My Favorite Meatloaf – This recipe for meatloaf is lean yet flavorful and uses ingredients that you already have available!
Today’s recipe is a new addition to our weekly dinners. It came along when we needed something new but didn’t want to go grocery shopping for any missing ingredients. Luckily, I found this recipe from Natasha’s Kitchen and it was exactly what I was looking for – few ingredients, simple, and could be made in less than an hour. Little did I know this would turn out to be My Favorite Meatloaf!
Over time, I’ve made a few tweaks to the recipe to make it more suitable for our tastes. This has become my (and my family’s!) favorite meatloaf because of the following features:
- Ready in under an hour
- All ingredients on hand
- Incredible yet simple flavors
Before we dive into the recipe, let’s drool over some photos of My Favorite Meatloaf!
Why I love this meatloaf so much
This meatloaf has so many thing to love! My family’s favorite thing about it is the flavor. They have no idea what goes into making this – all they know is that it’s GOOD! My husband especially loves the flavor of the minced onions. Before we started mincing them, he said they just felt like filler. But when they’re chopped finely and mixed into the meatloaf super well, they set off the flavor.
For me, my favorite flavor of the meatloaf is the sauce on top. It’s sweet and tangy and I can’t get enough of it. I’m always grabbing the ends of the meatloaf so I get extra sauce.
Easy to make
This meatloaf does not have tons of ingredients. In fact, I tend to have all the ingredients on hand any time I want to make it. Sometime I don’t have fresh parsley so I just use 2 teaspoons of the dried stuff and it does a good job for a replacement. But let me tell you – the fresh stuff really makes a difference so use it if you can.
All the ingredients are just mixed together in a bowl and then formed into a loaf. I use a 9×5 loaf pan to form my meatloaf and then flip it onto a baking sheet to bake. I bake it on a baking sheet because it bakes faster and gives the meatloaf crispy edges. Because this recipe uses lean meat, it doesn’t release tons of juices while cooking so it won’t make a mess on the baking sheet.
Finally, I love this recipe because it’s healthy (ish). It’s made with lean meat and we don’t add any other fat to the recipes. Additionally, most of the other ingredients are added for flavor but have barely any calories – onions, parsley, paprika, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. We also add in ketchup, panko breadcrumbs, milk, and eggs to build up the structure of the loaf.
Tips & Tricks
- Do not overmix the meat. This will make the meatloaf texture tough.
- You must mince the onions. This will allow it to mix super well into the loaf and not have any large chunks of onion. This was the case for my early versions of meatloaf and my family didn’t care for it. I don’t have the knife skills to mince an onion easily so I just throw it in the food processor to get those onions teeny tiny.
- To prevent the meatloaf from overcooking, use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the center of the loaf. This will ensure your lean meatloaf is still juicy.
My Favorite Meatloaf
For the meatloaf:
- 1½ pounds lean ground beef
- ½ medium onion minced
- 2 large eggs
- ⅔ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
For the meatloaf sauce:
- ¾ cup ketchup
- 1½ teaspoons white vinegar
- 2½ tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grab a 9×5 loaf pan and a large baking sheet. Spray the bakign sheet with nonstick spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix all the meatloaf ingredients (minus the sauce ingredients), using your hands to incorporate thoroughly without overmixing. Scoop mixture into the 9×5 loaf pan and pack it in. Turn loaf pan over onto baking sheet and tap the pan to release the uncooked meatloaf. Place in preheated oven to bake for 20-25 minutes.
- While meatloaf if baking, mix all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Once the loaf has baked for 20-25 minutes, remove from oven and evenly cover all visible edges in the sauce. Place back into the oven and then continue baking for 10 more minutes or until the center of the meatloaf reaches 160 degrees. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Slice and serve with mashed potatoes.
Was just thinking about making meatloaf and then saw your recipe. Thank you!
Lori | The Kitchen Whisperer says
I so love meatloaf. It’s such comfort food! Yours looks incredible and perfect for Sunday supper! Thank you so much for sharing!
Excellent meatloaf! Flavourful, moist, just delicious. I’ve found it very helpful to spray the baking sheet with nonstick spray. Makes for easy lifting the meatloaf out of the pan to slice.
Jacqueline Debono says
Meatloaf is one of my go-to recipes when I want to make an easy delicious dinner. My boys love it so it’s often on the menu when they visit. Yours looks delicious. Going to save your recipe for the next time we have a meatloaf craving!
The sauce on top of this meatloaf was soooo good! This recipe is a keeper, our family’s new favorite meatloaf!
Marisa F Stewart says
Your post just reminded me that I need to make meatloaf ASAP. It is such a comfort dish — that’s why it’s a classic. I really like how you put it all together. I also like the sauce you used on top instead of plain ketchup. I’m not really hungry for meatloaf.
This is a great classic meatloaf recipe! This is one of my dad’s favorites. I’m bookmarking this one for later!
Sarah Althouse says
This reminds me that I haven’t made meatloaf in a while and need to!
I have not had meatloaf in ages and this looks amazing. I love how easy it is to make. We eat ground beef at least once a week, so now I have a new way of preparing it. Thanks for the reminder to make meatloaf.
This looks really delicious! Meatloaf is a classic comfort food! Looking forward to trying this recipe!!!
My family loves meatloaf and we devoured this recipe! Such a tasty and very delicious meatloaf. I will be making this again very soon! Everyone loved this recipe!
Haven’t thought of making meatloaf in a long time, so thanks for the reminder and the great recipe1
Sharmila Kingsly says
Such an incredible bake.. Makes an awesome wholemeal Loaf!!
Amanda Dixon says
This meatloaf was delicious! It came out so moist, and I love the texture the panko added.
Jere Cassidy says
Mmm, I love meatloaf, it’s like comfort food. Glad to have your recipe and the sauce for the top sounds delicious.
This makes me so hungry for meatloaf! I’m making this tonight. Can’t wait!
Our kiddos love meatloaf for dinner and making sandwiches with the leftovers. This looks amazing for both!
Deborah Brooks says
my boys love meatloaf! It’s an easy weeknight meal that I always forget about making. Looking forward to trying your recipe soon