• Main Dishes
  • Meatloaf Recipe

    This post may contain affiliate links for which I earn a commission. Read my disclosure page here.

    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.

    meatloaf recipe

    Email Me This Recipe

    Enter your email and we'll send the recipe directly to you!

    Save Post

    By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails from Delicious Meets Healthy.

    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

    1. Use lean beef (ground sirloin is 90-92% lean and only 8-10% fat). You don’t want the meatloaf swimming in grease.
    2. 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.
    3. Line the meatloaf pan with parchment paper for easier removal of the meatloaf.
    4. 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.
    5. Add seasonings to make it flavorful
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Use the juices from the pan to pour over the meatloaf slices.
    best meatloaf

    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!

    easy meatloaf recipe

    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.

    how long to cook meatloaf

    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.

    easy meatloaf

    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:

    What To Make With Leftover Meatloaf

    • Beef tacos
    • Beef quesadillas
    • Spaghetti Bolognese
    • Chili
    • Nachos
    • Beef and Hashbrown Casserole

    More Easy Dinner Recipes to Try

    Meatloaf Recipe

    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.
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 50 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
    Servings 8

    Email Me This Recipe

    Enter your email and we’ll send the recipe directly to you!

    Save Post

    By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails from Delicious Meets Healthy.



    Meatloaf Sauce



    • 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.

    Meatloaf Sauce

    • 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.


    Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 1068mg | Potassium: 584mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 430IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 4mg
    Course Main Course
    Cuisine American
    Keyword Gluten Free, how to make meatloaf, meatloaf, Paleo, Whole30
    Did you make this recipe?

    Use the tag #DeliciousMeetsHealthy when posting a picture of your recipe, and make sure to follow @deliciousmeetshealthy on Instagram!

    Oct 01, 2019 | Updated: Dec 26, 2020

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe Rating

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


    Bonnie Berkley

    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!

      Neli | Delicious Meets Healthy

      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.

    Spring Salads

    Get our FREE Meal Plans weekly!