Our 31 Best Meatloaf Recipes
Meatloaf is a clear winner for a weeknight dinner: It's a crowd-pleaser that just so happens to be easy. Check out our best meatloaf recipes, ranging from classic meatloaf just like mom made, to upgrades like slow cooker meatloaf, mini meatloaf muffins, and meatloaf burgers.
This hearty, family-friendly recipe marries two comfort food classics—meatloaf and spaghetti—for one epic rib-sticker of a dinner. The tangy-sweet, boldly beefy sauce delivers both surprising depth of flavor and a delicious sense of familiarity… consider it a bolognese inspired by the classic flavors of meatloaf. And because no meatloaf is complete without breadcrumbs, we finish this fun play on pasta night off with buttery toasted panko (the perfect final touch of crunch!). While we love how this dish can be thrown together on a moment’s notice with a package of ground beef and pantry staples, we highly recommend prepping the sauce a day ahead if possible, because it’s definitely one of those that tastes even better the next day. If you do make your sauce ahead, when you’re ready to serve, simply heat it on the stove with 1/4 to 1/3 cup of water or chicken stock to help loosen it up.
Chili Pepper-Spiked Meat Loaf
Mini BBQ Meat Loaves with Smashed Blue Cheese Potatoes
Make a small indentation with your thumb in the center of each meat loaf before baking. This keeps the proteins from shrinking too much, which could result in a dense, dry meat loaf.
We call for organic ketchup because it's usually sweetened with sugar, not high-fructose corn syrup. Feel free to toss in chopped fresh herbs for more flavor.
Diner Meat Loaf 'Muffins'
Use a muffin tin to bake mini meatloaves. It decreases bake time and is ideal for making extra, freezer-friendly loaves for later. Thanks to the shorter cook time, you can get this recipe on the table in less than 30 minutes. Order's up!
Veggie-Packed Meat Loaf
A little meat goes a long way in this version of the classic--bringing that powerful pop of umami to this mostly plant-based take. You can double up and freeze one for later: Simply cover one loaf in plastic wrap before baking, pressing to remove air. Wrap with heavy-duty foil, and store in the freezer up to 2 months. Thaw completely in refrigerator before unwrapping and baking as directed.
Make your mama proud, and maybe a little jealous, with a robust meatloaf recipe packed with Greek and Creole seasonings and a hint of garlic. Spice up the traditional ketchup topping with a few tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce.
Why settle for regular meatloaf when you could be having meatloaf studded with bacon and cheddar cheese? These additions, along with White BBQ Sauce, guarantees a deliciously moist turkey meatloaf. This budget- and family-friendly comes from $10 Dinners: Delicious Recipes for a Family of 4 that Don’t Break the Bank, available on shelves (and Amazon) now. You can find cookbook author Julie Grimes’ simple recipe for White BBQ Sauce there (on page 222), or substitute bottled white barbecue sauce from the supermarket.
Meatloaf Burger Steaks with Tomato Gravy
These burger steaks deliver classic meatloaf flavor with more glazy, crispy crust. A quick tomato gravy mimics a savory ketchup topping.
Slow Cooker Santa Fe Meatloaf
Oven-baked meatloaf can turn dry, but the moisture-sealing magic of the slow cooker makes this one melt in your mouth.
Classic Meat Loaf
This is the iconic, classic meat loaf like your mom used to make (or that you wished your mom would make). Mix the ingredients gently, just until combined, and don't compact the meat when shaping the loaf for best results.
The ideal meat loaf temperature is about 160°F. The easiest way to measure this is with a meat thermometer, a handy tool that ensures your meatloaf is perfectly juicy every single time. Serve with mashed potatoes and green beans—and sprinkle over a little parsley for extra pizzazz.
Southwestern Meat Loaf
Presentation is everything! If you have a picky eater, segment the food using a fun container.
Farro and Mushroom Meat Loaf
While writing this book, I had a sudden craving for farro and mushrooms. I had just experienced success with the Chicken-Pecan Meatballs recipe, so I wanted to create another texturally similar dish. And that "NeutralQue" needed another use, and--oh, cool--a mostarda-like direction would work perfectly with a farro and mushroom meat loaf. And that's how a food craving became a recipe.
Asian-Style Meat Loaves
If the last time you had meatloaf was in your high school cafeteria, it's time to try it again. Fresh ginger, water chestnuts, and a spicy-sweet hoisin sauce topping update the dish with dynamic flavor.
Make an Italian-style version of the all-American classic by starting with ground beef and pork sausage and adding spinach, Italian seasoning, and a garlic-and-herb pasta sauce. Use a store-bought sauce to save time.
Basil-Tomato Meatloaf Sandwich
The best thing about meatloaf, next to that first piping hot forkful, is the leftovers. Use the Old-fashioned Meat Loaf recipe for dinner, then save the leftovers to make this tasty brown-bag treat for tomorrow's lunch. Top a couple slices of meatloaf with a homemade basil spread. It's so good, you'll want to double the recipe.
Serve a Classic
Minimal prep and maximum flavor make our featured meatloaf recipes perfect for busy weeknights or casual dinners. Start with ground meat, add a few seasonings and veggies, and a binder (usually breadcrumbs or eggs) to hold it all together, then bake. It doesn't get much easier than this.
Recipe: Classic Meat Loaf
Meatloaf With Green Chile-Tomato Gravy
Spice up any meatloaf meal with a zesty Green Chile-Tomato Gravy. The bright flavor from the green chiles complements the mild meatloaf. Serve to dinner guests that enjoy a little heat.
French Market Meat Loaf
Serve a spicy, Louisiana-style meatloaf made with Cajun sausage links, dried thyme and oregano, and beef broth (to keep the loaf moist). A mild Tomato Gravy accents the bold Creole flavors of the meatloaf.
Italian Turkey Meatloaves
Round out the meal with Brussels sprouts and your favorite rice pilaf.
Try this south-of-the-border Meatloaf Mexicana for your next family dinner. With the added kick from the jalapeños and taco sauce, you will never go back to traditional meatloaf again.
Sirloin and Parmesan Meat Loaf
For even shaping, use a loaf pan as a mold to shape the meat loaf; then invert onto the baking sheet.
Turkey Meat Loaf with Cranberry Glaze
Turkey Meat Loaf with Cranberry Glaze delivers those favorite Thanksgiving flavors. Continue the theme by serving Turkey Meat Loaf with mashed potatoes and gravy.
Everyday Meat Loaf
The meat loaf cooks in the microwave for just 8 minutes, a fraction of the time it takes for traditionally baked meat loaf. Broiling the cheese on top of the cooked meat loaf until it's brown and bubbly lends the dish a pleasing, oven-baked look.
Meatloaf Bundt Cake
When you thought meatloaf couldn’t go more retro, we found a way. Spiced with Creole seasoning, garlic powder, and butter-coated vegetables, this meatloaf recipe finds it’s home in a bundt pan. This traditional recipe truly takes the cake and will be at the center of attention at any dinner party. And like any good cake, our meatloaf needs proper frosting and decor. Thus, we finished our tomato-glazed meatloaf bundt with a drizzle of gravy, freshly piped mashed potatoes, crispy onions, and a sprinkle of finely chopped fresh parsley. Oh, and we filled the center with French onion dip… because it felt like the right thing to do. Dinner is served.
Cremini Mushroom Meat Loaf
Mushrooms replace half the beef in our Cremini Mushroom Meat Loaf. Not only do the mushrooms slash calories, they also add deep, earthy flavor while keeping the meat loaf moist. If you follow a gluten-free diet, simply use gluten-free panko breadcrumbs in place of traditional panko breadcrumbs.
Italian-Style Turkey Meat Loaf
Italian-Style Turkey Meat Loaf is a lightened-up comfort food favorite. Chop up leftover meat loaf and serve in pasta with marinara sauce.
Turkey and Roasted Red Pepper Meat Loaf
For an easy weeknight meat loaf without the beef, combine ground turkey with egg, onion, breadcrumbs and roasted red peppers and bake in a large metal or glass pan with sides instead of a loaf pan.
Meat Loaf Bolognese
This dish contains many of the flavors of sauce Bolognese, the classic Italian ragù of pancetta, a mixture of ground meats, and aromatic ingredients stewed together. Round out the meal with polenta. Garnish with chopped fresh rosemary, if desired.
Mama's Meat Loaf
Meat Loaf Burgers with Caramelized Onions
Meat loaf is shaped into individual burgers that are just as comforting as their namesake. The burgers are delicate, so take extra care when flipping them.