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. 🙂
More Easy Comfort Food Recipes
Find more of my recipes on TikTok
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.
How would I calculate the other ingredients if I use 2lbs of ground
You would double them. So 1/4 cup would turn into 1/2 cup..1/2 cup of milk would turn into 1 cup; etc. I used 2lbs and doubled everything to add.
Hi, this was a great recipe for a cold day with snow on the ground….comfort! I had everything but an onion and the milk. So, I used chicken broth for the liquid and added a little Italian seasoning with the dried parsley. I was surprised at how the broth was just fine…..and by not adding onion I could share a bite with the pup:) It was moist and tasty….thanks for the share. I find good recipes make good cooks:)…oh, forgot….used a good BBQ sauce for the topping because I used alll my bit of ketchup in the loaf….delish!
LOVE this meatloaf, but the prep time is MUCH longer than 10 minutes for me. Maybe about 30 minutes. Very easy to make though.
It was a cold snow-day in Georgia, so I thought this would be a great comfort food option. Good decision…although I did make a few substitutions. I used oatmeal for the bread crumbs, half/half for the milk, and BBQ sauce for the ketchup, then added a tablespoon of brown sugar and some chopped green pepper. For the topping, I just used a bit more BBQ sauce. OMG-YUM!!
I need to make this for ten people— can I double it twice all the ingredients. Thanks
I hope so because I just doubled it, and mine are in the oven. 🙂 I’ve made this very recipe before, and it did seem to look okay doubled.
The best meatloaf recipe ever, and so easy to prepare.
WHAT CAN YOU USE INSTEAD OF 1 CUP DRIED BREAD CRUMBS IN YOUR MEATLOAF RECIPIE thank you
Try oatmeal. I just made today using oatmeal and it turned out great. Use quick cook or regular, but not steel cut.
I did it!! And I didn’t have a loaf pan but a cake pan, so I wanted to share that I put aluminum paper to crate the wide of the loaf that I wanted in each side, and put the mix of the meat in the center and it work perfectly! Also in the sides between the aluminum walls and the pan it served for the grease to fill in those parts, so it was easier to get ride of all that meat grease. I would share a picture if I could of but I see no upload filed. Oh well.. thanks for this recipe!
I don’t have any red wine vinegar. Can regular vinegar be used in sauce? Excited to try it tonight. Not able to get to the store for red wine vinegar tho. Thanks!
i,m going to try it with turkey instead of beef. Did anyone else make this substitution.
Trying this today! I am so excited!
Great recipe, just like my Mom’s. I take a sheet of tin foil a little longer then my loaf pan and fold it into thirds. Place in pan with the ends folded over for handles. Easy to lift out of loaf pan and drain any grease.
This is first meatloaf I’ve ever made and the taste and texture is perfect. Thank you from a guy who’s 66!!!! Great Job Amanda And THANX!!!
This is hands down the best meatloaf I’ve ever made! the taste and texture is perfect. Thank you so much for posting this!
Delicious, been using a family recipe for years, wanted a change this was better.
If I don’t make the Ketchup sauce on top of the Meatloaf can I bake it covered
In the roasting pan?
UNFREAKING BELIEVABLE, Awesome, I am allways scouring he internet for new recipes. Next day sandwiches from leftovers ( If There are any)are great. Better to make 2 to have some left
I think you nailed the classic meatloaf! Lovely hint of garlic, good texture and the glaze was delightful. My husband was in heaven.
This looks delicious! So, meatloaf has been my birthday dinner for my entire life, so I am clearly a fan! Will definitely have to try your recipe!
I loved that you used your Mom’s recipe. I know it makes her so proud. I have been meaning to tell you how great the photos are in your recipes. You are doing a great job. Happy Thanksgiving to all your family.