Moist, tender, flavorful, and super EASY MEATLOAF dinner made with ground meat and spices baked beautifully in a loaf pan and glazed with a sweet and tangy sauce. A classic family dish perfect for busy weeknights!
Happy mid-week, everyone! I know some of you might be a little busy for Halloween night (although, it’ll look different than before), but I want to reshare this classic family dinner. Not that it looks as creepy cute as those spider cupcakes or mummy muffins, but it sure will get a thumbs up from everyone, especially the little ones.
Just one look at this baked meatloaf and everyone will be gathering around the table in seconds. Serve it with extra glaze if you want or less, and you’ll get hooked with how juicy and flavorful this dish is.
What is Meatloaf?
Meatloaf is said to be a traditional European dish and is a cousin to meatballs and South Africa’s Bobotie, as they say. But like all other food, it has numerous variations from cooking techniques and additional ingredients that vary from country to country.
But what I love most about this classic popular dish is that it’s a no-fuss recipe and very economical. You could go as simple as seasoning your ground meat with salt, pepper, and bouillon powder. But hey, most of the ingredients for this recipe are probably sitting in your pantry already.
You don’t need complicated ingredients to make this simple meatloaf recipe. No, you don’t need a trip to a specialty store. In fact, you’ll just be needing these:
- cooking oil
- grated onion, minced garlic, chopped green bell pepper
- ground beef
- chopped parsley
- fresh thyme
- white pepper, cayenne pepper
- Worcestershire sauce
- beef bouillon
- salt to taste
The tedious part could be the chopping of veggies and grating of onion. Grating the onion makes the savory onion flavor fully blended with the ground meat while it is baked. And since I love a little kick in my dish, I added a teaspoon of cayenne pepper – a must-have if you’d ask me.
As for the luscious red glaze, you’ll just need…
- Dijon mustard
- brown sugar
What Makes this Meatloaf Juicy Moist?
Well, if you’ve tried making one before which resulted in a dry loaf of ground meat, then you’ve missed the crucial ingredient here.
If the egg and breadcrumb hold everything in, a 3/4 cup of milk would ensure us a more delicious and moist meatloaf, just like how you’d prepare succulent meatballs.
So just mix them all with your hand, dump it all in and shape it into a loaf. Okay, I honestly love it in a loaf pan instead of the free form meatloaf as it gives a beautiful rise and shape to our dish.
And don’t worry about some cracks on your meatloaf, you can always cover them in this sweet and tangy glaze which makes this Easy Meatloaf even more delicious and appetizing.
Storing and Freezing Instructions
For leftover meatloaf, refrigerate it in a shallow airtight container or wrapped tightly with aluminum foil. This would last for about 3-4 days in the fridge.
As for freezing it, you may freeze it before or after cooking. To freeze, double wrap the loaf pan tightly with aluminum foil and freeze. When you’re ready to bake it, just defrost it in the fridge for 24 hours and then bake as directed.
If you’ve already cooked it, freeze them in individual slices on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag. This makes it easier to just grab a slice and reheat in the microwave or in the oven!
What to Serve with Meatloaf?
This easy and tasty dish makes an impressive dinner accompanied by any of these ones below:
- Roast Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Parmesan Crusted Asparagus
- Easy Dinner Rolls
- Skillet Cornbread
- Stovetop Mac and Cheese
More Timeless Family Favorite Recipes
How To Make Meatloaf
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Pour about 1 tablespoon of oil into a small-medium saucepan, bring to medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and bell pepper and saute for about a minute or two to let the flavors bloom. Be careful to not let it burn. Let it cool. Place the beef, parsley, breadcrumbs, egg, thyme, white and cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, beef bouillon powder into a medium bowl.
Add the cooled onion mixture, followed by milk and salt. Mix lightly until everything has been fully combined.
Form meatloaf into a loaf on a rimmed baking pan or place into a 5×9 loaf pan, lightly press so it’s evenly distributed in the pan. Bake for about about 40 minutes, then carefully remove from the oven. Mix ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar.
Then brush meatloaf with the ketchup glaze. Return meatloaf back to the oven. Continue baking for another 20 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of meatloaf registers 160 degrees F. Let it stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Watch How To Make It
This blog post was first published in April 2018 and has been updated with an additional write-up, and a video.
- 1 tablespoon (14ml) cooking oil
- 1 medium onion , grated
- 2 teaspoons (10g) minced garlic
- ¼ cup (46.25g) finely chopped green bell
- 1 ½ pound (680.39g) ground beef meat
- 3 tablespoons (12g) chopped parsley
- ¾ cup (37.5g) breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons (2g) fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon (2g) white pepper
- ½ -1 teaspoon (1g-2g) cayenne pepper
- ½ tablespoon (1g) beef bouillon powder or 1 cube
- 2 teaspoons (11.34g) Worcestershire sauce
- ¾ cup (180ml) milk
- salt to taste (I used about ( 1 1/2 teaspoon)
- ½ cup (117.5g) ketchup
- 1 tablespoon (15g) dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp (25g) brown sugar , lightly packed
- Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Pour about 1 tablespoon of oil to a small- medium saucepan, bring to medium heat.
- Add onions, garlic, and bell pepper and saute for about a minute or two to let the flavors bloom. Be careful to not let it burn. Let it cool.
- Place the beef, parsley, breadcrumbs, egg, thyme, white and cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, beef bouillon powder into a medium bowl. Add the cooled onion mixture, followed by milk and salt. Mix lightly until everything has been fully combined.
- Form meatloaf into a loaf on a rimmed baking pan or place into a 5×9 loaf pan, lightly press so it’s evenly distributed in the pan.
- Bake for about about 40 minutes, then carefully remove from the oven.
- Mix ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar. Then brush meatloaf with the ketchup glaze.
- Return meatloaf back to the oven. Continue baking for another 20 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of meatloaf registers 160 degrees F.
- Let it stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Tips & Notes:
- If you prefer less fat for this dish, you can use lean ground beef with 30% ground pork. Ground turkey also works fine.
- Yes, you can always use panko breadcrumbs which are larger than the regular breadcrumbs. This makes the meatloaf softer.
- Aside from onion, bell pepper, and garlic, you can also saute some carrots and celery for added texture.
- Yes, you may add small pieces of bread to this dish. But make sure to soak the bread in milk until it becomes thick and mushy before adding it into the mixture.
- Most recipes would call to just dump everything in a bowl and mix with the ground meat. But in this recipe, I highly suggest that you don't skip the sauteing part as it allows the veggies to bloom and soften, adding more flavor, moist and aroma to our meatloaf dish.
- Gently pat down the meatloaf mixture into the loaf pan instead of packing it in too firmly.
- Let it stand for 10 minutes before serving (this is important!). You can use two thin spatulas to remove and transfer the meatloaf from the pan.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.