Meatloaf featured image
This delicious meatloaf tastes just like mom used to make, with a simple seasoned ground beef mixture and sweet and tangy glaze on top. Quick and easy to prepare, this loaf is moist, juicy, and perfectly flavored.
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Table of Contents
  1. The Best Classic Meatloaf
  2. Why We Love This Traditional Meatloaf Recipe
  3. Meatloaf Ingredients
  4. Substitutions and Additions
  5. Recommended Tools
  6. How to Make Meatloaf
  7. The Secret to Moist Meatloaf
  8. What Side Dishes Go With Meatloaf?
  9. Should Meatloaf Be Made in Loaf Pan or Baking Sheet?
  10. Tip for the Best Meatloaf
  11. How to Store Meatloaf
  12. Frequently Asked Questions
  13. Meatloaf Recipe

This is the BEST classic Meatloaf recipe, it’s easy to make, inexpensive, and can be customized with ingredients you have on hand.

Whether you’re looking to recreate grandma’s special recipe or just want an easy weeknight dish, this meatloaf is the perfect plate of homemade comfort food to feed your hungry family.

Meatloaf hero image

The Best Classic Meatloaf

This old-school classic meatloaf recipe is the perfect comfort food and it’s so easy to make!

This recipe takes just 15 minutes of prep time, making it a great option for busy weeknights. The combination of ground beef, onion, tangy ketchup, and flavorful herbs with its sweet and tangy ketchup glaze on top, makes this dish an instant family favorite.

The trick to a tender and juicy, flavorful meatloaf is to not overcook it – the internal temperature should reach 160°F before removing it from the oven.

Serve this dish with a side of mashed potatoes or Garlic Green Beans for a cozy, comforting meal that everyone will love!

Why We Love This Traditional Meatloaf Recipe

  • Quick and easy to make in 15 minutes.
  • Uses simple kitchen staple ingredients.
  • Leftovers make terrific sandwiches for lunch or dinner.
  • Tastes like mom’s classic meatloaf recipe, but better because it’s made easier.
  • Perfect family-friendly meal that is full of flavor and keep you full.
Meatloaf ingredients

Meatloaf Ingredients

  • Lean ground beef
  • Egg
  • Dry bread crumbs or fresh bread crumbs
  • Milk
  • Ketchup
  • Parsley flakes
  • Minced onion flakes
  • Seasoned salt
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Substitutions and Additions

  • Bind Without Breadcrumbs: You can use dried stuffing mix or crushed crackers instead of breadcrumbs if you prefer.
  • Boost The Beef Flavor: Feel free to add Worcestershire sauce, beef bouillon, minced garlic, thyme, or any other seasoning to the meat mixture for a boost of bold flavor.
2 slices of Meatloaf on a plate
  • Baking dish (at least 7×11 inches)
  • Non stick cooking spray
  • Mixing bowl
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How to Make Meatloaf

  1. Make The Meat Mixture: Mix all ingredients together, except for the reserved parsley flakes and ketchup for topping.
  2. Prepare The Pan: Shape the meat into a loaf and place in the pan. Top with ketchup to fully cover.
  3. Bake: Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour or until the internal temperature reaches at least 160°F.
  4. Serve: Garnish, slice, and serve. Enjoy!
collage meatloaf

The Secret to Moist Meatloaf

The secret to moist meatloaf is milk. Although using milk in a meat mixture may sound strange, the milk, combined with the egg and ketchup hydrates the breadcrumbs that create the binder for the beef. Thus, the loaf cooks moist and tender and tastes delicious!

What Side Dishes Go With Meatloaf?

Meatloaf pairs perfectly with so many side dishes. Some of my favorites include my loaded mashed potatoes, cauliflower mac and cheese, Crack Potatoes, twice baked potatoes, honey butter skillet corn, and broccoli slaw.

eating Meatloaf with ketchup

Should Meatloaf Be Made in Loaf Pan or Baking Sheet?

Baking meatloaf in a loaf pan or baking sheet is a matter of personal preference. In my opinion, loaf pans cause the bottom of the meat to become a bit soggy because they don’t allow for enough evaporation. A baking sheet, on the other hand, leaves my meatloaf juicy and perfectly tender because it permits more evaporation.

Tip for the Best Meatloaf

  • Put the meat in a dish bigger than the meatloaf so it can breathe and won’t pool with grease.
  • Be sure to round the top. If it’s too flat or concave, grease will pool on the top.

How to Store Meatloaf

  • To Store: Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days.
  • To Freeze: To freeze, separate pieces with waxed paper, place in a freezer bag, and freeze for up to 3 months.
meatloaf with sauce

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I prepare meatloaf in advance?

Yes, you can prepare your meatloaf in advance. Just make the meat mixture, cover the baking dish with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it until you’re ready to bake it. Let it come to room temperature before placing it in the oven.

Should you bake meatloaf covered or uncovered?

You should not cover the meatloaf when baking in the oven. You want the beef to brown and the ketchup glaze to caramelize on top.

What can I top the meatloaf with other than ketchup?

If you don’t like ketchup on top, you can top it with beef gravy or tomato soup in the last 15 minutes of baking.

Meatloaf sliced on a plate

More Easy Comfort Food Dinners

5 from 1 vote
Meatloaf featured image

Meatloaf

Serves — 6
This delicious meatloaf tastes just like mom used to make, with a simple seasoned ground beef mixture and sweet and tangy glaze on top. Quick and easy to prepare, this loaf is moist, juicy, and perfectly flavored.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins

Ingredients
  

  • lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup dry bread crumbs or 1½ cup fresh bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • tablespoons parsley flakes divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Extra ketchup for topping

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a baking dish (at least 7×11 inches) with cooking spray.
  • Mix all ingredients except for ½ tablespoon of parsley flakes and the extra ketchup for topping.
  • Shape into a loaf and place into the pan. Top with ketchup until the top of the loaf is fully covered (I used about ¼ cup).
  • Bake for 1 hour or until the internal temperature reaches at least 160°F.
  • Garnish with remaining ½ tablespoon parsley (fresh or dried). Slice and serve.

Jenn’s Notes

Storage:
  • To Store: Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days.
  • To Freeze: To freeze, separate pieces with waxed paper, place in a freezer bag, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Tips:
  • Put the meat in a dish bigger than the meatloaf so it can breathe and won’t pool with grease.
  • Be sure to round the top. If it’s too flat or concave, grease will pool on the top.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 1023mg | Potassium: 492mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 118IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 3mg
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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