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
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 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 the 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?
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:
- In a large bowl add 90% lean ground beef.
- Then, add dried Italian bread crumbs and some diced onion.
- Add dried parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add moisture: Using milk is important because it gives this homemade recipe the needed moisture. So try not to skip it.
- 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.
- 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 once.
- 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 it apart.
Why does my meat loaf always fall apart?
- As stated above, it is important to use leaner meat but mixed in 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 meat loaf. 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:
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Rice and Bean
- Instant Pot Roasted Potatoes
- Instant Pot Corn on the cob
- Oven Roasted Bok Choy
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.
- Fell 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!
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.
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 1 hour Total time: 1 hr 15 mins