There’s nothing like a perfect low maintenance dinner of an easy meatloaf recipe during comfort food season.
I like to call fall “comfort food season.” It’s when you can pull out the old favorite recipes.
The classics that stick to your ribs and make you forget the chill outside for at least a little while. Recipes like the best easy meatloaf make for a perfect dinner during comfort food season.
It’s such a great recipe, coming together in just a few minutes with low maintenance, always on hand ingredients.
I mean, the most high maintenance thing to do is chopping an onion and crushing garlic. And I won’t tell if you go for preminced garlic, or even a couple of teaspoons of garlic powder.
What is Meatloaf?
Meatloaf is a baked dish of seasoned ground beef topped with a tangy ketchup and brown sugar sauce.
How to Make an Easy Meatloaf Recipe
Easy is the operative word here. You literally throw everything in a large bowl, smash it all together until it’s well mixed, then pat it into a loaf pan.
Top with a simple 3 ingredient sauce, and dinner’s in the oven!
I like to serve meatloaf with fluffy mashed potatoes and a green vegetable. I used steamed broccoli here, but you could also opt for green beans or make a side salad.
What’s in a Meatloaf Recipe?
The main ingredient is ground beef — I like to use 90% lean ground beef that’s low in saturated fat. Because we’re cooking it in a loaf pan, anything else will end up leaking a lot of grease that has nowhere to go.
The eggs, milk, and breadcrumbs all help keep your meatloaf moist and tender too. While breadcrumbs may seem like they would dry it out, they actually absorb the moisture and hold it in.
The seasonings — salt, pepper, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, onion, and garlic– all of them give the meatloaf flavor.
But the hallmark of any classic meatloaf is the sauce on top. It’s a blend of ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar, and no meatloaf would be complete without it.
Baked onto the top of the best meatloaf, this blend creates a sweet, slightly tangy layer of flavor.
Tips for a Great Meatloaf
- Make sure that everything is really mixed together. Hands are the best tools for this — simply smash and press all of the ingredients and meat mixture together until they’re blended really well.
- Don’t over bake the meatloaf! If you have it, be sure to use an internal meat thermometer. This way, you can check the temperature of the beef. Take it out of the oven when it reaches 155 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Then, let it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes before cutting it. Letting it rest allows it to continue cooking for a few more minutes and reach the recommended internal temperature of 160F for ground beef.
- Allowing it to rest will also prevent the meatloaf from falling apart when you cut it so that you get perfect slices. You can cut it in it’s pan, or carefully lift it out with two metal spatulas to a cutting board or platter to slice.
- If you like extra sauce, simply double that part of the recipe and only put half of it on the top of the meatloaf. Serve the rest on the side.
4 Easy Steps to Make Meatloaf
1 — Preheat the oven to 350F and set out a loaf pan.
2 — Place the ground beef, salt, pepper, parsley, bread crumbs, milk, eggs, onion, and garlic in large bowl. Mix them all together using your hands. You can use a spoon, but hands do the job much more easily.
3 — In a separate, small bowl, stir the ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard together, then spread it over the top of the meat loaf.
4 — Put the meat mixture into the loaf pan and press it together to creat a smooth top. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until the internal temperature measures 155F. Remove it from the oven and allow the meatloaf to sit for about 10 minutes (it will continue cooking from the residual heat as it sits). Slice it and serve.
How to Store and Reheat Meatloaf
Unless you’re feeding a crowd, there’s a good chance you’ll have leftover meatloaf!
Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator or wrap it well in heavy duty aluminum foil. Then, freeze it for up to 3 months.
The microwave isn’t necessarily the best way to warm up the leftovers. It can quickly dry the meatloaf out and leave it tough and chewy.
To reheat your meatloaf, remove it from the refrigerator and place in an oven safe pan. Cover the pan with foil. It’s best using a loaf pan since a baking sheet will not keep the meatloaf as moist.
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees, and place the meatloaf in it until warmed through. It should take 15-20 minutes, depending on how much you have in the pan.
If your meatloaf is frozen, thaw it before reheating.
What To Serve with Meatloaf?
Vegetables are always delicious side dishes, roasted carrots and potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, and your favorite mashed potatoes. You can also pair with classic macaroni and cheese.
Why Does My Meatloaf Fall Apart?
Meatloaf can fall apart for a variety of reasons. It is usually caused by not having enough binding agents in your meatloaf. You can use things such as eggs and breadcrumbs to help keep your meatloaf together because those ingredients will help bind the meat together. Overcooked meatloaf is another reason why you may have a falling apart meatloaf.
How Long To Cook Meatloaf?
A 350-degree oven is used to bake this meatloaf for 55 minutes, uncovered. A temperature of 160°F is recommended. Slice the meatloaf after it has rested for at least 10 minutes so that it will maintain its shape.
If you’re like me, dinner has to be quick so here are other easy dinner ideas from our archives —
- Rosemary Baked Lemon Chicken Recipe
- Easy Turkey Chili Recipe
- Huli Huli Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs Recipe
- Whole30 Avocado Chicken Wraps Recipe
- Roasted Garlic White Bean Alfredo Recipe
- Instant Pot Easy White Bean & Vegetable Soup Recipe
- Date Night Cacio E Pepe Pasta Recipe
Best Easy Meatloaf Recipe
- Loaf pan
- Large mixing bowl
- Small mixing bowl
- 2 lb 90% ground beef
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp parsley
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic diced
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp yellow mustard
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and set out a loaf pan.
- Place the ground beef, salt, pepper, parsley, bread crumbs, milk, eggs, onion, and garlic in large bowl. Mix them all together using your hands. You can use a spoon, but hands do the job much more easily.
- In a separate, small bowl, stir the ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard together, then spread it over the top of the meat loaf.
- Put the meat mixture into the loaf pan and press it together to creat a smooth top. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until the internal temperature measures 155F.
- Remove it from the oven and allow the meatloaf to sit for about 10 minutes (it will continue cooking from the residual heat as it sits). Slice it and serve.
Don’t forget to share your meatloaf with us on Instagram using the hashtag #sugarandclothloves. We always love seeing all of your creations! And if you’re looking for more quick and delicious recipes you can find them all right here with a few desserts to go along with them!