My Easy Meatloaf is a kid-friendly classic, easy to pull together and sure to be a hit. You’ll love this sweet, savory, saucy, and perfectly seasoned baked meatloaf!
Easy Homemade Meatloaf
Meatloaf is a great recipe for a comfy-cozy dinner that fills you up and makes you feel good. I like it on Sunday nights, as a kind of comfort-food farewell to the weekend! But, it’s also easy enough to put together on a weeknight, if you’d prefer.
This recipe is classic, well-seasoned, saucy, perfect for a wholesome meal and delicious in sandwiches the next day! You can serve it with mashed potatoes and peas for a perfectly traditional American dinner, or check out some of my nifty serving suggestions below.
What Makes this Recipe so Good?
The unique thing about this recipe is that we are using barbecue sauce in place of the more standard ketchup, and boosting the flavor even more with Italian seasoning and Worcestershire sauce. These prepared ingredients come absolutely packed with flavor, and make pulling the recipe together super fast. You can use any kind of barbecue sauce that you enjoy!
What You’ll Need
This meatloaf is full of flavor but easy to pull together. Let’s dive in and talk ingredients, shall we?
- Ground Beef: I like to make meatloaf with lean beef to reduce the amount of grease in the recipe. Whatever type you choose, you’ll need 2 pounds.
- Breadcrumbs: Have ready ½ cup of breadcrumbs. You could also use crushed crackers.
- Onion: Dice up half a cup of onion. I used a white onion, but yellow, sweet and red onions will also work.
- Egg: Lightly beat 1 large egg.
- Garlic: Mince 1 tablespoon of garlic; about 3 cloves.
- Italian Seasoning: You’ll need 3 tablespoons of your favorite Italian Seasoning blend.
- Salt & Pepper: I use one teaspoon each of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Barbecue Sauce: You’ll use half a cup of prepared barbecue sauce in the meatloaf, and half a cup on top.
- Worcestershire Sauce: I used 2 tablespoons of this versatile sauce to add plenty of savory flavor.
- Fresh Parsley: For garnish.
How to Make Meatloaf
This super simple recipe only needs to be mixed and baked! It’s a comforting, easy dish that’s perfect for a family meal.
- Prep Oven & Pan: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a loaf pan with foil and lightly grease both the pan and the foil (leave plenty of foil overlapping the sides of the pan to make it easier to remove the meatloaf after cooking).
- Make Meatloaf Mixture: In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, breadcrumbs, onion, egg, ½ cup of the barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings. Mix until well-combined, but do not overmix, or the meatloaf will be tough.
- Shape Loaf: Shape the beef mixture into a loaf in the prepared pan. Spread the remaining barbecue sauce over the top.
- Bake: Bake the meatloaf for 50 minutes, or until the internal temperature registers at 165°F. Let the meatloaf stand for 5 minutes before serving.
How Long to Cook Meatloaf
I have to talk about timing when it comes to a heavier bake like meatloaf. I’ve found success with a cook time of 50 minutes, but depending on your oven, your pan and your ingredients, that time may vary. The most important thing is the temperature. Even if you have to cook the meatloaf an extra ten, twenty, or even thirty minutes, be sure it reaches 165°F.
Tips for Success
Want to know more about making this recipe great? Follow these easy tips for making an amazing meatloaf dinner!
- Avoid Overmixing: To keep your meatloaf tender, be careful to mix the ingredients until just combined. You can stir together all of the ingredients except the beef first, and then add the beef and stir until combined, to reduce the amount of mixing.
- Sauté the Onions: If you have extra time, consider letting the diced onion caramelize before making the meatloaf! It adds an extra dimension of sweet and savory flavor. You can also grate the raw onion instead of dicing.
- Mini Meatloaves: You can bake this recipe in mini loaf pans or a muffin tin for individualized servings.
I like to serve this comforting main course with healthy, simple sides like these. I hope you’ll try one, or more. Either way, bon appetit!
- Homemade Bread: Make a loaf of this No Knead Dutch Oven Bread and serve it with butter (or vegan butter). Bonus, you can make tasty meatloaf sandwiches later!
- Roasted Vegetables: You can’t go wrong with perfectly caramelized roasted veggies! Try my Easy Roasted Vegetables recipe and see for yourself.
- Potatoes: Baked, mashed or smashed, I love potatoes any style. For something a little different, I turn to Hedgehog Roasted Potatoes. Serious yum!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- To store meatloaf, place leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days.
- To reheat, bake the leftovers at 350°F until heated through, or slice and gently cook in a covered skillet until heated through.
Can I Freeze Extras?
- Yes! Wrap leftover meatloaf in two layers of plastic wrap and then place in a freezer bag, pressing out as much air as possible before sealing. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Easy Meatloaf Recipe
- 2 pounds ground beef
- ½ cup plain breadcrumbs
- ½ cup diced onion
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup barbecue sauce, divided
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
- Line a loaf pan with foil and lightly grease both pan and foil. Leave plenty of overlap to make it easier to remove the meatloaf after cooking.
- In a large bowl, mix ground beef, breadcrumbs, onion, egg, ½-cup barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Mix until well combined, but do not overmix or the meatloaf will be tough.
- Shape the beef mixture into a loaf in the prepared pan. Spread the remaining barbecue sauce over the top.
- Bake for 50 minutes, or until the internal temperature registers 165˚F. Let the meatloaf stand for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting.
- Garnish with parsley and serve.
More Dinner Ideas
If you like this flavorful dinner idea, you’re sure to love the following recipes too!
Joan M CoreyJun 25, 2021 at 7:01 pm
Loved this meatloaf! It’s quick and easy and delicious. Great for sandwiches.
Katerina PetrovskaJun 28, 2021 at 2:16 pm
That’s great! I am very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂
LULUJul 11, 2021 at 11:17 am
3 TBSP of Italian seasoning?
Sounds like that’s way too much!
You would practically use a whole bottle!
KaterinaJul 12, 2021 at 8:13 am
You can always tweak the amount of salt/seasonings/spices in any recipe. This is what works for us, but if that’s too much Italian Seasoning for your taste, you can definitely use less.
charlesAug 24, 2022 at 4:31 pm
haven’t made alot of meatloaves in my day. but this one looked
easy and i liked the bbq sauce idea. went together very quickly
and just left out the italian spices. put more topping than recom-
mended, but i like alot of sauce. had to leave in for another 10
minutes to reach 165, and it came out wonderful. mashed potatoes
and sweet peas completed the best meatloaf lunch, i’ve probably
ever had. can’t wait to bring leftovers to work and impress my
Katerina PetrovskaAug 29, 2022 at 12:10 pm
That’s great! I’m very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂
Linnea NovickiNov 6, 2022 at 10:52 am
I made your meat loaf recipe yesterday and it will be my go to recipe. I used Sweet Baby Rays barbecue sauce and followed the recipe exactly and then added diced green peppers and sliced mushrooms and it was delicious. For my family I will omit the green peppers and mushrooms as they aren’t fans. I put the mixture in a 9×13 glass baking dish and when I went to take it out and put it in another dish it split. I will use my loaf pan next time as I’m thinking it was the addition of the peppers and mushrooms could have caused it. I had the meat loaf in a sandwich this morning and it’s so good. I really like the way the barbecue sauce is pronounced inside and. on top.
Katerina PetrovskaNov 7, 2022 at 10:42 am
I’m very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂
SabrinaNov 8, 2022 at 5:47 pm
Hi, it almost looks like you used a 9×13 pan. But compared to the spatula it makes me think it’s like a bread loaf pan. Can you help? Also can I use 80/20?
KaterinaNov 9, 2022 at 8:05 am
It’s a 9×5 glass loaf pan.
Yes, 80/20 is okay to use.
Barbara BowlinNov 11, 2022 at 2:20 pm
Meatloaf recipe called for too much barbecue sauce inside the meat and didn’t work as topping. The flavor of the meat was barbecue…not as a traditional meatloaf.
NarehMay 3, 2023 at 12:49 am
This recipe is not good, I made it exactly the way I was supposed to minus the Italian herbs. It got way to wet and the beef tasted like blood, I don’t get it cause the picture looks so good. I almost threw up eating this I’m sorry but it’s awful.
KaterinaMay 3, 2023 at 7:23 am
What do you mean it tasted like blood? That means it was rare/raw. Did you cook it long enough? Did you bake it until the internal temperature registered at 165˚F?