My Classic Meatloaf recipe may have basic ingredients, but it makes the easiest, best, and most delicious comfort meal out there!
Everyone needs a go-to meatloaf recipe for weeknight dinners. A traditional meatloaf should be moist, easy to make, have simple ingredients, and be covered in that essential sticky ketchup glaze. This falls right in line with my go-to easy dinner ideas, especially when I need something yummy on the table quick. Check out the best Meatloaf recipe to see what makes it the best version out there!
BEST CLASSIC MEATLOAF
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A warm, comforting easy meatloaf recipe is one of those dishes we turn to time and again. When served on a mound of mashed potatoes, this meal earns audible yelps of joy when served.
As a result, meatloaf has become such a weeknight staple, and there is certainly no shortage of meatloaf recipes. There’s pork meatloaf, Italian meatloaf, southwest meatloaf, and turkey meatloaf, which are all delicious options.
But sometimes the soul calls for a good, old-fashioned, traditional meatloaf with that classic ketchup glaze.
Most importantly, the ingredients are simple. Except for the ground beef, I generally have everything on hand. With only one element to buy, it’s economical to make.
How to make Meatloaf
The preparation is also flawless. Throw everything in a bowl, mix it up, and pop it in the oven. There is nothing to sauté and the only chopping involved is a small amount of onion.
Lastly, it uses oatmeal as a binder, which makes this meatloaf naturally gluten-free. Quick oats are also something I always have on hand, as opposed to making or buying breadcrumbs.
Which kind of meat to use for meatloaf
I prefer using lean ground beef, such as ground sirloin. The meatloaf is still very tender and flavorful, but there is hardly any grease to drain away. Ground sirloin also makes this a healthier, lighter weeknight meal.
Ground chuck or ground beef may be substituted. When using high-fat content meat, line the baking sheet with foil to catch the grease and make clean up easier.
Baking Free Form Versus In a Loaf Pan
For this recipe, place the meatloaf on a wire rack that sets in a baking sheet. I prefer baking meatloaf freeform for several reasons.
- There is more surface area to glaze. Cover the top and sides in a sweet, tangy glaze.
- The meatloaf will cook and brown evenly on all sides.
- The grease and juices can drain away from the meatloaf instead of it baking in an unsightly stew.
- It makes for a prettier presentation. The meatloaf doesn’t have to be finagled out of a loaf pan and can be sliced cleanly on a platter.
You Can’t Have Meatloaf Without Mashed Potatoes!
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Cream Cheese Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Crock Pot Ranch Mashed Potatoes
- Mashed Cauliflower
- Warm Bacon Corn Smashed Potato Salad
- More Dinner Recipes…
Tools used to make this Classic Meatloaf recipe.
Baking Sheet with Wire Rack: A nice big baking sheet is a must-have for any kitchen. This half pan sheet is large than a regular cookie and works great for anything you’re baking and comes with a wire cooling rack.
Large Mixing Bowl: This mixing bowl is perfect for mixing and serving. I love how big it is! I can use it for anything and everything.
Aluminum Foil: Foil is one of my favorite kitchen essentials. It helps keep food from browning too quickly, keeps clean up easy, and lets me make delicious foil packet meals!
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place a wire rack inside a large baking sheet. Cover wire rack with a piece of aluminum foil. Set aside.
- In a small bowl mix together glaze ingredients and set aside.
- In a large bowl mix all of the meatloaf ingredients until well combined. Place mixed meatloaf on a prepared baking sheet and shape into a 9X5 inch loaf. Spread half of the glaze all over the top and sides of meatloaf.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Spreading remaining glaze over the top and sides of meatloaf. Bake for 35 - 45 minutes longer, or until thermometer registers 160ºF. Let meatloaf rest 15 minutes before slicing and serving.