Best Meatloaf Recipe [Video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 54 reviews

Beef Main Dishes Recipes

Cook time Cook time: 1 hour

Meatloaf Recipe that is flavorful and juicy on the inside, with a delicious glaze spread on the outside. This dish is easy to make for dinner and is guaranteed to be your favorite homemade comfort food. It is the best meatloaf recipe you can get, with minimal preparation work required.

This easy meatloaf recipe will quickly win you over. It is so rich and tender, that you will not get enough of it. Serve it alongside Crispy Roasted Potatoes, Creamy Mashed Potatoes,  or Mac and Cheese Casserole for a complete meal.

Homemade Classic Meatloaf  Recipe

This easy Meatloaf Recipe is our family’s favorite dinner meal because it is packed with delicious flavors. The best part is that it’s simple to make, cheap, and can feed a larger crowd. Simply, assemble the meatloaf, put it in the pan, and let the oven do all the work. As a result, you will be rewarded with the most amazing, tender, and juicy meal.

Classic meatloaf should not be hard to make. And this is exactly what we will present in this recipe. It requires affordable ingredients, such as ground beef, bread crumbs, onions, and parsley. And to finish it off perfectly, top the dish with the most amazing caramelized shiny glaze.

What is the secret to the best meatloaf recipe?

We have made a variety of meatloaf recipes and with certainty would say that using leaner ground beef is part of the secret. Many people think that the opposite is true. But our experience tells us otherwise.

The main problem in using high-fat ground beef is that once cooked, it makes a greasy mess. Also, since you will be mixing the lean beef with milk, egg, ketchup, and onion, it will help the meatloaf to be kept juicy and moist. More importantly, it will keep the shape intact, and give the dish the perfect look.

Similarly, it is crucial not to overmix it, as it might result in tough and rubbery meat.

How to Make the Perfect Meatloaf Glaze?

The glaze is just as important as the meat itself. Therefore, you want to make sure you have the right glaze to top the meatloaf. Our great glaze for meatloaf has the right balance. It is not too sweet and not too tart. Half is spread over the meat before baking, and the other half is added on during baking. This gives the meal a classic, and homemade taste.

We use a mixture of ketchup, tomato paste, chili sauce, a hint of light brown sugar, and some cider vinegar. This simple yet delicious sauce truly compliments the dish completely. It has a perfect balance and gives the meal a rich and flavorful taste. Don’t skip it!

How to make Meatloaf from scratch?

This is a simple classic dish that should be ready in no time. For a quick reference, please watch the recipe video attached. But the general steps are as follows: 

  1. In a large bowl add 90% lean ground beef.
  2. Then, add dried Italian bread crumbs and some diced onion.
  3. Add dried parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  4. Next, add milk, an egg. The ketchup-based sauce will be used to spread over the loaf before baking, and also during baking.

This recipe is very easy to make. However, it is important to note a few crucial steps to ensure the perfect dish.

  1. Do not overmix the ingredients: As stated above, do not overmix the ingredients. This will cause the dish to be dense and not very juicy.
  2. Add moisture: Using milk is important because it gives this homemade recipe the needed moisture. So try not to skip it.
  3. Glaze it properly: Brush the loaf with sauce during cooking. This will ensure the flavor is locked in, and also add some moisture to it.
  4. Let it rest: Once cooked, let it rest for about 10 minutes. This helps with flavors to soak in, and also makes sure it won’t fall apart.

How to shape the meatloaf?

There are a few ways you could do that. You could either:

  • Place it in a loaf pan. This is a quick and easy option, which also results in a uniform shape. The negative to it is that it may result in soggy edges instead of crispy ones.
  • Another option, which we mostly use, manually form a loaf about 8″x4″ size and place it onto a baking tray. This might take a few extra minutes to do, but is what gives the loaf a homemade look. Also, this guarantees to have crispy edges throughout.

How long to cook meatloaf?

The cooking time will vary based on size. For our dish, we use 2lb beef, which needs to be cooked at 400°F (200°C) for about 45 minutes. Then, spread a little more sauce on top and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until the glaze is nice and sticky.

Below you can find the general oven cooking time for a 2lb meatloaf:

  • If baked at 350 degrees F, go with about 55-65 minutes.
  • If baked at 375 degrees F,  go with about 50-55 minutes.
  • At 400 degrees F, the cooking time should be about 45-50 minutes.

Remember, to check the internal temperature of the meat with a thermometer. This is the best way to ensure an accurate reading. Fully cooked, it should have an internal temperature of 160°F. Lastly, let your meatloaf rest for 10 minutes before slicing to allow the juices to absorb into it. Also, resting will ensure not to fall apart.


Absolutely! However, I prefer the classical way to make it using a loaf pan because it keeps all the glaze in place perfectly and the meat is juicier. Also, the shape is absolutely adorable. 

But, you could bake it on a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Simply, shape the loaf, glaze it, and then bake. 

Why does my meatloaf always fall apart?

  • As stated above, it is important to use leaner meat but mixed it with milk and breadcrumbs. Usually, if fatty ground beef is used, especially with too much liquid, when cooked, the fat gets out, and the dish could fall apart.
  • To avoid this problem, use leaner ground beef, but balanced out with eggs, milk, and bread crumbs. These are key ingredients for a perfect meatloaf. It will also help keep the dish together and give it a correct balance.
  • Similarly, you could add some cheese to the mix. This will also help it keep its form while maintaining a puffy look.

What to serve with meatloaf?

Some great suggestions are listed below:

What to do with leftover Meatloaf?

If you end up with leftovers, we have some great ideas on how to utilize it: 

Can you freeze meatloaf?

You can absolutely freeze it. Simply cover it tightly with plastic wrap and foil and then place it in the freezer. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost frozen meatloaf in the refrigerator the night before consuming.

Easy Meatloaf Recipe Tips:

  • As stated above, use leaner ground beef. This will result in a moist and great-looking dish. 
  • Do not overmix the ingredients as it can make the dish dense, which you want to avoid. 
  • Also, ensure to chop the onion finely. This way, it integrates nicely with the ground beef. 
  • Feel free to shape the loaf on your own. Alternatively, you can use a loaf pan.
  • We love using cheddar cheese as it adds more flavor to it while keeping the meatloaf extremely juicy and moist. However, you can use other cheeses as well. 
  • After baking it, let it rest for about 10 minutes to absorb all the flavors. It will also redistribute the juices! 

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5 from 54 reviews

Homemade Meatloaf Recipe

Meatloaf Recipe that is flavorful and juicy on the inside, with a delicious glaze spread on the outside. This dish is easy to make for dinner and is guaranteed to be your favorite homemade comfort food.

Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 8 slices
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 1 hour Total time: 1 hr 15 mins



Meatloaf Glaze:


Make Meatloaf:

Meatloaf Glaze:


Nutrition information

Calories: 342 Carbohydrates: 20 Protein: 25 Fat: 24 Saturated Fat: 10 Cholesterol: 101 Sodium: 435 Potassium: 402 Fiber: 1 Sugar: 10 Vitamin A: 300 Vitamin C: 2.1 Calcium: 159 Iron: 3.5
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Love it for dinner and next day for cold sandwiches. Yummy !


It is amazing on sandwiches, I also like to add some red pepper jelly mmmm!


Christine Miller

I am 52 years old, have raised a family, and over the years it became a joke that “mom” just couldn’t make a good meatloaf to save her life. I am here to tell you that during this epidemic and quarantining with family, they jokingly asked to have another go at it. I found your recipe, tried it, and am happy to say it was not only a good meatloaf, but the best any of them had ever tried!!! You have redeemed me, and I thank you!!!


I am so happy that you enjoyed it, we make this recipe quite often.



Can a different liquid be used besides milk?


You can use a dairy free milk.



The recipe was yummy. I followed the written recipe exactly. It fed my family of six, and we still had leftovers! Even the picky 11 yr old enjoyed it.


Tony DeLuna

If I’m making this with just 1lb of meat, as there’s just two of us, can I safely just cut the remaining ingredients in half and expect the same results?




Jeannine Bianchi

Excellent even though I forgot to add the cheese.



I just made it and the whole gang devoured it. I have an aspiring high school chef and is so picky always rating the recipes I make and he gave it 💯. Thanks so much for sharing, looking forward to follow you and make other delicious recipes.



My favorite meatloaf recipe. I accidentally put the top layer in the mixture and my family said “it is over the top yummy”. Great recipe. Thank you



Amazing!!!!! Meatloaf reminds me of my mom cooking when I was a child. Absolutely great!!!!


Luna Regina

This looks near perfect. Thanks for sharing.


Thank you, this is a great recipe!



I made this tonight. WOW! My family loved it. The meatloaf was so tender, moist and tasty. The glaze is the star. I will make 1 1/2 times the recipe for dipping. Loved the tips as well.


Thank you Kim! Glad you enjoyed it!



Thank you for this wonderful recipe. It has all the flavors to balance out the the wonderful taste. It is our favorite. I only made meatloaf occasionally. Now I make it every few weeks. Thank you again for sharing.


I am so happy that you loved the recipe. Thank you for the feedback!



It’s the only meatloaf recipe I use now! My family LOVES it!!!


I am so happy that you like it!



I've made this a few times now. Thank you for this recipe. It's definitely a keeper! Always comes out great. ( and I am also the worst meatloaf maker!) I have someone tonight that can't have cheese so I will be trying for the first time without it. I hope it's still as great. Is there something I could add instead of the cheese?


I am so happy you enjoyed the recipe! thanks for the feedback! You can just skip the cheese altogether, or add bacon pieces for a more savory meatloaf.



Great recipe. I like so much.


Happy that you loved it!!!


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