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The BEST Meatloaf Recipe is something I’ve worked years at perfecting… and here it is! A tender juicy beef meatloaf topped with a zesty topping and baked until tender and juicy!
I absolutely LOVE meatloaf and I always have! This easy meatloaf recipe is loaded with flavor and is pretty simple to make! Add in a side of my favorite Crock Pot Mac and Cheese and some bread with Homemade Garlic Butter you’ve literally got the meal of my dreams.
Meatloaf was always a dish my mom would make and a meal I absolutely loved so I wanted to keep this meatloaf recipe as close to hers as possible.
Ground beef is mixed with bread crumbs, onions, and parsley but my absolute favorite part is the topping on this meatloaf recipe.
I serve meatloaf alongside mac and cheese or mashed potatoes and peas, it is the perfect classic dinner. Broccoli, pasta, and carrots all make awesome sides for this meatloaf recipe too!
I use a mixture of chili sauce and ketchup (just like my mom always made) and it really takes this recipe to the next level. It’s all baked until crisped on the outside and melt in your mouth tender inside.
If you’ve never had chili sauce, you need to try it! It’s not spicy at all, it’s more like a zesty ketchup with tons of flavor. I add it to soups and stews (and it’s amazing added to bbq sauce for Barbecue Ribs). I love it on everything from Burgers to Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes. It adds amazing flavor to this meatloaf recipe.
Making the Best Meatloaf
Meatloaf is not difficult to make but there are a couple of common problems people encounter.
Overmixing will cause your meatloaf to become dense making it seem tough and not tender. As with most ground beef recipes (including patties or meatballs), the beef and add-ins should be mixed just until combined for a tender result.
Adding too much liquid or not allowing the meat to rest can result in the meatloaf falling apart so be sure to leave a few minutes for rest time!
How To Make Meatloaf
Meatloaf has had a bad rap in the past… which makes me sad because it’s dang good when prepared properly! There are a few tips you need to know to make sure this meatloaf recipe comes out perfectly juicy and flavorful every time!
How Long To Cook Meatloaf
Meatloaf will need to cook at 350°F for about 50-60 minutes (depending on shape/size). The best way ensure it is cooked through is to use a meat thermometer. A meat thermometer inserted into the centre should read an internal temperature of 160°F.
Meatloaf Cooking Times
Below you can find how long to cook a 2lb meatloaf:
If you are halving the recipe (or increasing it) you can use the cook times below to cook at 350°F. Remember that using a thermometer is your best bet to ensure meatloaf that is cooked through yet perfectly tender.
Make sure you let your meatloaf rest for 10-15 minutes before you slice it so it doesn’t fall apart and it retains all of its juices! I like to tent it with aluminum foil so it keeps warm while it’s resting.
Can you Freeze Meatloaf?
You can absolutely freeze meatloaf either before or after cooking. To freeze before cooking, place in a loaf pan lined with plastic wrap (or form a loaf on a pan). Freeze completely, seal well. Defrost raw frozen meatloaf in the refrigerator 24 hours. Bake as directed.
Once cooked, I freeze the individual slices on a parchment lined pan and once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag. This makes it easy to grab one slice or several to reheat! Simply reheat in the microwave or in the oven.
Serve it with a caesar salad, mashed potatoes, or dinner rolls for a perfect meal that will make everyone beg for seconds!