This meatloaf recipe turns out perfect every time.
If you have not made meatloaf lately because you need a good recipe, try this incredibly moist meatloaf. It has a sweet, tangy, flavorful sauce.
If you love cooking with a slow cooker, be sure to check out my this crockpot meatloaf recipe.
Secrets to Moist Meatloaf
- Chop the vegetables into small uniform pieces. This will help them cook evenly.
- Mix the wet and dry ingredients well before adding the meat. This reduces the amount of mixing necessary once you add the meat.
- Use your fingers or a wooden spoon to gently combine the meatloaf into the egg bread crumb mixture.
- Spray your hand with a cooking spray. It will help your hands not stick to the meatloaf.
- One of my secrets to this very moist meatloaf is to use a thermometer. As soon as the meatloaf reaches 165 degrees, remove it from the oven. The meat will continue cooking until it reaches around 170 degrees. DO NOT overcook it. It needs to be moist! Overcooking it will dry it out, which is probably why a lot of people do not eat meatloaf in the first place.
- If you do not have any bread crumbs, no worries! Cut one slice of bread into cubes and put the bread into a food processor. Process until crumbs. One piece of bread should make 1/4 to 3/4 cups of bread crumbs. You have to include bread crumbs. They help soak up some of the fat from the meat.
What meatloaf pan should you use?
You can prepare meatloaf in any pan as long as you are using a meat thermometer to check for doneness. The meatloaf will get done at different times when cooking it in different size pans. In the pictures, I use a meatloaf pan, a cupcake pan, and a cast iron skillet. Because meatloaf is thinner in a cast iron skillet, it will cook faster than a meatloaf pan. The con to using other pans instead of a meatloaf pan is they do not drain as well. If using a different pan to prepare meatloaf, you need to remove the grease off the meatloaf. When I use another pan, I drain the fat over the sink in a container. After draining the fat, I add the other half of sauce on it and finish cooking until it reaches 165 degrees.
Meatloaf Freezes Well
Most of the time I double this meatloaf recipe and make it in several different pans. The meatloaf we eat for dinner on the same day I prepare it in a meatloaf pan or my favorite way is to use my cast iron skillet.
The meatloaf I am preparing to put in the freezer I use my cupcake pan or mini meatloaf pan. I freeze the individual meatloaves in a large ziplock bag after they have completely cooled.
Ten Minutes Before Meatloaf Is Done
Ten minutes before the meatloaf is ready to come out of the oven, I remove it from the oven, drain the grease, and put the other half of the sauce on the meatloaf. I return it to the oven for another ten minutes of cooking.
Next-Day Enjoy Meat Loaf Sandwiches
Slice leftover meatloaf into 3/4 inch think. If you want a larger piece, go for it. On a lightly greased skillet or grill pan, warm the meatloaf on both sides. If you prefer, add a slice of cheese and warm until melted. Serve between bread slices.
Meatloaf Recipe Adapted From:
Miss Daisy Celebrates Tennessee is where my basic recipe came from although I have changed it a little over the years. I used 3 pounds of ground beef instead of 2 lbs. I also used 1/2 chopped bell pepper, 1/2 cup oats, Worcestershire Sauce, and tomato sauce instead of catsup.
For Your Convenience, Below Are The Products Used In This Post.
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission which helps keep my blog up and running but it won’t cost you a penny more).
Please see my disclosure.
- Glass Mixing Bowl Set
- Easy-Read Measuring Cup Set
- Measuring Spoon Set
- Measuring Cup Set
- Muffin Pan
- Mini Muffin Pan
- Sample Quick Cooker
- Lodge Logic L8SK3 10-1/4-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet
- Wilton Perfect Results Premium Non-Stick Bakeware Meatloaf Pan Set, Reduce the Fat and Kick Up the Flavor, Bake Your Favorite Meatloaf and Let the Fat Drain Away, 2-Piece Set, 9.25 x 5.25 x 2.75 inch
Sweet & Tangy Meatloaf Glaze
You will love this meatloaf glaze. It is sweet and tangy deliciousness. The sauce is made using vinegar, dark brown sugar, ketchup, and Worcestershire Sauce. It is fabulous! If you are not a fan, you might become one after trying this recipe with this sweet and tangy sauce.
If you are not a Sweet & Tangy Fan, try the one of these meatloaf Glazes.
Apricot-Mustard Sauce: Mix together 1 cup of apricot preserves and 1/4 cup Dijon mustard.
Cranberry Glaze: Stir together 1 cup ketchup and 1/2 cup whole cranberry sauce.
Peach-Chile Glaze: Mix together 1 cup peach preserves with 4 teaspoons Asian chili sauce with garlic.
MOIST MEATLOAF EVERY TIME
- 3 pounds ground beef
- ½ cup dry breadcrumbs
- ½ cup oats
- One med onion very finely chopped (see picture)
- ½ bell pepper very finely chopped (see picture)
- Two tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
- One tablespoon chopped garlic
- One beaten egg
- ¾ cup tomato sauce
- One tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 teaspoon Montreal Steak Seasoning
- Eight tablespoons vinegar
- Eight tablespoons dark brown sugar
- Four tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup catsup
- Chop the vegetables into equally small pieces. Combine onion, bell pepper, Worcestershire, breadcrumbs, oats, egg, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, Montreal Steak Seasoning, and garlic.
- Fold in the ground beef.
- Shape into one large loaf or use muffin tins for individual loaves.
- Next, Add ½ of the sauce before baking.
- Bake 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes for a large loaf. About 25 to 30 minutes if using muffin tins.
- The meatloaf is done once it reaches 170 F degrees but takes it out of the oven at 165 degrees. This will keep it from drying out. Meatloaf will finish cooking.
- If using muffin tins or cast iron skillet that does not drain the grease away once you remove it from the oven.
- Combine all ingredients and cook on the stove just until it starts boiling.
- Remove it from the stove and add half of the sauce to the top of the meatloaf before baking it.
Ten minutes before the meatloaf is done, I remove it from the oven, drain the grease, and put the other half of the sauce on the meatloaf. I return it to the oven for another ten minutes of cooking.Use Dark Brown Sugar! If you use light brown sugar, it will not be as sweet. If using muffin tins or cast iron skillet that does not drain the grease away, remove the meatloaf from the pan to drain after taking it out of the oven.
Instructions For Meatloaf Sauce
Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
After you bring the sauce to a boil, cut the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Pour half of the sauce over the top of the meatloaf before you bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes if using a meatloaf pan.
Be sure to add the rest of the sauce to the meatloaf 10 minutes before removing the meatloaf from the oven.