Easy Meatloaf Recipe

Growing up, Sunday dinners at my grandmother’s house were always special. One dish that never failed to bring warmth and comfort to the table was her classic meatloaf. With its savory aroma and juicy, tender texture, this dish became a staple in our family gatherings. Today, I’m excited to share with you my take on this timeless recipe, filled with nostalgia and flavors that will transport you back to those cozy family meals.

Courses and Cuisines: Main dish; American cuisine.

Nutritional Information: (Per Serving – 1 slice)

  • Calories: 320 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
  • Protein: 25g
  • Fat: 18g
  • Fiber: 2g

Cooking Time: 1 hour 15 minutes Preparation Time: 20 minutes Yields: 8 servings

Origin and Cultural Significance

Meatloaf has roots dating back to ancient Roman cuisine, where minced meat was combined with other ingredients. In the United States, it gained popularity during the Great Depression as an economical yet flavorful dish. Today, it remains a classic comfort food loved by many.

Ingredients

For Meatloaf:

  • 2 pounds ground beef (or a mix of beef and pork)
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

For Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

meatloaf

Tips for Ingredient Substitutions or Variations

  • Ground Meat: Try ground turkey or chicken for a lighter version.
  • Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs or oats.
  • Flavor Variations: Add diced bell peppers or shredded cheese for extra flavor.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Overmixing: Gently combine ingredients to avoid a dense texture.
  2. Not Resting: Let the meatloaf rest before slicing for juicier results.
  3. Skipping Glaze: The glaze adds moisture and enhances flavor; don’t skip it.

Health Benefits of Key Ingredients

  • Protein: Provides essential amino acids for muscle health.
  • Breadcrumbs: Adds fiber and texture.
  • Onion and Garlic: Packed with antioxidants and flavor.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Prepare Meatloaf Mixture

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a loaf pan.
  2. In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs and milk. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Add ground beef, eggs, onion, garlic, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and paprika. Mix gently until combined.

Step 2: Shape and Bake Meatloaf

  1. Transfer meatloaf mixture to the prepared loaf pan. Shape into a loaf.
  2. In a small bowl, mix ingredients for the glaze: ketchup, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar.
  3. Brush half of the glaze over the meatloaf.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.

Step 3: Glaze and Finish

  1. Remove meatloaf from the oven and brush with the remaining glaze.
  2. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until cooked through (internal temperature of 160°F or 71°C).
  3. Let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Dry Meatloaf: Add more milk or a splash of broth to the mixture.
  • Undercooked: Ensure internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C) before slicing.
  • Burnt Glaze: Cover loosely with foil if the glaze starts to darken too much.

Essential Kitchen Tools

  • Loaf pan
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Basting brush
  • Meat thermometer

Sustainability Practices

  • Choose grass-fed or sustainably sourced meat.
  • Use organic ingredients when possible to support eco-friendly practices.

Flavor Profile and Texture

Juicy, savory, with a hint of sweetness from the glaze, and a tender yet firm texture that holds together beautifully.

Best Occasions to Serve

Ideal for family dinners, potlucks, and gatherings where you want a comforting and satisfying meal that everyone will love.

Cultural Significance

Meatloaf represents homestyle cooking and the joy of sharing comforting meals with loved ones, reflecting a sense of togetherness and tradition.

Summary

This easy meatloaf recipe combines simple ingredients with delicious flavors, making it a perfect choice for any occasion. Whether you’re recreating childhood memories or discovering the joy of homemade comfort food, this dish is sure to delight your taste buds and bring smiles to the table. Enjoy the warmth and goodness of a classic meatloaf with each flavorful slice!

meatloaf

Meatloaf Recipe

Meatloaf has roots dating back to ancient Roman cuisine, where minced meat was combined with other ingredients. In the United States, it gained popularity during the Great Depression as an economical yet flavorful dish. Today, it remains a classic comfort food loved by many.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 320 kcal

Ingredients
  

For Meatloaf:

  • 2 pounds ground beef or a mix of beef and pork
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

For Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Instructions
 

Step 1: Prepare Meatloaf Mixture

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a loaf pan.
  • In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs and milk. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Add ground beef, eggs, onion, garlic, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and paprika. Mix gently until combined.

Step 2: Shape and Bake Meatloaf

  • Transfer meatloaf mixture to the prepared loaf pan. Shape into a loaf.
  • In a small bowl, mix ingredients for the glaze: ketchup, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar.
  • Brush half of the glaze over the meatloaf.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.

Step 3: Glaze and Finish

  • Remove meatloaf from the oven and brush with the remaining glaze.
  • Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until cooked through (internal temperature of 160°F or 71°C).
  • Let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Notes

  1. Overmixing: Gently combine ingredients to avoid a dense texture.
  2. Not Resting: Let the meatloaf rest before slicing for juicier results.
  3. Skipping Glaze: The glaze adds moisture and enhances flavor; don't skip it.
Keyword Easy Meatloaf Recipe, Meatloaf, Meatloaf Recipe

 

Read More:  Very Easy Banana Bread Recipe