A traditional classic Easy Meatloaf Recipe! This meatloaf is tender, juicy and really flavorful! It’s satisfying and extremely easy to make!
Who doesn’t love a good meatloaf? It’s our comfort food, it’s what Sunday suppers are all about! But nobody wants a dry or dense meatloaf. They should be tender and juicy, yet not fall apart on you. We all want a meatloaf that is flavorful and when you bite into one, you get a taste explosion in your mouth. Delicious and comforting.
While meatloaves are the farthest thing from a fancy meal, its hominess is what makes them so incredible. By combining a handful of basic ingredients, we end up with a hearty and comforting meal. I’m talking tender, savory bites of meatloaf glazed with ketchup! It’s the best thing ever!
The great thing about meatloaf is that the ingredients are common ingredients we’re likely to already have in our pantry or our fridge.
Basic main ingredients:
- Ground Beef
Other optional additions to flavor the meatloaf:
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Spices like salt and pepper
- Tomato paste
- Herbs like parsley or oregano
How to make meatloaf
Making meatloaf is probably one of the easiest things to do. If prepared properly, meatloaf can be perfectly juicy and flavorful.
Once all your ingredients are prepped, all that’s required is to mix them all together until everything is just combined. Do not to over mix the ingredients, since this could cause the loaf to be dense.
Don’t be afraid to season the loaf properly. You want as much flavor in your meatloaf as possible. All that’s left to do is to shape the meat mixture into a loaf and place it on a baking sheet that’s lined with aluminum foil. I love this method because you’re not dirtying up any loaf pans or baking sheets. If the meatloaf is made properly it will hold its form.
The most important step to making a great tasting meatloaf, if I do say so myself, is to brush the top of the loaf with ketchup or your favorite BBQ sauce. This really does add a lot of flavor to the meatloaf.
How long to cook meatloaf
The best temperature to cook the meatloaf at is 350 F degrees and it requires about 1 hour, give or take a few minutes, depending on size and shape. 1 hour should be more than enough for a 2 pound meatloaf.
However, the best way to tell when the meatloaf is done cooking is to use an instant read thermometer and when the internal temperature reaches 155 F degrees the loaf is done.
Do not cut into the meatloaf right away, allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes after cooking. This will ensure it doesn’t fall apart and it will retain all its juices.
How to serve
Other sides to consider are these:
- Baked Potatoes
- Mushroom Arugula Warm Salad
- Italian Roasted Mushrooms and Veggies
- Loaded Scalloped Potatoes
Store leftover meatloaf in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
Yes! Meatloaf freezes well. The great thing is that you can freeze it before or after cooking. To freeze it before cooking, place the meatloaf in a loaf pan and wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, then in foil and freeze. Thaw it out in the refrigerator for about 18 hours before placing it in the oven to bake.
To freeze it after cooking, allow it to cool completely. You can either freeze it in individual slices, wrapped up tightly in plastic wrap or wrap up the whole loaf tightly in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped up slices or loaf into a large freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
If you’re freezing individual slices, you can reheat them in the microwave oven, otherwise I like to place the frozen loaf on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper in the oven at 350 F degrees until heated through.
More easy recipes to try:
- Harissa Roasted Chicken and Potatoes
- Instant Pot Beef Stew
- Chicken Bacon Pasta with Tomato Sauce
- Lemon Dill Pan Fried Salmon
- Creamy Parmesan Orzo with Chicken and Asparagus
Easy Meatloaf Recipe
- 1 medium onion, grated, or finely chopped
- 1 cup breadcrumbs, I used Panko
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 small carrot, shredded or finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup parsley, fresh, chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 lb ground beef
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1/2 tsp pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 cup ketchup, or BBQ sauce
- Heat oven: Heat your oven to 350 F degrees. Line a baking sheet or a baking dish with aluminum foil.
- Prepare meatloaf mixture: Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix well using your clean hands. Do not over mix the ingredients to avoid creating a dense loaf.
- Shape loaf: Transfer the meatloaf mixture to the prepared baking sheet or baking dish. Shape it into a loaf roughly 9 inches by 5 inches. If using a loaf pan, just pat the meatloaf mixture into the pan.
- Add ketchup: Spread 1/4 cup of the ketchup mixture over the meatloaf and reserve the other 1/4 cup for later.
- Bake: Bake the meatloaf for 45 minutes, then spread with the remaining 1/4 cup of ketchup.
- Bake the loaf for another 10 to 15 minutes (about 1 hour total), until the middle of the loaf registers at least 155°F on an instant-read thermometer.
- Cool before slicing: Let the loaf cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. If you baked your meatloaf in a loaf pan, carefully drain off the liquid fat before transferring the meatloaf to a cutting board. Cut into thick slices and serve.
- Store leftover meatloaf in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
- You can also freeze it, either in individual slices, wrapped up tightly in plastic wrap or wrap up the whole loaf tightly in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped up slices or loaf into a large freezer bag and freeze.