This is a Meatloaf recipe for people who love their Meatloaf oozing with flavour, moist and tender yet not crumble apart when sliced, and a sticky caramelised meatloaf glaze . It’s so much more than just a giant hunk of ground beef in a loaf shape!
This is a reader-favourite recipe included by popular demand in my debut cookbook “Dinner”!
A loaf made entirely of meat. What’s not to love? (Vegetarians are excused 😉)
It’s economical. It’s quick to prepare. It’s a classic family favourite. And leftovers make terrific sandwiches.
If you think that Meatloaf is really just a giant beef burger shaped like a loaf, it’s time to abandon that misconception! Meatloaf shouldn’t taste like a hamburger! Meatloaf has more flavour because whereas you wouldn’t eat a hamburger without toppings, sauces, cheese and a bun, you can certainly eat Meatloaf plain because it’s so juicy and tasty!
The secret to making a meatloaf taste really good is to use fatty beef, plenty of flavourings and to grate your onion instead of dicing it.
A tastier, juicier meatloaf recipe
The secret to making a meatloaf taste really good is the beef (use at least 15% fat beef), plenty of flavourings and to grate your onion instead of dicing it.
Flavourings – In this meatloaf recipe, not only do we use the usual suspects like thyme, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce, we give this a serious flavour boost by using beef bouillon cubes (granulated beef) instead of salt. Granulated beef bouillon has way more flavour than just plain salt!
Grating onion – this is an efficient and effective method I’ve been using for years and its grown quite a cult following since I started this website (see feedback on these Italian Meatballs!). The breadcrumbs soak up the onion juices and puff up during baking, making our meatloaf nice and tender. This also adds savoury onion flavour without the need of dicing them then frying them separately.
I also like to coat my meatloaf with a glaze which adds an extra something-something to the meatloaf both in looks and flavour.
Plus, it not only hides any cracks on the surface of the meatloaf – just think of that glaze dripping down into those cracks!
How to make meatloaf
And here’s process photos for how to make meatloaf. Also see the quick video below – you’ll see how tender the juicy this meatloaf is!
Tips and FAQ for the BEST Meatloaf!
Why does my meatloaf fall apart? Because the mixture wasn’t mixed together well enough, or the loaf wasn’t pressed together firmly. Using a loaf pan helps here! Also, some cracks is GOOD – extra flavour from the meatloaf glaze drips into the meatloaf.
Do you have to use a loaf pan? For the juiciest meatloaf, yes I strongly recommend using a loaf pan. It cooks more evenly, stays juicier because its cooking in its own juices and holds its shape.
If you freeform it (ie bake without a loaf pan), the ends/sides will overcook before the middle is cooked. And if it holds its form like a block loaf without using a loaf pan, your mixture is way too dense which will make your meatloaf dry!
Should I cover the meatloaf when baking? No, you want the meatloaf to brown and the glaze to caramelise! But if it browns too quickly, just pop foil over it.
How long does it take to cook a 1kg / 2lb meatloaf? 1 hr 15 minutes at 180°C / 350°F.
What to serve with meatloaf
Dollop of ketchup, a leafy salad or steamed greens with dressing and you have yourself an epic plate of home cooked comfort-food bliss, with the added bonus of meatloaf sandwiches to enjoy tomorrow! – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Sometimes it helps to have a visual, so watch me make this Meatloaf recipe! I was a bit heavy handed with the extra ketchup at the end – oops! 😂
This recipe features in my debut cookbook Dinner. The book is mostly new recipes, but this is a reader favourite included by popular demand!
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs (Note 1)
- 1 large onion , grated (brown, yellow)
- 1 kg / 2 lb ground beef (mince) , preferably not lean
- 2 eggs
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/4 cup tomato ketchup
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley (optional), or 2 tsp dried parsley or basil
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 beef bouillon cubes , crumbled or 2 tsp beef powder (Note 2)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup tomato ketchup
- 2 tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp brown sugar , lightly packed
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Oil or spray a loaf tin. (Note 3)
- Glaze: Mix together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Meatloaf: Place breadcrumbs in a very large bowl. Grate over onion. Mix so the breadcrumbs are all wet. (Note 4)
- Add remaining ingredients. Mix well using your hands. Form into a loaf shape, pinching together then smoothing over creases and cracks (helps prevent cracks during baking).
- Transfer into loaf tin. Brush generously with glaze, using about 1/2.
- Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with most of the remaining glaze. If there is excess fat pooling, scoop/pour it off.
- Bake for a further 30 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Stand for 10 minutes before turning out and cutting into thick slices. You will probably get a bit of crumbling just on the edges of the first couple of slices, this is normal and indicative of the tenderness of the meatloaf (zero crumble indicates firm packed harder meatloaf which isn’t as enjoyable!).
- Ideal served with a dollop of ketchup, creamy mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables.
Meatloaf recipe originally published March 2018. Updated for some housekeeping things and a brand new video. No change to the recipe – I wouldn’t dare, readers love it as it is!
More meatloaf recipes!
And more timeless, family favourites
Life of Dozer
So exhausted after a big play session at the beach, he didn’t even stir when I pulled out a giant hunk of beef today! 🥩