Classic Beef Meatloaf Recipe | Easy & Flavorful

beef meatloaf recipe

If you’re looking for the perfect classic beef meatloaf recipe, look no further. This homemade beef meatloaf is not only easy to make, but also incredibly flavorful. The combination of lean ground beef, sweet and tangy glaze, and a mix of seasonings creates a traditional meatloaf that is moist, juicy, and absolutely delicious.

Whether you’re preparing a family dinner or hosting a gathering, this classic beef meatloaf is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Its timeless appeal and mouthwatering taste make it the best beef meatloaf recipe you’ll ever try.

This recipe is a favorite among meatloaf enthusiasts for good reason. The addition of milk, egg, ketchup, and diced onion keeps the meatloaf moist and flavorful throughout. Baking it in a loaf pan ensures that the glaze stays in place and the meat remains juicy. It’s a true classic that never fails to impress.

Ingredients for Classic Beef Meatloaf

Prepare a flavorful and moist homemade beef meatloaf with the following ingredients:

  1. 1 lb. 90% lean ground beef
  2. 1 cup dried bread crumbs
  3. 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  4. 1/2 cup milk
  5. 1 large beaten egg
  6. 2 tbsp. ketchup
  7. 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  8. 1 tsp. dried parsley leaves
  9. 3/4 tsp. salt
  10. 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  11. 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

These readily available ingredients combine to create a classic beef meatloaf that is packed with flavor and moisture. The combination of lean ground beef, diced onion, and seasonings ensures a delicious result. The addition of bread crumbs and milk helps to bind the ingredients together, while the beaten egg adds richness and texture to the meatloaf. The ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, dried parsley, salt, garlic powder, and ground black pepper provide a savory flavor profile that will leave you craving more.

90% lean ground beef1 lb.
Dried bread crumbs1 cup
Diced yellow onion1/2 cup
Milk1/2 cup
Large beaten egg1
Ketchup2 tbsp.
Worcestershire sauce1 tbsp.
Dried parsley leaves1 tsp.
Salt3/4 tsp.
Garlic powder1/2 tsp.
Ground black pepper1/4 tsp.

Instructions for Classic Beef Meatloaf

To make this easy beef meatloaf recipe, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the following ingredients:
Ground beef1 lb.
Dried bread crumbs1 cup
Diced yellow onion1/2 cup
Milk1/2 cup
Beaten egg1 large
Ketchup2 tbsp.
Worcestershire sauce1 tbsp.
Dried parsley leaves1 tsp.
Salt3/4 tsp.
Garlic powder1/2 tsp.
Ground black pepper1/4 tsp.

Mix the ingredients well until everything is combined.

  1. Transfer the meat mixture into a loaf pan and spread it evenly.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the following ingredients to make the glaze:
Glaze Ingredients:Quantity:
Ketchup1/4 cup
Brown sugar2 tbsp.
Red wine vinegar1 tbsp.

Pour the glaze over the meatloaf in the pan.

  1. Bake the meatloaf in the preheated oven for 55 minutes.
  2. Allow the meatloaf to cool before slicing and serving.

Tips for the Perfect Classic Beef Meatloaf

Creating the perfect classic beef meatloaf requires attention to detail and a few key tips. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner in the kitchen, these tips will help you achieve a delicious and satisfying meatloaf every time.

  • Use lean ground beef: Opt for a leaner cut of ground beef to prevent your meatloaf from becoming greasy.
  • Mix thoroughly: Ensure all the ingredients are well combined to achieve an even distribution of flavors throughout your meatloaf.
  • Choose the right pan: Use a loaf pan to keep the glaze in place and maintain the juiciness of the meatloaf.
  • Allow it to rest: After baking, let your meatloaf rest for a few minutes before slicing. This helps it retain its shape and prevents it from falling apart.
  • Add personal touches: Customize your classic beef meatloaf recipe by adding your favorite seasonings or vegetables to make it uniquely yours.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating the perfect classic beef meatloaf that will impress your family and friends.

Variations of Classic Beef Meatloaf

While the classic beef meatloaf recipe is delicious on its own, you can customize it by adding different ingredients or flavors. Here are some popular variations to try:

  1. Add mushrooms: Sauteed mushrooms add an earthy flavor and moisture to the meatloaf. Simply chop and sauté the mushrooms before adding them to the meat mixture.
  2. Mix in bell peppers: Diced bell peppers not only add color to the meatloaf but also give it a subtle sweet and tangy taste. Choose red, green, or yellow peppers based on your preference.
  3. Include cheese: Adding cheese to the meat mixture creates a gooey and flavorful surprise in every bite. Cheddar, mozzarella, or even blue cheese can be used to enhance the meatloaf’s taste.

Additionally, you can experiment with different glazes to complement the classic beef meatloaf. Try smothering the meatloaf with your favorite BBQ sauce for a smoky and tangy twist. Alternatively, drizzle a honey mustard glaze over the top to balance the savory flavors with a touch of sweetness.

Feel free to get creative and make the meatloaf your own by combining these variations or inventing your own unique twist. The possibilities are endless!

Variations of Classic Beef Meatloaf

Serving Suggestions for Classic Beef Meatloaf

Serve this classic beef meatloaf with your favorite sides for a complete and satisfying meal. The flavors of the meatloaf pair well with a variety of side dishes, allowing you to get creative with your meal planning. Here are some popular choices:

  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Roasted Vegetables
  • Fresh Salad

You can also make delicious meatloaf sandwiches with any leftovers, perfect for a quick and tasty lunch. The versatility of classic beef meatloaf ensures that it can be enjoyed in different ways, catering to everyone’s tastes and preferences.

Now, let’s take a look at how you can freeze and store your homemade beef meatloaf for future use.

Freezing and Storing Classic Beef Meatloaf

If you have leftovers or want to make the meatloaf ahead of time, you can freeze it for future use. Freezing classic beef meatloaf allows you to have a convenient and delicious meal ready to enjoy whenever you like. Here’s how to properly freeze and store your meatloaf:

  1. Before cooking, wrap the meatloaf tightly in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn.
  2. Place the wrapped meatloaf in a freezer bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing it.
  3. Label the freezer bag with the date and contents to easily identify it later.
  4. Store the meatloaf in the freezer, where it can be kept for up to three months.

To thaw and reheat the frozen classic beef meatloaf:

  1. Remove the frozen meatloaf from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator.
  2. Allow the meatloaf to thaw in the refrigerator for approximately 24 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to the original cooking temperature, usually 350°F (175°C).
  4. Place the thawed meatloaf on a baking sheet or in a baking dish.
  5. Bake the meatloaf in the preheated oven until it is heated through, usually for about 30 minutes.

Leftover cooked meatloaf can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days. Ensure that the meatloaf is stored in an airtight container to maintain its freshness.

Storage MethodDurationRecommended
FreezerUp to 3 monthsYes
RefrigeratorUp to 4 daysYes

Properly storing and freezing classic beef meatloaf ensures that you can enjoy this delicious dish anytime you want, even if you don’t have the time to prepare it from scratch. Whether you’re planning for a busy week or want to save leftovers for future meals, freezing and storing classic beef meatloaf is a convenient and practical solution.

The Best Beef Meatloaf Recipe: Reviews and Ratings

This classic beef meatloaf recipe has received rave reviews from home cooks. With its flavorful glaze and moist texture, it’s no wonder that people consider it the best beef meatloaf recipe. Many reviewers have praised the simplicity of the recipe and its ability to be customized to personal tastes. The combination of ingredients creates a delicious and satisfying meal that is sure to become a family favorite.

One reviewer stated, “I’ve tried many meatloaf recipes, but this one is by far the best. The glaze adds the perfect amount of sweetness and tanginess, and the meatloaf itself is moist and packed with flavor.”

Another reviewer mentioned, “I love how easy this recipe is to follow. It has become a staple in my household. I sometimes add diced bell peppers and mushrooms for extra flavor, and it always turns out great.”

Customize to Suit Your Taste

What makes this beef meatloaf recipe even more appealing is its versatility. You can easily customize it to suit your preferences. Add your favorite seasonings or vegetables to the meat mixture to elevate the flavor. Some popular additions include diced garlic, grated Parmesan cheese, or even a pinch of cayenne pepper for some extra heat. Feel free to get creative and make this meatloaf recipe your own.

Try the Best Beef Meatloaf Recipe Today!

Don’t just take our word for it. Prepare this flavorful beef meatloaf and taste why it’s considered the best. Whether you’re cooking for your family or hosting a dinner party, this classic recipe is sure to impress. So gather the ingredients, follow the simple instructions, and savor the deliciousness of the best beef meatloaf recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Classic Beef Meatloaf

Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about classic beef meatloaf:

1. Can I use a different type of ground meat instead of beef?

Yes, you can experiment with different types of ground meat such as pork, turkey, or a combination of meats. However, keep in mind that the flavor and texture of the meatloaf may vary.

2. Can I make the meatloaf ahead of time?

Absolutely! You can prepare the meatloaf ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to bake. This is a great option for meal prepping or for when you want to save time on busy weekdays.

3. How do I know when the meatloaf is fully cooked?

The internal temperature of the fully cooked meatloaf should reach 160°F (71°C) when measured with a meat thermometer. Additionally, the meatloaf should no longer be pink in the center and the juices should run clear. Always use a meat thermometer to ensure food safety.

4. Can I freeze leftovers?

Yes, you can freeze leftover cooked meatloaf in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to three months. When ready to eat, thaw the meatloaf in the refrigerator and reheat it in the oven until heated through.

5. Can I customize the glaze?

Absolutely! The glaze can be customized to suit your taste preferences. Consider adding ingredients like barbecue sauce, honey, or Dijon mustard for a unique twist.

6. What are some common side dishes to serve with classic beef meatloaf?

Classic beef meatloaf pairs well with a variety of side dishes such as mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or a fresh garden salad. Feel free to get creative and serve it with your favorite accompaniments.

7. Can I use fresh breadcrumbs instead of dried breadcrumbs?

Yes, you can use fresh breadcrumbs instead of dried breadcrumbs. Just make sure to adjust the amount accordingly, as fresh breadcrumbs may have a different moisture content.

delicious beef meatloaf

More Beef Recipes to Try

If you enjoy cooking with beef, here are some delicious recipes you should try:

  • Beef Stroganoff: A classic Russian dish made with tender strips of beef, mushrooms, and a rich, creamy sauce. Serve it over egg noodles for a hearty and satisfying meal.
  • Beef Chili: A comforting and flavorful dish that is perfect for chilly nights. Made with ground beef, beans, tomatoes, and spices, it’s a crowd-pleasing recipe that can be customized to your preferred level of heat.
  • Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry: This quick and easy stir-fry is packed with flavor and nutrients. Tender beef slices are cooked with broccoli florets and a savory sauce, making it a healthy and delicious option for a weeknight dinner.
  • Beef Tacos: A Mexican favorite, beef tacos are versatile and customizable. Fill soft or crispy tortillas with seasoned ground beef, and top them with your favorite toppings such as cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa.
  • Beef Burgers: Nothing beats the taste of a homemade beef burger. Season ground beef with your favorite spices, shape into patties, and grill or cook them on the stovetop. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy a juicy and flavorful burger.

Ready for More Delicious Beef Recipes?

Expand your culinary skills with these mouthwatering beef recipes. From international favorites like Beef Stroganoff and Beef Tacos to comforting classics like Beef Chili and Beef Burgers, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Let your creativity soar in the kitchen and explore the diverse flavors of beef dishes.

About the Author

Meet Jane Smith, an experienced cook and passionate food enthusiast. With over 10 years of culinary expertise, Jane has honed her skills in crafting delicious homemade recipes, including the classic beef meatloaf. Her love for traditional comfort food shines through her creations, and she takes pride in sharing her recipes with others.

Jane’s cooking journey began at a young age, watching her grandmother prepare family meals with love and care. She inherited her grandmother’s knack for creating flavorful dishes that bring people together. Over the years, Jane has perfected her own version of the classic beef meatloaf, capturing the essence of comfort and nostalgia.

In addition to her cooking skills, Jane is also a talented food photographer. She skillfully captures the beauty and mouthwatering appeal of her creations, making her recipes come to life on the screen. Her photography has been featured in several food magazines, showcasing her eye for detail and creativity.

When she’s not in the kitchen, Jane enjoys exploring local farmers’ markets and experimenting with new ingredients. She believes in using fresh, high-quality ingredients to elevate the flavors of her dishes. Through her recipes and cooking tips, Jane inspires others to embrace their inner chef and experience the joy of homemade meals.

Follow Jane’s culinary adventures:

  • Website
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The classic beef meatloaf recipe presented here is a must-try for any meatloaf lover. This homemade beef meatloaf is a timeless dish that combines simple ingredients with easy preparation. Whether you are a beginner in the kitchen or an experienced cook, this recipe is sure to impress.

What sets this classic beef meatloaf apart is its rich flavor and moist texture. The combination of lean ground beef, dried bread crumbs, diced onion, milk, beaten egg, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and a blend of spices creates a mouthwatering experience with every bite.

By following the instructions provided, you can recreate this traditional beef meatloaf in your own kitchen. The result is a juicy and flavorful dish that will transport you back to the comforting meals of your childhood. Give it a try and see why it is considered the best beef meatloaf recipe around!


Can I use regular ground beef instead of lean ground beef for this recipe?

Yes, you can use regular ground beef, but keep in mind that it may result in a greasier finished product.

Can I substitute the bread crumbs with another type of filler?

Yes, you can use crushed crackers or oats as a substitute for bread crumbs in this recipe.

Can I make this meatloaf ahead of time and refrigerate it before baking?

Yes, you can prepare the meatloaf mixture ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before baking.

Can I use a different type of glaze for this meatloaf?

Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with different glazes such as BBQ sauce or honey mustard to customize the flavor of your meatloaf.

Can I freeze leftovers of this classic beef meatloaf?

Yes, you can freeze leftover cooked meatloaf. Simply wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag. It can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

Can I customize this classic beef meatloaf recipe with additional ingredients?

Definitely! You can add your favorite vegetables, such as mushrooms or bell peppers, to the meat mixture to enhance the flavor and texture of the meatloaf.

How long does the meatloaf need to cool before slicing?

It is recommended to let the meatloaf cool for about 10-15 minutes before slicing to allow it to set and hold its shape.

Can I use ground turkey or chicken instead of ground beef for this recipe?

Yes, you can substitute ground turkey or chicken for the ground beef if you prefer a leaner option.

Can I add cheese to the meatloaf mixture?

Absolutely! Adding shredded cheese, such as cheddar or mozzarella, to the meatloaf mixture can add an extra layer of flavor and richness.

Can I use a different type of seasoning in this meatloaf recipe?

Yes, you can customize the seasoning to your liking by adding your favorite herbs and spices, such as thyme, oregano, or paprika.

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