Simple Sunday Meatloaf Recipe

5 from 28 votes

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This is the BEST Classic Meatloaf Recipe out there! Moist and delicious, this easy to make meatloaf will leave you wanting more.

You’re ten ingredients away from making the best Meatloaf ever. This is a classic recipe that is easy to make. If you’re hesitant, don’t worry, I’ll walk you through some common troubles people face when trying to make meatloaf and guide you through it. Plus I have some killer side dish recommendations to round out this protein-packed dinner.

A close up of a plate of Meatloaf

Meatloaf Recipe

First, let’s gather up our ingredients. Ten simple pantry staples are all it takes to make this divine meatloaf recipe.

  • Olive Oil – this is used to saute the onions.
  • Yellow Onion – if you want a stronger onion taste, try using white onions instead of yellow.
  • Ground Beef – I used 90/10 here. Different fat contents cook differently so choose wisely. More information is down below on that.
  • Bread Crumbs – plain breadcrumbs. You can also use Italian Breadcrumbs here if you don’t have plain on hand.
  • Eggs – this is used for binding all the ingredients together.
  • Milk – for moisture.
  • Salt and Pepper – season to taste.
  • Ketchup – for flavor and moisture.
  • Worcestershire Sauce – more flavor and moisture.
  • Parsley – to garnish.

Tips and Tricks

  • Fat Content. There’s already enough ingredients that bring moisture to this meatloaf recipe so getting beef with a higher fat content is unnecessary. Stick to a 90/10 or leaner.
  • Falling Apart. To keep your loaf from falling apart make sure you measure everything correctly. All of these binding ingredients (like breadcrumbs) are super important. Or you sliced into it while it was still piping hot. Let it rest for ten minutes before cutting.
  • Overbaking. This can lead to a dry meatloaf. Use a meat thermometer to help determine when it’s done. More on that below.

Meatloaf Ingredients

How Long to Cook Meatloaf

The general rule of thumb here is to cook a meatloaf 30 minutes per pound of beef. This is at the oven temperature of 350 degrees. Cooking times will vary because no two ovens are alike. Plus the thinner and flatter you make your loaf the quicker it will cook.

I baked mine for about an hour, you may need more time. To check when your meatloaf is done, stick it with a meat thermometer. If it reads 160 degrees or more, you’re good to go. Overbaking can dry it out though, so watch it.

How to Make Meatloaf

  1. Preheat oven. Line half sheet pan with heavy-duty foil, spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, saute onions in olive oil until tender and browned. Pour into a large bowl.
  3. To the onions, add in ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, milk, salt, pepper, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well until completely combined.
  4. Form into a long log on the prepared baking sheet and flatten the top. Spread with remaining ketchup.
  5. Bake until cooked thoroughly. Top with chopped parsley and serve.

How to Make Meatloaf

Leftover Meatloaf

Lucky for you, this meatloaf recipe saves well! Cover leftovers with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Make-Ahead

Besides measuring ingredients and mixing them together, the only other thing you have to do is saute onions. This is why this meatloaf recipe is such an easy one. It is perfect for any night of the week and can even be made ahead of time!

Simply mix the meat mixture together in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use. When you’re ready, uncover it and let it come to room temperature while the oven preheats. Form that log shape on a prepared pan and top it with the sauce right before baking.

Freeze This Meatloaf Recipe

You can also make this meatloaf recipe ahead of time by freezing after baking! With this method, it can last up to four months in the freezer.

Freeze. After baking, let your loaf cool to room temperature. Cover in foil, then seal it in a plastic freezer bag.

Reheat. Let thaw for 24 hours in your fridge before baking. Then bake at 350 degrees until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Meatloaf

What to Serve with This Meatloaf Recipe

The Best Meatloaf Recipe deserves to be served with the best side dishes. So I’ve rounded up a few that go perfectly with meatloaf.

Mashed Potatoes Recipe – for a hearty comforting meal pair with mashed potatoes.

Roasted Cauliflower Recipe – this is on the lighter side but is packed full of flavor.

Vegetable Rice Pilaf – basically flavored rice with vegetables, for a healthy balanced meal.

Classic Coleslaw Recipe with Homemade Coleslaw Dressing – you can’t go wrong with this amazing coleslaw recipe.

More Dinner Recipes to Try!

Be sure to check out all of my dinner recipes here. Below are some other beef recipes!

5 from 28 votes

Classic Meatloaf Recipe

This is the BEST Classic Meatloaf Recipe out there! Moist and delicious, this easy to make meatloaf will leave you wanting more.
servings 12 people
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups yellow onion diced
  • 3 pounds ground beef (I used 90/10)
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups ketchup divided
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons parsley chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line half sheet pan with heavy-duty foil, spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, saute onions in olive oil until tender and browned, about 10 minutes. Pour into a large bowl.
  • To the onions, add in ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, milk, salt, pepper, 1 cup ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well until completely combined.
  • Form into a long log on the prepared baking sheet and flatten the top. Spread with remaining ketchup and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour or until cooked thoroughly. Top meatloaf with chopped parsley and serve.

Notes

Leftovers. Lucky for you, this meatloaf recipe saves well! Cover leftovers with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Freezing. After baking, let your meatloaf cool to room temperature. Cover in foil, then seal it in a plastic freezer bag.
Reheat. Let thaw for 24 hours in your fridge before baking. Then bake at 350 degrees until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Nutrition

Calories: 440kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 134mg | Sodium: 649mg | Potassium: 581mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 434IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy meatloaf recipe, how to make meatloaf, Meatloaf, meatloaf recipe
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Recipe Rating




58 Responses
    1. Judy gutschenritter

      My daughter mixes ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar and puts on top of loaf. Bake as ordered When done sprinkle with parsley

  1. Melissa Hughes

    5 stars
    I made this recipe this past Sunday. Hands down the best meat loaf recipe I’ve ever used. My husband has been eating the leftovers for lunch all week. Thank you!!

  2. Kim Bass

    I miss my mom’s meatloaf recipe. She has been gone almost 7 years and I still crave it. I never knew how she made it, but I am excited to try this recipe. It looks amazing!

    1. Sue

      Does the ketchup in the meatloaf make the cooked
      meatloaf look red? I’ve always put ketchup on the top
      and sides after I have formed my meatloaf, but I have
      never mixed ketchup into the loaf.

  3. Kristen

    I love meatloaf! I am making this for dinner tomorrow night. It seems like the perfect fall dinner. Can’t wait and I love that you posted a meatloaf recipe!

  4. Marybeth

    5 stars
    Wow! This recipe is so simple and so good! I have a special needs teenage girl and her favorite dinner is MEATLOAF! She loves it and so does our whole family!

  5. Carolyn S Cheeseman

    5 stars
    Can’t wait to try this. I love your homestyle old school recipes like this (like those amazing stuffed peppers!) You know the way to my midwestern heart!

  6. Cheryl Newton

    I big puffy heart love meatloaf. Don’t know if my family is as enthusiastic as I am about it, but since I’m the chef around here, my tastes kind of dictate what I make. Plus, it always makes me think of my mom (God rest her soul), and her love of leftover meatloaf sandwiches.

  7. Amber Bishop

    Yummy! I cannot wait to make this tomorrow night. I love the directions, that are detailed!!! I am not a great cook and have yet to be able to master a good meatloaf

  8. Kelly

    My family LUVS meatloaf & this recipe looks a lot simpler than mine so I’ve printed it out to try for Sunday dinner!! Thank you!!

  9. Nancy Vazquez

    5 stars
    Hello, Lauren, I made your meatloaf and mashed potatoes for dinner yesterday. I must say it all was a hit here. My husband could not stop talking about how delicious it was. He was raving on how it tasted just like an old fashioned meatloaf just how his mom would make it. I also used your mashed potato recipe and those were hands down my favorite mashed potatoes yet. I look forward to trying out more of your recipes Lauren. Happy 10 years on doing what you were born to do. I just wish I had found your blog since then because there is nothing better than some good old recipes to make me fall in love with cooking again. May God Bless you with many more years of continued success.

  10. Trilby C.

    Ohhhhhh meatloaf. It’s one of those foods that I’ve never made it the same way twice, yet it turns out so fantastically delicious every time! We’re trying this recipe tonight! (P.S. Happy blogging anniversary! I’ve been a longtime reader and have made so many of your recipes! Congrats on this milestone!)

  11. Sommer Lynn

    5 stars
    Absolute best meatloaf recipe hands down. My 14 year old who “hates” meatloaf actually loved this one! Will be making again and again ❤

  12. Stacy

    This looks really good! Funny I never loved meatloaf as a kid, and as an adult I want to make it and love it, but my picky family doesn’t. I’m thinking I”m just gonna pull a surprise meal on them, lol.

  13. Karen

    5 stars
    Tried this recipe after years of not eating meatloaf and it was a hit for me and my family! Definitely will be part of our recipe repertoire!

  14. Margi

    This is going in my dinner list for this week. I normally use a small can of tomato sauce in my meatloaf so using ketchup will be interesting. But my mom’s topping was ketchup, brown sugar and yellow mustard which of course gives you a sweet component. For us mashed potatoes is a must and maybe some German green beans. Looking forward to this as meatloaf is one of my favorite meals.

  15. Amber Miller

    This is going to be our dinner tonight! I prepped everything this morning into two loaf pans. I’m hoping it’s a winner with my family because they aren’t fans of my current meatloaf lol. Congrats on your ten years!

  16. Julie O

    I’m looking forward to trying this! My husband can’t stand onions (even when they are diced small and cooked) so do you recommend anything to substitute for the moisture? Thanks!

  17. Carla

    5 stars
    I made this yesterday and it turned out great! My husband says it’s fine, filling, and just as expected. That’s good to hear because he ate a lot of meatloaf growing up and I was hoping to make one that’d taste just as good as he remembered. =) I only made a few slight adjustments like just 1 cup of onion, minced, as my husband requested, Almond Breeze unsweetened original almond milk to be dairy-free, and gluten-free breadcrumbs and Worcestershire sauce. I did 1 full tsp of salt with about 6-7 cracks of black pepper. The recipe said to taste but that’s hard to know when making it for someone else so this is what I did if it helps anyone. I can say that it turns out just fine made in a loaf pan. It makes 2 loaves that needed to bake at 400 for 45 minutes in our oven anyway. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

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  19. Peggi

    5 stars
    Great recipe, we just ate supper and it was well received by hubby and I – love the real meat flavor. I don’t like store bought ketchup so I usually avoid recipes calling for it but I used my homemade ketchup to top it and it was delicious. Thanks for sharing the great tips, too!

  20. John Brennan

    5 stars
    I made this last night with a blend of beef, veal and pork, and it was delicious! I can see how much moisture is built in so that using 90% lean beef would not have turned out dry. A note on the “salt to taste” That’s tough to tell before it’s cooked. I made the recipe at 2/3 scale because I only had 2lb meat, and used 1/2 tsp kosher salt and probably less ketchup on top, but the right amount in the mix. The salt level was perfect.