Easy Meatloaf Recipes - Traditional Homemade Meatloaf And More! (2024)

In this post, you will find traditional meatloaf recipes you will love including an easy meatloaf recipe that requires only 5 minutes prep time, a tasty bacon cheese meatloaf, extraordinary meatloaf and more! You’ll also find 12 ways to make meatloaf and meatballs, which give you lots of tasty options for easy family dinners everyone loves!

Easy Meatloaf Recipes - Traditional Homemade Meatloaf And More! (1)

Traditional Meatloaf Is Easy And Delicious!

Meatloaf is a traditional comfort food that has been popular for generations! Today I will share some easy meatloaf recipes to make traditional meatloaf like my great grandmothers used to make!

I am including several easy meatloaf recipes, each of which has its own variations. Generally, any meatloaf starts with ground beef and then includes oatmeal, bread crumbs, crackers and sometimes other grains. In the Great Depression, these were used to stretch the meat to make the meatloaf cost less, but they also add a slightly different texture to the meat.

Then the meatloaf is placed into a bread baking pan and baked into a loaf, shaped like a bread loaf. When it is served, the meatloaf is usually served cut into thick slices a little bit thicker than bread slices.

Meatloaf is usually topped with ketchup and then baked, but it can also be topped with barbecue sauce, steak sauce or other specialty sauces if you prefer.

You can also sprinkle the top with grated cheese like Cheddar or Mexican cheese, or you can leave the sauce off the top altogether and simply sprinkle cheese on top. Yum! My easy meatloaf recipe is topped with ketchup or barbecue sauce, but I include other traditional meatloaf recipes below that call for cheese and sometimes bacon as a topping.

What To Do With Leftover Meatloaf

Leftover meatloaf is great for sandwiches because it tastes great and you can easily cut it into the size you prefer and place it on the bread.

If you make meatballs, you can cut them into halves and make sandwiches from them, too. Meatball sandwiches are delicious, especially served warm with mozzarella cheese, Italian sauce and other Italian-style add-ins.

If you have leftover meatloaf, recipes like these are perfect for using the leftovers:

Easy Tater Tot Casserole Recipe

Hamburger Casserole Recipes For Quick And Easy Meals!

Easy Homemade Chili Recipe

Break leftover meatloaf pieces into chunks and serve with spaghetti or use as a pizza topping.

Homemade Taco Meat Recipe For Tostadas, Enchiladas And More! Use the leftover meatloaf to make taco meat instead of starting with uncooked ground beef.

Here are the easy meatloaf recipes:

The easy meatloaf recipe below, which is included in volume 1 of our cookbook is my original meatloaf recipe. My mom and grandmother never made meatloaf, so when I got married, I came up with this easy meatloaf recipe because my husband loved meatloaf! It is so easy and delicious! It’s a no fail recipe for meatloaf that will be a hit with your entire family!

Easy Meatloaf Recipes - Traditional Homemade Meatloaf And More! (2)

This traditional meatloaf recipe makes a delicious moist meatloaf just like grandma used to make! Not only does it taste great every time, it only takes 5 minutes to put together and then bake!

If you use this easy meatloaf recipe for any of the above purposes, you will probably want to use ketchup instead of the barbecue sauce that is mentioned in the basic meatloaf recipe.


Super Easy Meatloaf Recipe!

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This easy meatloaf recipe is a super delicious traditional meatloaf recipe that is easy to make with just 5 minutes’ prep time! This is an easy family dinner idea that everyone loves!

  • Yield: 6 servings


1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup quick cooking oatmeal or 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 egg
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup ketchup or barbecue sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Mix the ground beef and all other ingredients together except the ketchup.
  3. Put the meat mixture into a loaf pan.
  4. Spread ketchup over the top.
  5. Bake 1 hour or until done.

This easy meatloaf recipe is from volume 1 of our cookbook:

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Meatloaf Glaze Recipe

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1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar


  1. Mix all ingredients.
  2. Pour on meatloaf about 15 minutes before it is done.

If you’re in the mood for another tasty variation on an easy meatloaf recipe, try this tasty bacon cheese meatloaf recipe!

Easy Meatloaf Recipes - Traditional Homemade Meatloaf And More! (4)


Bacon Cheese Meatloaf Recipe

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This Bacon Cheese Meatloaf Recipe is an easy meatloaf recipe with the delicious taste of bacon and cheese! Who thought meatloaf could get any better?


1 egg
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups Swiss cheese, grated
1 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled (about 10 slices)
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs (leftover dinner rolls are especially good)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Combine everything except for 1/2 cup of the swiss cheese and 1/4 cup of the bacon.
  3. Mix well and shape into a loaf.
  4. Place the meat mixture in a greased loaf pan or baking dish.
  5. Bake uncovered at 350° for 1 hour, until meat is no longer pink or a thermometer inserted in the center reads 160° or higher.
  6. Drain.
  7. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bacon.
  8. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
  9. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

This extraordinary meatloaf recipe is another meatloaf with a unique and delicious flavor! Using half ground beef and half sausage along with a generous amount of cheese gives it a more seasoned flavor than a typical meatloaf. For even more zip, you can use hot sausage in this easy meatloaf recipe. Tou can also experiment with other cheeses, like pepper jack.


Extraordinary Meatloaf Recipe

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1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. sausage (hot if you like it)
1 cup bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 lb. (3 cups) Colby cheese, grated


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  3. Place in a loaf pan.
  4. Bake 45 minutes. When finished baking, a thermometer inserted in the center should read at least 160°.
Easy Meatloaf Recipes - Traditional Homemade Meatloaf And More! (5)


Aunt Mary’s Best Meatloaf Recipe

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This best meatloaf recipe has been a family favorite for years! It is a traditional meatloaf recipe with the addition of Parmesan cheese and cooked layered in a generous amount of bacon for an extra delicious flavor!

  • Author: Mary


Meatloaf Ingredients

12 slices of bread
2 cups milk
4 lbs. ground beef
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
8 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 Tbps. parsley, chopped
1 (16 oz.) package bacon

Sauce Ingredients

2 cups ketchup
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard
2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
hot sauce (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Soak the bread in the milk in a bowl.
  3. Mix the remaining ingredients, except the bacon, in a second bowl.
  4. Mix the soaked bread into the ground beef mixture.
  5. Place a layer of bacon on the bottom of 2 loaf pans.
  6. Make the ground beef mixture into 2 loaves.
  7. Place one meatloaf into each loaf pan.
  8. Top the meatloaves with the remaining bacon slices.
  9. Stir sauce ingredients together. Pour half over the meatloaf. Use the other half of the sauce for basting and serving.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  11. Add more sauce and bake for 25 more minutes.

Meatloaf, Meatballs and Hamburger Recipes And Ideas

Buy 5 pounds or more of hamburger and prepare your favorite traditional meatloaf recipe. Then form part of it into any combination of the following:

  • 1 or 2 meat loaves
  • meatballs
  • mini meat loaves (the size that will fit into mini loaf pans)
  • portions that will fit into muffin tins
  • form the rest into nice sized patties

Lay everything out on cookie sheets and freeze. When frozen, place into freezer bags. When you need something quick for dinner, just pull a bag of something out of the freezer.

Here are a couple of other easy meatloaf recipes you might like:

Mini Meatloaves

Mac and Cheese Stuffed Meatballs

Easy Meatloaf Recipes - Traditional Homemade Meatloaf And More! (2024)


What is the basic meatloaf formula? ›

In essence, it boils down to a few simple steps: Combine ground meat, eggs, breadcrumbs, and other flavorful ingredients of your choice. Put this mixture in a lightly greased loaf pan and bake it until it's cooked through.

What is traditional meatloaf made of? ›

No bells and whistles - just a few ingredients including beef, egg, bread crumbs and a simple tomato-based topping. Use a gentle touch with ground beef. Over-mixing will result in burgers, meatballs or meatloaves with a firm texture.

Why do you put milk in meatloaf? ›

Milk and other dairy products, like heavy cream and buttermilk, contain both water and fat, adding two types of moisture to our meatloaf. There's a long-held theory that milk can tenderize ground meat, and this is the reason often cited for cooking ground meat in milk to make a Bolognese-style ragù.

What ingredient keeps meatloaf from falling apart? ›

Binders like eggs or breadcrumbs will certainly help to keep your meatloaf together.

Do you cook a meatloaf covered or uncovered? ›

Should I cook my meatloaf covered or uncovered? The meatloaf can be cooked uncovered. However, if you are concerned about it burning, you can cover the meatloaf with foil for the first 45 minutes and uncover it for the final 15 minutes to allow the meatloaf to brown on top.

How to make your own meat loaf? ›

Combine ground beef, onion, milk, bread crumbs and egg in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Transfer into prepared loaf pan. Mix ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard together in a small bowl until well combined; pour over meatloaf and spread it evenly over the top.

What is the basic meatloaf formula with bread crumbs? ›

  1. 1 lb. lean ground beef.
  2. 1/4 cup chili sauce or ketchup.
  3. 1 egg.
  4. 1/4 cup from 1 box Progresso™ Plain Bread Crumbs.
  5. 1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves.
  6. 1/4 teaspoon onion salt.
  7. 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  8. 3 tablespoons chili sauce or ketchup, if desired.

Is it better to cook meatloaf at 350 or 375? ›

The best temperature to cook the meatloaf at is 350°F and it requires about 1 hour, give or take a few minutes, depending on size and shape. 1 hour should be more than enough for a 2 pound meatloaf.

What does adding an extra egg to meatloaf do? ›

Sure, egg yolks add some rich flavor to a meatloaf, but the real reason we need eggs is for structure—to help bind the meatloaf together. This is especially important since we're making a free-form meatloaf, or one that you shape by hand, versus using a loaf pan.

What happens if you forget the milk in meatloaf? ›

Binding: Milk acts as a binding agent in meatloaf, helping to hold the ingredients together. Omitting milk may result in a slightly looser texture, but there are other binding agents that can be used instead, such as eggs or breadcrumbs [1].

Why put ketchup in meatloaf? ›

Whether you slather a thick layer of ketchup on top of the meatloaf before it goes into the oven, add a few tablespoons to the ground meat mixture, or serve extra ketchup on the side, this tangy-sweet, umami-rich condiment balances out the richness of the beef, making it an essential part of the dish.

What percent ground beef is best for meatloaf? ›

Like meatballs, many meatloaf recipes include a blend of meat, which will determine whether you need fattier or leaner beef. If it's an all-beef recipe, avoid 90/10, and go for 80/20 or 85/15. Most recipes call for 70/30 or 80/20 ground beef, which makes a rich and juicy burger patty with a good exterior crust.

What are the elements of beef loaf? ›

The typical meatloaf contains ground meat and bread crumbs, together with eggs, vegetables and seasonings (salt, pepper, catsup, etc.). Each of these ingredients in turn is composed of various combinations of proteins, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins and minerals, the building blocks of all foods.

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