Easy Meatloaf Recipe

If you love meatloaf but feel intimidated when it comes to making it, you are going to absolutely love this Easy Meatloaf Recipe. It is so moist and tender and has the most amazing flavor. Once you try this tasty meatloaf recipe, you will never buy premade meatloaf again.

Easy Meatloaf Recipe - a loaf of meatloaf with a few slices made in the meatloaf on a white plate with blue trim, garnished with parsley.

Easy Meatloaf Recipe

Meatloaf is one of those recipes that most people love, but people think it is hard to make. Many people have ended up with dry or dense meatloaf and think it is too hard to make. You are going to love this meatloaf recipe so much that you will never shy away from making it again.

What is the secret to moist meatloaf?

There are a few things that will make your meatloaf amazing every time. You want to use a high fat meat. This keeps the moisture in the meatloaf and gives it a lot of flavor. Also, do not skip the wet ingredients. Not only does it hold the meatloaf together it, it gives the meatloaf flavor. Do not overwork the meat. This causes the meatloaf to become dry. Also, make sure to give the meatloaf room in the pan. If the meat is tight in the pan it creates a steamed meatloaf instead of a baked meatloaf with beautifully caramelized edges.

Easy Meatloaf Recipe - two slices of meatloaf on a white plate with more slices of meatloaf in the background on a white plate with blue trim.

Why is my meatloaf always dry?

The biggest reason your meatloaf is dry is from overworked meat. If the meat is worked too much it will result in a dry meatloaf. Once you get the ingredients mixed in, stop mixing. As you shape the meatloaf the ingredients will be mixed more. The other thing to remember is not to compress the meatloaf. This will cause a longer cook time which will also dry out the meatloaf.

Can I make This Meatloaf Recipe Without Breadcrumbs

Most people use bread crumbs as a filler to hold the meatloaf together. It is a way to hold the meatloaf from falling apart but it also stretches the meat and gives a bigger portion of meat. This lets you feed more people while using less meat. It is also said that the breadcrumbs holds the juices in the meatloaf. You can skip the breadcrumbs when making this meatloaf recipe but I prefer to keep them in there.

Does It Have to Be Panko?

The simple answer is YES. Panko bread crumbs are fluffier than regular breadcrumbs. As it bakes, the regular breadcrumbs can cause the meatloaf to become mushy. While there is a lot of debate from the best chefs on the perfect meatloaf recipe, they all agree you need to use panko bread crumbs.

Easy Meatloaf Recipe - a photo of a bite of meatloaf on a fork with the meatloaf in the background and another plate with two slices of meatloaf on it.

Do you drain meatloaf?

Fat is your friend when you are making a delicious meatloaf. However, no one wants to have a lot of grease on the top of their meatloaf and feel like you are eating just fat. If you want to drain the meatloaf, wait until about 15 minutes before the end of the cook time. This will get rid of the excess grease and it will let the top caramelize and get crispy. I always will remove meatloaf from the baking pan after it has cooked and place it on a serving plate.

Side Dish Recipes That Go Great With Meatloaf

  • Bacon Green Beans:  These delicious and “family favorite” side dish recipe is always a favorite in our house. Loaded with bacon and delicious flavor, this green bean recipe would be the perfect side.
  • Red Potato Salad:  Potato salad is always an easy and delicious side dish recipe that can go with all sorts of main dish recipes. This potato salad is loaded with red potatoes, hardboiled eggs, dill pickles, red onions, mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper. Absolutely delicious!
  • Macaroni Salad:  And… this easy macaroni salad is so full of flavor, loaded with pasta, hardboiled eggs, red onions, black olives, dill relish, mayonnaise, salt and pepper.
  • The Best Mashed Potatoes:  If you love mashed potatoes, you are going to love how creamy and delicious these mashed potatoes are. Made with cream cheese added, these are the best tasting mashed potatoes ever!
  • Garlic Cheese Toast:  This garlic cheese toast is super easy to make, tastes absolutely scrumptious and is a copycat version of Sizzler’s® cheese toast. Super delish!

Ingredients To Make Homemade Meatloaf

  • Ground Beef
  • Ground sausage
  • Onions, garlic
  • Large egg
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Milk
  • Mustard
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Parsley flakes
  • Salt & pepper
  • Ketchup

(Actual measurements are in the recipe card below.)

How To Make This Easy Meatloaf Recipe

  • Add all ingredients (except ketchup) in a large bowl mixing everything together.
  • Form mixture into a loaf and place into prepared baking or loaf pan.
  • Brush top of meat mixture with ketchup and cover with aluminum foil.
  • Bake for approximately 45 minutes in a 350° oven.
  • Remove foil and finish baking for approximately 10 minutes, to brown.

Try This Easy Meatloaf Recipe Today

Easy Meatloaf Recipe- a collage photo of a loaf of meatloaf, a photo of two slices of meatloaf on a white plate and a bite of meatloaf of a fork.

Here are a few more scrumptious meatloaf recipes that can be found on the blog:

Easy Meatloaf Recipe

Great Grub, Delicious Treats

This easy meatloaf recipe is made with perfectly seasoned ground beef and pork sausage, and more, and baked to perfection. Meatloaf sandwiches are great using the leftover meatloaf.

Prep Time 20 mins

Cook Time 55 mins

Total Time 1 hr 15 mins

Course Dinner

Cuisine American

Servings 6 Servings

Calories 602 kcal


  • pounds ground beef
  • 1 pound sausage, I used Jimmy Dean’s premium pork sausage, hot
  • ½ cup onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 2 Tablespoon parsley flakes
  • cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • cup ketchup


  • Preheat oven to 350° and lightly spray an oval baking dish or a 9 x 5 loaf pan or with cooking spray.

  • In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients, except ketchup.

  • Form a loaf and place into prepared loaf pan.

  • Brush ketchup over top of meatloaf and cover with foil.

  • Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes, then remove foil and continue cooking for approximately an additional 10 -15 minutes, to brown.

  • Carefully remove from oven, remove meatloaf from pan and place on serving dish, slice and serve.


Nutritional values are approximate.


Please note that these values can change with different brands and any modifications made to the recipe. For the most accurate information, use a nutritional calculator with the exact brands and measurements.


Calories: 602kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 35gFat: 46gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 168mgSodium: 1051mgPotassium: 626mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 246IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 120mgIron: 4mg

Keyword Meatloaf, Meatloaf Recipe

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A meatloaf with slices made in it.
A bite of meatloaf on a fork.

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