This Meatloaf Recipe is quick to throw together, smothered with a sweet glaze and is ultra tender. The easiest, classic American comfort food!
If you grew up in the United States, it’s highly likely that you grew up eating meatloaf. But this isn’t the grey blob of dry, bland mystery meat you remember.
This meatloaf recipe is the BEST. It’s ultra moist thanks to buttermilk and is incredibly flavorful thanks to sautéed onions, garlic, and seasoned breadcrumbs.
This recipe is definitely better than what you remember, but I promise, it’s just as quick and easy!
These ingredients may look similar to your standard meatloaf, but with a few upgrades – sautéing onions and garlic in butter, buttermilk, and seasoned breadcrumbs – this is going to be the BEST meatloaf recipe.
- Brown Sugar – gives the sauce a rich, molasses flavor.
- Ketchup – this is the base of our sauce and adds sweetness.
- Mustard – contrasts the sweetness with a bit of tang.
- Butter – used for sautéing the onion and garlic.
- Onion – adds texture and a slightly sweet, caramel-y flavor when sautéed.
- Garlic – gives the meatloaf recipe that nutty flavor.
- Salt and Pepper – adds flavor depth and a little spice.
- Breadcrumbs – bind the meatloaf together. Use Italian seasoned breadcrumbs for quick flavor!
- Buttermilk – soaks into the breadcrumbs to moisten the meatloaf recipe. Buttermilk adds WAY more moisture than “regular” milk.
- Worcestershire Sauce – adds that vinegary, slightly sweet tang.
- Ground Beef – use a 90%, 10% lean ground beef for a tender, but not overly fatty texture and flavor.
- Eggs – bind the other ingredients together to really form the loaf shape.
How to make
This recipe bakes for an hour, but only requires about 15 minutes of prep, making it the perfect family friendly weeknight dinner. This meatloaf couldn’t be easier . . . my only tip? Don’t over mix the meat or you’ll end up with an overly compact, dense loaf.
- Cook onion and garlic with salt, pepper, and butter in a large skillet.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl, then add in breadcrumbs, buttermilk, Worcestershire sauce, ground beef, eggs, salt, and pepper.
- Use your hands to mix until well-combined.
- Move the mixture to a greased loaf pan.
- Spread on topping.
How to make meatloaf sauce
Three ingredients and you’ve got the BEST meatloaf glaze.
That’s it! Like I said before, I actually make quite a large batch, so I can spread some on top and serve the rest as a dipping sauce with the cooked meatloaf.
How long to cook meatloaf
Cook meatloaf for 90 minutes at 350º F.
Keep in mind that the minimum internal temperature for ground beef is 160º F so use a meat thermometer to make sure your meat loaf has reached that temperature before serving!
What is the best meat for meatloaf?
Lean ground beef (example: 90/10) is best for meatloaf, because it’s lean but still has a little bit of fat, which helps keep this meatloaf moist.
I don’t recommend using ground beef with a higher fat content (example: 80/20) because as it heats, the fat cooks out causing the meatloaf to be greasy and oily.
Do i have to put milk in meatloaf?
You need to add milk to meatloaf, because it adds moisture. The meatloaf would be dry otherwise. I prefer using buttermilk, because it adds more moisture and flavor than regular milk.
I highly recommend using buttermilk for the best results, but if you don’t have it on hand, feel free to make your own buttermilk.
This meatloaf recipe makes a fantastic main dish, but I love to bulk my meal up with a couple of side dishes as well! Here are some of my favorite recipes to pair with this one!
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- Easy Roasted Vegetables Recipe
- Lemon Parmesan Roasted Asparagus Recipe
- Crock Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe
- Roasted Green Beans Recipe
How to store
This meatloaf can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 3-4 months! Be sure to store the extra dipping sauce separately.
To reheat, just pop the meatloaf in the microwave until heated through!
Can you freeze meatloaf?
You can store completely cooked and cooled meatloaf in an airtight container for 3-4 months!
I don’t recommend freezing the extra sauce.
How to thaw frozen meatloaf
Before reheating from the freezer, let your meatloaf thaw in the refrigerator for about 24 hours.
Equipment for this recipe
Topping & Dipping Sauce
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar packed
- 1 1/2 cups ketchup
- 1/4 cup mustard
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 2 large eggs lightly whisked
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Topping & Dipping Sauce
- Whisk brown sugar, ketchup, and mustard in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a loaf pan with cooking spray.
- In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat then add in onion, garlic, and a touch of salt and pepper.
- Cook until tender, about 5-10 minutes.
- Move mixture to a large mixing bowl.
- Add in breadcrumbs, buttermilk, Worcestershire sauce, ground beef, eggs, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- Use your hands to mix the mixture until combined.
- Place into greased loaf pan.
- Spread some of the topping on the meatloaf. Don't do too much or it will slip off.
- Bake in preheated oven for 90 minutes or until the meat is fully cooked (160ºF internal temperature.)
- Let sit for 15 minutes before slicing.
- Serve with remaining sauce on the side and enjoy!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.