This easy Meatloaf recipe is made with simple ingredients including ground beef, eggs, breadcrumbs and spices, with a delicious meatloaf sauce baked on top. It’s so flavorful and moist, you’ll never use another recipe! 

Meatloaf with meatloaf sauce on top, cut into slices.

What we love about this meatloaf recipe:

  • Moist: You don’t have to worry about dry tasteless meatloaf in this recipe.  We’ve added eggs, sauce, and spices that give it the perfect taste and texture.
  • That meatloaf sauce:  this meatloaf sauce is a true treasure from my childhood.  My mother developed the recipe and it’s bound to be your new favorite sauce.  A touch of nutmeg is the key.  I also love to serve this sauce over mini meatloaf muffins which are similar to regular meatloaf but cook faster and are fun for kids.

How to Make Meatloaf:

1. Combine all ingredients: Add all of the meatloaf ingredients to a large bowl and gently mix everything to combine (without over-working the meat).

2. Add to loaf pan: Add the meat mixture to a greased loaf pan and gently pat into an even layer.

Meatloaf mixture in a mixing bowl, then pressed into a loaf pan, ready to bake.
Eggs and breadcrumbs are the secret to keeping meatloaf moist.

3. Bake at 350ºF about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the meatloaf sauce by combining all ingredients in a bowl.

4. Top with meatloaf sauce: Remove meatloaf from oven (use a paper towel to soak up grease around the edges of the pan, if there’s a lot of it) and spread sauce on top.

5. Bake. Return to oven for 10-20 minutes or until cooked through (160 degrees F).

Meatloaf sauce ingredients in a bowl next to another photo of meatloaf sauce spread on top of meatloaf.
This meatloaf sauce, made with a hint of nutmeg, is really what sets this recipe apart from the rest.

5. Serve: Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Use your leftover meatloaf to make Meatloaf sandwiches!

Serve meatloaf with:

Make ahead and Freezing Instructions:

To make ahead: Make meatloaf and shape into loaf pan 1-2 days ahead of time.  Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Allow it to come to room temperature before baking.  You can also make the meatloaf sauce several days ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator.

To freeze unbaked: cover unbaked meatloaf with a layer of plastic wrap and aluminum foil.  Freeze for up to 3 months.  Thaw for about 24 hours in the refrigerator. Remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature before baking.

To freeze baked:  Cut meatloaf into slices and allow to cool completely. Flash freeze slices on a baking sheet for one hour until semi frozen.  Then place slices in a freezer safe bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.  Thaw overnight in the fridge, then reheat in the microwave or oven.

Variations:

  • Healthier meatloaf: substitute lean ground beef or half ground turkey/half ground beef.
  • Meatloaf sandwich. One of our favorite ways to enjoy the leftovers!
  • No loaf pan?  No problem, simply form the meatloaf into the shape of a loaf and bake it on a baking sheet.
  • Turkey meatloaf: substitute ground turkey in place of ground beef.
  • Stuffed Meatloaf: Prepare meatloaf mixture and press half into the bottom of the pan. Add cheese slices (your favorite kind of cheese), then cover with remaining meat mixture. Bake as directed.

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Recipe

Meatloaf with meatloaf sauce on top, cut into slices.
Prep 10 mins
Cook 40 mins
Total 50 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced (or 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion , diced
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs , or oats

Meatloaf Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 6 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a standard size loaf pan with cooking spray.
  • Add all of the meatloaf ingredients to a large bowl and gently mix everything to combine (without over-working the meat). Add the meat mixture to a loaf pan and gently pat into an even layer.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the meatloaf sauce by combining all ingredients in a bowl.
  • Remove meatloaf from oven and spread sauce on top. Return to oven for 10-20 minutes or until cooked through (160 degrees F).
  • Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Notes

Make Ahead Instructions: Make meatloaf and shape into loaf pan 1-2 days ahead of time. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Allow it to come to room temperature before baking.  You can also make the meatloaf sauce several days ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator.
Freezing Instructions:
  • Unbaked meatloaf: cover unbaked meatloaf with a layer of plastic wrap and aluminum foil.  Freeze for up to 3 months.  Thaw for about 24 hours in the refrigerator. Remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature before baking.
  • Baked meatloaf:  Cut meatloaf into slices and allow to cool completely. Flash freeze slices on a baking sheet for one hour until semi frozen.  Then place slices in a freezer safe bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.  Thaw overnight in the fridge, then reheat in the microwave or oven.
Instant Pot Meatloaf
Mini Meatloaf
Healthier meatloaf: substitute lean ground beef or half ground turkey/half ground beef.
No loaf pan?  No problem, simply form the meatloaf into the shape of a loaf and bake it on a baking sheet.
Turkey Meatloaf: substitute ground turkey in place of ground beef.
Stuffed Meatloaf: Prepare meatloaf mixture and press half into the bottom of the pan. Add cheese slices (your favorite kind of cheese), then cover with remaining meat mixture. Bake as directed.

Nutrition

Calories: 315kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 26gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 710mgPotassium: 535mgFiber: 1gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 190IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 56mgIron: 4mg

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Absolutely in love with this recipe! But I definitely don’t feel like it cooks as quickly as it lists – I feel like we usually have to cook it almost an hour before putting the sauce on and then let the sauce cook on for the full 20 mins. Obviously every oven differs but it seems like a big difference. The sauce is out of this world delicious and this one is always a family favorite.

  2. 3 stars
    I was unprepared for how much grease came out of the meatloaf as it baked, which is maybe just how meatloaf is? The nutmeg in this recipe is really the star of the show – gives this dish a holiday feel that I love! The sauce was too sweet for my taste though so I’m going to try halving the brown sugar next time.

  3. Really liked this recipe.
    Two changes…I used Bison instead of beef to make it leaner but still flavorful and I used only two tablespoons of light brown sugar I the sauce. As ketchup is so sweet anyway, I did not feel comfortable with that much more sugar. The sauce still came out tangy and sweet and fabulous.

  4. 5 stars
    I’m done looking for the perfect meatloaf recipe (sorry Mom!). I’ve made this twice now and it’s incredible. I love the sauce the meatloaf itself is juicy and full of flavor!

  5. 5 stars
    Wow is this meatloaf the best! Meatloaf is usually kind of blah, but this was full of flavor between the add-ins and the sauce. I added about two tablespoons of prepared horse radish to the sauce for some extra kick and added mozzarella to the center. I’ll never use another recipe for meatloaf. Thanks for sharing! Next time I’ll make extra sauce to serve on the side.

  6. 5 stars
    This is the best meatloaf I’ve had. I have a family who on the whole dislikes meatloaf but loved this one. The sauce is very good, the nutmeg makes it.

  7. 5 stars
    I followed this recipe putting the potatoes in the base of my Instapot and it all turned out SO delicious! The meatloaf cooked thoroughly at 25 minutes and the potatoes mashed perfectly. Is there a secret to making sure the potatoes don’t stick to the bottom of the Instapot?