Home Cooking Easy Recipes for Meatloaf: Best 101 Kitchen Guide

Easy Recipes for Meatloaf: Best 101 Kitchen Guide


Are you looking for easy recipes for meatloaf? Look no further. 

Meatloaf is one of the easy and quickest dinner recipes or main course recipes. So, today in this article, we will discuss some easy recipes for meatloaf. 

Before we jump on to this delicious recipe, let’s talk about a bit of history:

How did the meatloaf recipe originate?

Meatloaf recipes were first recorded in the united states of America from scrapples, a mixture of ground pork and cornmeal.

This mouth-watering recipe comprised bread crumbs, ground beef, and a perfect Italian seasoning blend, generously smothered with ketchup as meatloaf glaze. Meatloaf is one of the best dining options, easy to make, and less time-consuming.

Meatloaf was also mentioned in Roman cooking. It has different names and national variations.

To mention a few, the chile meatloaf is called Asado Aleman, and the Cuban version is called pulpeta, made with ground beef and ground ham. In Germany, it’s called hackbraten. Lebanon is called kibbeh. This recipe calls for ground beef and minced lamb.

In the Philippines, it’s called embutido, which is made with the meat mixture of ground pork, boiled eggs, sausages, and carrots. The list goes on as there are several variations and combinations of the same dish.

by bour3/Flickr

Why is it called the Depression Meatloaf?

In the United States and Roman times in the early 1930s, the great depression was recorded among the population. It was a period of global unemployment. Apart from other dishes, meatloaf recipes became popular among Americans as it was inexpensive. It could be made with pocket-friendly ingredients that were affordable and tasty, and filling.

When we think about the ” depression meatloaf,” we often feel that it might be something that we serve people with depression, but the dish has got nothing to do with depression. It has got its name simply because it was found during a specific period.

Traditional easy recipes for Meatloaf a conventional way to make it:

Why go to a fancy 5 stars restaurant when you can make it at home.

A fantastic homemade meatloaf recipe can be made with little or no fancy ingredients. This meatloaf recipe can be served with a side of mashed potatoes, gravy, and your choice of steamed vegetables like beans, peas, or topped with some tangy topping of sauce.

This classic recipe is made from ground meat, seasoned bread crumbs, and ketchup glaze.

What is the standard quality of meat required for making meatloaf?

The best meat for meatloaf can be made with pork, beef, or minced lamb, veal. 90% lean ground beef is mainly used for this dinner recipe that’s soft, juicy, and extremely tender.

What makes this meatloaf recipe moist and prevents it from falling apart? 

Meatloaf is made with a well-combined mixture of egg, diced onions, sauces, and panko breadcrumbs. This helps in binding and prevents it from falling apart. The milk added to the recipe soaks up the breadcrumbs and keeps them moist.

by bour3/Flickr

Prep time: 10 mins

Bake time: 55 mins

Cooling time: 10 mins

Total time: 1 hour 15 mins


To make the meat mix:

  1. 1lb-90% lean ground beef
  2. 1 cup panko bread crumbs [if you have dry bread crumbs, soak it in milk before adding for better binding]
  3. 1 large egg
  4. 1/2 cup diced onion
  5. 2 tbs ketchup
  6. 1tbs Worcestershire sauce
  7. 1/2 cup milk
  8. 1 tbs of Italian seasoning
  9. 1 teaspoon dried parsley leaves
  10. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  11. 3 1/4 spoon salt
  12. 1 tbs ground black pepper

To make the meatloaf sauce:

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar

What is the ideal temperature for making this great recipe?

Set the oven’s temperature at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and preheat the oven to 350 degrees before starting the process.

Other things required to assemble:

  • one large bowl
  • one small bowl
  • spatula
  • glass loaf pan or a regular pan/baking dish
  • baking sheet or parchment paper
  • plastic wrap
  • aluminum foil
  • plate to serve

How to make it?

Let’s get started and go to the recipe. Follow the instructions as given below:

by bour3/Flickr
  1. The first step is to preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While that is preheating, let us prepare our meat mixture.
  2. Take your lean meat, mince it fine or coarsely, depending on what texture you want. If you don’t like ground beef, you can substitute it with ground turkey, ground chicken, or half pork. Nowadays, the meat substitute is available, so vegetarians can also enjoy this delicious recipe.
  3. Take a large bowl and combine ground beef 90%, bread crumbs, 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce, 2 tbs tomato sauce or ketchup, 1 tbs garlic powder, one finely diced onion, 1 egg, 1 cup milk, 1 tbs dried parsley, 1 tbs ground pepper powder, 3 1/4 spoon salt to taste, 1 tbs Italian seasoning [barbecue sauce or any hot sauce can be used optionally].
  4. Mix all the ingredients until well combined.
  5. Do not over mix it as it may also lead the meat mixture to become stiff and dense. Do not undermix it as it may make the meatloaf fall apart. For a moist meatloaf mix, combine it well and just enough to hold up the shape and let the meatloaf rest. Cover it with plastic wrap.
  6. Until the meatloaf mixture is resting, move on to make the sauce.          
by Robyn Anderson/Flickr

To make the sauce:

  1. Take a small bowl and mix 1/4 cup of ketchup, 2tbs brown sugar, and vinegar and mix well. The sauces thicken up and give a good crust and a glaze. 

How To Assemble:

To assemble the recipe, take a loaf pan, lay down a parchment paper or baking sheet, fold down the baking sheet towards the edges, and pat the meatloaf mixture down and give it a loaf shape.

It is best to choose a loaf pan because it helps to provide it with the proper form and holds the variety together.

by bour3/Flickr

Laying down parchment paper helps easy removal and retain all the juices in, the remaining juices can be used before serving in the dish for presentation, and it gives fantastic flavor.

Is it necessary to cook the meatloaf covered?

Some people prefer covering the tray with aluminum foil, and it can be cooked covered. However, it is not necessary to cover the meatloaf, and it can be cooked uncovered to keep the meatloaf moist.

The process of cooking :

  1. The temperature for cooking depends on the size and thickness of the meatloaf, but the ideal temperature is 350 degrees, but 375 degrees can also be used.
  2. Take the plastic wrap off the bowl, keep the dish in the oven, and bake uncovered for 55 minutes.
  3. Take the pan out of the oven, pour the prepared sauce, put it back into the oven, and cook meatloaf for 10 more mins.
  4. Crispy edges are formed if you follow the recipe directions.
  5. Once cooked, let it rest and insert the meat thermometer.
  6. Once a meat thermometer is inserted, check if the internal temperature is 160 degrees F.
  7. Let it cool, do not cut the meatloaf immediately as it may break and not hold up the shape.
  8. It gives a total of 8-12 servings.
  9. Garnish the meatloaf with fresh cilantro or chives, and slice the loaf uniformly.
  10. Serve the meatloaf with mashed potatoes and a side of steamed vegetables like carrots or broccoli, baked beans or peas, or sauteed vegetables.
  11. Pour the leftover juices on top of the meatloaf for a unique flavor so that it doesn’t leave the meatloaf dry.


  • For a better unique flavor, prepare the mixture and refrigerate it for 24 hours. Frozen meatloaf mixture can also be used for this recipe.
  • If in case of no panko breadcrumbs or breadcrumbs, cracker crumbs can also be used for binding the mixture.
  • To absorb all the saturated fat, you can line your dish with 2-3 slices of bread. This helps in the absorption of the excess oil released from the meat, which later on can be discarded since saturated fat is bad for health and a potential risk for heart diseases. Excess of saturated fat can result in cholesterol, which can block the arteries.
  • If you don’t have brown sugar, you can also substitute it with granulated sugar, and it will still make a great recipe without compromising the taste.
  • Do not cook your meatloaf for too long as it may become dry.

How to use leftover meatloaf:

One of the best ways to reuse the leftover meatloaf is to make meatloaf sandwiches, but the leftovers can be used and incorporated in many other ways.

The leftover meatloaf can also be used in pasta or spaghetti bolognese or even as a filling for spring rolls. The leftover meatloaf is also used in shepherd’s pie, chili or can also be used in tacos and baguettes.

The bruschetta-style good meatloaf recipe is also one of the various ways to incorporate the leftovers.

Other ways to use it:

  • stuffed meatloaf bell peppers.
  • Chinese fried rice
  • grilled cheese meatloaf sandwich.
  • Scrambled eggs and stuffing for burgers.

You can also lay out a layer of bacon on top of the meatloaf to cover it and make it look aesthetically pleasing.

by bour3/Flickr

It can also be used as a topping for pizza.

Homemade meatloaf can be transformed in multiple ways.

Can you use any replacement in place of the oven?

Yes, it is okay if you do not have a microwave or an oven. You can use the pressure cooker to make the meatloaf. Just cut the parchment paper or aluminum foil to adapt well to the bottom of the cooker.

Oil the cooker, pat down the mixture on the rack in a loaf shape, pour 2-3 cups of water depending on the pot’s height and diameter and steam the pot. Do not pour the water in excess as it might make the mixture soggy.

by Robert Paulson/Flickr

Close the lid and let the pressure release once or twice. Please do not keep it for long as it may affect the texture.

Manually release the pressure and pour the prepared sauce and if you like your sauce to have a beautiful crust, then lightly burst the top layer of the meatloaf before placing it on the rack. This is one of the easy meatloaf techniques if you want to save time.

Go to the recipe mentioned above and follow the steps as-is.

Nutritional benefits and nutrition facts check:

While the meatloaf is delicious on its own, it is essential to know the nutrition facts and values.

One large slice of meatloaf has about 180 calories to 294 calories.

For 8 servings:

  • 400 calories
  • %daily value*
  • total fat 8g 10%
  • saturated fat 2.4g 12%
  • trans fat 0
  • sodium 570mg 25%
  • total carbohydrate 56g 20%
  • dietary fiber 7g 25%
  • total sugars 18g
  • includes 0g added sugar 0%
  • protein 26g 52%
  • vitamin A 10%
  • vitamin C 20%
  • calcium 2%
  • vitamin D 8%
  • magnesium 5%
  • iron 30%

Apart from the traditional way, there are other methods to prepare the best meatloaf recipe. Hard-boiled eggs can also be placed symmetrically to cook meatloaf in a different style.

by Bryn Dole/Flickr

Best side dishes to go with meatloaf

by Cafeteria NYC/Flickr

1. Creamy mashed potatoes topped with parmesan cheese and chives. Add garlic or garlic oil or butter to give it some extra flavor.

2. Italian peas or frozen peas steamed or mashed goes well with the dish.

3. Roasted potatoes or baked potatoes cut into small cubes is a great combination.

4. You can also brush the meatloaf with some mustard sauce or extra barbecue sauce or serve the leftover meatloaf sauce on the side to pour it on later.

5. Broccoli and bell peppers can be added with other steamed or roasted veggies.

6. Garlic tossed roasted cauliflower

7. Mac and cheese in a casserole.

Want to make your meatloaf healthy?

No worries, we gotcha!

The classic meatloaf recipe is high in calories and fat, and not everyone can enjoy it, so here is one alternative that you can try as a healthy option.

Easy recipes for meatloaf: Quinoa meatloaf recipe

Prep time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 1 hour 10 mins

Serves: 4-5


  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 cup water
  • yellow or white onion finely diced
  • 1 sweet potato
  • finely chopped kale
  • salt to taste
  • bell peppers, carrots, ground buffalo meat
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • garlic finely chopped
  • black pepper
  • basil dried and freshly chopped
  • thyme
  • barbeque sauce

How to make it?

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook the quinoa and bring it to a boil.
  3. Take a pot and add onion, sweet potato, kale, red bell peppers, and cook until it becomes soft.
  4. Take a bowl and assemble eggs, all the sauces, Italian seasoning, add vegetable mixture, and mix well.
  5. Take the loaf pan and grease it well and add the prepared mixture.
  6. Bake it in the oven and insert the thermometer to check the internal temperature to 160 degrees.
  7. Cut evenly distributed slices and enjoy.

Nutritional facts:

  • total calories: 265 calories
  • protein: 25.4g
  • carbohydrate: 22.4g
  • fat: 7gm

If you don’t prefer ground buffalo meat, you can also substitute it with turkey.

Let us know if you ever make the classic meatloaf recipe. We would love to hear reviews. Comment down below what was your best combination and if this recipe was helpful.





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