Easy Meatloaf Recipe – Tender and juicy homemade meatloaf topped with a sweet glaze. Simple to make and ready in less than an hour!
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, Hawaiian haystacks and grilled cheese with tomato soup.
Meatloaf 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….comfort food at it’s finest!
What I love about this 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 glaze on top. Plus it can even be made ahead of time and is freezer-friendly. My kind of meal!
How to make meatloaf
Step 1: Combine meatloaf ingredients in bowl
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 overmix or the meat won’t be as tender.
Step 2: Press mixture into pan
Press the meatloaf 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.
Step 3: Mix together meatloaf sauce
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.
Step 4: Bake the homemade meatloaf
Bake meatloaf at 375°F for 45 minutes, or until the meat reaches 160°F.
Tips for the best meatloaf
Use 80-90% lean ground beef
Using 80-90% lean ground beef will make the meatloaf super tender and juicy. You can also use 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
I like to use 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.
Make sure not to over mix the meatloaf mixture. Mix just until combined. An over mixed meatloaf won’t be as tender and soft.
Make-ahead + Freezing
Meatloaf is a great meal to make ahead and is also freezer-friendly. Both are perfect for planning in advance!
To make ahead:
You can easily prep this meatloaf recipe ahead of time. Simply combine the meat mixture in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. You can also mix together the sauce in advance too. Then store both in the refrigerator until using.
Right before baking, shape the meatloaf and add the meatloaf sauce.
I recommend freezing the meatloaf before cooking. Press the meatloaf in a loaf pan and cover tightly with saran wrap. Alternatively, you can form meatloaf into a loaf shape and wrap tightly with saran wrap. Store meatloaf in freezer for 2-3 months.
To thaw, place in fridge overnight. Then bake at 375°F for 45 minutes.
More comfort foods:
- Shepherd’s Pie
- Chicken Pot Pie
- Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Chicken and Dumplings
- Crockpot Lasagna
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- 2 pounds 80-90% lean ground meat , you could also use turkey or do half pork too
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup beef broth , or milk
- 2 large eggs , whisked
- 2-3 Tablespoons fresh parsley , finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tablespoons ketchup
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
Meatloaf Sauce Ingredients:
- 2/3 cup ketchup or BBQ sauce , you could mix half and half
- 2-3 Tablespoons brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet or 9x5" loaf pan with foil. Lightly spray with non-stick spray and set aside.
- Combine the meat, breadcrumbs, broth or milk, eggs, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder in a large bowl. Mix just until 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. Then pour over top of the meatloaf. Add pepper on top if desired.
- Bake meatloaf for 45 minutes, or until the meat reaches 160°F.