The Best Meatloaf Recipe


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The BEST Meatloaf Recipe is something I’ve worked years at perfecting… and here it is! A tender juicy beef meatloaf topped with a zesty topping and baked until tender and juicy!

I absolutely LOVE meatloaf and I always have! This easy meatloaf recipe is loaded with flavor and is pretty simple to make! Add in a side of my favorite Crock Pot Mac and Cheese and some bread with Homemade Garlic Butter you’ve literally got the meal of my dreams. 

Juicy meatloaf on a cutting board ready to eat!

Mom’s Meatloaf

Meatloaf was always a dish my mom would make and a meal I absolutely loved so I wanted to keep this meatloaf recipe as close to hers as possible. 

Ground beef is mixed with bread crumbs, onions, and parsley but my absolute favorite part is the topping on this meatloaf recipe.

I serve meatloaf alongside mac and cheese or mashed potatoes and peas, it is the perfect classic dinner. Broccoli, pasta, and carrots all make awesome sides for this meatloaf recipe too!

Easy meatloaf made from my favorite meatloaf recipe with veggies and rice

Meatloaf Sauce

I use a mixture of chili sauce and ketchup (just like my mom always made) and it really takes this recipe to the next level. It’s all baked until crisped on the outside and melt in your mouth tender inside.

If you’ve never had chili sauce, you need to try it! It’s not spicy at all, it’s more like a zesty ketchup with tons of flavor. I add it to soups and stews (and it’s amazing added to bbq sauce for Barbecue Ribs). I love it on everything from Burgers to Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes. It adds amazing flavor to this meatloaf recipe. 

Making the Best Meatloaf

Meatloaf is not difficult to make but there are a couple of common problems people encounter.

Overmixing will cause your meatloaf to become dense making it seem tough and not tender. As with most ground beef recipes (including patties or meatballs), the beef and add-ins should be mixed just until combined for a tender result.

Adding too much liquid or not allowing the meat to rest can result in the meatloaf falling apart so be sure to leave a few minutes for rest time!

Ingredients to make the best meatloaf recipe.

How To Make Meatloaf

Meatloaf has had a bad rap in the past… which makes me sad because it’s dang good when prepared properly! There are a few tips you need to know to make sure this meatloaf recipe comes out perfectly juicy and flavorful every time!

  • Do Not Overmix:
    • You want to mix until everything is just combined. Over mixing will create a dense loaf!
  • Use Lean Meat:
    • Use lean beef (but not extra lean). You need a bit of fat for flavor but don’t want it swimming in grease so lean beef is the perfect option.
  • Add flavors and moisture:
    • Adding in seasonings and soaking the breadcrumbs in milk keep this flavorful and moist.  If you have fresh herbs, add those in as well for great results!
  • Cook on a Baking Sheet:
    • Using a baking sheet to cook your meatloaf gives the best results. If you cook in a loaf pan you’ll get steam (and nobody wants steamed meat) and nowhere for the drippings to go.  Form your own loaf on a foil lined pan.
  • Rest the Meatloaf:
    • With any meatloaf recipe, the final product should be rested once it comes out of the oven.  This helps redistribute the juices and makes sure it won’t fall apart!

Juicy meatloaf recipe topped with chili sauce and ketchup.

How Long To Cook Meatloaf

Meatloaf will need to cook at 350°F for about 50-60 minutes (depending on shape/size). The best way ensure it is cooked through is to use a meat thermometer. A meat thermometer inserted into the centre should read an internal temperature of 160°F.

Meatloaf Cooking Times

Below you can find how long to cook a 2lb meatloaf:

  • Bake at 350° for 55-65 minutes
  • Bake at 375° for 45-55 minutes

If you are halving the recipe (or increasing it) you can use the cook times below to cook at 350°F. Remember that using a thermometer is your best bet to ensure meatloaf that is cooked through yet perfectly tender.

  • Bake a 1lb meatloaf for about 45 minutes total.
  • Bake a 2lb meatloaf for about 55 minutes total.
  • Bake a 3 lb meatloaf for about 1 hour 20 minutes.

Make sure you let your meatloaf rest for 10-15 minutes before you slice it so it doesn’t fall apart and it retains all of its juices!  I like to tent it with aluminum foil so it keeps warm while it’s resting.

Can you Freeze Meatloaf?

You can absolutely freeze meatloaf either before or after cooking.  To freeze before cooking, place in a loaf pan lined with plastic wrap (or form a loaf on a pan). Freeze completely, seal well. Defrost raw frozen meatloaf in the refrigerator 24 hours. Bake as directed.

Once cooked, I freeze the individual slices on a parchment lined pan and once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag.  This makes it easy to grab one slice or several to reheat! Simply reheat in the microwave or in the oven.

Serve it with a caesar salad, mashed potatoes, or dinner rolls for a perfect meal that will make everyone beg for seconds!

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4.47 from 45 votes
Review Recipe

The Best Meatloaf Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
This is the best meatloaf recipe ever! It comes out juicy every time, and it seriously couldn’t be easier. 

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/3 cup onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
Meatloaf Sauce
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar optional

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Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a foil lined baking tray with cooking spray and set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl combine eggs, milk, and breadcrumbs. Allow mixture to sit for 5-10 minutes. 

  3. Add the ground beef, onions, 1 tablespoon of chili sauce, Italian seasoning and parsley. Mix until just combined.

  4. Form a 8"x4" loaf on the prepared baking tray. Bake for 40 minutes. 

  5. Meanwhile, combine the chili sauce and ketchup (and brown sugar if using). Spread mixture over the meatloaf and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until cooked through and the meatloaf reaches 160°F.

  6. Allow meatloaf to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. 

Nutrition Information
Calories: 262, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 112mg, Sodium: 640mg, Potassium: 599mg, Carbohydrates: 17g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 7g, Protein: 28g, Vitamin A: 415%, Vitamin C: 5.8%, Calcium: 73%, Iron: 3.7%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword ground beef, meatloaf, meatloaf recipe

 

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Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Comments

  1. Not so bad, Snookums. I ALWAYS add Worcestershire sauce to the mix, it adds SO much. Black olives also. Skip the Ketchup, brown sugar stuff. Their’s enuff sugar out there in EVERYTHING.
    Just add a can of Tomato Sauce after 35 minutes in the oven. This is a Savory recipe , NOT SWEET!

  2. This meatloaf was delicious. I was searching for a new meatloaf recipe and this one is wonderful. I made it along with your scalloped potatoes and some cooked from scratched mixed beans. It was a great meal that we shared with my in-laws after my MIL’s surgery. It was just the comfort food she needed. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

  3. Thanks for this recipe!
    I’m curious if I bumped this up to a 3lb meatloaf seeing as it is not quite double … would I need to adjust ingredients and if so how when it comes to the eggs and such?

    Thank you!

    1. You’re welcome. If you add another pound of meat, you would add 1/2 more of all the ingredients, so a total of 3 eggs. Hope that helps Dawn!

  4. Followed this recipe to a T. There is no salt in this recipe so I actually had to add salt after. Meat loaf fell apart was like cooked ground meat.

    1. Sorry this didn’t work out for you Faye. Did you allow the meatloaf to rest before cutting? Was your beef lean (extra lean doesn’t have enough fat).

  5. Tried this recipe in combination with another I found and it turned out great. I used bread because I didn’t have bread crumbs and added Worcestershire sauce, fresh garlic and ginger to the mixture and glaze and it was amazing.

    My first encounter with meatloaf was nothing to write home about so I hated it until I made this for the first time yesterday. Thanks for sharing your recipe

    1. I hope someone can chime in with a suggestion Kelly.
      In theory, I believe it will work, but I have only made this as written.

  6. This is a easy and quick recipe. My family loves it. But one observation I noticed was in the video Dijon mustard is added in but in the ingredients it’s not listed. How much are you supposed to use?

    1. Hi Leslie, you are going to want to cook it until it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F on a meat thermometer.

    2. This is my favorite recipe for meatloaf! My husband says it’s the best! Thank you for sharing! I just wanted to point out that in the recipe is says to use 2lbs of ground beef, and then bake for 40 minutes in the oven at 350°. Above the recipe it says to bake a 2lb meat loaf for 55 minutes at 375°. I do the latter.

      1. Hi Sasha, in the recipe we bake the 2lb meatloaf for 40 minutes, cover it in meatloaf sauce and then bake for an additional 15 minutes or until cooked through. Enjoy!

  7. I lost my favorite meatloaf recipe years ago, and haven’t found one we love since. We don’t care for any kind of sauce on top. Do you think this would be too dry if I omit the sauce? It sounds wonderful.

    1. Hi Claire, we have only made this recipe with the sauce but it should turn out moist without the sauce as well. Let us know how it goes!

  8. Do the onions come out soft (no crunch). Hubby can’t stand raw onion texture so I usually safirst, but it would be nice to not have to do that.

    1. They do soften a bit but if you’d like to ensure they’re completely soft I would suggest either cooking and cooling them first or you could grate some onion (a couple tablespoons should be plenty) on a cheese grater. Enjoy!

  9. Out of the blue just got a hankering for meatloaf and thought, I bet Holly has a recipe for that. Made this last night and it is the absolute best meatloaf I have ever tried! Also, the chili sauce is a great discovery. Thanks again Holly, you saved the day.

  10. Hi Holly,
    I really look forward to giving this recipe a go. My mother always made it and it was always enjoyed by the whole family. From memory, she used 50/50 beef mince and sausage meat, but I’m not really sure why?

    Is the chilli sauce a sweet one or not, as the Heinz one you linked to is not available here in Australia? I can find lots of other sweet chilli brands, and non-sweet chilli, I just don’t want it hot or spicy?

    Also, Italian breadcrumbs seem to be a bit elusive here in Oz at least at the local supermarkets, what’s another type of breadcrumb I could use?

    Cheers,
    John

    1. Chili sauce is not sweet or spicy. The chili sauce I use is Heinz brand and it’s like a very zesty ketchup. There are links to the chili sauce within the post.

      If you don’t have Italian breadcrumbs, you can use regular bread crumbs with a pinch of salt and Italian seasoning.

  11. Holly I never use Breadcrumbs, I use saltine Crackers and I like yo us 1/2lb of Jimmy Dean sausage to 1lb of ground beef. Have never used milk. what is the purpose of the milk

    1. I have used a variety of toppings for meatloaf. Ketchup or BBQ sauce could work. I hope this helps Rose.

  12. Just made this and I’m nervous bc I’m just seeing the recipe doesn’t call for salt and pepper. Is that going to make it bland?

    1. There are plenty of delicious flavors and spices in this meatloaf recipe and I don’t find it bland at all. Feel free to add salt and pepper to your taste Jessica!

  13. Can we discuss how fantastic this recipe is??! Thank you so much for posting. I omitted the milk, made 3 smaller loaves and cooked for less time. The chili sauce is fantastic. I’m so happy to have found a new recipe to add to my circulation!!! So great!

    1. We definitely can discuss that! We love this recipe, meatloaf is such a delicious meal to have in circulation! We are glad you love it!

  14. I love trying all different meatloafts. Followed this to a T. It was really good. Turned out really moist where I like mine to be a bit more firm. None the less it was delish. I did add salt, pep and garlic salt……and more salt and pep. I wouldnt change anything else except for maybe cooking at a bit higher temp for like 20 more mins. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. I’m going to make this tonight for my family, you said to use a pan instead of a loaf pan? Can I use a baking sheet lined with foil?
      Thanks- J

      1. That should work fine Jennifer, just be carefuly the juice may leak off the pan when you pull it out of the oven! Enjoy.

  15. i am going to try this soon .i was reading where someone was asking about freezing them.my husband wont eat meatloaf so i buy those small foil bread pans in walmart and make my meat loafs and freeze them. its enough for one or two people .i thaw and cook .always good . i like your idea of making the loaf and freezeing pieces .ill have to try that. there are times i would love a piece of meatloaf but dont want to cook a whole one

    1. I hope you love this recipe Judith! Freezing it makes it so handy to have your meatloaf whenever the craving hits!

  16. I hadn’t had meatloaf in a long time, mainly because when I was a kid, my mom’s meatloaf was a little dry and flavorless (sorry, mom!), but I decided it was time to revisit it. I only had half a pound of beef on hand, so I cut the recipe in half and made two mini loaves and baked them for 30 minutes. They turned out great!

  17. I recommed When making a meatloaf, always use half and half, mince and sausage meat, plus all the spices, breadcrumbs etc etc. So much nicer flavour than just the mince. Give it a go, also I put half the mixture in the loaf tin and cover it with sliced hard boiled eggs, then more meat loaf.

    Makes a delious flavour.

  18. I haven’t made it yet but out of curiosity….. If I wanted to make the recipe using 3lbs of beef how much would I increase the rest of the ingredients? I’m really bad at that lol

    1. I would multiply the ingredients listed by 1.5 to accommodate an extra pound of beef Sam. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  19. This was absolutely delicious !!! I used an Asian sweet chili sauce and fresh chives rather than parsley (because those were all I had) and it was phenomenal!!! Made this for my husband and sister for dinner and it’s pretty much gone. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  20. Oh Chili Sauce, where have you been all my life?? Made this tonight just as the recipe says and it was delicious! The sauce gave it that perfect sticky, tang and the mixture was moist and tender. Will definately be a regular dish on my table.

  21. I used ground pork because beef is way too expensive. Had to use ketchup and bbq sauce instead of chili sauce as it only comes in tiny bottles for a huge price here. I’ve only ever had meatloaf made with rolled oats instead of bread crumbs. I found it very moist but the taste was too much like soggy bread with the seasoned bread crumbs. Unfortunately I’m the only one who would try it so most of it got tossed. Also took way longer to cook despite making it more flat and spread out on the pan than indicated. I’m sure I must have done something wrong somewhere but that’s my take on how it turned out for me!

    1. I’m sorry this didn’t work out for you Laura. Ground pork often has more fat than lean ground beef so that may have changed the texture of the meatloaf, I can’t say for sure as I haven’t tried it with pork.

    2. Meat loaf is not really designed for all pork. Turkey, venison, yes or even a ham loaf, but all ground pork will be much too fat.

  22. Meatloaf is not meatloaf if you don’t put in a bunch of bell pepper and about 3 times the onions you specified.

    1. Meatloaf was pretty awful. Followed the recipe precisely and it came out soggy, bland, and seemingly undercooked. Would not recommend to anyone who enjoys flavorful food.

  23. I have used chili sauce with my meatloaf for years, but I’m going to try your tip about baking it on a sheet. For the last meatloaf I made, I used a mixture of ground beef and ground veal, and it was the tastiest one I have ever made! I recommend trying that!

  24. I am wanting to make, but only have 1 pond meat. I am assuming cut down from 2 eggs to 1. What should I reduce the breadcrumbs and milk to? Thank you in advance. (:

    1. Sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy the meatloaf as much as we do Fred. With the chili sauce, onions and seasonings, we don’t find it necessary to add salt and pepper. Feel free to add salt and pepper to taste.

  25. I made this meatloaf tonight for dinner… the second time in 3 weeks! I am not a meatloaf fan but I really enjoy this one, my husband did too! It’s even delicious the next day in a sandwich!
    Thank you!

  26. I made this tonight for dinner. By far the best ever meatloaf. Followed it completely and it was so easy. So juicy. So tasty. So much better then my own!! Thank you for my new go to recipe.

  27. I love this receipe but instead of chili for the Topping part are used a honey barbecue sauce mixed with the ketchup and brown sugar. A great flavor just changed it up. I use the chili inside the meat mixture. Love this recipe. I’m also going to try your mac & cheese in the crockpot I’ll let you know!

  28. I don’t even like meatloaf but this was awesome! I did add garlic but that was for personal preference. I also used dried parsley as it was all I had on hand. My kids ate it, my parents ate it, there was none left!! Clean plates everywhere! Will be making again for sure!

  29. This has become my go to meatloaf. The only way to make it better is to smoke it on my smoker. People who don’t know what chili sauce is, it’s been around forever and right by the ketchup in the grocery. Fantastic.

  30. This recipe is similar to the one I make and grew up with. The only difference is I also use green bell pepper, salt, and a little onion powder. I’ve not tried it with Italian seasoning, so I added that this time. It was delicious! We always enjoyed it with mashed potatoes and peas as well! Also, chili sauce has always been my “secret ingredient” but I’ve only ever put it in the topping. Great idea to add some to the mix! Jalapeño ketchup works great if you like it spicier. Bon appetit!

  31. This wasn’t great. Needs salt for sure, and this is coming from someone who routinely eliminates half the salt from most recipes.
    For the topping I used something that was called chili sauce. (It was what I had in my fridge and it had a rooster on the label.) My topping was way too hot! I like hot food, but this wasn’t good at all. And it wasn’t gooey and sticky like I prefer either. Maybe you could specify a brand and type of chili sauce. I think I’ll stick with my ketchup and brown sugar and let it get sticky and gooey on top of the meatloaf like MY mom used to make.
    For the positives, the texture was good and I always prefer to bake my meatloaf on a cookie sheet (with a rim) rather than a loaf pan and now I know why!

    1. For the chili sauce, there is a description in the post and it has a link to the exact brand/bottle I use (in both the description above as well as in the recipe itself). If you click the word “chili sauce” on the recipe you can see what it looks like. Chili sauce is like a ketchup but a bit more zesty and not spicy at all. I makes for a lovely (sticky) topping.

      If you used a chili sauce with a rooster on it, it may be sambal oelek or sriracha (if it has a green lid) both of which are extremely spicy and would not make a nice topping on this recipe. I hope that helps!

  32. I was so hopeful and even made my own chili sauce (which was the best part). Bland, bland , bland. Needs salt/pepper for sure. Maybe Sriracha?

  33. Hi! Would you consider this spicy? My little ones tend to freak out when anything “burns their tongues”. Just wondering if I should omit the chili sauce and substitute ketchup?

    1. I wouldn’t consider this spicy. Chili sauce tastes more like a zesty ketchup. It adds tons of great flavor to this recipe but you might like to give it a taste before you add it.

  34. My son loves meatloaf, but I rarely make it since my Heinz 57 disaster. (Accidentally dumped the rest of the bottle into the meat mixture and left it. Terrible!) So now I have defrosted 1 lb. extra lean ground beef and 1 lb. ground pork. Can I proceed with the recipe as written or should I use only half the ground pork? I don’t have any chili sauce. Is just ketchup okay? I have tomato paste and cocktail sauce plus a jalapeño I could add. Suggestions?

    1. Oh no on the Heinz 57 Kate! I have only made this as written although I do think the 2lbs should work out ok. The pork may have a little bit more fat (on the pan) but I bet it’ll taste delicious!

  35. Delicious! I adapted it to meet my gluten and dairy free needs and it was still quite amazing. The true test is my family and they all loved it!

      1. Breadcrumbs and milk can be replaced with a mashed potato, a medium-sized one for one kg of meat, adjust to taste, the bigger the potato, the softer it gets, add too much and it falls apart, just experiment until you get the consistency you like

  36. My wife followed this recipe and almost burned down our apartment. Apparently she used a “baking tray” like the recipe says, which to me is the wrong thing to use for this recipe. All the grease dropped over the side of the “baking tray” and caught fire in our oven. I think a casserole dish would be a much better way to go.

    1. Hi James, a baking tray should have a lip on the ends to prevent spillage. A cookie sheet does not, which would cause the grease to spill into the oven. If you try it again, let me know how it turns out!

    2. Hi James,
      I always make my meatloaf on a rimmed baking tray, lined with parchment paper and this works very well. Another option is a roasting pan. My mother always made hers in a roasting pan. I’ve never made a meatloaf in a loaf pan. I’ve been making meat loaf for almost fifty years now. I think you would be pleased with the results. I plan to make this recipe for the first time for dinner today.

      Jan

    3. James, what I have found works best is a to put the meatloaf on a rack or tray that sits on top,of the pan. I have a pan meant for broiling with a metal tray with holes. All the fat & juices drip down so the meatloaf gets that great browning on top & on the sides & it isn’t sitting in liquid as it cooks.

  37. Omg!! This was so good!! I was looking for a different meatloaf recipe then what I normally use just for a change from the usual. I am so happy that I found your recipe!! My family and I loved it! I only made one change. I didn’t have any chilli sauce but I did have sweet chilli sauce. It tasted fantastic, not too spicy just enough to give it a little bite. I will definitely be making this again!!
    Thank you!!

  38. Three is the charm? Making this recipe for the THIRD time – it is THAT awesome!

    First time I did the recipe as written – magnificent result.

    Second time I used a local *spicy* bbq sauce in lieu of the chili sauce (1/4 C bbq sauce to 2/3C ketchup). WOW!!!

    Tonight I will be using a meat mixture of ground beef, pork and veal. (My mixture for haloupke…stuffed cabbage). And garlic!

    Holly, this recipe stands on its own merit. And it gives a great foundation for those who like to experiment. (Full disclosure: I have never been a meatloaf fan, and only make it b/c my darling bride loves it. Finding your recipe has changed my mind!)

    (And great tips/reminders about mixing the ingredients and resting the meat!)

    Happy New Year!

    1. Wow, thank you Rick. What a compliment! Thank you for sharing your ideas, I’m definitely going to try a meat mixture. I love the flavor ground veal adds to dishes (although I rarely make it at home)!!

      1. Late follow-up using the additional ground meats (veal & pork). It really enhanced the flavor profile. However it will need additional binding – another egg and another 1/8 – 1/4 C of breadcrumbs to help keep its shape. (My plating looked like Hamburger Helper gone wild-heheheheh)
        I have made the original recipe (Ok, with garlic) twice since this latest experiment – still a GREAT go-to recipe. Cheers!

  39. This meatloaf was awesome. I followed the recipe exactly. I did add salt. I think mixing the breadcrumbs separately makes a big difference. Will definitely make this again and again!

  40. So with making it on a cookie sheet pan, you just shape the meatloaf dough into a loaf shape and it will hold its shape or do I need to make a foil pan thing for it?? How does that work?

    1. Yes, if you form it into a loaf shape, it will hold its shape. No need to make a foil pan for it. You can line your pan with foil for easy cleanup if you’d like. I would suggest spraying the pan with cooking spray so the meatloaf doesn’t stick. Enjoy!

  41. I’m halving the recipe, so 1 pound of beef. How long do I bake at 350 and how long do I rest? Your recipe says 45 minutes total, but I don’t know if that includes rest time or not.

  42. Love the meatloaf. The only thing is the meat needs salt. Maybe just a 1 1/2 teaspoon And I will increase the amount of sauce… it was very tasty. It was still a hit.

  43. Hi there. I’m looking for an Instant Pot meatloaf recipe. Your recipe, backed by the comments you have received, sounds wonderful.Do you think it would work in an Instant Pot? I realize I would have to adjust the time to an instant pot recipe.

    1. I have only tried this recipe as written, but if you adapt it for the Instant Pot, I would love to hear how it turns out!

  44. Hi Holly, I want to try your recipe with 1lb of ground meat will the amount of ingredients for 2lbs work for 1lb I don’t want to over power the recipe with too much ingredients. Thank you forbsharing cant wait to try it…

    1. Hi Diana, I have only tried the recipe as written. If you are using 1/2 of the beef, I suggest halving the whole recipe. Let me know how it turns out!

  45. I am 15 and have made this recipe for my family twice now. It always turns out amazing! My whole family (including a picky eater) loves it! Thank you so much for sharing!!

    1. Oh Cait, I’m so happy to hear that you love making this meatloaf for your family! Thank you for sharing. I hope you find some other recipes you’ll love just as much!

  46. I was outta chili sauce so I used couple table spoons wolf brand chili mixed w ketchup. But i wanted it lil sweeter n i was outta brown sugar and grape jelly so i mixed 2 big tablespoons of strawberry jelly and it was Awesome.. my Grandbabies came back for 3rds.. everyone raved over it… thank You

  47. I watched making the meatloaf first and then read the directions but didn’t see the Dijon mustard mentioned in the recipe… does it matter if we put in the Dijon or not?

  48. Merry Christmas Holly!!
    I just finished cooking your best Meatloaf. I followed the recipe to the letter. It was done @160 degrees right at 55 mins. I removed it from the oven let it rest for 10 min. And promptly made myself a meatloaf sandwich.it was delicious !!!! That was the first time I made a meatloaf on a cookie sheet I’ll never do it any other way. My wife is vegetarian so I got it all to myself!!! What a Christmas present , thanks again holly.
    Leonard

  49. Hi Holly,Merry Christmas,or as we say in Hawaii,Mele Kalikimaka.I am trying your meatloaf recipie today,for dinner,it’s smelling awfully good.I am just tasting a piece,and it’s fantastic.I have a lot of your recipes,and appreciate your quick,economical take on food.Keep them coming,and I’ll keep trying them.Have a Safe one. Aloha Ann Insillio

  50. Well I made a few of the mistakes other commenters did (Used a brownie pan – needed extra cooking time and some draining , pinches of italian bread instead of bread crumbs – should have reduced the milk a bit to account for that) Substituted 1 Lb of chorizo & 1 Lb of burger instead of 2 Lb burger.

    In the end though… my wife said it was better than Golden Corral meatloaf! To me that’s high praise :)

  51. Do you think it’s possible that I use ground flax instead of Breadcrumbs? If so, do you think I would have to adjust milk amounts?

    1. I’ve only made the recipe as written. Maybe other readers may have experience using flax instead of breadcrumbs.

  52. I was very disappointed with “The Best Meatloaf” recipe. I doubled the recipe and used two standard 9″ bread baking loaf pans. I baked the meatloaf for 40 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and then added the catshup-chilli sauce-brown sugar topping. While I did check the loaf’s temperature at the end of 40 minutes, my thermometer indicated that the meatloaf was done at a temperature of 172 degrees. By the way, the thermometer is calibrated. The problem with the meatloaf in addition to being excessively bland was that the upper portion of the meatloaf was not done; it was raw, and the onions were still crunchy. Apparently, I checked the temperature below the uncooked portion. So, dinner was a disaster. I microwaved the meatloaf to finish cooking it. In the end, I have to say that this meatloaf recipe was a miss. After dinner, I baked the meatloaf another hour at 350 degrees to finish cooking the meatloaf (I scraped off the topping, which my wife hated). While your pictures were illustrative, I believe that you should double check your cooking times.

    1. As mentioned in the write up for this recipe it is not intended to be cooked in loaf pans so that could certainly change the cook time. The temperature should be taken in the center of the loaf (or the thickest part of the loaf) and should reach an internal temperature of 160°F before removing from the oven.

      I hope that helps.

  53. I accidentally put the sauce on the meatloaf before it baked for 40 minutes, is that going To ruin it..? Thanks so much! 
    (I always do stuff before reading a recipe all the way through! ) 

    1. No worries, it won’t ruin the recipe. :) It might brown a bit more than you want and if it does you can scrape a bit off but I’m pretty sure it’ll be just fine!

    1. I have only tried this recipe as written, but bacon sounds like it would taste delicious. Let me know if you try it!

    1. You can crush up any kind of crackers in place of breadcrumbs. You could also place a slice of bread in the blender and make crumbs but this will have more moisture so you might want to reduce the milk slightly.

  54. Hi, Holly! I just wanted to say how useful your recipes have been to me! It’s easy to find recipes that my whole family loves (kids and adults) that don’t break the bank!

    Your recipes keep me sane, and help me stick to my grocery budget! Thank you!

  55. I buy no means consider myself a good cook, I do it more for fun so I am a big follow the recipe type guy. I tired this, did not change a thing, and it turned out perfect. This was only my second meatloaf (first one from a different source was a disaster). Thank you for taking the time to publish these for all of us to use.

  56. The breadcrumbs used in this recipe are they store bought Italian bc? Or Do you make ur own by grinding fresh bread in a food processor? And if so, do you toast them b4 using in this recipe? Thx!

  57. I just prepared this recipe and wrapped in plastic wrap. I thawed my meat from frozen so I don’t want to freeze again. Do you think it will be ok in the fridge for a day or two?

  58. Funny your recipe is the same as mine, and it was also my moms who was the best cook I ever knew. 
    I love all your recipes I have tried, keep them coming.
    Sue

  59. Great Meatloaf. I added about 3 links of italian sausauge and a pinch of cayenne. Was hoping to attach a photo as I made a Halloween yummy mummy but it seems I can’t…. lol

    1. So glad you enjoyed it Tracy! I bet the sausage added great flavor and I wish you could upload too, I’d love to see your Yummy Mummy!

  60. This is the best meatloaf! Everyone I have made it for loves it. I make large quantities of the meatloaf mixture and then make smaller, individual-sized meatloaves and then freeze what I don’t use immediately for baking later, saving me prep time that second time around. This is my new go-to meatloaf recipe. Thank you for sharing it.

    1. I’m so glad to hear you loved this meatloaf Diane! Great idea to make a lot at once. Definitely a time saver!

  61. I have to say this is one of the best meatloaf sauces I have ever tasted!!! Even my fussy 20 year old step son loved the meatloaf and sauce!! A keeper for sure.

  62. I didn’t have any chili sauce so I used salsa.  Followed the rest of the recipe as written and it was delicious!
    This one will be on my go to list!!

  63. Can I make in morning or night before and cook that night or next day? Or will that dry it out? Recipe sounds sooo Yummy!!!!!

    1. That should work just fine as long as it’s well covered or sealed. You may need to add a few minutes of cook time if it’s very chilled from the fridge. Enjoy and let us know how it goes!