In my house, when I announce that we are having Meatloaf for dinner, I am met with a hearty round of “YES!” and “YUM!!!”
Homemade meatloaf is one of those dishes that often gets mixed reviews. People seem to either love it or hate it. But might I suggest, that if you hate it because the meatloaf that you have had is dry and flavorless – give this one a try.
Not only is this meatloaf filled with wonderful flavor, but below you will also find tips for keeping your meatloaf tender and juicy. When I say my family cheers for this dish, I am not exaggerating.
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How I Make this Recipe:
How to Make Moist Meatloaf
One of the biggest complaints I have seen, is that meatloaf is dry.
First of all, when you are mixing together your ingredients, do not over-mix. Over-mixing any kind of ground meat mixture, whether meatloaf or meatballs, will cause your meatloaf to become tough and dry. You want your ingredients to be just mixed.
Second, if you bake it until it is no longer pink, you are actually overcooking your meatloaf. There is an enzyme in onions that causes meat to stay pink, even when it is fully cooked. After it is exposed to the air, it will gradually become more brown.
Cooking your onions first reduces this effect a little, as well as provides more flavor to the meatloaf. But use a thermometer to check if your meatloaf is done. Trust your meat thermometer! Meatloaf is done when it reaches 160 degrees, but should be no more than 170.
Following these tips, your meatloaf will be tender, juicy and full of flavor!
After the meatloaf is done, allow it to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.
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Can I Make this with other Meats?
Yes! I have made this with all ground beef, half turkey/half beef, half beef/half bison, half beef/half caribou and even all ground moose meat.
Enjoy your meatloaf with some Zucchini Corn Fritters
Did You Make This Recipe? I would love for you to rate it in the recipe card, and I’d love to hear your thoughts!
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 Tb butter
- 2 lbs ground beef, or half beef/turkey, beef/pork
- 1 c fresh, not dry bread crumbs
- 3/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 c milk
- 2 Tb Worcestershire sauce
For the topping
- 1/3 c ketchup
- 1/4 c brown sugar
- 1 Tb Worcestershire sauce
- Begin pre-heating oven to 350 degrees.
- In a skillet, sauté the diced onion in the butter until tender and beginning to get golden in color.
- Put the ground beef, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic powder, salt & pepper and the sauteed onions in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and Worcestershire Sauce.
- Pour the liquid into the larger bowl, and combine it all together, mixing with your hands (they’re your best kitchen tool.)
- Scoop the mixture out onto an edged baking sheet, lined with parchment paper or a silpat.
- Shape the meat into a loaf that is about 5 inches wide, and 2 inches thick.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the topping ingredients.
- Spread the mixture over the top of the loaf.
- Bake for about 1 hour, or until the center reads no more than 170 degrees on a meat thermometer. 160 degrees should be your target temperature.
- Allow it to rest 10 minutes before slicing.
Nutritional information is auto-generated and the accuracy is not guaranteed.
40 thoughts on “The Best Classic Meatloaf”
I have been trying to duplicate my Granny’s meatloaf for over 30 years…I found it! Thank you best ever !!!
The recipe calls for 1 onion diced. How much diced onion does that translate to — 3/4 cup? 1/2 cup? 1 cup? Not all onions are the same size. Thank you for sharing your recipe.
It is flexible, but I would go with about 3/4 cup.
Love the meatloaf, so did my son and he is very particular about food.
I’ve tried so many meat loaf recipes and think I’ve found the keeper! It is absolutely delicious! I followed recipe except I used sugar-free ketchup in the glaze because I’m diabetic. I also like that the servings are generous! My lunch tomorrow will be a meat loaf sandwich on a low-carb wheat tortilla. Thanks for an easy-to-fix great recipe!
Is there a reason it calls for fresh brumb crumbs over dried/store bought? I’ve never used fresh bread crumbs so am unsure what the benefit is.
The moisture in the bread crumbs adds to the moisture in the meatloaf.
I have never had success with meatloaf; it never holds together and ends up a crumbly mess. But, this was so good! I made it for my son & daughter-in-law when we went to meet our new grandson and everyone loved it! I followed the directions to a tee and it held together and was so flavorful and moist. Thank you! This will be on my menu rotation!
Can I make this in a loaf pan? and if so would the cooking time be altered?
Yes, it is possible to do that. I would set the timer to 1 hour, then check it with the meat thermometer to see if you need more time.
Easy to follow recipe and delicious meatloaf! Highly recommend! Thank you
Family enjoyed! I add a little ground mustard; very good. Thanks for sharing.
I’m going to make this recipe but often put bell peppers, chopped fine. I wonder if I put this in with my onions and sautee them as well. I top meatloaf with thin slices of bell pepper.
What do you think Constance
I think that would be fantastic!
Can you make in crockpot?
I would not recommend making this in a slow cooker.
I made this today for supper and it was delicious! Will make again!
This is, almost exactly how I’ve made my meatloaf for years. Love it! I never added oregano nor the worcestershire to the catsup and brown sugar. I will try both next time I make it. A little extra spice will be great~!~ Thank you.
This recipes looks so yummy I’m making it tonight. One question, do you bake covered or uncovered?
Thank you for sharing!!!
Thank you 😀
I made this for dinner tonight. I did not use onions because my husband does not like them. I also had to use Italian bread crumbs.
But, the meatloaf was awesome. The best recipe I’ve made so far in my 51 years. I highly recommend making this. Again thank you for sharing !!!
Thank you Sheri!
Can you fix the print function on the recipe so that the banner doesn’t write over the ingredients.
(Do not sell my personal information ) prints right over the amounts for the ingredients so useless.
Hi Shirley, did this happen when you printed it out on paper? If so, I will let the software developer know so that they can see what is going on. It should not be doing that.
Hi Constance. This banner on the printed copy is still occurring. Thought I would let you know. I’m trying to make this for tonight. :)
Lisa, I have no idea what is causing that. I have tried to recreate it on my end, and have never seen it. I’ve even looked into the code for my site and can’t find it anywhere.
My guess is which web browser folks are using…
When do you add the onions to the mixture? They seem to be sauteed then never spoken of again.
They are mixed into the meat mixture.
This is the best looking as well as most delicious looking meatloaf I’ve seen. I will be testing this out on my family.
What kind of bread do you use for the “fresh bread crumbs”? And do you add anything to it? Or is it really just tiny pieces of the bread?
I use whatever kind of bread I have on hand – sandwich bread normally, white or wheat. I pulse some bread in my food processor to a crumb consistency.
Sourdough is fantastic in this spectacular recipe!
And I like to add some diced celery along with the onion. And a couple of dashes of Worcestershire Sauce.
Wow I never thought of adding milk although Julia Child added milk to her hamburgers. Next time I will try it with the milk I made one today, I added barbecue sauce.
Looks easy and yummy!
Looks yummy to me! I sneak in veggies like carrot and zucchini to stretch those abundant army dollars.