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Best Meatloaf Recipe

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close up overhead shot of slices of meatloaf on a wooden board
This meatloaf recipe is made of lean ground beef mixed with a savory combination of seasonings and topped off with a delicious homemade meatloaf sauce.
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Table of Contents
  1. MEATLOAF RECIPE INGREDIENTS
  2. MEAT LOAF RECIPE SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS
  3. HOW TO MAKE THIS MEATLOAF RECIPE
  4. WHAT TO SERVE WITH MEATLOAF
  5. HOW TO STORE THIS MEATLOAF RECIPE
  6. MEATLOAF FAQs
  7. More Recipes You’ll Love
  8. JUMP TO RECIPE

This recipe makes the tastiest meatloaf with a unique and delicious flavor while still delivering the traditional dish we all know and love. It’s so easy to make the sauce that goes with it, and it’s the perfect finishing touch to this hearty meal.

close up overhead shot of slices of meatloaf on a wooden board

MEATLOAF RECIPE INGREDIENTS

meatloaf raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need: 

For the Meatloaf

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

For the Sauce

  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

MEAT LOAF RECIPE SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

PROTEIN: When making this dish, you can swap out the lean hamburger for another type of ground meat if you’d like. Ground chicken meatloaf or ground turkey meatloaf are two other good options.

ONIONS: If you’re not a fan of onions, this recipe can be made without them.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Sauté the onion before mixing it into the beef mixture. Sautéing will release the onion’s flavors, making your meatloaf even more flavorful.

HOW TO MAKE THIS MEATLOAF RECIPE

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a large loaf pan with nonstick spray.

STEP TWO: Place all of the meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl.

meatloaf ingredients added to a bowl

STEP THREE: Mix with spoons or hands until fully combined.

PRO TIP:

While messy, mixing the raw meatloaf mixture with your hands is the best way to make sure all the ingredients are well combined.

Do not overmix the meatloaf mixture. Overmixing will make the meatloaf dry and dense.

STEP FOUR: Shape the meat mixture into a loaf shape and place it into a well-greased loaf pan.

meatloaf in a baking dish and sauce ingredients being combined in a saucepan

STEP FIVE: Combine all of the ingredients for the sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Then simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.

STEP SIX: Pour half of the sauce over the top of the meatloaf.

sauce being poured on top of meatloaf

STEP SEVEN: Place pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

STEP EIGHT: Remove the meatloaf pan from the oven and add the rest of the sauce. Then, return to the oven and bake for another 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F on a meat thermometer.

meatloaf after being baked in a baking dish

STEP NINE: Remove from the oven and let the meatloaf rest a bit before slicing.

PRO TIP:

Letting the meatloaf rest is an important step in this delicious recipe. It makes the meatloaf easier to slice but also allows time to lock in the juices.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH MEATLOAF

This flavorful meatloaf recipe is the ultimate comfort food and is perfect for an everyday meal. Add green beans and mashed potatoes or dinner rolls on the side.

Our blueberry cobbler would be a perfect end to this cozy meal.

For two more way to enjoy this classic comfort food, try our crockpot meatloaf and muffin pan meatloaf.

HOW TO STORE THIS MEATLOAF RECIPE

IN THE FRIDGE: Store leftover meatloaf in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in aluminum foil. Place in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

IN THE FREEZER: This traditional meatloaf recipe can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap the meatloaf tightly in plastic wrap and foil.

Then, place it in a freezer bag. Defrost meatloaf in the fridge before reheating.

close up overhead shot of slices of meatloaf on a wooden board

This homemade meatloaf recipe is a classic home-style meal. Lean ground beef is mixed with a savory combination of seasonings and then topped off with a delicious tangy glaze.

You can’t go wrong with this simple traditional dinner for busy weeknights.

MEATLOAF FAQs

How do I make sure my meatloaf doesn’t turn out dry?

Dry meatloaf can be a result of overmixing. Only mix the meat until all the ingredients are combined. The other key to moist meatloaf is adding moisture at every step.

For best results, don’t skip adding any of the wet seasonings including the eggs, tomato paste, mustard, or Worcestershire. They add both flavor and texture, while also making the meat super juicy.

What is the best meat for meatloaf?

Lean meat is perfect for this easy meatloaf recipe. An 80/20 meat mixture is just right as you want a bit of fat for flavor but you don’t want your meatloaf swimming in grease.

How long should I cook meatloaf for?

The cooking time will depend on the amount of beef you are using. Make sure your meat reaches an internal temperature of 160°F.

What ingredient keeps meatloaf from falling apart?

There are three components that help keep the meatloaf from falling apart. First, you will want to use ground beef with a high fat content as it helps to bind the ingredients together. Similarly, eggs also act as a binder. Finally, breadcrumbs or oatmeal will help absorb any excess moisture and hold the ingredients together.

Do you bake meatloaf covered or uncovered?

Our recipe instructs you to bake your meatloaf uncovered and we find that adding the sauce partway through cooking will help keep your meatloaf moist while it is in the oven.

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close up overhead shot of slices of meatloaf on a wooden board

Meatloaf

5 from 84 votes
This meatloaf recipe is made of lean ground beef mixed with a savory combination of seasonings and topped off with a delicious homemade meatloaf sauce.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

Meatloaf

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 pounds lean hamburger
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Sauce

  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a large loaf pan with nonstick spray.
  • Place all of the meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl
  • Mix with spoons or hands until fully combined.
  • Shape into a loaf and place into a well-greased loaf pan
  • Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a small saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Pour half of the sauce over the meatloaf.
  • Place pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and add the rest of the sauce. Then return to the oven and bake for another 45 minutes or until the internal temp reaches 160°F.
  • Remove from the oven and let it rest a bit before slicing.

Video

Notes

  • Sauté the onion before mixing it into the beef mixture. Sautéing will release the onion’s flavors, making your meatloaf even more flavorful.
  • While messy, mixing the raw meatloaf mixture with your hands is the best way to make sure all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Do not overmix the meatloaf mixture. Overmixing will make the meatloaf dry and dense.
  • Letting the meatloaf rest is an important step in this delicious recipe. It makes the meatloaf easier to slice but also allows time to lock in the juices.

Nutrition

Sodium: 937mg | Calcium: 101mg | Vitamin C: 4mg | Vitamin A: 264IU | Sugar: 12g | Fiber: 2g | Potassium: 791mg | Cholesterol: 150mg | Calories: 369kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Fat: 11g | Protein: 38g | Carbohydrates: 28g | Iron: 5mg
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  1. Violet says

    5 stars
    Made this for my family tonight and it came out sooo good! My ketchup already had sugar in it so I skipped the brown sugar but definitely added Worcestershire for the sauce. My house smelled so good and it was so hard waiting for dinner to be done! It was mouthwatering, I would make again.

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