Easy Classic Meatloaf is delicious, and tastes like the one mom made. This is a very easy to make, moist meatloaf that is tasty and filling. A classic dish to feed the family. This traditional meatloaf recipe is an easy weeknight dinner and is a family favorite dinner recipe.
Originally published on 3/14/2020
Best Classic Meatloaf Recipe
There isn't a meal I can think of that brings to mind classic Americana the way that a great meatloaf can.
When parents are trying to make their food dollars stretch, this simple meatloaf recipe is a great recipe to have on the menu as a budget friendly family dinner.
A Versatile Recipe
The best thing about a meatloaf, besides being an economical meal, is that it can be made with what you have on hand.
This delicious classic meatloaf recipe has simple ingredients:
• Lean Ground Beef
• Plain Bread Crumbs (or use panko or crushed saltine crackers)
• Milk (non-dairy milk substitute)
• Large Egg
• Worcestershire Sauce
• Diced Onion
• Diced Carrot (optional)
• Diced Green Pepper (optional)
• Garlic Powder & Onion Powder
• Italian Seasoning (optional)
• Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
What is the Best Meat for Meatloaf?
- The best meat to use for meatloaf is lean ground beef. I recommend using ground beef with a lean-to-fat ratio of around 90% lean and 10% fat. Using lean meat ensures that the meatloaf is moist and flavorful, without too much extra grease.
- If you want a lighter option, you can make a turkey meatloaf using ground turkey instead of beef. I often do. Ground turkey can be a healthier choice, as it generally has less fat than ground beef. Just be sure to choose ground turkey that includes both white and dark meat (not just breast meat) for good flavor and moisture.
- You can also use half ground beef and half sausage.
- If you want to add some extra flavor to your classic meatloaf, everything from cheese, herbs, vegetables, different spices, and flavorful toppings can be added or swapped around. here are some tasty add-ins to consider:
- Diced Bacon: Cooked, diced bacon adds a smoky and savory flavor to the meatloaf. Mix it in with the other ingredients before baking.
- Shredded Cheese: Add 1 cup of shredded cheese, such as cheddar or mozzarella, to the meat mixture for a cheesy twist. It adds richness and gooey goodness to each bite.
- Chopped Fresh Herbs: Add a handful of chopped fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, or basil to enhance the freshness and aroma of the meatloaf. They add a burst of flavor and a bit of color.
- Diced Jalapeños or Spices: If you enjoy some heat, you can add diced jalapeños or some red pepper flakes to give your meatloaf a spicy kick. Add according to your liking.
- Dijon Mustard: Adding a Tablespoon of Dijon mustard to the meat mixture adds a tangy and slightly sharp flavor that complements the other ingredients.
- Vegetables: Veggies like mushrooms, zucchini, or spinach can be a great addition. Chop them finely before adding them into the meat mixture. They add moisture, flavor, and extra nutrition.
The Steps to Make This Easy Classic Meatloaf are Simple
1. The best way to make this recipe is tp just add all of the meatloaf ingredients to a large bowl and mix them together to make the meatloaf mixture. Don't over mix it!
2. Press the meat mixture into a loaf pan. You could also bake it on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Just form the meat mixture into a loaf shape.
3. In a small bowl or cup mix up the sauce topping. It has ketchup, barbecue sauce, and brown sugar. This is so yummy! BBQ sauce can be omitted and just ketchup (or chili sauce) used.
4. Spread the meatloaf sauce topping evenly over the top of the meatloaf.
5. Bake in a preheated oven for about an hour of cooking time. It should be cooked to an internal temperature of 155°-160°F on an instant read thermometer. Let the meatloaf rest about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Your house will smell amazing while this meat loaf cooks!
How Much Does This Recipe Make?
• You can get 6 good sized servings or 8 slightly smaller servings from this old fashioned meatloaf recipe.
• If you have two loaf pans, you can double the recipe and make 2 meatloaves.
What Goes With Meatloaf?
Don't Forget Dessert!
Leftover Meatloaf Storage
• Store any leftover meatloaf in a container, covering it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Or use an airtight container with a lid.
• Keep in the fridge up to 4 days. Then make yourself a meatloaf sandwich for lunch! So good.
• Leftover meat loaf can be frozen up to 3 months, tightly wrapped.
You Might Also Like These Easy Dinner Ideas
This is the best meatloaf recipe, according to my family and friends who have tried it. If you make this easy meatloaf recipe, please let me know. Just leave a comment with a star rating below!
If you make this easy meatloaf recipe, please let me know. Just leave a comment with a star rating below!
Easy Classic Meatloaf
- 1 ½ lbs Lean Ground Beef (I like 90% lean)
- ¾ cup Bread Crumbs (or panko, saltine crackers)
- ½ cup Milk
- 1 large Egg beaten
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
- ½ cup Finely Diced Onion
- ¼ cup Finely Diced Carrot optional
- ¼ cup Diced Green Pepper optional
- 1 ½ teaspoons Garlic Powder
- ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning optional
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ½ teaspoon Pepper
- ½ cup Ketchup
- ¼ cup Barbecue Sauce (or chili sauce)
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- Heat the oven to 350° F. Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, milk, egg, Worcestershire sauce, onion, carrot, bell pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Mix the ingredients together, but do not overmix.
- Transfer the meat mixture to the loaf pan and press it in, but don't pack it too tightly.
Make the Sauce Topping
- In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, mix together the ketchup, barbecue sauce, and brown sugar.
- Pour the sauce over the top of the meatloaf and spread evenly.
- Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the meatloaf reaches an internal temperature of 155°-160°F.
- Allow the meatloaf to stand for 5 minutes before slicing and serving it.
• Add 1 cup of shredded cheese
• Add 1 tsp smoked paprika
• Substitute half of the ground beef with ground sausage
• Use ground turkey