Classic Meatloaf Recipe (2024)

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You know me. I love a retro recipe revival!This time I’m bringing backclassic meatloaf.Wait! Stay with me. Yes, it has a bad repbutI promise that this recipe is pivotal.So imagineasucculent loaf ofjuicy beef and pork, emboldened with herbs and smoky paprika. Imagine it glistening with agenerous glazeofketchup(and aspecialsecret ingredient).Imagine your kids saying “Meatloaf? YES!!”

Speaking of retro recipe revivals,have you triedthisTater Tot Casserole?Made without the canned soupbut still a nostalgic blast from the past.

Classic Meatloaf Recipe (1)

Classic meatloaf recipe

Understanding theingredientsmeanspulling off a sumptuous ketchup-glazed meatloaf is surprisingly easy.

A combination of meats gives a bonus flavour dimension to the dish.In mine, Iuse equal measures of ground beef and pork. Other recipes suggestmixing in pricey venison or veal. Mybudget-friendlyversionof the classic meatloaf recipe will result in a tender and succulent loaf.

Onions need to be given a slow sauté to releaseflavour into the oil. Then add the herbs and spices. I like thyme, coriander and smoked paprika.You could use slightly spicier cayenneif that’s to your taste.

Egg is important to bind the meat together. Without it, you’ll have a crumbly meatloaf!

Breadcrumbs will soak up the meat juices while cooking,preventing it from drying out. What’s more theycontribute to alighter-textured meatloaf. Without them, it’sa bit like biting into a block of compacted hamburger. I use panko breadcrumbswhich absorb less oil.

Worcestershiresauce, ketchup and salt and pepper are the seasonings. Worcestershire sauce is a wonder condiment that brings the umami to anything savoury!

Some recipes will add a½cup of milkto the mix to ensure moisture. I stick to plain water which works just as well.

If you want to ramp things up yet another notch, try out my Creamy Mushroom Stuffed Meatloaf!

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Meatloaf glaze

The glazeis crucial. I believeit makes all the difference between loving and loathing meatloaf. If you’re not a fan, I bet it’s because you’ve never had one with a good glaze.

The glazedoes a couple ofessentialthings; first, it stops moisture escaping while the meatloaf is cooking. Second,it sparks a tangy firework of flavour. Third, when it’s cooked it forms a sweet, sticky, caramelised crust that everyone will be fighting over.

I’ve adhered to a glaze used in a classic meatloaf recipe by using ketchup, brown sugarand vinegar (apple cider).So,what’s thisspecial secret ingredient?Gochujang paste.

It’sa deep red, fermented bean pastefrom Korea.This snappy Asian condimentis subtly smoky, sweet and spicy and does saucythings tobeef.

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Recipe tips and notes

  • Mixing meats is a surefire way to create a juicier, more deeply flavoursome dish. Just likerecipes forItalianraguormeatballs,I use acombination of ground beef and pork.
  • Don’t skimp on the sauté, this iswhat the foundation of the meatloaf is built upon! Take around ten minutes sautéing the onion before addingthe herbs and spices.At the very end, addminced garlic.It catches quickly burns burns easily, so be aware.
  • Older recipes suggest adding milk. But I prefer a dairy-free versionand so I use water. It still provides the required moisture, but I don’t believe it makes any difference to the taste.
  • Finally, the glaze is the crowning glory. I glaze mine twice:once beforethe meatloafgoes into the ovento help seal inthe moisture,and once again when it comes outfor that glistening aesthetic.
  • My meatloaf glazeincorporates the traditional mix of ketchup, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar with a little Vikalinka twist-Korean Gochujang paste.This pungent paste is a funky cross between sriracha and misoand rockets your meatloaf out of the 50s andinto this century.
  • Use. A. Meat. Thermometer. Overdone meatloaf is dry and unappetising. Underdonemeatloafis dangerous! As home ovens vary quite drastically, your meatloaf could be done in an hour or perhaps an hour and 10. Testing the temp with a thermometeris the best way to make sure it is done to tender perfection.
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Serving suggestions

It’s hard to resist serving aclassic meatloafwithclassicsides!While perfecting your meatloaf, it’s a good idea to includeat least onesemi-slick or saucysidekick,i.e.a runny mash or cheesy mactomask any over bakedness.

Some of my favourite combos are:

  • Instant pot mash with cream cheese+crispy Brussels sprouts with honey and bacon.
  • Crispy air fryerpotatoes+lemon garlic greens beans.
  • Baked macaroniand cheese+butterycorn on the cob.

Storage and leftovers

Meatloaf isthe ultimatemom-hackfora low-prepweeknight mealas, onceprepared, it offers a range ofstorage options:

1)Prepare, bake and eat on the day.

2)Prepare, refrigerate and eat the next day(no more than two).

3)Prepare, bake, freeze for up to six months, bake againto eat.

4)Prepare, freeze for up to six months, thaw and baketo eat.

Whateveryou settle on, make sure to use your meat thermometerwhen cookingto check the temperature at the centre of the loaf.

And as forcookedleftovers,they’ll keep for3-4 days in the fridge.Use them up inthe most incredibly satisfyingsandwiches!For a cold deli-style doorstopper, layer crisp lettuce,juicytomato,andthick meatloaf slabs smothered in mustard and pickles on sourdough.

Orfor an economicaltwist on my hot and meltyFrench Dip Sandwich,just replacethe roast beef withthicker meatloaf slices.

More beef recipes to try:

  • Slow Cooker Italian Beef Stew
  • Harissa Beef Stuffed Eggplant
  • Ground Beef Wellington (the humble version)
  • Easy Stuffed Shells with Pesto and Tomato Beef Sauce

Classic Meatloaf Recipe (5)

Classic Meatloaf Recipe

Julia Frey of Vikalinka

Retro revival of asucculent loaf ofjuicy beef and pork, emboldened with herbs and smoky paprika with agenerous glazeofketchup.

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes mins

Cook Time 1 hour hr 45 minutes mins

Course Dinner

Cuisine American

Servings 8 people

Calories 296 kcal


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika I used Spanish paprika
  • 1 tsp dried thyme or 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1 ½ tsp dried coriander
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 450g / 1 lbs ground beef 5% or higher
  • 450g / 1 lbs ground pork 10% fat
  • 2 eggs
  • 80g / 1 cup breadcrumbs I used panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 125g / ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 60ml / ¼ cup water

For the glaze

  • 80g / ⅓ cup ketchup
  • 3 tsp brown sugar
  • ½ – 1 tsp Gochujang paste (optional) or ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar


  • Preheat the oven to 190C/375F

  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the chopped onions over low heat for 10 minutes, then add the smoked paprika, thyme and dried coriander together with the minced garlic and sauté for 30 seconds longer. If the spices are sticking to the bottom, deglaze with a tablespoon of water and scape the bottom to release the burnt bits, take off the heat and cool.

  • In a large bowl combine the ground beef and pork, beaten eggs, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, black pepper and salt. Then add the spiced sautéed onions and garlic, water and mix to combine. Pack the mixture into a loaf pan. Press down to avoid air bubbles.

  • In a small bowl mix the ingredients for the glaze. Divide in half and brush one half on the top of the meatloaf. Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until the internal temperature is 70C/160F. Brush the remaining half of the glaze and let it rest for 15-20 minutes. Slice and serve.


Calories: 296kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 27gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 113mgSodium: 1008mgPotassium: 561mgFiber: 1gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 384IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 57mgIron: 4mg

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Classic Meatloaf Recipe (2024)
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