Amish Food for Thanksgiving

Amish Food for Thanksgiving: Meatloaf? By Sarah Price

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is almost here? I’m still in summer mode, I think. Of course, it helps that I’m in Florida and not New Jersey. 😀

This year, for the first time in a bazillion years, I’m hosting a Thanksgiving Day supper and my parents are attending! Yippee! I’m very excited. Normally it’s just Marc, Cat, and maybe Alex which feels like any supper, not a holiday supper. Plus, Cat’s friend (and my adopted daughter for the winter) Sam will be here, too.

I’m excited to cook for just seven people. Can you imagine if you had ten children and each of them had ten children? That would be over 120 potential guests to your house for the holiday! I’m not certain I could handle that many guests.

For the Amish, Thanksgiving is a wonderful excuse to enjoy having the family together. Larger families might have more than one gathering in order to accommodate everyone’s busy schedules. For some families, the food on their table would be similar to ours: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, carrots, corn, etc. And desserts. There would certainly be lots of desserts.

Because their families are so large, they might also have ham or chicken or even meatloaf at the Thanksgiving table. I liked the idea of meatloaf and thought I would share this recipe with you. The great thing about having meatloaf is that the leftovers can be combined into one of my favorite winter dishes: Shepherd’s Pie! Yum.


1.5 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. diced ham (the smaller the better)
1/4 cup minced onions
1 cup oatmeal flakes
1 egg
1 cup tomato juice
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup cheese
1 tsp. mustard
1 tsp. Worstershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Bacon (optional)


Beat the egg and add a dash of water or milk.
Add the remaining ingredients except the meat, 1/4 cup of tomato juice and the bacon.
Add the meat to the mixture and form into a loaf.
Place loaf into a pan and place bacon strips on top of it.
Pour remaining tomato juice over the loaf.
Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.

For anyone who doesn’t like turkey, this will certainly please them. And Shepherd’s Pie is the best comfort foods in the world! Just put the leftover meat and vegetables into a casserole pan and top with mashed potatoes (if there are any left over, ha ha). Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees and VOILA! You have a right gut supper for the next night.

For more fun recipes and stories, pick up a copy of Plain & Simple Traditions: Amish & Mennonite Holidays!

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3 thoughts on “Amish Food for Thanksgiving: Meatloaf? By Sarah Price

  1. Your father makes the best meatloaf ever! But I don’t think he would like it for Thanksgiving. Take your chances. Please let me know ahead of time if you’re not having turkey.

  2. I’m doing a Thanksgiving dinner this year at the family farm. Maybe 10 to 12 people. Everyone brings pot luck dishes so I’m not stressing. I have a turkey and pumpkin pie. If they want anything else they had better bring it.

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