This Quick Easy Meatloaf recipe is not the old-school oatmeal, egg, and ketchup variety!
This new recipe is sure to become a classic! It’s made with ground beef stuffed with breadcrumbs, mozzarella cheese, pasta sauce, and savory spices. Instead of a bread pan, it’s baked in a pie pan so each wedge comes out deliciously tender and juicy every time it’s made. Baked meatloaf just got a serious upgrade, and the whole family is sure to love it. So why not make a double portion, and freeze half for some make ahead meals or batch cooking?
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The Easiest Homemade Meatloaf!
- Every home cook needs their own signature version of this traditional comfort food. Economical, easy to make, and healthy, homemade meatloaf is a welcome addition to any table!
- Simple enough for every day, but fancy enough for company, a hot and hearty meatloaf is a guaranteed crowd pleaser!
- Bake up a batch of Oven Roasted Potatoes or crispy Potato Wedges next to the meatloaf and then serve with a simple, crispy Red Leaf Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette, some Honey Cornbread Muffins, and an easy homestyle Apple Crisp.
Ingredients and Variations
GROUND BEEF: 80/20 is the best blend of beef to fat that cooks up juicy without being too greasy. A blend of 80/20 and ground pork will also make for a juicy and flavorful meatloaf.
BINDERS: Eggs, breadcrumbs, and cheese help hold the mixture together and keep it juicy. Seasoned breadcrumbs will add a little more punch of flavor.
SEASONINGS: Savory spices give quick easy meatloaf an infusion of Italian flavor. Or, mix it up with a DIY blend like this Homemade Taco Seasoning or Jerk Seasoning. The tried-and-true packet of onion soup will also do in a pinch!
TOPPINGS: A little bit of pasta sauce adds a tomato flavor without the use of ketchup, which can be too sweet. A jar of premade pasta sauce can be upgraded to a thick glaze by adding a little bit of brown sugar to it before brushing it on the top of the meatloaf. A dash or two of chili sauce added to the pasta sauce will give meatloaf a spicy kick!
How to Make Easy Meatloaf
Homemade meatloaf with cheese baked in is super easy to make:
- Lightly beat the egg in a bowl and mix in bread crumbs, one-third of the pasta sauce, garlic, basil, salt, oregano, and pepper.
- Add the ground beef and ½ of the mozzarella cheese. Lightly press meatloaf into a prepared 9” pie pan.
- Drain the fat after baking for 20 minutes. Spread remaining sauce over the top and the rest of the cheese. Bake until the cheese is golden brown. Let rest before cutting.
Tips For the Best Meatloaf
- Avoid overworking the meatloaf mix which will make it tough and dry.
- Once it’s fully baked, let it rest before cutting so the juices stay intact.
- PRO TIP: Make a quick gravy by using the meatloaf drippings to make a gravy similar to this Turkey Gravy From Drippings .
Leftover quick easy meatloaf tastes better the next day whether it’s hot or cold! Refrigerate whole in a covered container or as slices to make a classic meatloaf sandwich. Leftovers will keep up to 5 days. Freeze portions in zippered bags with the date labeled on the outside for up to 8 weeks. Reheat portions in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Other Delicious Easy Casseroles!
- Homemade Meatloaf – also easy to make.
- Crack Chicken Casserole – a favorite.
- Chicken Parmesan Casserole – dinner in under an hour.
- Spinach Lasagna – perfect for guests.
Quick Easy Meatloaf
- Preheat oven to 425˚F. Grease a 9 inch pie plate.
- In a bowl, lightly beat egg. Add bread crumbs, ⅓ cup pasta sauce, garlic, basil, salt, oregano, and pepper. Mix.
- Add crumbled beef and ½ cup cheese. Mix until just combined. Don't overmix as this can make meatloaf tough.
- Put the meatloaf mixture into the pie plate and press evenly.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, drain juice, spread with remaining ⅓ cup pasta sauce, and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese.
- Bake 10-15 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.
- Serve with potato wedges* or roast potatoes and a crisp green salad.
- Do not over mix. It may make the meatloaf tough and dry.
- Allow meatloaf to rest so the juices stay intact.
- Gravy can be made from the meatloaf drippings.
- Refrigerate in a covered container or as individual slices for up to 5 days.
- Freeze portions in sealed containers or bags for up to 8 weeks.
- Reheat using the microwave or the stovetop.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.
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“Meat ‘loaf’ in minutes.” Chatelaine, vol. 71, no. 5, May 1998, p. 138. Donna Clark