This easy meatloaf recipe is tender, juicy and topped with a sweet glaze. Simple to make and ready in less than an hour!
Table of Contents
Favorite Comfort Meal
Meatloaf is one of those nostalgic meals that we enjoyed as a family growing up. It’s a dish that reminds me of my childhood, along with sloppy joe’s, pot roast and grilled cheese with tomato soup.
This is one of the first meals that comes to mind when I think of comfort food. It may not look the prettiest, but it sure does taste amazing. Especially paired with mashed potatoes and green beans!
What I love about this classic meatloaf recipe is that it’s so easy to make and done in less than one hour. It’s perfectly tender and juicy with a sweet meatloaf sauce on top. You could even add some variety and make it a cheese stuffed meatloaf.
Plus it can even be made ahead of time and is freezer-friendly. Perfect for busy nights!
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Ground beef: I like to use 80-90% ground beef to keep the meatloaf super tender and juicy.
- Bread crumbs: You can make your own homemade breadcrumbs (toasted first) or use panko to help hold the ingredients together and give it texture.
- Broth: I use beef broth instead of milk to add more flavor.
- Eggs: These act as the binder and allows the meatloaf to hold its shape.
- Parsley: I love the taste of fresh parsley against all the other flavors.
- Worcestershire: This gives an extra dash of umami to the meatloaf.
- Ketchup: The sweetness and acid work perfectly with the beef and other seasonings. It also helps to add some moisture.
- Seasonings: It doesn’t take much to make this dish big on flavor: salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.
- Glaze: A simple mix of ketchup and/or BBQ sauce and brown sugar makes the perfect glaze to this traditional meatloaf.
You can also make crockpot meatloaf with this recipe. Simply line your slow cooker with parchment, form the meat into a loaf shape and cook until the meat reaches 160°F. Then add the meatloaf sauce on top!
How to Make Homemade Meatloaf
- Mix. In a large bowl, combine the meat, breadcrumbs, broth, eggs, parsley, Worcestershire, ketchup, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Mix just until combined. Don’t over mix or the meat won’t be as tender.
- Glaze. In a small bowl, mix together the ketchup and/or BBQ sauce and brown sugar. Then pour over top of the meatloaf. Add pepper on top if desired.
- Shape. Press the mixture into a foil-lined (and sprayed) 9×5″ loaf pan. You can also use a foil-lined baking sheet and form the mixture into a loaf shape on the pan.
- Bake. Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes, or until the meat reaches 160°F.
- Use 80-90% lean ground beef. This makes the meatloaf super tender and juicy. You can also make turkey meatloaf with ground turkey but it will not be quite as juicy (but still plenty flavorful though). Sometimes I like to mix half turkey and half hamburger to make it a little more lean.
- Beef broth instead of milk. The broth adds a heartier flavor and just makes more sense to me. But you can absolutely use milk if preferred.
- Don’t over mix! Mix just until combined, making sure not to over mix the meat mixture. An over mixed meatloaf won’t be as tender and soft.
- Use a meat thermometer. Once the internal temperature of the meat has reached 160°F, you can remove it from the oven.
- Add some heat. If you prefer a little heat, add some red pepper flakes into the meat mixture or a few dashes of sriracha to the sauce.
- Mini muffins. Turn into mini meatloaf muffins by pressing the meat mixture into a muffin tin.
Favorite Sides for Serving
There are so many delicious side dishes to serve along the best meatloaf recipe. Here are a few of my favorite sides:
5 star review
“My husband didn’t really care for meatloaf…UNTIL now!! I searched for a recipe that would be fast and easy with ingredients already at home. THIS has been made 3x and I’m making it a 4th time tonight.”-LadyRam2006
Use 80-85% lean beef. You can even add a little bit of ground pork in there as well to make it extra tender and flavorful.
This tends to happen when the mixture gets over mixed and the ground beef loses some of its structure. You want to make sure you don’t over mix when you add ingredients to keep the meatloaf tender and moist.
No you do not need to cover the top with foil. However, for an extra moist meatloaf you can cover the first 20 minutes of baking and then add the sauce after that point.
No but a thermometer will make sure you know right when your meatloaf is perfectly cooked. It should read 160°F.
You can test the meatloaf with a metal fork to see if it is cooked. Poke the fork into the center of the loaf and if it is met with little resistance, it is more than likely done. If, however, it is still pink, put it immediately back in the oven and continue cooking.
Yes you can definitely freeze the meatloaf, but I do recommend freezing before baking and adding the sauce later.
Make Ahead + Freezing
To make in advance: You can easily prep this recipe ahead of time. Simply combine the meat mixture in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. You can also mix together the glaze in advance too. Then store both in the refrigerator until using. Right before baking, shape the meatloaf and add the glaze.
To freeze: I recommend freezing the meatloaf before cooking. Press the meat in a loaf pan and cover tightly with saran wrap. Alternatively, you can form into a loaf shape and wrap tightly with saran wrap. Store in freezer for 2-3 months. To thaw, place in fridge overnight. Then bake at 375°F for 45 minutes.
Looking for meatloaf recipes? Try BBQ meatloaf, turkey meatloaf or these meatloaf muffins!
More Comfort Food Dinner Ideas
HUNGRY FOR MORE? Subscribe to my newsletter and follow on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for all the newest recipes!
- 2 pounds 80%-90% ground beef , or ground turkey or 1 pound ground pork and 1 pound ground beef
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- ⅓ cup beef broth , or milk
- 2 large eggs , whisked
- 2-3 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tablespoons ketchup
- 1 ¼ teaspoons Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ⅔ cup ketchup or BBQ sauce , you could mix half and half
- 2-3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet or 9×5-inch loaf pan with foil. Lightly spray with non-stick spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the beef, breadcrumbs, broth, eggs, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder until just combined. Don't overmix or the meat won't be as tender.
- Press into the loaf pan or form the mixture into a loaf shape on the pan.
- In a small bowl, mix together the ketchup and/or BBQ sauce and brown sugar. Pour over the top of the meatloaf. Add pepper on top, if desired.
- Bake 45 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reaches 160°F. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting into slices.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
This meatloaf was delicious!! Adding it to our dinner rotation!
Yup, this really is the best. And even my youngest who claims to hate meatloaf loved this!
I did half BBQ sauce, half ketchup, and 2 Tbsp brown sugar for the glaze, and it was awesome! Meatloaf gets a bad rap, but I don’t know why. My whole family loved it!
Glad to hear your family loved the meatloaf recipe :D
My family loves the topped sweet glazed in this delicious meatloaf, it is a hit! Need to keep this for our next family gathering. Thanks Jamielyn for this easy and wonderful recipe!
Not usually a fan of meatloaf but this stuff is really good! Thanks for sharing.
Glad this recipe was worth taking a chance. Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving.
I make this with 50/50 ground beef and ground mutton to use up mutton I have in the freezer, which by itself is a bit strong. This is fabulous! I use crushed cheese-garlic croutons in place of bread crumbs.
Mmm the cheese-garlic croutons sound like a delicious substitution. So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Wanda!
This was an excellent recipe. Some of my family claim they don’t like meatloaf. They admitted this was my best ever and to put this in the dinner rotation.
Love to hear it was a hit with your family! Thanks so much for your comment and review, Leslie :)
I made this meatloaf with 1 1/2 ground beef and 1/4 venison with all the rest of the ingredients.
Awesome meat loaf.
Glad you enjoyed it, Linda!
This one was incredible!! I braised it at the end to give it more of a crisp on top. 10/10 recommend
Great idea! So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Morgan :)
Greetings! This recipe is so like my mom’s. Hers was simple and so tasty (she always used a packet of onion soup mix). I am now 70 and have made every imaginable version of meatloaf and have now found the simple, original recipe suits my tastebuds just right! Loved this one!
You are so welcome, Maria! I hope you enjoy the recipe :)