Easy Meatloaf

Tender flavorful meatloaf that the whole family will devour! This meatloaf recipe is super simple- making it perfect for all levels of cooks in the kitchen.

Meatloaf is such a classic dinner recipe from everyone’s childhood! It’s one of our favorite ways to use ground beef aside from homemade meatballs and goulash.

Meatloaf on a white serving platter

Mom’s Classic Recipe

Meatloaf is the all-American recipe of food. It’s a classic comfort food that never goes out of style for dinnertime. This is my mom’s famous recipe that I have loved all my life. I can’t remember a time in my life that we didn’t have this meatloaf recipe because it has always been a Sunday staple.

When my mom would cook up meatloaf, we could smell it’s tasty aroma throughout the house! This recipe has a soft spot in my heart and I’ll always love it.

We know there are so many variations for this recipe, and this can be changed up based on the spices you like most or if you prefer regular bread crumbs, but we love this version.

Ingredients for classic meatloaf in a mixing bowl

How to Make Meatloaf

This meatloaf is the easiest dinner recipe ever. Basically it consists of combining everything together in a bowl, baking it up, and topping it with the glaze! So simple that even your kids can get in on the cooking fun.

PREP. Start by grabbing all of your ingredients and prepping everything before you start. That will make it even easier to make.

FORM LOAF. Add all of the meatloaf ingredients and half of the ketchup sauce to a bowl, and mix until well combined. One of the tips I always tell people is to not handle the ground beef mixture too much. Over-mixing can cause the meatloaf to turn out tough and dense. Form into a loaf and place in a baking dish.

BAKE. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Pull out of the oven and top the loaf with remaining ketchup sauce, then bake for an additional 10 minutes.

SERVE. Before you slice into that perfectly baked meatloaf, make sure to let it rest for a few minutes so that it can absorb all of the juices.

Tip: I like to keep the juices from the pan so that I can pour it over the top of my meatloaf after it’s done baking. This makes it even more moist and juicy.


You can switch up the flavors in this recipe to give it some variation. Try any of the following:

  • Try adding some Mexican spices to give it a more Tex-Mex taste.
  • Instead of using ground beef, try using ground pork or ground turkey.
  • You could also try using dried uncooked lentils for a vegetarian meatloaf.

Raw meatloaf in a casserole dish

homemade Sauce/glaze

Do not forget to make the sauce that goes over the top of your meatloaf. It adds tons of flavor that you definitely want for this recipe. The steps are really simple.

Combine the ½ cup of ketchup, ⅓ cup of brown sugar, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and 1 tsp dry mustard in a small bowl. Mix everything until smooth.

You’ll add ½ of the sauce to the mixture of the meatloaf before it’s cooked. Then you’ll add the rest of the sauce to the top of the meatloaf after it’s cooked.

Then bake the meatloaf with the sauce on top for another 10 minutes before serving and eating.

Easy meatloaf covered with ketchup sauce

Leftovers are just as good!

STORING. Store any leftover meatloaf in an airtight container in the fridge. It should last up to 3 or 4 days when kept in the fridge.

FREEZING. If you’d rather freeze your meatloaf to eat at another time or make ahead- wrap it tightly in freezer wrap and keep it in a freezer-safe bag. It will keep its quality of taste if kept in the freezer for 3 to 4 months.

REHEATING. You can reheat individual portions in the microwave, or you can put large portions in the oven. Preheat the oven to a low temperature (220°-240°F) and place loaf in a casserole dish with any remaining juices to help retain moisture. Cover with foil and bake until heated through.

Homemade meatloaf cut into slices on a serving platter

I just know you’re going to LOVE this classic meatloaf recipe. Just like Mom made it. ?

One of the many things that is great about meatloaf is that you can serve it with tons of different side dishes.

Meatloaf side ideas:

Easy Meatloaf Recipe

5 from 12 votes
Tender flavorful meatloaf that the whole family will devour! This meatloaf recipe is super simple- making it perfect for all levels of cooks in the kitchen.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 391 kcal
Author Lil' Luna


ketchup mixture

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dry mustard


  • 2 pounds ground beef lean
  • 4 bread slices crumbled
  • 1/4 cup onion diced
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 beef bouillon cube crushed


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Combine ketchup, brown sugar, 1 tbsp lemon juice and dry mustard in a small bowl and mix until smooth.
  • Combine ground beef, shredded bread crumbs, onion, eggs, bouillon cube and remaining lemon juice in a large bowl. Add ½ cup of the ketchup mixture and mix until well combined. Form meat into a loaf and place in a casserole dish.
  • Bake for 1 hour. Drain fat from dish, then top with remaining ketchup mixture and bake an additional 10 minutes.

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Great recipe- Simple and classic. I dO like to doubLe the sauce recipe because my family likes it extra saucy.

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this easy recipe! My husband loves meatloaf & I’ve never been the biggest fan, but I made it for him & had some myself & was pleasantly surprised at how good it was!

  3. 5 stars
    Such a classic dish! My mom use to make it all the time and now, i love being able to make it for my family!

  4. 5 stars
    I know some people knock meatloaf, but my family loves it! This one is nice and simple, and everyone wanted seconds. The glaze is super yummy!

  5. 5 stars
    **Had to repost – forgot to rate the recipe.

    My friend gave me this recipe a few years back and my kids LOVE it. I use breadcrumbs instead of bread and I omit the onions, but it is a family favorite and the kid’s friends that have joined us for dinner were huge fans as well.

  6. 5 stars
    This was my first time making meatloaf. This was the best meatloaf I’ve ever had!!! Thank you so much! We’re adding this to our rotation!

    1. Yay! I’m so glad to hear it was a success and you enjoyed the recipe. Meatloaf can get a bad rep but when made right, it’s pretty darn tasty! 😉