Good Meat Loaf Recipe

Updated on October 16, 2010
A.M. asks from Lake Wales, FL
25 answers

Hi Everyone,
Ok, so my husbands favorite meal is meat loaf. Unfortunately I am not the world's best cook. Some how I manage to ruin even meat loaf. His birthday is coming up and so I am going to attempt making meat loaf again. Any good recipes? Tips? Mine always ends up really dry with a lot of grease on the pottom of the pan. What am I doing wrong? Any help is appreciated and thanks in advance.

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answers from Miami on

I was never a meatloaf maker until I came across this recipe that is soooo simple and sooo delicious! I even converted my father, who has disliked meatloaf his whole life, into a (well, my) meatloaf lover! I actually published it online at HubPages (my work from home money maker) - here's a link to it:

No offense to all the ladies below with great sounding recipes, but mine is a relatively healthy version of meatloaf yet the most delicious I've ever tried. It also has only a few ingredients and is super easy to make. I even use the 97% fat free ground beef and it's great and ALWAYS a big hit.

I hope you try it and like it!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Thanks for asking the question. My husband loves it too, but unfortunately I could do without, so I try to mix it up every now and then. One thing I do now is roll the meat out on a cutting board, load the center with different kinds of cheeses and mushrooms and fold it up so that it's 'stuffed'. It adds some excitment to the meal for me and my son (3) and husband love it stuffed. To combat the dryness of a meat loaf, I've used a pork, beef mix and I also cover it until about 15 min before it's done.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sarasota on

I will not put in a recipe, but after looking at all the recipes and tips, I realized there is one that is not included and is actually very important when working with ANY ground meat. When you are mixing all the ingredients in with the meat, do not mix too long. Just enough to lightly mix everything in. If you mix too long, the meat gets tough and you take out all the air pockets, which helps make the loaf fluffy and, yes, even helps keep it moist. Otherwise, if you mix things too well for too long, you get a very dense, dry meatloaf that always seems overcooked.

Hope this helps.


More Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

My MIL makes the best meatloaf. She gave me the recipe and I make it at least twice a month along with scalloped potatoes and salad/ vegatables. Here is the recipe:
Mix All Together

2 lbs of ground beef
1/2 chopped onion
1 egg
1 cup of oatmeal (quick oats)
3/4 cup of spaghetti sauce (not tomato paste, try ragu or prego)
salt & pepper to taste

Grease 2 bread loaf bans ( I use vegetable oil on a paper towel and spread it on the bottom and sides)
Bake at 350 for 45 mins to 1 hour til done

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

I'll give you my recipe but I'm really not good at writing out recipes because I don't measure so I hope you can understand it.

1 lb. ground beef
1 link chorizo (optional)
1 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1/2 grated onion
couple shakes of worcestershire
1/2 jar spaghetti sauce (I use the ragu w/vegetables)

Preheat oven to 375. Basically just mix everything together but only use 1/4 jar of the sauce and save the rest. Then you can either put in a loaf pan or mound it out and place on a cookie sheet (when I do this I usually surround it by cut up potatoes and baby carrots, seasoned and drizzled with some oil). Cook it for an hour but 15 minutes before taking it out spread the last 1/4 jar of spaghetti sauce on top. At this point, also, if you have a lot of grease, just drain it out and then put the sauce on.

It comes out really good. Oh, and sometimes when I'm forming it I'll put some monterey jack cheese slices in the middle.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I like mine! But everyone has their own taste!

1 lb hamburger meat
1 egg
1 small can of rotel (spicy or reg which ever you prefer)
1 small can tomato sauce
bread crumbs
onion salt

Preheat oven to 375
mix the meat, egg, rotel, 1/2 the can of sauce, and bread crumbs (add until its not soupy or runny) and salt, pepper, and onion salt(just a little)
mold into big log and top with remaining sauce cook about 1 hour and top with ketchup if you would like, i like my meatloaf a little crispy around the edges so just be sure to keep an eye on it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Esther’s Meatloaf

Preheat oven to 325

Prep a rectangle baking dish with either a meat rack or crumpled foil so that meat loaf will not be swimming in drippings.

3 lbs of ground meat your choice
I use
1 ¼ lb Ground Chuck
1 ¼ lb ground turkey
1/2 lb ground pork
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp garlic powder (optional)
1 small onion chopped

1 egg beaten
1 cup day old bread (torn into pieces)or crackers (crushed)
½ cup milk

1 can Rotel Tomatoes crushed

1 cup Velveeta or American Cheese cubed (optional)

Mix all of the meat seasoning and onion together.
Place bread or cracker mixture into milk and then squeeze out excess liquid.
Add wet bread to meat along with beaten egg.
Mix well.

If using cheese ~ Place half of meat on a board.. lay the cubed cheese down the center of the meat. Push up sides of meat to make a loaf around the sides of the cheese add the rest of the meat to the top of the cheese.. Make sure there are no places for the cheese to melt through.

Place the loaf in the prepped rectangle baking dish.
Pour the can of Rotel tomatoes over the top of the meatloaf.
Cover in tin foil.

Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F and the meat loaf is cooked through.

Option ~ You can do an Italian version by adding basil to the meat mixture, filling with mozzarella or provolone cheese and topping with your favorite Italian tomato sauce.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

Ok, here's an easy one. Buy a box of Lipton Beefy Onion soup mix, the recipe is on the box. Use a 2lb mixture of ground beef/pork. Publix actually sells this as "meatloaf mixture". It's easy and great!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You have a lot of recipes here - so I will just address technique.

you mentioned the dryness -
Cover with foil while cooking, so it doesn't dry out. If you put small chopt raw veggies in, (onions, celery, green bell peppers, mushrooms) that adds a lot of moisture because as they cook they give off all thier liquid and all that moistures meatloaf from the inside.

You mentioned greasiness -
Adding a little turkey and using the leanest ground beef or ground sirloin cuts way down on the grease.
Adding a little italian sausage really adds tons of flavor.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I had a meatloaf victory not too long ago. I used the recipe I always do... but was out of breadcrumbs, and only had ground turkey. So I used 4 pieces of whole wheat bread soaked in milk and just ground turkey. From now on... that's how it's being made in our house.

3 lbs ground turkey
2 eggs
4 slices of bread torn into chunks
1 cup milk
2 fresh thyme sprigs (leaves only)
1 onion diced
1 garlic clove minced
2 bay leaves
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup catsup
1 small can of stewed tomatoes drained
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of cumin (you really can't taste it kind of small pinch)
Salt & Pepper

Place bread chunks in milk to soak while you ... Saute onion, parsley, bay leaves, garlic, and thyme in olive oil until onions are translucent. Allow to cool for a bit so you don't burn your hands. Gently squeeze bread chunks so they don't drip milk all over the place. Put EVERYTHING in a big glass bowl and mix together with your hands (or potato masher) for as SHORT a period of time as possible. Break off a little piece and pan fry it in the pan you sauteed the onions in to test for seasoning and that it stays together (if it breaks up, kneed it a little longer with your hands)

Transfer to a cookie sheet or baking dish and form into a log or two... or use a cupcake tin for "mean muffins". Cover the top with the glaze (recipe below) and bake at 375-400. I check the temp every 30 minutes. When it gets to 160... you're done. Okay to pull out at 150... because "resting" for 10 minutes will bring the temp up to 160-170. Typically it takes about an hour to 90 minutes for the logs, and 30-60 minutes for the meat muffins.

For the glaze:
1/2 cup catsup
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Dash hot pepper sauce (optional... I don't)
1 tablespoon honey



answers from Tampa on

The best meat loaf recipe I had, I lost it, was a very simple one that I found on the back of the Manwich can, you know the sloppy joe sauce. I used to make it all the time and everybody raved about it. I lost it and have yet to find it. Maybe you can look on the Manwich website and see if it's there. It was so easy and so good.


answers from Dallas on

Well it looks like you got a lot of great recipes to try so I won't type out mine entirely but I thought I'd pass along a few tips that I have learned.

One twist that you can do is to line the baking dish with bacon. Line it in a way that you can fold it over onto the top before sticking it in the oven. It's his bday and what man wouldn't like meatloaf WITH bacon? haha

Also, instead of bread crumbs, I use 2 pieces of bread soaked in milk, per my grandma. :) I think it helps keep it moist.

And one more thing that I like to do is to add a little tabasco to it as well. It just give it a nice kick.

Good luck and feel free to message me if you want any other tips or my specific recipe. It's a favorite comfort food in our family. My husband even said he likes mine better than his moms! Whoo hoo! (and his mom owns a catering business! haha)



answers from Tampa on

Here's one I like (better late than never) - very moist, zero grease:
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. lean (but not the 99% fat free) ground turkey
2 pkg Stove Top stuffing (any combo - I use 1 each turkey & herb)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
minced onion (add how much you like)
1/2 jar beef gravy
1 c. water

Preheat oven to 400. Combine all & shape into 2 or 3 loaves (3 works for us, 2 adults & 2 kids - I freeze 2 for other emerg. meals) on foil-lined pan. Bake side-by-side 20-30 minutes (depends if you have a convection oven), until no longer pink inside. You can add ketchup on top before baking if you like.

If you use the extra-lean turkey, it will be too dry. You can use more or less of the gravy to tweak it. Hope you enjoy it! (You & your husband are going to be meatloaf-ed out after trying all of these recipes!)



answers from Chicago on

I use my own recipe(a take on my moms but w my own twist)
I use a pound of ground turkey, onion and garlic(as much or little as you like), 1 egg, 1/2-3/4 cup breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and about a 1/2 cup of water(helps keep it mosit) You can also squirt some ketchup or A1 steak sauce over the top before baking.
I bake it at 350* for about 40 mins. The reason your meatloaf is coming out dry is bc your overcooking it. Just keep and eye on it.
Good luck!!



answers from Topeka on

I will be happy to share my recipe with you but it isn't an exact science...I go by the "look" of the mix to know if I have added enough of the oatmeal which is what "holds it all together" After you are comfortable with this recipe the nice thing is that you can make a double or triple batch and freeze the extra ones for use on a day that you don't want to cook!!

This will be a recipe for one batch...enough to feed maybe 4 people.

1 lb ground beef ( I use a fairly good cut...less fat and therefore less grease in the pan as you cook!!!)
@ 1/2 cup chopped onion
1 egg
either chopped olives ( with the pimentos) I use about a dozen, chopped finely OR a small can of mushrooms that you drain and chop up a bit

salt and pepper to taste
you can add some italian seasoning ( @ 1tsp)
OR garlic powder ( @ 1/2 tsp) if you like a bit more flavor to your loaf

one can of finely diced tomatoes, well drained put 1/2 in the mix and
reserve the other half to put on top of the meatloaf after you put it in the pan

one can of tomatoe sauce...put about 2/3 in the mix and reserve the rest to put on top of the loaf, along with the diced tomatoes when you are ready to bake the loaf

Quaker Oatmeal ( Not the instant) here is where you will have to "guess"
I would start out with at least a cup of oatmeal...mix everything together well ( your hands will get really and then if it is still to "thin" add a bit more oatmeal at a time until you get it to the consistancy that you want. It should hold together well when you form it into a loaf.
Then I use my fingers to make a "pool" in the middle of the loaf...about 1 inch deep...and pour the reserved diced tomatoes and tomatoe sauce into that "pool"
Bake at about 300 degrees for at least an hour.
If you want it to stay out of the "grease" that is going to accumulate, either use a turkey baster to suck up the grease about half way through the cooking time, or put it on a raised rack in the pan so that it stays out of the grease all together. They also have loaf pans that you can buy that have an insert to the pan itself that has holes in the bottom of it that allow the grease to drain away from the loaf. I do not like these as well because the loaf doesn't get those nice crunchy sides to it when you bake with them.
YOu can also use this recipe and make it into a "ring" around the outside of a baking pan...and after it is finished....make mashed potatoes and put into the middle of the it with a bit of cheese and put it back in the oven and heat it up with the potatoes and cheese....that is a great way to serve it differently!!!


answers from Philadelphia on

Old fashioned homemade meatloaf

2 lbs of meatloaf mix (equal parts ground beef/pork/veal)
3 eggs
salt & pepper
1 cup finely diced onions
1 cup finely diced green pepper
1 clove garlic (or a teaspoon of minced garlic)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (italian seasoned works best)
2 oz's of beer
1cup ketchup
1 oz worchestershire sauce

mixe all ingredients except the last three in a bowl, shape into one big or four smaller loafs. Mix last 3 ingredients, spoon over meatloaf, bake at 350, 1 hour for a big loaf, 35-45 minutes for small loaves.

If you want a trick to keep some of the grease at bay... line a roasting rack with aluminum foil, and poke some holes along the outside of the meatloaf (not under) for draining. This will keep the meat from falling through, but allow the grease to flow down through the holes.



answers from Dallas on

The BEST ever, ever, ever is Emeril's on Food Network. It's called Emeril's most kicked up meatloaf. NOTE on recipe: Cook bacon 2/3 done before placing on meatloaf.

The key to it being tender is NOT to overmix. Just mix enough to incorporate, then form the shape. The more you handle it, the tougher it gets.

This also freezes beautifully. Here it is:

Emeril's Most Kicked-Up Meatloaf Ever

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2002
Show: The Essence of EmerilEpisode: Comfort Foods
Rated: 5 stars out of 5Rate itRead users' reviews (228)
Filed under: Meat, Bacon, Meat, Pork, Meat, more
Cook Time:1 hr 15 minLevel: IntermediateYield: 4 to 6 servings
Recipe Tools:
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2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic, plus 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup ketchup, plus 1/4 cup
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup Heavy cream
2/3 cup Breadcrumbs
1 pound ground chuck
1/2 pound pork sausage (such as breakfast sausage)
1/2 pound ground veal
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons plus 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 slices bacon, cut in half
2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
1/2 cup canned tomatoes, chopped or crushed
In a large skillet heat the butter over medium-high heat until melted. Add all but 1/4 cup of the onions, the celery and all but 2 tablespoons of the bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and beginning to caramelize around the edges, about 6 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of the garlic, the thyme, rosemary, and parsley and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

When the vegetable mixture is cooled, transfer to a mixing bowl and add the eggs, mustard, 1/4 cup of the ketchup, 1 teaspoon of the Worcestershire sauce, and heavy cream and mix until thoroughly combined. Add the breadcrumbs, ground chuck, pork sausage, ground veal, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper and mix until just combined. Do not overmix. Transfer meat mixture to a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan and using your hands, form mixture into a loaf shape. Arrange the slices of bacon on the top of the meatloaf and set aside.

In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/4 cup of chopped onion, remaining 2 tablespoons of green pepper, remaining teaspoon of garlic, remaining 1/2 cup of ketchup, remaining 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, remaining 2 teaspoons of pepper, vinegar, and canned tomatoes and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the uncooked meatloaf and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the bacon and sauce are slightly caramelized on the top of the meatloaf. Remove from the oven and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Slice and



answers from Kansas City on

These are meatloaf muffins, and they are super easy and really good. Very hard to mess up also!

Ingredients:Serves: 6-8, Servings:12 muffins
1 (6 ounce) box Stove Top stuffing mix (any flavor is fine)
2 eggs
1 cup water
2 lbs ground beef or 2 lbs turkey

Directions:Prep Time: 10 minsTotal Time: 45 mins
1Mix all ingredients.
2Spray muffin tins with cooking spray (Pam), esp for turkey.
3Fill muffins tins to top.
4Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes.



answers from Orlando on

My husband LOVES this recipe!

Barbecue Meat Loaf

prep time: 8 minutes - cook time: 25 minutes

1 lb groud round
1/2 cup barbecue sauce, divided
1/4 cup frozen chopped onion, thawed and pressed dry
1/4 cup Italian-seasoned dry breadcrumbs
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees

Combine meat, 1/4 cup barbecue sauce, onion, breadcrumbs, egg whites, and pepper in a large bowl; mix well.
Shape mixture into 7x5 inch loaf on a rack in a roasting pan.
Spread remaining 1/4 cup barbecue sauce over loaf. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or to desired degree of doneness.
Yield: 4 servings at 228 calories per serving

This dish is AWESOME with garlic mashed potatoes! If you use a loaf pan rather than a roasting pan it will take longer to cook (about 40 minutes total - this way may or may not solve your dryness problem - mine has never turned out dry this way). We also love to top it with more barbecue sauce after it has been served!

Bon Appetite!


answers from Sharon on

preheat oven to 375
1 pound of hamburger
2 pounds of sausage
3 eggs
1/2 a teaspoon of mustard
1/2 a teaspoon of ketchup
a packet of meat loat mix
and a packet of hidden valley ranch packet
and add a tablespoon or so of bread crumbs
mix all that together
put 2 or 3 slices of bread in the bottom of your baking dish
put meatloaf on the slices of bread
put a half of cup of water in the pan so that it dont burn to the pan
bake for an hour
when 5 mins are on the timer put a little bit of ur favorite shredded cheese on top and continue to bake
thats mine and my moms recipe
hope he enjoys it
S. and My son Josh



answers from Minneapolis on

This is Ann Lander's recipe, it is often requested in her newspaper colume. I've never tried it (my hubby actually) but I've been meaning to. Sounds yummy.



answers from Orlando on

I've never used a recipe for meatloaf but every time I make it, my family devours it. I buy 85/15 or 90/10 ground beef. 1 egg per pound of meat. About half a cup bread crumbs, one packet of Sazon seasoning and 2 tsp Adobo. I mash it together for 2 minutes.

I place chopped onions and potatoes in the glass casserole with the loaf and cook covered for 45 minutes on 350 in the oven.



answers from Jacksonville on

Meatloaf is one of my best dishes.

Mini Meatloaves

Heat oven to 375

1 lb of hamburger meat
One box of stuffing
One thing of baby food sweet potatoes
1 tsp of italian or other seasoning
1 cup of Mexican 4 cheese
Prego tradional spagettil sauce
1 cup of water
12 cupcake pan

Spray cupcake pan with cooking spray. Mix mix meat, stuffing sweet potatoes, seasoning and water in a mixing bowl. Then spoon into cupcake holes about 3/4 full. Then using a spoon press down to make indent. Spoon sauce into indent and cover top of meat. Cook for 10-15mins til golden brown. Add sprinke of cheese for last 2-5mins, until cheese is melted. The sweet potatoe puree isn't necessary but i found it makes the meatloaf sweeter and a good way to sneak in some vegetables for my picky daughter. Also, you can you any kind of cheese.

The egg is what makes regular meatloaves greasey and this recipe didn't use one so it comes out just right. Serving size is at least one mini meatloaf.


answers from Chicago on

Ok, one thing i LIKE to do when making meatloaf is making individual meat loafs, basically take a scoop that measures 1 cup and dip it into your mixture then on to the baking sheet (lined with foil). The less fat in your meat the less greasy the results.

My meatloaf is from Cook Yourself Thin, it is a turkey and spinach meatloaf, probably not what your hubby is looking for, but the sauce may be an option
2 parts warschesire (spelling) sauce
3 parts ketchup
1 part hot sauce of choice
1tbsp, 2tbsp, 3tbsp will cover 4 mini meatloaves make what you need.



answers from Orlando on

The BEST meatloaf recipe that I have ever made is the one on a box of Lipton Onion Soup Mix. Its called Souperior Meatloaf. I add about a half a cup of freshly minced onion and a half a cup of freshly minced green bell pepper to some more flavor but this is by far the best recipe ever and it is so easy to put together.

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