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open source meat loaf

2 minute read
by Alex Hillman

The copy I wrote for my business website, We Know HTML, is notoriously goofy. I had a blast writing it and during the last 8 months of it being live, I’ve gotten a lot of positive response from the chuckles it elicits. But someone took it seriously…

On the contact page, there’s a standard form with the following bit of copy:

This is the quickest, easiest way to send us a short message. Tell us something nice. Tell us something clever. Tell us your mom’s recipe for meat loaf. We like meat loaf.

Again, I’ve gotten a reasonable amount of short notes saying various nice (and occasionally not so nice) things through the form…and of course the obligitory spam.

Yesterday I got something better than spam…a recipe for some dude’s mom’s meatloaf! And man, it looks yummy!

Here’s the email I got:

Finally! You probably don’t even remember this, but I owe you a recipe. Here you go. I can’t vouch for it (I’m one of those veggie-types) but the rest of my family loves when my mom makes this. I didn’t even need to bribe her with cash for the recipe–just had to promise to call home more often.


  • 1 (7 oz) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup regular oats
  • 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tbs ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce


Preheat oven to 350°.

Remove 1 chipotle chile and 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from can; reserve remaining chiles and sauce for another use (you won’t need it for this, apparently). Chop chile. Combine chile, adobo sauce, onion, and next 14 ingredients (through ground turkey) in a large bowl, stirring to combine. (She uses more than one chile sometimes, I guess it’s up to you however many you want to use.)

Place beef mixture in a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30 minutes.

To prepare topping, combine 1/4 cup tomato sauce, ketchup, and hot sauce in a small bowl; brush mixture evenly over meat loaf.

Cover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until thermometer registers 160°.

Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

(Note from me – I think the ‘next 14 ingredients’ line is confusing – she just means combine everything up until the cooking spray.)

Thanks “ChumSalad”, for open sourcing your mom’s meat loaf recipe. I’ll be sure to let you know how the loaf turns out. If anyone wants to use the recipe, go for it, and let me know how you liked it!

This will help make sure you can find the most useful resources. I respect your privacy & email. Absolutely no spam, and I won't ever share your data. Pinky promise! 🤞

Hey, thanks for reading!

Alex Hillman I am always thinking about the intersection of people, relationships, trust and business. I founded Indy Hall in 2006, making us one of oldest fully independent coworking communities in the world. This site is packed with the lessons and examples I’ve learned along the way. You can find me on Twitter, too! 🐦 Say hi.