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Meatloaf has been a staple at my family’s table since I was a kid. My mom made the best meatloaf recipe ever, and it has been passed down to us as a treasured heirloom. It is not only the best, but also the easiest meatloaf recipe you can think of.
Basically you mix all the ingredients in a bowl, place them inside a loaf pan, bake, add the most wonderful sauce over it, and continue baking until the sauce is set. I guess it is a traditional meatloaf recipe, but like all moms, mine added her personal touch to it. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST MEATLOAF RECIPE
This is a question a lot of people ask themselves. To me, meatloaf has to be firm but moist, and have a tangy top coating. The ingredients you add to the meat mixture are of great importance. Instead of using onion and garlic powders to flavor the meat, I like to actually add grated fresh onion and garlic. I grate them because I don’t like to bite into huge chunks of onion or garlic. The smaller they are, the better mixed they will be within the meat mixture and the better flavored it will become. Also, I add parsley and Italian seasonig to my meat mixture. And the secret ingredient: Worcestershire sauce.
HOW TO KEEP MEATLOAF MOIST
Easy. It is accomplished by mixing in breadcrumbs and milk. The breadcrumbs absorb the milk and, when mixed into the meat, they retain this moisture keeping the meat juicy. Another secret to keeping meatloaf moist, is not to overwork or overmix the meat. Using your hands, just very gently make sure all the ingredients are just well combined. If you overwork the meat, its natural fat will begin to separate and the meat will become tough. If you can see a white residue on your hands, this is fat and you have overmixed your ingredients.
WHAT IS THE BEST MEAT FOR MEATLOAF?
This is where things get complicated because some people say high fat content will make a moist meatloaf and others will argue that too much fat is bad for you. I generally try to keep the calorie count as low as I can and feed my family healthy meals, so I use lean ground beef (90-95% lean). My meatloaf has never been tough and the secret is like I said before, the use of Panko breadcrumbs mixed with milk and the juice of the minced onion. Please trust me when I say you don’t have to use high fat content ground beef to make great meatloaf recipes.
HOW TO COOK MEATLOAF RECIPE
When making my recipe for meatloaf, all you will need is a big bowl, a loaf pan, a small bowl to mix the sauce in, and a grater to grate the onions and garlic. You can chop them if you like, but make sure you chop them finely. In the big bowl, you add the meat, eggs, grated onion and garlic, dried parsley, Italian seasoning, paprika, Panko breadcrumbs, milk, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Mix everything using your hand and just enough so that all the ingredients are well combined. Spread the meat mixture evenly in a greased loaf pan (I use nonstick spray), and bake in a 375 F oven for 40 minutes. After the 40 minutes are up, spread the sauce on top of the baked meatloaf and return to the oven for 20 minutes more.
HOW TO MAKE MEATLOAF SAUCE
To me, meatloaf sauce has to be tangy but a bit sweet and spicy. So this is what I use: In a small bowl, mix together ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Sometimes I will add a splash of hot sauce, but not when feeding it to children.
HOW LONG TO COOK MEATLOAF RECIPE
I have found that one hour is the perfect amount of time, and 375 F the perfect temperature. The first 40 minutes, the meatloaf will cook by itself (uncovered), and the last 20 with the sauce on top (also uncovered). This allows the sauce to form a crust on top of the meatloaf. If you want to be absolutely sure it will be cooked through, you can use a meat thermometer and bake it until the internal temperature reaches 160 F.
HOW TO STORE MEATLOAF RECIPE
If you wish to make meatloaf ahead of time, you can refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or you can freeze meatloaf for up to 4 months.
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- 2 lbs lean ground beef (90-95% lean)
- ½ cup grated onion (or finely chopped)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- ¾ cup Panko breadcrumbs
- ⅓ cup milk (I like to use 2%)
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- MEATLOAF SAUCE:
- ¾ cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Using a big bowl, mix together the ground beef, onion, garlic, eggs, ketchup, Panko breadcrumbs, milk, parsley, Italian seasoning, paprika, salt and pepper
- Press the meat mixture into a greased loaf pan and bake at 375 F for 40 mins.
- Make the sauce by mixing together the ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- After 40 minutes, take the meatloaf out of the oven and spread the sauce evenly on top. Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes more.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 421Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 164mgSodium: 1194mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 12gProtein: 40g