This classic ground beef meatloaf recipe topped with a delicious ketchup glaze is going to knock your socks off. Moist and flavorful beef paired with a sweet glaze is the ultimate comfort food that your family will love. This easy meatloaf recipe makes for a great weeknight dinner too.
Growing up with Meatloaf
I grew up on meatloaf. Actually, my mom made a ground beef meatloaf very similar to this recipe, and my dad, brother, and I loved it so much. She would even make extra ketchup glaze as a side to put extra over on top if we wanted (and we did haha!) It was a favorite in our household growing up.
Now that I have a family of my own, I personally love to make traditional meatloaf. First, it’s a great way to use ground beef. There are so many chicken recipes you can make, but let’s be honest. It’s hard to come up with different ground beef dishes. Second, It’s one bowl and mold type of meal lol. Just mix it all together, form it into a loaf, and bake it in the oven. How much easier can it get?
Changing My Husband’s Mind About This Classic Ground Beef Meatloaf!
Well, my husband informed me when we got married that he wasn’t a meatloaf fan. I probably wouldn’t have married him had I known this. Kidding. Kind of. So I only got to make this recipe very rarely. I’m talking maybe once a year when he was gone on a work or guys’ trip.
In fact, I made this ground beef meatloaf when he was on his very recent annual guys’ trip because my kids really love it, but we didn’t get a chance to eat it, since they spent the night with their grandma (thanks, mother-in-law!). So I had to let the meatloaf cool down before placing it in the fridge to reheat for dinner the following night.
My husband happened to be returning that very same day that I’d be reheating this fabulous meatloaf; shockingly, he was ready for it! Surprised would be an understatement for me haha. I couldn’t believe he was excited to have this ground beef meatloaf for dinner! I’m pretty sure he was just tired of eating fast food the whole time he was gone though, not going to lie.
However, as he ate this, he exclaimed, “Alright, this I can eat more often.” I nearly fainted! I couldn’t believe my ears (and eyes – he ate 3 slices!) and packed some for his lunch the next day for work.
This is a true testament folks: this is THE best meatloaf recipe you’re looking for.
The Players for this Classic Ground Beef Meatloaf
For the meat mixture:
- Ground Beef – I like to use the organic ground beef that I get from my Costco hauls. It’s 85% fat/15% lean ground beef, and I wouldn’t go lower than that for fat as it can get really greasy. Also, I use 1.34 pounds because that’s how the ground beef is packaged, but I used to make this with 1.5 pounds, which I recommend.
- Old Fashioned Oats – I use plain rolled old-fashioned oats. I know this sounds strange, but I promise it will get cooked into the meatloaf and you won’t even see it or taste it!
- Milk – I use whole milk because that’s what we love to drink, but you can definitely use skim milk if that’s what you have.
- Egg – One egg is needed to bind the meatloaf together and this helps keep the meatloaf moist.
- Yellow Onion – I use half an onion that’s finely diced or you can use onion powder.
- Garlic Powder – Using garlic powder ensures that you’re not getting mouthfuls of chopped garlic. If you prefer fresh, you can use a couple of garlic cloves that have been finely minced.
- Italian Seasoning – This blend of seasonings provides a great flavor to this tasty meatloaf.
- Worcestershire Sauce – This sauce provides a more ‘hearty’ taste and keeps this delicious meatloaf moist.
- Ground Mustard – It adds a very slight kick to your homemade meatloaf.
- Salt & Black pepper – To bring all of the ingredients together.
- Fresh Parsley – To give more freshness to this classic recipe, top your meatloaf off with chopped Italian parsley.
For the glaze:
- Ketchup – I like to use the Simply Heinz® Tomato Ketchup when I can. If you’re not a fan of ketchup, you can use tomato sauce, but I would add an additional 1/4 cup of brown sugar to your glaze mixture.
- Brown Sugar – I use light brown sugar but you can use dark brown sugar if you’d like.
- Worcestershire Sauce – To give a very slight salty taste to the glaze.
How to make this Classic Ground Beef Meatloaf Recipe
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for your meat mixture using a wooden spoon or your hands until thoroughly combined. Place mixture into your baking dish and being to mold and pat mixture into a loaf.
In a small bowl, whisk the glaze ingredients together well. Drop tablespoons of sauce on top of your uncooked meatloaf until the meatloaf is covered completely with the glaze. I even like to get the sides of my meatloaf with the glaze too!
Place your baking dish in your oven and bake for 50 minutes. Cooking time can vary depending on the thickness of your meatloaf but anywhere from 50-55 minutes should be plenty. You can also use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature is 160 degrees F.
When the meatloaf is done, allow the meatloaf to sit for about 5-10 minutes before slicing. Add your chopped parsley on top of the meatloaf and serve with additional sauce if you so choose.
Can I Substitute the Old-Fashioned Oats for Something Else?
You can definitely substitute the oatmeal for other filler options such as:
- Bread Crumbs (plain or Italian)
- Cracker Crumbs
- Slice of bread soaked in milk
- Ramen noodles that are crunched up finely (yes, I’ve used one packed of dry ramen noodles before when I had nothing else and it worked!)
What Types of Meat Can I Use for this Classic Ground Beef Meatloaf?
Make this meatloaf your own and add the ground meats that you know you and your family will love! You can use:
- Ground Pork
- Ground Turkey
- Mild Italian Sausage
- Hot Italian Sausage
- Turkey Sausage
- Pork Sausage
How Long Does Meatloaf Last in the Fridge?
Homemade meatloaf can stay in the refrigerator for up to 4 days as long as it’s properly stored and covered.
Additionally, you can also freeze meatloaf if you don’t think you’ll eat it within the next few days. To freeze your homemade meatloaf (either in slices or the whole loaf), wrap the meatloaf as tightly as possible in plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container or freezer bag. Homemade meatloaf will last in the freezer for up to 3 months
How to Reheat Meatloaf in the Oven
If your meatloaf is fully cooked and you’re wanting to reheat it in the oven, you need to preheat your oven to 250 degrees F. Place your meatloaf in a baking dish and place two tablespoons of water on the bottom of the dish and cover with aluminum foil. The water will help steam the meatloaf and regain some lost moisture.
While this step next step is optional, I still recommend doing it. I stick two toothpicks in the center of the meatloaf so that when I go to cover the baking dish with foil, the foil won’t stick to the glaze. You don’t want to waste that phenomenal glaze!
Reheat your meatloaf for about 20-25 minutes. Ensure that the meatloaf is heated to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F.
What to Serve with Meatloaf?
The best thing about this classic ground beef meatloaf recipe is that you can have a variety of side dishes. Here are some ideas to serve with your meatloaf to make dinner complete:
- Sauteed Green Beans
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes
- Easy Creamy Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Simple Green Salad
Pin it for Later!
If you end up giving this classic ground beef meatloaf recipe a try, leave me a comment! I’d love to chat with you!
Want to try other dinner ideas?
- The Best Baked Fish Tacos (with Crispy Broccoli Slaw)
- Easy Oven-Fried Italian Chicken Drumsticks
- Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- Shrimp Scampi with Linguine
- Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Dinner
Classic Meatloaf Recipe with Ground Beef (and Ketchup Glaze)
- 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 egg
- 1/2 onion, finely diced
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the meatloaf mixture. Place mixture into prepared baking dish and form meatloaf into a loaf shape.
- In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the glaze. Pour evenly over uncooked meatloaf.
- Place in the oven, uncovered, and bake for 50 minutes or until no longer pink in the middle. Allow the meatloaf to sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Add your chopped parsley on top of the meatloaf and serve* with additional sauce if you so choose. Enjoy!