or turkey
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon dark or light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with foil.
  • 2. In a large bowl, combine the bread and milk; set aside and allow the bread to soak up all the milk.
  • 3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini, onion, paprika, and Italian seasoning. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the vegetables are tender and any liquid evaporates. Stir in the garlic; cook for 1 minute. Cool slightly.
  • 4. Add the vegetable mixture to the bread mixture. Stir in the beef, pork, egg, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper, mixing gently just until combined. Spoon into the prepared loaf pan.
  • 5. Stir together the ketchup, brown sugar, and vinegar in a small bowl. Spread the ketchup mixture over the top of the meatloaf.
  • 6. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until the meatloaf is cooked through and a meat thermometer registers 160ºF. Lift the meatloaf out of the pan., remove the foil, and slice.

Leftover Meatloaf Sandwiches? Yes!

In the event that you have some yummy meatloaf left, we recommend you build a delectable meatloaf sandwich. (Okay, my mouth is watering!) Indeed, the options are endless! Will it be an Asian take with gochujang and Japanese mayo topped with spicy Korean pickles? On the other hand, you might like a meatloaf sandwich on sourdough bread with apple butter and gouda cheese. Then again, your favorite may be a meatloaf panini with kale/basil pesto and creamy Havarti cheese. All things considered, you can’t go wrong. Leftover meatloaf makes a great sandwich!

Decorate With the Department 56 “A Christmas Story” Village

If “A Christmas Story” is one of your holiday movie favorites, you’ll be glad to know you can bring the story home. In short, the Department 56 offers the “A Christmas Story” series of village pieces and accessories. Start your village today!

"Ralphie's House" by Department 56 for  "A Christmas Story" village
"Cleveland Elementary" by Department 56 for "A Christmas Story" village.
Hohman Telegraph Office by Department 56 for "A Christmas Story" village

Also, don’t miss this leg lamp ornament for your tree!

leg lamp ornament from "A Christmas Story"

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