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.