This is the best meatloaf recipe ever! This traditional meatloaf recipe is just like mom used to make, made with ground beef and a sweet and tangy glaze topping.
What Makes A Really Good Meatloaf
I think the trick to good meatloaf is using lean ground beef. The problem with a lot of meatloaf recipes is that they call for ground beef with a high fat content. As the meatloaf cooks, the fat cooks out and makes a greasy mess. Not this recipe!
How To Keep It Moist
You may be thinking, but won’t lean ground beef make the meatloaf dry? Not at all! The milk, egg, ketchup, and diced onion in the meat mixture are all working to keep the meatloaf moist and delicious.
Loaf Pan Versus Baking Sheet
I prefer to use a loaf pan because it keeps all the glaze in place perfectly and the meat is juicier. But, you could line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Shape the meatloaf into a loaf shape. Top with the glaze. And, bake as normal.
How To Make The Best Meatloaf
*Note: This is a summary. The full printable recipe card is at the bottom of this post.
Make the Meatloaf:
- Add 90% lean ground beef to a large bowl.
- Add dried bread crumbs and some diced onion.
- Add milk, an egg, ketchup, and worcestershire sauce.
- Add dried parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Mix it together REALLY well.
- Pour the meat mixture into a loaf pan.
- Spread it into a flat even layer.
Make the Ketchup Glaze
- Add ketchup, brown sugar, and red wine vinegar to a bowl.
- Whisk until combined.
- Pour the glaze over the meatloaf.
- Bake it!
- Let it cool before slicing.
Can This Be Made Ahead Of Time
Absolutely! Just cover the loaf pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until you’re ready for it. Then, uncover it and let it come to room temperature as you’re preheating the oven.
Can This Be Frozen
Yes! Prepare the meatloaf, put it in a loaf pan, and top with glaze according to the recipe directions. Cover the pan and freeze.
Place the frozen meatloaf in the refrigerator to thaw about 24 hours before you want to bake it. Then, uncover it and let it come to room temperature as you’re preheating the oven.
I’ve been playing around with this recipe for the past few months, making it many times. And, I didn’t mind the repetition at all because I do believe I ended up with the best classic meatloaf recipe ever. 🙂
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The Best Classic Meatloaf Recipe
- 1 lb. 90% lean ground beef
- 1 cup dried bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 large egg beaten
- 2 tbsp. ketchup
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. dried parsley leaves
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- For the Topping:
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp. packed light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, add the beef, bread crumbs, onion, milk, egg, 2 tablespoons ketchup, worcestershire sauce, parsley, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Use your hands to mush and mix these ingredients together until well combined.*
- Add the meat mixture to a loaf pan. Pat the meat down into an even layer.
- In a small bowl, add ¼ cup ketchup, the brown sugar, and vinegar. Stir to combine. Pour the sauce on top of the meatloaf and spread it into an even layer.
- Bake uncovered for 55 minutes.
- Let the meatloaf rest for 8-10 minutes before serving (or it may fall apart).**
Check out all of my great ground beef recipes.
This is the BEST meatloaf recipe I’ve ever made. My husband has never liked my meatloaf, he loved his mother’s but she has passed so . . . . . I made this and my husband went crazy for it. He said it was like his mothers’. I tasted it and WOW it was wonderful! This is my go to recipe from now on when it comes to Meatloaf! Thank you!
Just made this recipe and the meatloaf was delicious!! The best!! So moist and flavorful. It will be my go to meatloaf recipe in the future. Yum!
Great recipe!!! Easy and tasty!
You can’t go wrong with this one!
We made this for 50 people at our ALPHA at our church. It was a sit down dinner that had to be served buffet style with everything hot. This recipe was delicious, easy to make and serve and stayed hot and moist on our hot plates. We got so many compliments on it and many had second and third helpings. We made enough for 100 people, so we froze half and had it reheated 3 weeks later. It was even better. Very moist, Excellent glaze. I don’t usually follow a recipe, but I did this time. I didn’t have wine vinegar, so cider vinegar was substituted. GREAT RECIPE
This has to be the best meatloaf recipe ice ever tried. So yummy! I’ve made it several times and its always perfect!
Was unquestionably great! Used about 1.5lbs of ground meat – and followed the rest of the recipe precisely. I thought the dinner was good, but the cold meatloaf sandwiches the next day was even better. Will totally do this one again.
My second time making this. Love it. Hated meatloaf growing up lol.
This is a huge hit in my house!
I have made this several times for my family and my son will eat it so I know its fantastic. The only change is I double the topping – its really good.
Hands down, the best recipe. Although I mix half beef and half ground pork but it is great with just the ground beef as well.
This was a super easy, super delicious meatloaf!! Everyone loved it. I will definitely be making this one again!!
This is the best meatloaf I have ever had – and I am almost 69 years old!
Moist and super tasty!
I had one pound of ground beef on hand and most of my meatloaf recipes call for 2 pounds of ground beef or my brother’s gourmet combo of ground beef, pork and veal. I decided not to reduce one of my larger volume recipes in half just to see how a one pound meatloaf would turn out. I’m so glad I did! The meatloaf was scrumptious! I sent the recipe to my daughters who are novice cooks and just now compiling recipes. Thanks for such a delicious – and easy – meatloaf recipe. I’m keeping this recipe on file.
This meatloaf is the best I have ever made! It is so simple and easy to make. I have made and tried tons of meatloaf recipes over the years and nothing compares to this one. There is no need to try to make it fancy by adding extra veggies and/or spices. It is simply amazing. Thank you for sharing this recipe! It is now my go to for a quick prep dinner.
Absolutely delicious. Great for sandwiches.
Best meatloaf recipe EVER!
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