Old Fashioned Ham Loaf

Buried in my Grandmother’s recipe box on an old scrap of paper was a true treasure, my Grandmother’s Old Fashioned Ham Loaf. I can still taste it, the top brown and crusty and the inside moist, fragrant and flavorful, almost exotic with its little touch of allspice and clove.

Grandma's Old Fashioned Ham Loaf
Old Fashioned Ham Loaf

Grandma’s recipe made two loaves and is easily divided in half, but even for my small family, I make the recipe as written and freeze one loaf for later. I love having a meal in the freezer.

For me, this Old Fashioned Ham Loaf is a comfort food, and I know it is quite out of fashion – not because it isn’t good, but because many today don’t have access to a meat grinder for the ground ham, and the ground pork which isn’t always at the supermarket.

If you have a grinder or a grinder attachment for your Kitchenaid, by all means, use it; if not, cut your meats into inch chunks (freeze slightly, if you have time) and pulse in your food processor.

Add a simple baked potato and a side or two, and you have an old-fashioned family dinner, just like Grandma used to make. There may be more frugal ways to stretch ham, but if one is to compare the cost to make ham loaf as opposed to the cost to make a meatloaf, the pricing looks pretty attractive.

When cooking ham loaf, sometimes the milk bubbles up around the edges of the pan and caramelizes. That’s perfectly normal and seems to be dependant on how much fat there is in the ham & pork.

Grandma's Old Fashioned Ham Loaf
Old Fashioned Ham Loaf



Old Fashioned Ham Loaf

Grandma's Old Fashioned Ham Loaf

My Grandmother Irene’s Old Fashioned Ham Loaf. Makes 2 loaves, so you’ll have one to freeze.

  • Author: FrugalHausfrau
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 loaves


  • 2 pounds ground ham
  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 3 slices bread, soaked in the milk
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups chopped tomato (chop this finely)
  • 3 eggs
  • Pinch of allspice and a pinch of ground cloves.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Add clove and allspice to the milk and then mix all ingredients lightly together. Divide into two loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for about one to one and a half hours. Do not overbake or it can become dry. Look for a temperature of 160 degrees in the center of the loaf. The top should be nicely browned.

Depending on the amount of fat in the ham or ground pork, you may find quite a bit of fat in the pan; with today’s leaner pork, it isn’t as much of a problem as it was in the past, but you may drain this off.

Let Ham Loaf rest for several minutes before removing from the pan and cutting so it won’t crumble.


Not all ham loaves have clove or allspice; both are very strong spices, especially the allspice, so be careful about the amounts.

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on Old Fashioned Ham Loaf:
  • Read {Strategies Applied} for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time/money and managing this recipe.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Use a coupon matching site! Do not discount the savings!
  • I made this recipe in October 2011 but repriced in February of 2014. My pricing went way down from about $7.21 to $4.92 because I ground sales priced pork loin from my freezer, saving around $3.00.
Put Your Own Spin on Old Fashioned Ham Loaf:
  • There is a traditional glaze for ham loaf: 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon mustard (Coleman’s is preferred.)  Blend, then baste every 15 minutes during baking time.
  • Some wrap their ham loaf in bacon before cooking – I think that might be a sin…ham, pork, and bacon in one dish?

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If you came to this Old Fashioned Ham Loaf  recipe looking for a way to use leftover ham, be sure to check out the link below for 12 Days of Ham. You might want to see the sister post for 12 Days of Turkey, too.