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Meatloaf: a wholesome, hearty recipe that’s packed with flavor

Total time: 70 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist

There's nothing like homemade meatloaf when you're in the mood to make a hearty comfort food dish to delight the taste buds. Made with juicy, moist, tender ground beef seasoned with herbs and spices and topped with a sweet, tangy tomato glaze, this is without a doubt, the best meatloaf you'll ever make.

This simple meatloaf recipe won't fall apart when you slice it, and it tastes nothing like a hamburger – unlike other recipes you'll try. Super quick and easy to make, the best part is that it only takes about 10 minutes to prepare and 1 hour to bake! Give this tasty meatloaf recipe a try – it's sure to become a family favorite!


What is the Best Meat for Homemade Meatloaf?

The best type of meat for meatloaf is lean ground beef. You don't want anything with a high-fat content because it will make the meatloaf greasy. The other ingredients in the meatloaf will give it tender and moist, so you don't need fatty beef.

Ask your butcher for 85 or 90 percent lean ground beef. You can also swap beef out for pork or do a mix of beef and pork if you prefer.

Easy Meatloaf Ingredients

To make the best meatloaf, you'll need lean ground beef, onion, garlic, ketchup, herbs, and spices.

Breadcrumbs and eggs act as binding agents to keep the meatloaf from falling apart.

You'll also need to add milk to the meatloaf mixture – this will keep the dish wonderfully moist and tender.

To make the sweet, tangy meatloaf glaze, you'll need ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic powder, and onion powder, plus a dash of salt and pepper.


How to Make Meatloaf

Making the best meatloaf at home is easier than you may think. Start by gathering your ingredients and preheating your oven to 375F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, making sure to leave a little overhang over the sides to make it easier to remove the meatloaf once it has finished cooking.

Meatloaf Preparation

To make the meatloaf, start by stirring the ground beef, onion, eggs, garlic, ketchup, parsley, panko, milk, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and paprika together in a large bowl. Make sure to mix it well so all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Put the meat into the loaf pan and even it out – this will ensure it bakes evenly.

Baking the Meatloaf 

Put the meatloaf in the oven uncovered, and bake for 40 minutes. Once the meatloaf is in the oven, prepare the glaze. Whisk the ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, garlic and onion powders, salt, and pepper until smooth. Take the meatloaf out of the oven and generously brush the sauce over the top.

Bake it for another 15 to 20 minutes then take it out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. This will help keep the meatloaf nice and juicy. After 10 minutes, slice and serve with your favorite side dishes.

How to Make Meatloaf Glaze

Whipping up the delicious meatloaf glaze is a cinch. All you need to do is put all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisk them, so they're evenly combined. Once the meatloaf has cooked for 40 minutes, take it out and brush it generously with the glaze.

How to Serve Meatloaf

Let the meatloaf rest for about 10 minutes or so once you take it out of the oven. After it's had time to rest, take it out of the loaf pan, slice it, and serve it with your favorite sides – we recommend mashed potatoes, but meatloaf tastes great with a huge variety of complementary dishes!


Tips for the Best Meatloaf

You need breadcrumbs to help keep the meatloaf from falling apart. You can use gluten-free breadcrumbs if you need a gluten-free option.

Overcooking the meatloaf may also cause it to fall apart.

This recipe will also work wonderfully if you use ground turkey instead of ground beef.

What to Do With Meatloaf Leftovers

Leftover meatloaf is brilliant in sandwiches, tacos, or burritos. You can also add it to tomato sauce to make a quick bolognese or chili.

It's also perfect for making cottage pie, stuffed peppers, or mixing with scrambled eggs as part of a hearty breakfast.

What to Serve With Meatloaf

There are loads of tasty side dishes you can serve up with your homemade meatloaf. It's fantastic with creamy mashed potatoes or cauliflower mash, roasted vegetables, homemade dinner rolls or crusty garlic bread, roasted potatoes, green salads, and mac and cheese.


How to Store Meatloaf

Cover or wrap the meatloaf in cling film, then place it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Can You Freeze Meatloaf?

You can freeze your meatloaf before baking it. Wrap it well, then freeze it for up to 2 months.

Defrost in the fridge overnight then bake as instructed.

for the meatloaf
Lean ground beef
2 lbs
Onion, finely chopped
Large eggs
Garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp
fresh parsley, finely chopped
3 tbsp
3/4 cup
Whole Milk
1/3 cup
Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp
ground paprika
1/2 tsp
salt and pepper to taste
for the sauce
3/4 cup
White vinegar
1 1/2 tsp
Brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp
Garlic powder
1 tsp
Onion powder
1/2 tsp
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat your oven to 375F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.

Combine ground beef, onion, eggs, garlic, ketchup, parsley, panko, milk, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and paprika in a large bowl. Mix well.

Transfer the meat mixture to the loaf pan and even it out as needed.

Bake for 40 minutes.

While the meatloaf is baking, whisk the ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, garlic and onion powders, salt, and pepper until smooth.

After 40 minutes, brush the sauce over the meatloaf.

Coat it evenly.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes more.

Remove from oven and let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes.

Slice and serve. Enjoy!


You can use skim milk or plant-based milk if you prefer, however, whole milk will give your meatloaf the best flavor.

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