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The Best Meatloaf Recipe

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The ultimate comfort food, this is the absolute best meatloaf recipe if you’re looking for a simple and easy idea.

I won’t lie, meatloaf is seriously one of my favorite meals. I always have ground beef in my fridge or freezer, so this easy meatloaf recipe is a simple dinner idea that I use often.

It may seem basic, but meatloaf is extremely versatile and filling — which makes it an easy favorite in my book. Plus, it’s yummy leftover. Serve with our delicious beer bread!

The Best Meatloaf Recipe

I’m proud to partner with Horizon Organic to bring you this classic meatloaf recipe. 

I am a busy single mom.

I work from home full time, I run my three boys here, there and everywhere, do mountains of laundry and I love to cook. Seriously: food is my love language.

You will always be well fed at my house.

So let’s talk about the best meatloaf in the world.

Reasons I love it: it’s a simple, from scratch, homemade recipe. It’s like the ultimate comfort food. I feel great serving it to my family and guests. It’s wholesome. It’s old fashioned. It’s hearty and filling. Need I go on?

This isn’t just any recipe for meatloaf either. I think it’s the world’s best ever. The seasoning seals the deal.

I feel like meatloaf often gets a bad rap. One of the most common complaints I hear from people is, “it’s so dry”. If you are eating dry meatloaf, you aren’t making it right. This easy meatloaf recipe is good and moist, the perfect go-to comforting meal.

Alternative Meatloaf Ingredients

As I’ve said before, I love recipe experimenting in the kitchen and meatloaf is no exception. You can bake this meatloaf so many different ways, each more delicious than the last.

Some of my favorites include with oats, with cheese, with breadcrumbs, with stuffing mix, with ketchup, with bacon and with panko.

Sometimes I throw in a splash of Worcestershire sauce and a packet of onion soup mix. Sometimes I pour gravy over it instead of a tomato based meatloaf sauce.

Make it a turkey meatloaf. Add in some sausage to bring some heat. Make an Italian meatloaf with parsley and parmesan cheese. Make a southern meatloaf with crushed crackers and extra thyme.

Sometimes instead of making it in one loaf pan, I will make mini loaves. I’ve also made it in a muffin tin. Which my boys love because everybody has their own little serving, which is always fun. There is just something great about little food.

Easy Homemade Meatloaf Recipe

How to Make Meatloaf

Another huge perk to me about making a meatloaf is how simple it is to cook. You can literally throw all the ingredients in one bowl, mix it (mix it real good — bonus points if you read that Salt-n-Pepa style) pop it in your loaf pan to bake and voila! Dinner!

Start with your ground beef (or ground turkey, etc.) and start adding your mix ins of choice. You can make meatloaf with oatmeal, bread crumbs, crackers or even stuffing mix — which is a favorite method of mine as well.

For this recipe, I add in milk as well as two cups of their shredded cheddar cheese. Next up is the seasoning and spices plus an egg to help bind everything together. It’s one dish baking at it’s finest.

Do you Cover Meatloaf When Baking?

I actually don’t cover my meatloaf when baking it. I know some people do. I default to my grandmother’s methods and leave it uncovered.

Best Meatloaf Sauce

How Long to Cook Meatloaf

You want to set your oven temp to 400 degrees and then bake for 30 minutes. You’ll remove it from the oven, pop more sauce on it and bake for another 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches at least 160 degrees.

Can You Freeze Meatloaf?

Yes! Meatloaf can be frozen either fully cooked and cooled or raw ready to bake.  Wrap it tightly to prevent freezer burn. Making mini loaves or muffin tin portions is also a great freezer option. If you make one large meatloaf in a loaf pan, you’ll want to slice it prior to freezing. It’s easy to reheat and serve!

How to Reheat Meatloaf

If you’ve frozen it previously, you’ll want to be sure to defrost it before baking it in the oven. You can place it in a baking dish with a small amount of water in the bottom (so it doesn’t get too dry) and bake 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes if it’s already previously cooked. If you froze it raw, you’ll want to follow the instructions above.

I think it’s literally impossible to screw up it up — you can get all sorts of fancy.

Meatloaf Sauce

How Do You Make Meatloaf Sauce?

Oh, I’m so glad you asked. Because I will tell you!

A good meatloaf sauce takes a good recipe to great.

My meatloaf sauce comes together perfectly on the stove while the meatloaf is in the oven.

Combine tomato sauce and tomato paste with with chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, chipotle powder, cayenne, sugar and apple cider vinegar.

Bring to a boil and then let simmer.

You can also adjust the spices to your preference.

Horizon Products

What to Serve with Meatloaf

So, the definite standard in our house is mashed potatoes and green beans. That’s the go to.

If I love meatloaf, I love mashed potatoes even more. I make mine with lots of milk, butter and sour cream. For this recipe, I used Horizon Organic products.

Sometimes we also have carrots, corn pudding or sauteed veggies on the side. I often make dinner rolls or or serve a caesar salad, too.

Green bean casserole is also a great side with meatloaf. It just feels like a classic, old fashioned meal that you’d have at grandma’s and it always makes me happy. Especially if I’ve had a long, hard day.

The day after, if there are leftovers (big if!) I love to slice the meatloaf and make sandwiches on thick, white bread.

Meatloaf from Scratch Dinner

Is your mouth watering yet? I hope you’ll make this meatloaf recipe soon so you can fall in love with it as much as me!

More Comfort Food Recipe You Will Love

Best Ever Meatloaf Recipe

The Best Meatloaf Recipe

5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: meatloaf recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 278kcal


  • 2 pounds ground beef 93/7
  • ½ cup garlic and herb bread crumbs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese


  • In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the meatloaf. Use your hands to mix together.
  • Spray a bread pan with cooking oil and transfer the meat mixture to the pan, pressing it down evenly.
  • In a small pan on the stove, combine all of the ingredients for the sauce. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Adjust flavors accordingly. (If you don’t like a lot of spice, use less cayenne, if you want more chipotle, add more chipotle).
  • Pour half a cup over the top of the meatloaf.
  • Bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and add more sauce. Return to the oven and continue baking for another 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
  • Remove from oven and let rest.



The Best Ever Meatloaf Sauce


  • 16 ounce tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar


  1. In a small pan on the stove, combine all of the ingredients for the sauce. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Adjust flavors accordingly.  (If you don’t like a lot of spice, use less cayenne, if you want more chipotle, add more chipotle).


Calories: 278kcal
Tried this recipe?Follow me on Pinterest @spaceshipslb
The Best Meatloaf Recipe

Layne Henderson

Layne is a boy mom in love. Surrounded by three adventurous little men, she's in pursuit of an empty laundry basket, the perfect cup of coffee, and sleep. She blogs, parents, and manages social media while wearing her tiara.


    1. Avatar

      Hannah Griffin

      May 15, 2018 at 12:32 pm

      I didn’t think there was a meatloaf recipe that was as good as my mom’s, but I think this one may have it beat!

    2. Avatar

      Tin Lopez

      May 21, 2018 at 1:48 am

      This Meatloaf recipe is the best I have ever had!

    3. Avatar


      June 3, 2018 at 6:51 pm

      I just made this for my family and they were in absolute LOVE. Hands down best recipe.

    4. Avatar


      October 23, 2018 at 10:33 am

      Such a great recipe, totally redeems meatloaf from the reputation is had when I was a kid! So good!

    5. Avatar


      November 29, 2018 at 9:53 am

      I am so excited about this recipe. My kids have never been a huge fan of meatloaf until now! Thanks for the great recipe.

    6. Avatar


      February 1, 2019 at 8:15 pm

      Delicious recipe and was a hit with the kids!

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