Mouthwatering Meatloaf Recipe That Will Make You Drool!

Hungry for a classic American dish that’s juicy, flavorful and moist? Then look no further! I’ve got a meatloaf recipe that is the epitome of perfection. With ground beef, ground pork, and ground turkey, this meatloaf is the trifecta of meaty goodness. Add in some thyme, garlic cloves, onions and breadcrumbs to complement the flavors, and you’ve got yourself a meal fit for any occasion.

Now, let me tell you why you need to try my “Very Best Meatloaf Recipe.” I guarantee it will become a staple in your household!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Very Best Meatloaf
Very Best Meatloaf

Listen up, fellow foodies! Your taste buds are in for a treat with the best meatloaf recipe ever. Let me tell you why you’ll fall in love with this dish.

Firstly, this recipe is the perfect balance of savory, juicy, and flavorful. With a mix of ground beef, ground pork, and ground turkey, every bite will have your taste buds singing praises. It’s seasoned to perfection with thyme, garlic cloves, salt, and pepper – elevating its taste to new heights.

Secondly, what sets this recipe apart from others is the use of ketchup and brown sugar glaze. This ingenious combination provides the meatloaf with a sticky-sweet finish that will make you lick your fingers clean. The glaze seeps into every corner of the loaf – guaranteeing that each bite will be coated with its heavenly flavor.

Thirdly, this recipe is incredibly versatile. It can be made with simple household staples such as eggs, bread crumbs, onions, and milk. Plus, it’s beginner-friendly too! The instructions are easy to follow, making it accessible for anyone who wants to try their hands on making a delicious meatloaf at home.

In summary, if you’re looking for a moist and delicious comfort food that’s also healthy and easy-to-make – this meatloaf recipe is something you don’t want to miss out on. Whether you’re having dinner with friends or just craving some good ol’ hearty meal – this recipe has got you all covered. So go ahead and give it a try – it just might become your new favorite dish!

Ingredient List

 Delight your taste buds with this perfect meatloaf recipe.
Delight your taste buds with this perfect meatloaf recipe.

Let’s talk about the ingredients that are needed for this best meatloaf recipe. Before you start working on your meatloaf, gather all the ingredients and tools you will need to make the process smooth and hassle-free. Here are the necessary ingredients:

Meat Mixture

  • 2 lbs lean ground beef (85-90% lean)
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb ground turkey


  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups bread crumbs (dried or fresh)


  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Meatloaf Glaze Recipe

  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Tools Needed

  • Loaf pan
  • Large bowl to mix the ingredients
  • Food processor (optional)
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing spoon

Make sure your ingredients are evenly measured, as it can make a difference in the outcome of your delicious homemade meatloaf.

The Recipe How-To

 Step up your dinner game with this juicy meatloaf topped with tempting ketchup glaze.
Step up your dinner game with this juicy meatloaf topped with tempting ketchup glaze.

Once you have assembled all the necessary ingredients for this best meatloaf recipe, it is time to get cooking. Follow these easy steps to make a deliciously flavored and moist meatloaf that will impress any dinner guest.

Step 1: Prep the Meat Mixture

First, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Then, in a mixing bowl, combine 2 pounds of lean ground beef with 1 pound of ground pork or turkey. Add in 1 medium, finely chopped yellow onion, 2 garlic cloves minced, 2 large, beaten eggs and 1 cup of milk. Mix everything together gently.

Step 2: Blend the Bread Crumbs

In a food processor or blender, blend 2 cups of dried bread crumbs until it becomes a fine texture. Alternatively, use your hands to crush bread slices into small pieces. Then add the bread crumbs to the meat mixture and mix well.

Step 3: Season the Meat Mixture

Add in 1 tsp of salt,, 1/2 tsp of black pepper, and 2 tsp of dried thyme into the meat mixture. Combine all ingredients until even.

Step 4: Mold Meatloaf and Add Toppings

Take out an aluminum loaf pan or line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the meat mixture onto a flat surface and mold it into a log shape long enough so it can touch both ends of the pan.

In another mixing bowl, stir together ⅔ cup ketchup, ¼ cup brown sugar, and a tablespoon worcestershire sauce. Pour half of this mix over the meatloaf making sure you cover it evenly using a spoon or spatula.

Step 5: Bake Meatloaf

Bake at 350°F (180°C) for approximately 70 -90 minutes or until the internal temperature has reached 160°F (71°C). Allow meatloaf to cool for about five minutes before cutting servings.

By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to make the best classic meatloaf that will leave your family begging for seconds!

Substitutions and Variations

 Treat yourself to a filling and flavorful meal with our Very Best Meatloaf Recipe.
Treat yourself to a filling and flavorful meal with our Very Best Meatloaf Recipe.

As the old saying goes, “variety is the spice of life.” So why not switch up your meatloaf recipe with some substitutions or variations?

First off, if you’re looking for a healthier option, try swapping out the ground beef for ground turkey. This leaner protein is a great substitute that won’t sacrifice flavor. Another option is to use a combination of meats like ground pork and beef or turkey and beef, which can add a unique dimension to your meatloaf.

If you’re feeling adventurous with your flavors, try using different herbs and spices. Instead of thyme, try adding rosemary or sage to the mix. You can also swap out ketchup for barbecue sauce in the meat mixture for a smokier taste.

For those who prefer a little sweetness to their savory dishes, consider adding brown sugar to the classic ketchup topping or mixing it in with the meat mixture itself.

Looking for a vegetarian option? Try making a lentil loaf or mushroom-based meatloaf instead. These alternatives can be just as hearty and delicious as their meat-filled counterpart.

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different glazes or toppings. A classic Worcestershire sauce recipe is a classic favorite, but you can also make your own glaze by combining flavors like honey and mustard.

Whatever variations you choose to make on this classic dish, remember that there’s no wrong way to do meatloaf as long as it’s moist and hearty enough to hit the spot.

Serving and Pairing

 This meatloaf is the perfect comfort food, a classic dish that will make you feel right at home.
This meatloaf is the perfect comfort food, a classic dish that will make you feel right at home.

Now that you’ve created the perfect meatloaf, it’s time to think about its proper and perfect company. The savory aroma of your homemade meatloaf can make your mouth water in seconds, and trust me, the taste is no less than heavenly. You can serve your meatloaf dish warm or even cold, whatever makes your taste buds flutter with excitement.

As for pairings, the classic choice is mashed potatoes with gravy or roasted vegetables such as carrots and green beans or a side salad for a refreshing contrast to the rich flavor of meatloaf. Some people might also opt for macaroni and cheese or baked sweet potato fries. A perfect barbecue sauce works as an excellent accompaniment to zest up the taste of the dish.

You can be creative with sides or go traditional; either way, your meatloaf is sure to be satisfying. Serve it up on a platter, cut into thick slices, and try to restrain yourself from digging in before you’ve taken an Instagram-worthy photo.

Remember that pairing is all about personal preference. So, while there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to food, let your taste help guide your choices. Trust me; this coniferous dish will leave a lasting impression on your guests and becomes one of their favorites in no time!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A dish to satisfy any carnivore's appetite when they need a hearty meal.
A dish to satisfy any carnivore’s appetite when they need a hearty meal.

Now that your savory meatloaf has been devoured, what do you do with the leftovers? The good news is that this dish is an excellent candidate for reheating and storing. This recipe makes plenty of servings, so it’s not uncommon to have some remaining for future meals.

For storing, wrap any uneaten portion tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in a sealed container. You can keep meatloaf in the fridge for up to three days or freeze it for up to three months. When you’re ready to reheat the meatloaf, simply take it out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about an hour.

For reheating, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Remove the plastic wrap or aluminum foil from the meatloaf and place it into a baking dish or loaf pan. You can cover the dish with more foil if you prefer to prevent it from drying out. Bake for around 20-25 minutes or until heated through.

If you prefer reheating in the microwave oven, make sure your meatloaf is sliced into smaller pieces and heat using a medium power setting. Reheat first for two minutes and then check every 30 seconds until your desired temperature is reached.

In addition, reheating with a sauce will help make your leftover meatloaf moist and more delicious. Some great options include ketchup or my personal favorite – Worcestershire sauce mixed with brown sugar.

Overall, this best-ever meatloaf recipe is perfect as a quick weeknight meal or as meal prep. Not only will it save you time in the kitchen when life gets busy, but its versatility is a winner: timeless flavors that can be enjoyed cold, hot, alone or combined with different ingredients in endless ways.

Tips for Perfect Results

 An easy-to-follow recipe that is sure to become a crowd favorite.
An easy-to-follow recipe that is sure to become a crowd favorite.

Now that you have seen how to make the very best meatloaf recipe, it is time to talk about tips for perfect results. Follow these simple tricks and techniques to ensure that your meatloaf comes out perfectly every time.

First and foremost, it is essential to use the right kind of meat. I always suggest using lean ground beef or a combination of beef, pork, and turkey for a flavorful and textured outcome. When shopping for ground meat, pay attention to the label details and look for 85% lean or higher.

Another crucial tip for an ideal meatloaf is keeping the right balance of wet and dry ingredients. Dry ingredients like breadcrumbs absorb moisture from wet components like milk and eggs, making the mixture not too runny nor too dry.

Adding herbs and spices to your meatloaf recipe enhances not only the flavor but also the aroma of the dish. Don’t shy away from experimenting with different seasonings – be it thyme, garlic cloves, salt, or pepper.

When mixing your meatloaf mixture by hand or using a stand mixer, be careful not to overmix or undermix. Overmixing can cause your meatloaf to become dense while undermixing may result in a crumbly texture.

For a moist and juicy meatloaf, I suggest adding caramelized onions to the mixture. To cook onion, you can either chop them finely and add them raw to the mixture or cook them in a saucepan with brown sugar and ketchup glaze until tender.

If you want to avoid sticking your loaf pan while baking your meatloaf evenly, line parchment paper before spreading the mixture evenly inside it.

Lastly, give enough time for your meatloaf to rest after coming out of the oven before slicing. This helps redistribute the juices that accumulate during cooking and improve its overall flavor.

Follow these tips closely so that you can make the ultimate classic meatloaf recipe or any variation of it without fail. Happy cooking!


Now, you might have some questions that are still bugging you about this recipe. Perhaps it’s about the ingredients, the cooking process, or the storing and reheating aspects of the dish. Let me help you out by answering some frequently asked questions to ensure that you’re on the right track to making this meatloaf the best ever.

What is the secret to moist meatloaf?

As a culinary explorer, I’ve learned that it’s crucial to keep adding moisture throughout the cooking process if you want to end up with a juicy and flavorful dish. Don’t overlook the significance of incorporating wet seasonings, such as eggs, ketchup, tomato paste, mustard, Worcestershire, and barbecue sauce – they are more than just condiments, they can help add a succulent taste and texture to your meat. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on this vital ingredient!

Why do you put milk in meatloaf?

To ensure that the meatloaf maintains its moisture, milk is typically utilized to soak the bread crumbs. However, if you prefer not to use milk, alternatives such as low sodium beef or chicken stock, water, or non-dairy milk substitutes can be used instead.

What ingredient keeps meatloaf from falling apart?

Have you ever made meatloaf only for it to crumble apart when you try to serve it? This is a common issue that can be prevented by using enough binding agents, such as eggs and breadcrumbs. These ingredients act as the glue that keeps your meat mixture together while cooking, creating a cohesive and delicious dish.

How does Martha Stewart make meatloaf?

Before starting, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Using a food processor, grind your bread until it becomes finely ground. After this is done, pulse garlic, onion, celery, carrot, and parsley until it’s chopped into tiny pieces and add it to your breadcrumbs. The next step is to mix half a cup of ketchup and brown sugar until it’s smooth and use a brush to apply it over your meat.

Bottom Line

The meatloaf is a classic dish that has stood the test of time, and this recipe is the absolute best. By following these detailed instructions, tips and recommendations, you’ll be able to make a mouthwatering meatloaf that will have your taste buds begging for more.

What makes this recipe so special? The combination of ground beef, pork and turkey creates a perfect texture and flavor. The addition of onions, garlic and thyme provides an extra layer of savory goodness. And let’s not forget about the ketchup and brown sugar glaze on top – it adds just the right amount of sweetness and tanginess.

Not only is this meatloaf delicious, but it’s also versatile. Feel free to make substitutions and variations to suit your tastes. You could even make a turkey or healthy version by swapping out some ingredients.

And don’t worry about leftovers – this meatloaf stores well in the fridge or freezer, and reheats beautifully. In fact, I dare say it tastes even better the next day!

So what are you waiting for? Grab your loaf pan and get started on making the best meatloaf you’ve ever had. Your family and friends will thank you, and you’ll have a new go-to recipe in your culinary arsenal. Trust me, this is one recipe you won’t regret trying!

Very Best Meatloaf

Very Best Meatloaf Recipe

Meatloaf recipe adapted from Don't Panic Dinner's in the Freezer.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 248 kcal


  • 1/2 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 lb ground turkey
  • 1/4 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (optional)


  • Heat oil and cook onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook 1 minute more; set aside.
  • Combine milk, egg, and ketchup. Stir in bread crumbs, salt, and pepper. Crumble in meats and add onion mixture. Stir until well combined.
  • Freeze meat into loaves, using foil and plastic wrap method.
  • On serving day, thaw loaf and place in baking dish.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
  • If desired poor 1/2 cup ketchup mixed with brown sugar over meatloaf during the last half hour of baking.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 147gCalories: 248kcalCarbohydrates: 8.6gProtein: 19gFat: 14.9gSaturated Fat: 5.4gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 571.6mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 2.6g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Meat
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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