Scrumptious Homestyle Meatloaf Recipe for Dinner Tonight

Are you in the mood for some comfort food? Look no further than this homestyle meatloaf recipe. Perfect for a cozy evening in or a family dinner, this classic dish is an American favorite that never goes out of style.

As a culinary explorer, I am always on the lookout for dishes that not only taste great, but also evoke nostalgia and feelings of warmth and familiarity. This homestyle meatloaf recipe is no exception. Packed with flavor from savory spices and topped with a sweet brown sugar glaze, this meatloaf is sure to make your taste buds dance with joy.

But what makes this recipe a standout from all the rest? The answer lies within the ingredients themselves – quality ground beef, breadcrumbs, finely chopped onions, and Parmesan cheese. These ingredients all come together to create the perfect homestyle meatloaf that will have you coming back for seconds.

So put on your apron, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and get ready to experience the perfect blend of sweet and savory flavors in every bite.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Homestyle Meatloaf
Homestyle Meatloaf

Are you looking for a perfect homestyle meatloaf recipe that is both sweet and savory? If you answered yes, then look no further! This homemade meatloaf checks all the boxes, and I guarantee it’ll be a hit at any dinner table.

The blend of beef chuck, bread crumbs, and eggs lightly beaten creates a classic meatloaf base. But what sets this recipe apart is its special seasoning of Italian herbs, onion, celery, ketchup, brown sugar glaze, and Worcestershire sauce. These ingredients perfectly balance sweet and savory flavors that will leave you wanting more.

But that’s not all. The addition of crushed saltine crackers adds texture to the loaf. And let’s not forget the parmesan cheese and finely chopped onions that infuse the meatloaf with bursts of flavor.

This homestyle meatloaf is also highly versatile, making it perfect for busy weeknights or entertaining guests. You can pair it with creamy mashed potatoes or roasted vegetables for a hearty meal. And if you have leftovers (but who am I kidding?), they can be turned into a sandwich or crumbled over a salad.

So what are you waiting for? Paula Deen’s glazed meatloaf may be good, but this homestyle meatloaf recipe is guaranteed to be better. It’s easy to make, packed with bold flavors, and simply delicious. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you.

Ingredient List

 A slice of heaven on a plate
A slice of heaven on a plate

Here are all the ingredients you will need to make this perfect homestyle meatloaf:

Meatloaf Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef (at least 80% lean)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Brown Sugar Glaze Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard

Optional Toppings and Fillings

(These ingredients are based on your preference)
– Finely chopped onion
– Finely minced bell pepper
– Crushed saltine crackers or bread crumbs
– Parmesan cheese

Make sure to get all your ingredients together before you start cooking, so you don’t miss anything while preparing.

The Recipe How-To

 The perfect comfort food
The perfect comfort food

Now that we have our ingredients for the Homestyle Meatloaf recipe, let’s start cooking!

Preparing Ingredients

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 pounds of ground beef (at least 80% lean) with 1 cup of bread crumbs, 1 cup of finely chopped onion, 2 large lightly beaten eggs, 1/2 cup of milk, and 1 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper. Mix the ingredients together thoroughly using your hands.

Making the Meatloaf

Once mixed, transfer the meat mixture into a baking dish and shape it into a rectangular loaf. Make sure to leave some space around the meatloaf for air circulation.

Brown Sugar Glaze

Next, in a separate small mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup of ketchup, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, and 3 tablespoons of brown sugar to create the tasty glaze. Once combined, brush it evenly over the top of the meatloaf.

Baking the Meatloaf

Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 60 to 75 minutes or until done. To test whether it’s ready or not, stick a thermometer into the center of the loaf; it should register at least 160°F.

Resting and Serving

When done, let the meatloaf rest on the counter for about 10 minutes before slicing it into thick pieces. For optimum pairing with vegetables or mashed potatoes, serve hot and enjoy!

Additional Notes

  • You can also try adding some parmesan cheese to your meat mixture to enhance its flavor.
  • If you plan on using hunts meatloaf starter instead of breadcrumbs, make sure to skip any additional added salt measure as desired.
  • By using yellow onion rather than green onions or shallots in this homemade meatloaf recipe, you’ll get sweet-savory flavor as well as texture that compliments your favorite side dishes.
  • A classic replacement option suited best for beef 1 is ground chuck 1 for those who prefer distinct flavors.

With these easy-to-follow steps, you can now create a perfect homestyle meatloaf that will impress anyone’s palate!

Substitutions and Variations

 Melt-in-your-mouth goodness
Melt-in-your-mouth goodness

Do you want to put your personal spin on the homestyle meatloaf recipe? Good news, there’s room for creativity in this classic dish! Here are some substitution and variation ideas that you can try:

– Meat: Ground beef is the traditional choice for meatloaf, but you can experiment with ground turkey or pork if you’re looking for a leaner option. For the adventurous eaters out there, you could even combine different meats for a flavorful twist!

– Bread crumbs: If you don’t have plain bread crumbs on hand, you can substitute them with crushed saltine crackers or even crushed cornflakes. Panko breadcrumbs are also a great alternative if you prefer a lighter texture.

– Cheese: While Parmesan cheese is used in the recipe as a topping, feel free to mix finely grated sharp cheddar cheese into your meat mixture for a cheesy explosion in every bite.

– Vegetables: Don’t be afraid to add in some extra veggies like diced bell peppers, sliced mushrooms or shredded carrots to pump up the nutrition factor. You could try swapping out chopped onion with finely minced shallots or green onion for a milder flavor.

– Glaze: The brown sugar glaze is what distinguishes homestyle meatloaf from other meatloaf recipes. But if you want to switch things up, try making a savory glaze instead by mixing Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and mustard together.

– Seasonings: Italian seasoning and black pepper are used in the recipe as the main seasonings but don’t be shy to mix it up! Consider adding garlic powder or red pepper flakes for an extra kick of flavor.

Remember that every substitution can affect the outcome of the dish so start with small amounts before adjusting to taste. Play around with these subs and variations until you achieve your very own perfect homestyle meatloaf!

Serving and Pairing

 Love at first bite
Love at first bite

Now that you’ve made this perfect homestyle meatloaf, it’s time to serve it up and enjoy! Traditionally, meatloaf is served with some classic sides such as mashed potatoes, green beans or steamed vegetables.

For a twist on the classic pairing, try serving your meatloaf with some creamy macaroni and cheese or a roasted root vegetable medley. A simple side salad with some vinaigrette dressing can also be a great choice to cut through the richness of the meatloaf.

When it comes to drinks, a red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot is a good choice to pair with its hearty flavors. For those who prefer non-alcoholic drinks, you could pair the meatloaf with some iced tea or lemonade.

For an added touch of sweetness, try making a brown sugar glaze to drizzle over the top of the meatloaf before you serve it up. This will create an irresistibly sweet and savory flavor that will make your taste buds sing.

Whatever way you choose to serve your homestyle meatloaf, it’s sure to be delicious and satisfying – the perfect comfort food for any occasion.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A classic dish, reinvented
A classic dish, reinvented

The beauty of homestyle meatloaf is that it can be easily made ahead of time and stored for later use. In fact, many cooks believe that meatloaf tastes even better when reheated the next day, allowing the flavors to meld together.

To make ahead: Once your homestyle meatloaf has cooled completely, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing it in an airtight container. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.

To store: If you want to keep your unused meatloaf fresh, simply wrap tightly and refrigerate for up to three days. Alternatively, you can freeze any unused portions of the meatloaf for up to three months. To defrost a frozen meatloaf, let it sit in the fridge overnight or use the defrost setting on your microwave.

To reheat: When reheating your homestyle meatloaf, it is best to do so gently at a low-to-medium temperature setting to prevent dryness. You can reheat slices in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute or in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until heated through. For glazed meatloaf, add the glaze during reheating for a fresh out-of-the-oven taste.

Remember that reheating leftover meatloaf should always reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) before serving. Enjoy your perfect homestyle meatloaf as many times as you want with this easy make-ahead, storing and reheating guide.

Tips for Perfect Results

 A hearty meal for a cozy night in
A hearty meal for a cozy night in

To ensure that your Homestyle Meatloaf turns out perfectly every time, follow these tips:

Firstly, avoid overworking the meat. When mixing the beef with other ingredients in a large bowl, try not to overmix it or squish it too much. This will prevent a dense and tough meatloaf.

Secondly, let the meat mixture rest after mixing in the seasonings and breadcrumbs. Giving it some time will allow the flavors to meld together and create a delicious taste.

Thirdly, use fresh breadcrumbs instead of dry ones. Fresh breadcrumbs create better texture and prevent dryness in the loaf.

Fourthly, choose the right type of beef. Ground chuck with at least 80% lean meat is recommended for this recipe as it provides a good balance of flavor and moisture.

Fifthly, add an egg to the meat mixture. The beaten egg helps bind everything together so that your meatloaf holds its shape and doesn’t crumble apart.

Sixthly, for added richness and flavor, consider adding parmesan cheese along with the saltine crackers as this adds extra umami goodness to your homestyle meatloaf.

Seventhly, for best results when baking your meatloaf, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit before placing it inside. Bake for around an hour until cooked through all over, checking temperatures regularly using a thermometer to ensure that it has reached 160 degrees Fahrenheit internally.

Finally, once the homestyle meatloaf is out of the oven make sure you rest it for 5-10 minutes before slicing into perfect savory bites that will make your taste buds dance! With these simple tips, you’ll be able to make delicious homestyle meatloaf every time you crave comfort food!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this homestyle meatloaf recipe will surely satisfy your cravings for a classic comfort food. With simple ingredients and easy-to-follow directions, you can whip up a delicious meal in no time. Plus, with various substitutions and variations available, you can add your own twist to the recipe and make it your own.

Whether you are cooking for your family, meal prepping for the week, or hosting a dinner party, this meatloaf recipe is the perfect choice. The brown sugar glaze adds a sweet and savory flavor that will make everyone ask for seconds. Plus, with the added parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs, you will get a crispy texture that will balance out the tender meat.

So next time you are wondering what to cook for dinner, give this homestyle meatloaf recipe a try. You won’t regret it! And if you have any questions or hesitations on how to prepare this classic dish, just refer to the tips and FAQ provided above.

Trust me, once you taste this amazing homestyle meatloaf recipe cooked to perfection, it will become a regular in your kitchen rotation!

Homestyle Meatloaf

Homestyle Meatloaf Recipe

I got this recipe out of the Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking School cookbook. It is now my only meatloaf recipe and my family is constantly requesting it. I did change slightly and you can change the ketchup and water to just water or just milk. The Parmesan cheese can be omitted as well. If you prefer you can use any other type of ground beef. And the original recipe called for bacon placed on top.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 1 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" x 2 1/2" loaf
Calories 269.6 kcal


  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup soft breadcrumbs (I use Italian seasoned crumbs)
  • 2 tablespoons instant minced onion
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 lbs 90% lean ground beef


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Mix all ingredients together using hands or potato masher.
  • If you prefer more seasoning you can add whatever you prefer.
  • Pat into a greased loaf pan.
  • Bake one hour at 350.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 164gCalories: 269.6kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 26.7gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5.9gCholesterol: 105.7mgSodium: 966.5mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 4.2g
Keyword < 4 Hours, High In..., High Protein, Kid-Friendly, Meat, Oven, Weeknight
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