Meatloaf Recipe

Meatloaf Recipe

Meatloaf Recipe

This is a Meatloaf recipe for people who love their Meatloaf oozing with flavor, moist and tender yet not crumble apart when sliced, and a sticky caramelized meatloaf glaze. It’s so much more than just a giant hunk of ground beef in a loaf shape!

Try this once, and you’ll treasure this recipe forever!

A loaf made entirely of meat. What’s not to love? (Vegetarians are excused )

It’s economical. It’s quick to prepare. It’s a classic family favorite. And leftovers make terrific sandwiches.

If you think that Meatloaf is really just a giant beef burger shaped like a loaf, it’s time to abandon that misconception! Meatloaf shouldn’t taste like a hamburger! Meatloaf has more flavour because whereas you wouldn’t eat a hamburger without toppings, sauces, cheese, and a bun, you can certainly eat Meatloaf plain because it’s so juicy and tasty!

The secret to making a meatloaf taste really good is to use fatty beef, plenty of flavorings, and to grate your onion instead of dicing it.

A tastier, juicier meatloaf recipe

The secret to making a meatloaf taste really good is the beef (use at least 15% fat beef), plenty of flavorings, and grate your onion instead of dicing it.

  • Flavourings – In this meatloaf recipe, not only do we use the usual suspects like thyme, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce, we give this a serious flavour boost by using beef bouillon cubes (granulated beef) instead of salt. Granulated beef bouillon has way more flavour than just plain salt!


  • Grating onion – this is an efficient and effective method I’ve been using for years and it’s grown quite a cult following since I started this website (see feedback on these Italian Meatballs!). The breadcrumbs soak up the onion juices and puff up during baking, making our meatloaf nice and tender. This also adds savoury onion flavour without the need of dicing them than frying them separately.

Meatloaf glaze

I also like to coat my meatloaf with a glaze which adds an extra something-something to the meatloaf both in looks and flavour.

Plus, it not only hides any cracks on the surface of the meatloaf – just think of that glaze dripping down into those cracks!

How to make meatloaf

And here are process photos for how to make meatloaf. Also, see the quick video below – you’ll see how tender the juicy this meatloaf is!

Tips and FAQ for the BEST Meatloaf!

Why does my meatloaf fall apart? Because the mixture wasn’t mixed together well enough, or the loaf wasn’t pressed together firmly. Using a loaf pan helps here! Also, some cracks are GOOD – extra flavour from the meatloaf glaze drips into the meatloaf.

Do you have to use a loaf pan? For the juiciest meatloaf, yes I strongly recommend using a loaf pan. It cooks more evenly, stays juicier because it cooking in its own juices and holds its shape.

If you are freeform it (ie bake without a loaf pan), the ends/sides will overcook before the middle is cooked. And if it holds its form like a block loaf without using a loaf pan, your mixture is way too dense which will make your meatloaf dry!

Should I cover the meatloaf when baking? No, you want the meatloaf to brown and the glaze to caramelise! But if it browns too quickly, just pop foil over it.

How long does it take to cook a 1kg / 2lb meatloaf? 1 hr 15 minutes at 180°C / 350°F.

What to serve with meatloaf

I can’t think of a better way to serve Meatloaf than on a pile of creamy mashed potato, though for a lower carb version, cauliflower mash would be fantastic too.

Dollop of ketchup, a leafy salad or steamed greens with dressing and you have yourself an epic plate of home-cooked comfort-food bliss, with the added bonus of meatloaf sandwiches to enjoy tomorrow!

Meatloaf recipe

Meatloaf is so much more than a giant hunk of ground beef in a loaf shape. It should ooze with flavour, be moist and tender yet not crumble apart when sliced. And the caramelized glaze is the crowning glory!

  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs (Note 1)
  • 1 large onion , grated (brown, yellow)
  • 1 kg / 2 lb ground beef (mince) , preferably not lean
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 cup tomato ketchup
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley (optional), or 2 tsp dried parsley or basil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes , crumbled or 2 tsp beef powder (Note 2)
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  • 1/2 cup tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar , lightly packed
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Oil or spray a loaf tin. (Note 3)

  2. Glaze: Mix together in a small bowl. Set aside.

  3. Meatloaf: Place breadcrumbs in a very large bowl. Grate over onion. Mix so the breadcrumbs are all wet. (Note 4)

  4. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well using your hands. Form into a loaf shape, pinching together then smoothing over creases and cracks (helps prevent cracks during baking).

  5. Transfer into loaf tin. Brush generously with glaze, using about 1/2.

  6. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with most of the remaining glaze. If there is excess fat pooling, scoop/pour it off.

  7. Bake for a further 30 minutes. Remove from oven.

  8. Stand for 10 minutes before turning out and cutting into thick slices. You will probably get a bit of crumbling just on the edges of the first couple of slices, this is normal and indicative of the tenderness of the meatloaf (zero crumble indicates firm packed harder meatloaf which isn't as enjoyable!).

  9. Ideal served with a dollop of ketchup, creamy mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables.


  1. Serving: 179g Calories: 404cal (20%) Carbohydrates: 15g (5%) Protein: 24g (48% )Fat: 26g (40% )Saturated Fat: 10g (63%) Cholesterol: 129mg (43% ) Sodium: 607mg (26%) Potassium: 468mg (13%) Sugar: 7g (8%) Vitamin A: 175IU (4%) Vitamin C: 2.3mg (3%) Calcium: 52mg (5%) Iron: 3.3mg (18%)

  1. Panko breadcrumbs are larger than normal breadcrumbs so they make the meatloaf softer. Nowadays they are found in most supermarkets here in Australia, usually in both the Asian section and alongside normal breadcrumbs.
  2. Bouillon cubes add so much better flavor to the meatloaf compared to just plain salt. Best subs: chicken or veg bouillon or stock powder. Salt sub: 1.5 tsp salt.
  3. Pan size: My loaf pan is 23 x 13 x 6 cm / 9 x 5 x 2.5″. As long as you have one about this size, this recipe will work fine though it might be flatter or taller.
  4. Grated onion – a highly effective and efficient technique to make meatloaf more tender (soaked breadcrumbs puff up when baked) and adds savory onion flavor without the need to separately fry the diced onion.
  5. Nutrition per serving, assuming 8 servings.

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