Stretch Your Food Budget: Try This Delicious Depression-Era Meatloaf Recipe!

Depression-Era Meatloaf

Depression-Era Meatloaf: A Timeless Recipe for Stretching Limited Resources

In these uncertain times, it’s crucial to be prepared for any situation. Whether it’s a natural disaster, economic downturn, or any other unforeseen event, having the skills and knowledge to make the most of limited resources is essential. Today, we’re going to share a timeless recipe from the Great Depression that exemplifies this mindset. Depression-Era Meatloaf is a delicious and filling dish that is perfect for stretching ingredients when faced with scarcity.

The Need for Resourcefulness

The Great Depression was a challenging time in history, with widespread unemployment and poverty. Families had to make do with what they had and find ways to stretch their food supply. Meatloaf became a popular staple during this era because it could be made with simple and inexpensive ingredients, yet still provide a satisfying and nourishing meal.

The Recipe

To make Depression-Era Meatloaf, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs or crushed crackers
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, chopped onion, breadcrumbs or crushed crackers, milk, salt, pepper, thyme, and parsley. Use your hands or a spoon to combine the ingredients evenly.
  3. Shape the meat mixture into a loaf and place it in a greased baking dish.
  4. Bake the meatloaf in the preheated oven for 1 hour or until it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C).
  5. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Why Depression-Era Meatloaf still Matters Today

While we may not be experiencing the same dire circumstances as those during the Great Depression, the principles of resourcefulness and making the most of what we have are still relevant. By learning from the past, we can become better prepared for whatever challenges the future may hold. Depression-Era Meatloaf is not just a recipe; it’s a reminder that with a little creativity and resourcefulness, we can turn humble ingredients into a delicious and satisfying meal.


Depression-Era Meatloaf is a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of those who lived through challenging times. By incorporating this recipe into your culinary repertoire, you’ll not only be able to create a wholesome and comforting meal, but you’ll also be embracing a mindset of self-reliance and preparedness. Let’s learn from history and use it as a guide to navigate the uncertain future.

Written by Keith Jacobs

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