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Meatloaf

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close up overhead shot of slices of meatloaf on a wooden board
This meatloaf recipe is a classic dish made of lean ground beef mixed with a savory combination of seasonings, topped off with a homemade delicious meatloaf sauce.
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Table of Contents
  1. MEATLOAF INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS MEATLOAF RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. FAQ
  6. MORE RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE
  7. JUMP TO RECIPE

There are many meatloaf recipes that exist, but this is by far my favorite. This recipe makes the tastiest meatloaf. It has 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. You’re going to love this hearty meal.

Here are two more of our most flavorful beef recipes: these Balsamic Glazed Steak Rolls and this classic recipe for Sloppy Joes. What about a great recipe for meatloaf in the slow cooker? Try our crockpot meatloaf.


MORE BEEF RECIPES:
Muffin Pan Meatloaf | Grape Jelly Meatballs


MEATLOAF INGREDIENTS

You will need: 

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

SAUCE

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

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.

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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.

PRO TIP: Sautee the onion before mixing it into the beef mixture. Sauteeing will release the onion’s flavors, making your meatloaf even more flavorful.

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.

PRO TIP: 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.

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.

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.

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.

HOW TO SERVE

Meatloaf is the ultimate comfort food and this flavorful meatloaf 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.

STORAGE

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: Cooked, this traditional meatloaf recipe can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap the meatloaf tightly in plastic wrap and foil. Then, place in a freezer bag. Defrost meatloaf in the fridge before baking.

This homemade meatloaf recipe is a classic home-style meal. Lean ground beef mixed with a savory combination of seasonings then topped off with a delicious tangy glaze. You can’t go wrong with this simple traditional dinner for busy weeknights.

FAQ

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.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

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

Meatloaf

5 from 53 votes
This meatloaf recipe is a classic dish made of lean ground beef mixed with a savory combination of seasonings, topped off with a homemade delicious 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
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

SAUCE

  • 1/2 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 and 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

TIP: Sautee the onion before mixing it into the beef mixture. Sauteeing will release the onion’s flavors, making your meatloaf even more flavorful.
TIP:While messy, mixing the raw meatloaf mixture with your hands is the best way to make sure all the ingredients are well combined.
TIP: Do not overmix the meatloaf mixture. Overmixing will make the meatloaf dry and dense.
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.

Nutrition

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

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    Comments

  1. Hannah Griffin says

    5 stars
    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!

    • Suzzette says

      At what point do you use “the best ever meatloaf sauce” with this meatloaf?
      I’m making the meatloaf tonight and I’m not sure about the best ever sauce. Help?

  2. Kristi Clenney says

    How long would you need to bake this if you half the recipe? I’m cooking for 2 so this is way too much for us. I would either half it, or make 2 smaller loaves and freeze one. Thanks!

  3. Pamela says

    5 stars
    The recipe above lists a sauce of three ingredients- but at the end there is another sauce recipe with many more ingredients including a 16 ounce can of tomatoe sauce and chili powder to name a few – what sauce is this?

  4. April says

    I am going to try out this recipe but I was wondering what kind of breadcrumbs do you typically use? Regular plain ones, Italian style breadcrumbs, or Panko?

    • Layne Kangas says

      I’ve used all of them and it’s really a personal preference kind of thing. I usually grab just regular ones, but I’ve had the others in my pantry and used them just fine before as well. Enjoy 🙂

  5. Cheryl says

    Love this recipe and can’t wait to make it. By any chance can I substitute ground chicken for beef. Please don’t hate me for asking 😊

  6. Angela says

    5 stars
    very good my picky children loved it, thank you for sharing. Next time I will make extra topping to serve on the side

  7. Betty says

    Trying this recipe for the first time , if it turns out tastes as good as it looks I will be one happy cook can’t wait to try it

  8. Darlene says

    I always add bell pepper (finely ground in a food processor) and fennel seeds to my meat loaves. I also use the meatloaf mixture sold in grocery stores rather than just ground beef. Other than that, this is my go to meat loaf recipe!

  9. Samantha Smart says

    I made this a few weeks back – by far the best meatloaf I’ve ever made!! Definitely replaced my old “go to” meatloaf recipe with this one! It was moist, flavorful, DELICIOUS!! Planning to make another one tomorrow! 🙂

  10. Amy says

    5 stars
    I have never had a good recipe for meat loaf until now. One thing that I have learned is to mix all ingredients except meat first. This allows the bread crumbs to become moist. Then mix in meat !! We love this recipe with Brussels Sprouts and potatoes !!! Thank you for the recipe!!

  11. Cynthia says

    5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight and it was the best I’ve ever had. My family devoured it! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Layne Kangas says

      If you Google, there are suggestions for substitutions that you can use – I would check that way to see if you have any of those items on hand 🙂 If not, you could just omit. Enjoy!

  12. Joy says

    5 stars
    Made this recipe a couple of months ago. My husband and I loved it. I just made a double batch and have them in the oven now. Can’t wait to dig into it’s delicious flavors. Thank you so much for sharing.

  13. Tiffany says

    I love this recipe. Although I do use ketchup instead of tomato paste, cracker crumbs instead of bread crumbs, I add celery and I use regular mustard instead of Dijon mustard in the loaf. I make the sauce just as stated. It’s delicious and turns out great! Thanks for sharing.

  14. Bernice says

    5 stars
    Delicious!! Everyone in the family loves it!! We all love the sweet glaze that goes on top too. Thank you and your grandma for this fabulous recipe that will be a definite regular in our home too! ❤️

  15. Karen says

    These were absolutely delicious!! Cooked them in muffin tin. Meat was moist and flavour was soooo good! Use the meat thermometer and removed at 160F. Cooking time on convection oven was 35 min approx.

  16. Kasey says

    5 stars
    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! I had never made meatloaf before but I had a bunch of hamburger meat and some potatoes so I decided meatloaf and mashed potatoes would be great. I didn’t have break crumbs so I used crushed Ritz crackers, I don’t eat onions so I left them out and also subbed ketchup for the tomato paste. It turned out great and my family loved it. Thank you!

  17. Jaclyn says

    5 stars
    I’ve made this several times and my family thinks I’m an amazing cook now. Lol. It is so good.
    How well do you think it would freeze? Should I freeze it raw or cooked?
    Thank you for an amazing recipe.

  18. Mary Shauf says

    I absolutely love this recipe. The only thing I did differently was I substituted Chili sauce in place of
    the tomato paste. Turned out great.

  19. Pam A says

    5 stars
    Hi, Just made this recipe for 8 community members and they loved it!
    Instead of brown sugar I substituted Vermont Maple Syrup-yum
    Thank you!

  20. K says

    Do you put the mini loaves back in after you add the sauce? It didn’t say to, but in the main recipe, it did. Thanks- I’m making it right now 🙂

  21. Tammi says

    5 stars
    This really is the best meatloaf ever! Next time I’m trying the mini meatloafs since it’s very hot weather already where we live. Too hot to bake.

    Does anyone know how this would do cooked in the microwave in a ring shape (to ensure it cooks throughout e meatloaf)?

    • Layne Kangas says

      If it’s half the recipe, I don’t think you’ll need to cook it as long but I haven’t ever halved it so I can’t speak for exactly how long! Enjoy 🙂

  22. Peggy Young says

    5 stars
    Excellent meatloaf. Easy to make, absolutely delicious. Must use this sauce too. Makes the difference especially if you add the red crushed peppers. Either in the sauce or the meatloaf itself, you won’t go wrong.Peggy Young

  23. Lindsey says

    5 stars
    I made this as written and it’s fantastic! Even my 2 year old and husband who “doesn’t like meatloaf” enjoyed it. I’m already thinking about the meatloaf sandwich I’m going to have for lunch tomorrow.

  24. Linda Fisher says

    5 stars
    Never thought I would find a meatloaf as good as my mom’s. Shhh, don’t tell her but we like this better.

  25. Allyson Frazier says

    5 stars
    DELICIOUS! I make twice the amount of the sauce so we have extra to dip in. Very filling and with a 15yr old growing boy that is important!

  26. Teri says

    5 stars
    This is almost the exact recipe I’ve been using for over 30 years! The only difference is the mustard. I use dried mustard. Also, I cook it at different temp, but it’s all the same as long as it gets cooked. 🙂 . Both recipes are excellent! Thanks for posting. I’ve recently found your site and already tried 4 recipes, and here I am back again!

  27. Robin says

    5 stars
    We love this meatloaf recipe! It makes a lot, but that’s ok, we like it leftover. My husband loves meatloaf sandwiches. Have made this several times. It’s so easy and delicious! Thanks for the great recipe.

  28. Wendy says

    Can this be frozen after cooking? I really like meatliaf but no one else in my family does. I’d like to make it and portion out leftovers for me to enjoy later.

      • Cynthia Clark says

        We just ate, and even without the tomato paste this is the best meatloaf I’ve ever had. Thank you for sharing!

  29. Jaclyn says

    5 stars
    I’ve made this several times and the entire family loves it. I’ve even mixed the sauce and put on top of my grilled hamburgers right before they are done.

  30. Virginia says

    Hi. Thank you for posting this recipe. If I freeze uncooked in cupcake tins (will remove from tins to freeze) do I add sauce when freezing or before I cook? Also, can I cook from frozen or must meat be thawed in fridge first?
    Thank you in advance.

    • Layne Kangas says

      You could cook it from frozen but it will definitely take longer. I would suggest thawing overnight in the fridge before cooking. I would add the sauce before cooking. Enjoy!

  31. Barbara Marry says

    5 stars
    I am 82 years old and I recently tried this recipe for meatloaf and I only have one question, ”where has this recipe been all my life’? It is absolutely delicious. I’ve passed the recipe on to some of my friends and they won’t make it any other way either. Thank you so much for sharing.

  32. Bob says

    5 stars
    I have tried several meatloaf recipes. My wife has one that after everything is said is done, is the go to recipe. Now, we have a new winner. Both of us agree this is the best ever meatloaf.

  33. Bonnie T Armstrong says

    5 stars
    This is one of the best meatloaf recipe’s I have tried. I usually make mine from scratch and my husband likes them. My only problem is they turn out differently each time I make them. Your recipe has all the ingredient I use but has the quantity for each ingredients. It will be my go to recipe in the future. Thanks for sharing.

  34. Jean Dupont says

    5 stars
    Great recipe. The only change I made is not using a loaf pan. I find shaping the meat loaf and placing it on a foil covered cookie sheet works better. What do you think?

  35. Sarah Dawne says

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! I do add 1 LB of ground pork and reduce ground beef to 1 LB. Also double ketchup glaze (family ❤’s it😁)

  36. Cricket says

    5 stars
    I cut this recipe with 1lb of lean beef to 1lb of lamb with all the other ingredients. It was AMAZING!! It was an accident, I didn’t have enough beef, but it will put the recipe through the roof. I tried it the second time with just beef and it wasn’t as good. We also added a cheese layer throughout the middle. Delicious!

    • Cricket says

      5 stars
      I also substituted the brown sugar with an 1/8 cup of Monksugar plus a tablespoon of maple syrup. Delicious!

  37. Sharon White says

    5 stars
    This recipe sounds delicious! I usually make Individual Salsa Meatloaves which is another great and fast, easy recipe. I’m making your recipe as is but I shape them into 6 mini meatloaves, it cuts the cooking time in half!
    I have a picture of your recipe right now as they bake but I don’t see where I can attach it.
    Can’t wait to try these with mashed potatoes and a veggie!

    • Layne Kangas says

      I have made ahead of time, then covered in the fridge and baked later. You could also bake it and then just warm through again before you’re ready to serve. Enjoy!

  38. Natalie says

    5 stars
    Hi there! Delicious! This is now my new go-to meatloaf recipe. Husband couldn’t wait to try it haha. Thank you for the recipe. ♥ – Natalie

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