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EASY Homemade Meatloaf Recipe – I Heart Naptime


This simple meatloaf recipe is tender, juicy and topped with a sweet glaze. Simple to make and alert in less than an hour!

Meatloaf is one of those nostalgic meals that we enjoyed as a family growing up. It’s a dish that reminds me of my childhood, along with sloppy joe’s, pot roast and grilled cheese with tomato soup.

meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans

This is one of the first meals that comes to mind when I think of comfort food. It may not look the prettiest, but it sure does taste astonishing. Especially paired with mashed potatoes and green beans…comfort food at it’s finest!

What I love about this meatloaf recipe is that it’s so simple to make and done in less than one hour. It’s perfectly tender and juicy with a sweet glaze on top. Plus it can even be made ahead of time and is freezer-friendly. My kind of meal!

meatloaf ingredients in a glass bowl

How to make homemade meatloaf

  1. MIX. In a large bowl, combine the meat, breadcrumbs, broth, eggs, parsley, Worcestershire, ketchup, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Mix just until combined. Don’t over mix or the meat won’t be as tender.
  2. SHAPE. Press the mixture into a foil-lined (and sprayed) 9×5″ loaf pan. You can also use a foil-lined baking sheet and form the mixture into a loaf shape on the pan.
  3. GLAZE. In a small bowl, mix together the ketchup and/or BBQ sauce and brown sugar. Then pour over top of the meatloaf. Add pepper on top if desired.
  4. BAKE. Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes, or until the meat reaches 160°F.

meatloaf on pan with sauce being poured over

Cooking tips

  1. Use 80-90% lean ground beef. This makes the meatloaf super tender and juicy. You can also use ground turkey but it will not be quite as juicy (but still plenty flavorful though). Sometimes I like to mix half turkey and half hamburger to make it a small more lean.
  2. Beef broth instead of milk. The broth adds a heartier flavor and just makes more sense to me. But you can exactly use milk if preferred.
  3. Don’t over mix! Mix just until combined, making sure not to over mix the meat mixture. An over mixed meatloaf won’t be as tender and soft.
  4. Use a meat thermometer. Once the internal temperature of the meat has reached 160°F, you can remove it from the oven.
  5. Add some heat. If you prefer a small heat, add some red pepper flakes into the meat mixture or a few dashes of sriracha to the sauce.

Favorite sides for serving

This homemade meatloaf tastes delicious with any of the following sides:

sliced meatloaf on white dish

Make ahead + freezing

To make in advance: You can easily prep this recipe ahead of time. Simply combine the meat mixture in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. You can also mix together the glaze in advance too. Then store both in the refrigerator until using. Right before baking, shape the meatloaf and add the glaze.

To freeze: I recommend freezing the meatloaf before cooking. Press the meat in a loaf pan and cover tightly with saran wrap. Alternatively, you can form into a loaf shape and wrap tightly with saran wrap. Store in freezer for 2-3 months. To thaw, place in fridge overnight. Then bake at 375°F for 45 minutes.

slice of meatloaf and mashed potatoes on white plate

More comfort food dinner ideas:

sliced meatloaf

Course: Main Dish

Cuisine: American

Keyword: simple meatloaf recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Servings: 8

Calories: 235

This simple meatloaf recipe is tender, juicy and topped with a sweet glaze. Simple to make and alert in less than an hour!

Meatloaf Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds 80-90% lean ground meat , you could also use turkey or do half pork too
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup beef broth , or milk
  • 2 large eggs , whisked
  • 2-3 Tablespoons fresh parsley , finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup ketchup or BBQ sauce , you could mix half and half
  • 2-3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet or 9×5″ loaf pan with foil. Lightly spray with non-stick spray and set aside.

  • Combine the meat, breadcrumbs, broth or milk, eggs, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder in a large bowl. Mix just until combined. Don’t overmix or the meat won’t be as tender.

  • Press into the loaf pan or form the mixture into a loaf shape on the pan.

  • In a small bowl, mix together the ketchup and/or BBQ sauce and brown sugar. Then pour over top of the meatloaf. Add pepper on top if desired.

  • Bake meatloaf for 45 minutes, or until the meat reaches 160°F.

You may substitute fresh onion and garlic (1 cup onion, 4 garlic cloves minced), however make sure to saute them with a small olive oil before adding to the meat.  If you prefer a small heat, add in a pinch of red pepper flakes to the meat or a few dashes of chili sauce or sriracha to the meatloaf sauce. 

Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 821mg | Potassium: 547mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 278IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 3mg

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