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.
I made it with impossible burger and it was one of the best meatloafs I have made in a long time! The recipe gave it great flavor and it held together beautifully. I didn’t have bread crumbs so I used the same amount of dry oats. Delicious!
Easy moist and yummy. Slightly sweet tasting.
Excellent! This is now my go-to recipe for meatloaf.
This is such an easy recipe & so delicious. Simple but very tasty. I dont know about you but I dont get 10 slices. Maybe 7. For my husband & I we get three servings.
Yum yum yum 😋
I’ve been using this recipe for years! Wonderful, Thank you!
This was great! Thank you.
Looks like a great recipe for meatloaf. Loving all your recipes.
Easy. Yummy. Everyone loves it every time.
my absolute fav recipe for meatloaf folks bookmark it nowwww!
My family absolutely loves this meatloaf when I cook it everyone eats it 😋
I printed this recipe off several years ago and have never used another since. My wife loves the topping better than any other she’s had.
Tried the recipe tonight for dinner.we thought it was a very good tasting meatloaf and will make it again…thank so much for sharing this recipe
Best meatloaf Ever!
My fussy kids ate it all want Mom to make it every Day!!!!
I’m not one to comment on recipes very often but this one deserves some praise! I made this last night and served it to a variety of ages from 10-75 years of age and ALL of them commented on how good it was!. I will be using this recipe from now on. Thank you so much!
This was so good. I used panko for the crumbs, and I added 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. I always shape my loaf and lay it across 2 pieces of sandwich bread to absorb grease. The topping was excellent, and I couldn’t resist adding 3 slices of provolone cheese 5 minutes before removing from oven. Yum!
The very best meatloaf recipe!!!
Been making meatloaf for 30 yrs
This is the best meatloaf my family has ever had,
I double all, one is never enough
Delicious! I used bison instead of beef and oatmeal instead of bread crumbs. Will definitely use this recipe again. Thank you!