After hundreds of Meatloaf recipes tested by our expert team, we chose the best Meatloaf recipe of 2021! Learn how to make in 5 easy steps! I think the trick to good meatloaf is using lean ground beef. The problem with a lot of meatloaf recipes is that they call for ground beef with a high fat content. As the meatloaf cooks, the fat cooks out and makes a greasy mess. Not this recipe! You may be thinking, but won’t lean ground beef make the meatloaf dry? Not at all! The milk, egg, ketchup, and diced onion in the meat mixture are all working to keep the meatloaf moist and delicious.
This classic meatloaf is perfect for a busy weeknight meal because it can be prepared in minutes. The only thing to chop is a 1/2 cup of onion.
- 1 1/2 Pounds Ground Beef
- 1 Egg
- 1 Onion, Chopped
- 1 Cup Milk
- 1 Cup Dried Bread Crumbssalt And Pepper To Taste
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Prepared Mustard
- 1/3 Cup Ketchup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degree Celsius). Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the beef, egg, onion, milk and bread OR cracker crumbs. Use your hands to mush and mix these ingredients together until well combined.
Don't mash or the meatloaf will be dense, mix lightly. Some people like to use a wooden spoon, but I find your hands are the best tools for the job.
Wear latex/nitrile gloves if you don’t want meatloaf hands.Also, be sure to moisten the cracker crumbs or bread crumbs before adding them to the meatloaf.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and place in a lightly greased 5x9 inch loaf pan, OR form into a loaf and place in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
I also like to coat my meatloaf with a glaze which adds an extra something-something to the meatloaf both in looks and flavour.
In a separate small bowl, combine the brown sugar, mustard and ketchup. Mix well and pour the glaze over the meatloaf into a uniform layer.
Place sheet pan on the center rack of oven, bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degree Celsius) for 1 hour. A pan of hot water in the oven, under the meat loaf, will keep the top from cracking.
Stand for 10 minutes before turning out and cutting into thick slices.
You will probably get a bit of crumbling just on the edges of the first couple of slices, this is normal and indicative of the tenderness and juiciness of the meatloaf (zero crumble indicates firm packed harder meatloaf which isn't as enjoyable!).
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How Long to Cook Meatloaf?
Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed Ground Beef. Color is not a reliable indicator of Ground Beef doneness. Remove meatloaf and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.
Test potatoes for doneness and return to oven if needed while meatloaf rests. Cut meatloaf into slices. Serve with potatoes.
Meatloaf can be made 3 days ahead; wrap in foil and chill, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Meatloaf Nutrition Facts
The Best Meatloaf Recipe 2021
This is the best Meatloaf recipe of all time! Make dinnertime less hectic with this easy sheet pan meatloaf. A satisfying dinner on the table and clean up is a snap! Meatloaf recipe is a dish of ground meat mixed with other ingredients and formed into a loaf shape, then baked or smoked. The shape is created by either cooking it in a loaf pan, or forming it by hand on a flat pan. Best Meatloaf recipe is normally served warm as part of the main course, but can also be found sliced as a cold cut. This traditional meatloaf recipe is just like mom used to make.
At Cracker Barrel, meatloaf is one of the most popular items on the menu. Try this easy copycat recipe and see why!
The best meatloaf recipe ever! Meatloaf is so much more than just a giant hunk of ground beef in a loaf shape. It should ooze with flavour, be moist and tender yet not crumble apart when sliced. This traditional meatloaf recipe is just like mom used to make. I believe this is the best classic meatloaf recipe of all time.
Meatloaf Recipe Tips
Good meatloaf is about as comforting as comfort food gets. Thankfully, meatloaf doesn't have to be complex to be good. It just needs to be tender (from breadcrumbs soaked in milk and gentle handling) and flavorful (from onion, garlic, and ketchup). Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.
I use two thin spatulas to remove the meatloaf from the pan and transfer it to a cutting board. You could also slice and serve the meatloaf directly from the loaf pan, or use parchment paper to line the pan for easy removal.
Chicken, beef or vegetable broth can be used instead of milk. Meatloaf is usually made from ground beef, although lamb, pork, veal, venison, poultry and seafood are also used.
Short on time? Skip the sauce-making and use your favorite prepared barbecue sauce instead. Cover and refrigerate leftover meatloaf slices. To reheat, microwave each slice on microwavable plate uncovered on Medium-High (70%) 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
Don’t be afraid to mix your meat when making meatloaf. Never go all beef, add that ground pork, you’ll end up with a much better tasting meatloaf. Throw in some ground turkey for a leaner meatloaf. Soak in your breadcrumbs with the milk, this will ensure the meatloaf will hold its shape while still staying moist.
Don’t be afraid in to add more veggies as well, such as peppers and onions, but sometimes mix it in a bit with shredded zucchini, carrots or sometimes even spinach. Great way to hide those veggies and keep your meatloaf moist. Always always top your meatloaf with that extra sauce, whether it’s your favorite barbecue sauce or just ketchup, it will add acidity and cut the fat a bit.
Another trick is to put a big pan of water on the rack underneath the meatloaf pan. The steam created will make for the softest, moistest meatloaf ever!
Everyone has their favorite go-to recipe for meatloaf and I always say if you ask 10 people for their favorite recipe, you’d get 10 different recipes. Meatloaf of minced meat was mentioned in the Roman cookery collection Apicius as early as the 5th century. Meatloaf is a traditional German, Scandinavian and Belgian dish, and it is a cousin to the Dutch meatball.
American meatloaf has its origins in scrapple, a mixture of ground pork and cornmeal served by German-Americans in Pennsylvania since Colonial times. Meatloaf in the contemporary American sense did not appear in cookbooks until the late 19th century. During the Great Depression, cooking meatloaf was a way to stretch the food budget for families by using an inexpensive type of meat and other ingredients as leftovers.
Along with spices, it was popular to add cereal grains, bread or saltines to the meatloaf to stretch the meat. This tradition of additions lives on with the goal of producing a lower-fat dish with superior binding and consistency. American meatloaf is typically eaten with some kind of sauce or relish.
Many recipes call for a pasta sauce or tomato sauce to be poured over the loaf to form a crust during baking. The tomato-based sauce may be replaced with simple brown gravy or onion gravy, or a can of cream of mushroom soup may be substituted, but the meatloaf is prepared in a similar manner. Barbecue sauce, tomato ketchup, or a mixture of tomato ketchup and mustard may also be used.
American meatloaf may be topped with plain ketchup or a "meatloaf sauce" consisting of ketchup and brown sugar mixed. Another variety of meatloaf is prepared by "frosting" it with mashed potatoes, drizzling it with a small amount of butter, and browning in the oven. Meatloaf can be considered a typical comfort food and is served in many diners and restaurants. In a 2007 poll by Good Housekeeping, meatloaf was the seventh-favorite dish of Americans.