Every home cook needs to keep a tasty and easy Homemade Meatloaf recipe close at hand!

There’s nothing like coming home to the heavenly aroma of a baked meatloaf in the oven! This recipe is just like the traditional, classic meatloaf recipe that’s been handed down for generations, plus it’s so delicious. It really is the ultimate comfort food entree! 

Homemade Meatloaf on a plate with a fork

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Why We Love This Recipe

This version of a classic meatloaf recipe is so simple! Plus it’s hearty, filling, and economical! Leftover meatloaf is perfect for easy, next-day meatloaf sandwiches, too. We love this easy meatloaf recipe because it takes just a few minutes to put together, a little cook time, and dinner is served!

Homemade Meatloaf ingredients

Meatloaf Ingredients & Variations

Meatloaf is a classic American dish, made with ground beef, some eggs and breadcrumbs to bind it together, and a handful of savory seasonings.

  • Don’t forget to add the “meatloaf sauce” which can be ketchup, chili sauce, or BBQ sauce (Optional: 1 tablespoon of brown sugar for sweetness). Another idea for a glaze is BBQ sauce mixed with honey or maple syrup for an extra moist meatloaf recipe.
  • Make a bacon-wrapped version by placing raw strips of bacon over the top of the meatloaf before baking to add extra flavor and visual appeal.
  • We also like to make mini meatloaves by baking in muffin tins for a grab-and-go burst of protein! Make mini meatloaves ahead and freeze them for last-minute lunch or dinner ideas with soup or salad! So many possibilities

Homemade Meatloaf before cooking

How Do You Make Meatloaf?

When you see how easy this is to make, you’ll agree that it’s the best meatloaf recipe you’ve ever tried!

  1. Add everything except the ground beef to a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Allow the mixture to rest for about 10 minutes (so the bread crumbs can soak up the milk and blend with the seasonings).
  3. Break up ground beef and add it to the bowl, mixing until it can hold a shape, about 2 minutes.
  4. Shape the mixture into a 9”x5” inch loaf and place it on the prepared baking sheet. (Optional: cover with bacon).
  5. While the meatloaf is baking, whisk together sauce and optional brown sugar.
  6. Spread the sauce over the meatloaf and cook another 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let the meatloaf rest about 10 minutes before slicing.

top view of sliced Homemade Meatloaf

How Long Do You Cook Meatloaf?

This recipe makes a 3-pound meatloaf, so it needs to be baked for about 45 minutes before the glaze is applied (total of 70 minutes). Using a meat thermometer, check for an internal temperature of 165° F before removing it from the oven. Oven temp should be preheated at 350° F before the meatloaf goes in.

  • For a 2-pound meatloaf, bake about 35 minutes before adding the glaze. Spread the sauce over the meatloaf and cook another 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let the meatloaf rest about 10 minutes before slicing.
  • For a 1-pound meatloaf, bake 30 minutes before adding the glaze. Spread the sauce over the meatloaf and cook another 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let the meatloaf rest about 10 minutes before slicing.

close up of sliced Homemade Meatloaf

Meatloaf Sides

Nothing goes better with an old-fashioned meatloaf than classic side dishes! Here are our faves! Instant Pot macaroni and cheese or roasted potatoes, parmesan roasted broccoli, a crisp red leaf salad with lemon vinaigrette, and a side of honey cornbread muffins. Why not add a slice of apple bundt cake or banana cream pie for dessert?

Tips and Tricks

  • Checking the meatloaf temperature is important because the outside often cooks faster than the inside, so always check the meatloaf temp before serving.
  • Bake meatloaf on a rack so the fat can drain away from the meat while it’s cooking. Use that fat to make gravy by heating it in a skillet with some flour. Whisk until the mixture is smooth, adjust seasonings, and serve over meatloaf or with potatoes.
  • For a little nutrition boost, add shredded zucchini, carrots, or broccoli to the meatloaf mixture. The kids will never know!

plated Homemade Meatloaf with a fork

Other Easy Beef Recipes To Try!

loaf of Homemade Meatloaf cut into slices
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Homemade Meatloaf

Make this easy, classic meatloaf recipe for a hearty and delicious entree everyone will love!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Candace

Equipment

Ingredients  

  • 2-3 pounds ground beef
  • 2 slices bread broken into small crumbs, or ¼ cup dry breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup onion grated/ minced
  • 2 Tablespoons chili sauce or ketchup or BBQ sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian dressing mix or 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning and ½ teaspoon garlic powder and ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoons pepper

Sauce for Top of Meatloaf:

  • ½ cup chili sauce or ketchup or BBQ sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar optional

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a baking tray with foil and grease the tray (brush with oil or spray with cooking spray).
  • In a medium bowl, mix together bread crumbs, milk, eggs, onion, 2 Tablespoons chili sauce, Italian dressing mix (or other spices), and pepper. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Gently break up ground beef as you add it to the bowl with the bread crumb mixture. Gently mix until well combined and will hold its shape, about 2 minutes.
  • On the foil lined baking tray, shape beef mixture into a loaf, approximately 9” x 5”.
  • Bake for 45 minutes.
  • Combine chili sauce with brown sugar if using. After 45 minutes, spread chili sauce on the meatloaf and bake for 10-15 minutes, until cooked through. The internal temperature should be at least 160F.
  • Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
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Nutrition Information

Calories: 478 | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 162mg | Sodium: 621mg | Potassium: 595mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 311IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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About the author

I am a wife, mother of two, and professional accountant. I love fantastic food, and it is so often the center of our lives, from everyday dinner, to family gatherings, and special evenings at fabulous restaurants. I have always loved cooking and baking, with my mom and grandma, and now, with my daughter and son. I love trying new recipes while enjoying my favorites too. I’m so happy to share them with you.
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