Classic meatloaf topped with a shiny glaze on a white plate with parsley garnish.

Rich, hearty, and made in one pan—there’s a reason that meatloaf has been the classic American dinner for generations. This amazing homemade meatloaf recipe brings the ultimate comfort food to your table with just ten minutes of prep time, making it an easy addition to your dinner rotation.

This classic meatloaf recipe is as simple as can be but packs a powerful punch of flavor that the entire family will love. Comfort is in every bite when you pair this perfect main dish with creamy mashed potatoes and roasted green beans.

Three slices of meatloaf with a flavorful glaze on top garnished with fresh parsley.

Ingredients for Traditional Meatloaf

Glaze Ingredients:

  • Ketchup: A classic for a reason!
  • Mustard: A little tang.
  • Brown Sugar: A hint of sweetness!
  • Chili Powder: Add a little heat! Make sure to add some to your meat mixture too.

Meatloaf Ingredients:

  • Ground Meat: We’re using ground chuck or 85/15 ground beef. 85/15 means the ground beef is 85% lean and 15% fat.
  • Breadcrumbs: Panko or plain bread crumbs are great choices.
  • Egg: The best binding agent for this recipe.
  • Onion: Finely minced!
  • Bell Pepper: Minced green peppers are the go-to!
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Sweet and sour, this is a not-so-well-kept meatloaf secret ingredient.

Protip: Use the right ground meat!

Choose meat with a higher fat content for a truly moist meatloaf. The more fat, the juicier the end result.

How to Make This Easy Meatloaf Recipe

Collage of six easy steps to make meatloaf.
  1. The best way to cook this is low and slow. Preheat oven to 350°F while you prep.
  2. Mix ketchup, mustard, chili powder, and brown sugar in a small bowl until fully combined and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix all loaf ingredients together. Ideally, the minced onions and peppers will be evenly dispersed throughout.
  4. Form a loaf with the meat mixture in a small baking dish or loaf pan. Make the loaf about 2 inches high using a small baking dish.
  5. Pour the glaze on top of the meat in an even layer. Place in the preheated oven and bake uncovered for 60 minutes until cooked through.
  6. Allow to cool for 10–15 minutes before slicing. Feel free to garnish with parsley or other herbs and serve!

What if I don’t have any Worcestershire sauce?

No worries—soy sauce will work as a substitute!

Two slices of meatloaf on a white plate garnished with fresh herbs.

Variations on a traditional recipe

This classic recipe hardly needs any changes, but that’s the beauty of being a home cook. You can make any recipe your own with just a few tweaks! Here are a few ideas for your personal best recipe!

  • Turn this into a BBQ Bacon Meatloaf! Add a couple of chopped-up bacon strips to the meat mixture, and use your favorite barbecue sauce as the glaze.
  • Not into ground chuck? Ground turkey or ground chicken can be used too! When using lean meat, mix in a little ground pork or ground veal to increase the fat content so you still get a moist meatloaf.
  • Swap the Worcestershire for soy sauce and the ketchup for sweet chili sauce in the glaze to turn this into an Asian-inspired meatloaf!

Why is my meatloaf falling apart?

It’s all about the binding agents! Make sure to use enough breadcrumbs and eggs to keep everything together. It could also be falling apart if it’s overcooked. Start checking the internal temperature after 60 minutes of cooking time and every few minutes after that until it reaches 160°F.

Classic meatloaf served on a white plate and garnished with fresh parsley.

How do I reheat meatloaf?

Leftover meatloaf sandwiches are to die for, but only when it is as moist as the day it was made. Place leftover meatloaf in a baking dish with a couple of tablespoons of chicken broth, beef broth, or water, cover with aluminum foil, and reheat at 350°F until the internal temperature reaches 160°F. As the liquid evaporates, it’ll infuse the meat with moisture.

You can also reheat meatloaf in the microwave, but we only recommend microwaving slices. Bigger pieces will not heat through properly.

How long will leftover meatloaf be good for?

Leftovers can be refrigerated for 2-3 days. Enjoy a slice on its own, or make yourself a tasty meatloaf sandwich!

Finished meatloaf on a white serving platter with a slice removed to show the inside.

What to serve with homemade meatloaf

An entree like this deserves side dishes just as cozy and comforting. Pair your new go-to recipe with Garlic Roasted Potatoes and Roasted Cauliflower. Or balance the heartiness with a fresh, bright Superfood Caesar Salad or other simple vegetable side dish.

Classic meatloaf topped with a shiny glaze on a white plate with parsley garnish.

Easy Meatloaf Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Meatloaf is a food that most Americans grew up with. Some say it's the ultimate comfort food. Here's how to make meatloaf!

Ingredients

For the glaze:

  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

For the meatloaf:

  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons onion, minced
  • 3 tablespoons green bell pepper, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Fresh parsley, for optional garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix all glaze ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Mix all loaf ingredients together. Form a loaf with the meat mixture in a small greased baking dish or greased loaf pan. If using a small baking dish, form it about 2 inches high.
  4. Pour the glaze over the meatloaf.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven uncovered for 60 minutes until cooked through.
  6. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing, garnish with parsley (optional) and serve!

Notes

  • Serve with mashed or roasted potatoes!
  • Use ground chuck or 85% lean ground beef for this recipe. Both work great.
  • Leftovers store really well in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. Heat it up all by itself, or make a delicious meatloaf sandwich!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 464Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 147mgSodium: 785mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 17gProtein: 35g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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