Best Ever Meatloaf Recipe

Elevate Your Dinner Game with The Best Ever Meatloaf Recipe

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Prepare to dazzle your taste buds with the ultimate comfort food classic – meatloaf! This timeless dish is a favorite among families for its hearty flavor and satisfying texture. In this recipe, we’ll show you how to create the best-ever meatloaf that’s moist, flavorful, and sure to become a staple in your kitchen. Whether you’re cooking for a weeknight dinner or hosting a special gathering, this meatloaf recipe is guaranteed to impress. Let’s dive in and discover the secrets to meatloaf perfection!


  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar


  1. Preheat the Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a loaf pan with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the Meatloaf Mixture:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, diced onion, minced garlic, breadcrumbs, milk, beaten egg, Worcestershire sauce, dried thyme, dried basil, salt, and black pepper. Use your hands or a spoon to mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  3. Shape the Meatloaf:
    • Transfer the meatloaf mixture to the prepared loaf pan, shaping it into a loaf shape.
  4. Prepare the Glaze:
    • In a small bowl, mix together the ketchup, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar until smooth.
  5. Glaze the Meatloaf:
    • Spread the glaze evenly over the top of the meatloaf, using a spoon or brush to coat it thoroughly.
  6. Bake the Meatloaf:
    • Place the loaf pan in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour, or until the meatloaf is cooked through and the top is caramelized.
  7. Rest and Serve:
    • Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a moist and flavorful meatloaf.
    • Slice the meatloaf and serve hot, garnished with fresh herbs if desired.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Mix It Up: Experiment with different meats such as ground turkey or pork for a unique twist on traditional meatloaf.
  • Customize the Seasonings: Add your favorite herbs and spices to the meatloaf mixture for extra flavor. Try rosemary, thyme, paprika, or chili powder for a kick.
  • Make It Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs or crushed gluten-free crackers in place of regular breadcrumbs to make this recipe gluten-free.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use ground turkey instead of ground beef? A: Yes, ground turkey can be used as a substitute for ground beef in this recipe. Keep in mind that ground turkey may result in a slightly lighter and leaner meatloaf compared to beef.

Q: Can I make this meatloaf ahead of time? A: Yes, you can prepare the meatloaf mixture ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking. Simply cover the loaf pan tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil until ready to bake.

Q: How do I know when the meatloaf is done cooking? A: The meatloaf is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) on an instant-read meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the center of the meatloaf to ensure it’s cooked through.

Q: Can I freeze leftover meatloaf? A: Yes, leftover meatloaf can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap individual slices or the entire loaf tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before placing it in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Q: What can I serve with meatloaf? A: Meatloaf pairs well with a variety of side dishes such as mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, steamed green beans, or a fresh garden salad.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

For those following a keto or low-carb lifestyle, here’s how you can adapt this recipe:

  • Keto Version: Substitute almond flour or crushed pork rinds for the breadcrumbs to make this recipe keto-friendly. Use a keto-friendly sweetener such as erythritol or monk fruit in place of brown sugar in the glaze. Serve with keto-friendly sides such as cauliflower mash or sautéed spinach.
  • Low-Carb Version: Reduce the amount of breadcrumbs used or omit them altogether to lower the carb content. Use a low-carb ketchup or sugar-free barbecue sauce in place of regular ketchup in the glaze. Serve with low-carb sides such as roasted Brussels sprouts or zucchini noodles.

Say goodbye to bland and dry meatloaf and hello to the best-ever meatloaf recipe! With its juicy, flavorful interior and caramelized glaze, this meatloaf is a true crowd-pleaser. Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or just starting out in the kitchen, this recipe is sure to become a family favorite. So gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to enjoy the ultimate comfort food experience with this delicious meatloaf recipe!

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