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This homemade meatloaf recipe is classic comfort food and a huge family favorite! It’s so juicy, flavorful and easy, topped with a delicious glaze.
How To Make Meatloaf
Lean ground beef is mixed with breadcrumbs, eggs, finely chopped onion and garlic, and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. I also add some fresh parsley and seasonings. I am sharing my technique and tips for making this perfectly juicy and flavorful meatloaf every single time.
And that glaze is amazing and simply irresistible. The sweet and tangy meatloaf sauce is made with ketchup, vinegar and a little bit of sweetener.
I have also included some favorite meatloaf side dish ideas at the bottom of the post.
Tips for The Best Meatloaf
- Use lean beef (ground sirloin is 90-92% lean and only 8-10% fat). You don’t want the meatloaf swimming in grease.
- Do not overmix the meat mixture which will result in a tough and dense loaf. You want to mix the meat mixture well so all the ingredients are well combined and the meat begins to feel sticky.
- Line the meatloaf pan with parchment paper for easier removal of the meatloaf.
- Use enough binding ingredients. In addition to breadcrumbs, add an egg. They add moisture and protein which will help hold the mixture together. This will help the meatloaf to retain its shape and not fall apart, and it makes it moister and tastier.
- Add seasonings to make it flavorful
- Chop the onion finely. This helps with the texture of the meatloaf. Or you can swap it out for 1 tsp of onion powder if you don’t like onion pieces in the meatloaf.
- Don’t cook in a very hot oven. Cook the meatloaf at 375 F. When the outside has cooked much quicker than the inside and the meatloaf hasn’t cooked evenly, the proteins contract and tighten up, leaving cracks on top.
- Let meatloaf rest for 10 -15 minutes before slicing it. This helps redistribute all the juices and cool off. Otherwise, if you slice your meatloaf while still hot, it might fall apart.
- Use the juices from the pan to pour over the meatloaf slices.
The Best Meatloaf Sauce
This sweet and tangy sauce is made with ketchup, a little bit of sugar (or your sweetener of choice) and vinegar. I also added some garlic and onion powder, and salt and black pepper for seasoning. So simple but it adds so much flavor to the meat.
Most meatloaf glaze recipes call only for ketchup, vinegar, and sugar, but I believe adding some seasonings makes all the difference and gives it an amazing flavor. Once baked, this meatloaf sauce is simply irresistible!
Healthy Meatloaf Recipe (Whole30, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Low-Carb)
While this meatloaf recipe is gluten-free, wholesome and relatively healthy, you can also swap the Worcestershire sauce with fish sauce and use sugar-free Whole30 compliant ketchup to make whole30 or paleo meatloaf. You can also additionally substitute the breadcrumbs with almond flour to make low-carb meatloaf.
How Long To Cook Meatloaf
Bake meatloaf for about 40 minutes at 375 F. The meatloaf is ready when it has reached 160 F internal temperature. You can use an instant-read thermometer to check the meatloaf internal temperature.
Why Does My Meatloaf Fall Apart
There are several reasons why your meatloaf is falling apart. The meat mixture, the binding ingredients, oven temperature and the cooling time affect the texture of your meatloaf.
You want your beef to have some fat content or use a mixture of beef and some pork.
Use an egg as a binding ingredient and add some milk to the breadcrumbs so the meatloaf retains moisture and doesn’t crumble as it bakes.
Also, make sure you don’t bake it at a high temperature because the meatloaf will cook unevenly and fall apart when you slice it.
One final tip to help your meatloaf hold together is to give it a few minutes to rest when you take it out of the oven. That gives the binding ingredients to set again and help hold it together.
Can You Freeze Meatloaf
Yes, you can freeze meatloaf. After you cook it, allow it to cool down completely and then wrap in a plastic foil. Wrap again in aluminum foil or place in an airtight freezer container to prevent freezer burn. You can also add the sauce to the container and freeze everything together.
To make it even more convenient, you can slice the meatloaf and freeze the individual slices on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag. This makes it easy to take out as many slices as you need instead of defrosting the whole loaf.
What Sides to Serve with Meatloaf
Our favorite way to serve this classic meatloaf is with these creamy mashed potatoes and green beans. Some other delicious sides are:
- Roasted Garlic Cauliflower
- Roasted Honey Glazed Carrots
- Brussels Sprouts
- Baked Potato Slices
- Creamy Scalloped Potatoes
- Loaded Cauliflower Bake
What To Make With Leftover Meatloaf
- Beef tacos
- Beef quesadillas
- Spaghetti Bolognese
- Beef and Hashbrown Casserole
More Easy Dinner Recipes to Try
- 2 lb lean ground beef
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup breadcrumbs, (I used gluten-free)
- 1 medium onion, grated
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
- 1-2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 Tablespoon ketchup
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoon brown sugar, (or sweetener of choice)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt & black pepper, each
- Preheat oven to 375 F and line a meatloaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the ground beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, milk, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, paprika, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix well until everything is well combined.
- Add meat mixture to the pan and gently press down so the top is flat. Bake the meatloaf for about 40 minutes.
- Mix the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl. Spread the sauce over the meatloaf and bake for additional 10 minutes. Let the meatloaf rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. Drizzle the juices from the pan over each slice when you are serving.
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Question: I would like to add veggies to the recipe. Should I increase the breadcrumbs a bit to compensate for the extra moisture? I always have issues with the meatloaf falling apart when it comes out of the oven!
Hi Bonnie, I am not sure what kind of veggies you would like to add (and how much of them) but that is probably the reason why your meatloaf is falling apart. Chopped vegetables don’t bind together that well and tend to fall apart. I am sorry I can’t help you with this as I have never tried adding more vegetables to the meatloaf without it falling apart.
Delicious! My Mom also loves this recipe and we will cook it up again and again.
So glad to hear you love this meatloaf recipe! It’s a family favorite at home too! 🙂
Love it! Thanks for your awesome review, I’m so glad you enjoyed the meatloaf.
Great recipe ! Didn’t take long to put together & had it done before my partner finished setting up our new bed set. It’s definitely moist & flavorful.
So glad you liked the recipe! 🙂
Delicious recipe! Thanks for sharing! Such comfort food
My whole family loved this recipe! It was so easy, yet had so much flavor. It’s definitely a new one to add to my weekly recipe rotation!
LOVED this meatloaf recipe! This is my new “go-to” recipe!
Your tips are awesome! Will definitely bookmark this post for next time I make a meatloaf! It looks so juicy so you must be an expert I can learn from!
Delicious recipe for a favorite comfort food.
can you explain “Amount Per Serving”. What is the serving size exactly? Is it based off a cup or 1/2 a cup. please help. I would like to track my calories. thanks so much
I love the way you mix breadcrumbs with lean beef to finish the flavor and colorful of meatloaf.