Discover the ultimate dinner experience with the Best Meatloaf Recipe with Glaze. This recipe combines rich flavors like Worcestershire sauce and Italian seasoning with a sweet, tangy glaze, ensuring each bite is as satisfying as the last.
Meatloaf is a comfort food staple in American cooking due to its hearty ingredients and simple preparation. This main course has the ability to mix various meats, vegetables, and spices, accommodating different ingredients and tastes. And while there are many ways to prepare meatloaf, this recipe stands out as the best!
Why? What really elevates this dish is the quick, tangy, and sweet glaze, blending ketchup, apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar, which perfectly complements the savory meat. The well-balanced flavors and straightforward prep, and easy-to-find ingredients make it the best meatloaf recipe for beginner cooks or for someone needing to get dinner on the table without a lot of effort.
Meatloaf can be served for many events, like a casual family dinner, a holiday meal, or repurposed leftovers for lunch. Pair it with Oven Roasted Potatoes, Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes, green beans, or Bacon Wrapped Asparagus for a filling meal!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- This recipe uses simple ingredients that you may already have in your pantry. If not, they can all be found at any grocery store.
- The blend of a tangy and sweet glaze not only enhances the meat's flavor but also adds a unique contrast that kids and adults enjoy.
- Meatloaf can be paired with many sides, such as mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, a green salad, or roasted vegetables.
- Meatloaf makes great leftovers! Use any leftovers to make easy meal prep for lunches or freeze for later.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Ground Beef (85% or 90% lean) - Provides the substantial base for the meatloaf, with a lean-to-fat ratio that holds flavor while maintaining a solid structure.
- Yellow Onion and Minced Garlic - Add depth and a savory aroma, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the meatloaf.
- Eggs - Act as a binder to hold all the ingredients together, ensuring the meatloaf maintains its shape while cooking.
- Ketchup - Contributes a tangy sweetness and moisture, complementing the savory notes of the meat and seasonings.
- Worcestershire Sauce - Infuses the meatloaf with a bold, umami-rich flavor, elevating the taste complexity.
- Italian Breadcrumbs - Help stabilize the meatloaf's texture, preventing it from becoming too dense or falling apart.
- Milk - Adds moisture to the meatloaf, ensuring it doesn’t dry out while baking and remains tender.
- Fresh Parsley - Provides a hint of fresh, herbal brightness, balancing the rich flavors present in the dish.
- Seasonings (salt, pepper, paprika) - Enhance the meat's natural flavors, with salt bringing out the meatiness, pepper adding a slight heat, and paprika contributing a warm, sweet touch.
- Ketchup - Serves as the base for the sauce, offering a tangy, sweet foundation.
- Apple Cider Vinegar - Introduces a zesty acidity that cuts through the richness of the meatloaf, balancing the sauce's sweetness.
- Brown Sugar - Deepens the sauce's flavor profile, adding a molasses-like sweetness.
- Seasonings (garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper) - Work together to boost the sauce's flavor.
How To Make The Best Meatloaf With Glaze
Prepare for baking: Preheat oven to 350℉ and prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Set aside.
Mix the meatloaf: Add the ground beef, onion, eggs, garlic, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, bread crumbs, milk, parsley, salt, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and paprika to a large mixing bowl. Using your hands, mix all ingredients together until just combined without overworking. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes.
Bake the meatloaf: Shape the meat mixture into a bread loaf shape in the center of the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes while you prepare the meatloaf sauce.
Make the meatloaf sauce: Add the ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and spices into a small mixing bowl and whisk to fully combine.
Add the glaze: Remove the meatloaf after 45 minutes and brush the sauce over the top of the meat. Cook for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160˚F. Let the meatloaf rest 10 minutes before serving. Slice and enjoy!
- Choose ground beef with either 85% or 90% lean content; too lean and your meatloaf may be dry, but too fatty, and it might become greasy and fall apart.
- Finely dice the onion to ensure it cooks uniformly and integrates well into the meatloaf mixture, preventing any large, crunchy bits that can detract from the texture.
- Letting the meat mixture rest for 5-10 minutes before shaping allows the breadcrumbs to absorb moisture and the flavors to meld, resulting in a more cohesive and flavorful meatloaf.
- To ensure even cooking, shape your meatloaf so that it is uniform in thickness throughout, preventing the edges from cooking faster than the center.
- Use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of your meatloaf, ensuring it reaches 160°F, which means it's cooked through and safe to eat while retaining its juiciness.
- To prevent the bottom from getting soggy, elevate the meatloaf on a baking rack placed over the lined baking sheet, allowing the fat to drip away during cooking.
- Apply the glaze during the last 15-20 minutes of baking to prevent it from burning and to achieve a caramelized finish that enhances the taste and appearance.
- Let the meatloaf rest for about 10 minutes after removing it from the oven; this allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it more flavorful and easier to slice.
- For a spicier kick, add a diced jalapeño or a dash of cayenne pepper to the meat mixture or even some hot sauce to the glaze for an extra layer of heat.
- Ground turkey or chicken can be used as a leaner alternative; just be mindful that they are less fatty, so you might need to add a bit more moisture to keep the meatloaf tender.
- To cater to a gluten-free diet, replace traditional breadcrumbs with a gluten-free alternative or use finely ground oats, ensuring the binding agent doesn't conflict with dietary restrictions.
- Incorporate more vegetables into your meatloaf by adding shredded carrots, zucchini, or chopped bell peppers for added nutrition, flavor, and moisture.
- For a sweet and savory spin, mix in a couple of tablespoons of finely chopped dried cranberries or a layer of thin apple slices in the middle of your meatloaf before baking.
- Add a generous amount of grated cheddar or a few slices of mozzarella in the center of the meatloaf for a melty surprise, or mix parmesan into the meat mixture for a subtle cheesy flavor throughout.
- Substitute the ketchup in the glaze with your favorite barbecue sauce, giving the meatloaf a smoky, tangy finish that pairs well with the savory meat.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Wrap cooled meatloaf tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place it in an airtight container. The meatloaf can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. For the best flavor and texture, reheat the leftovers in the oven at 350°F until warmed through, or slice and heat it in a skillet over medium heat.
Freezing: For freezing, cool the cooked meatloaf completely before wrapping it in aluminum foil, followed by a layer of plastic wrap or a sealable freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. Use it within 3 months. To thaw, place the meatloaf in the refrigerator for 24 hours, then reheat it in the oven at 350°F, covering it with foil to prevent it from drying out, until it's warmed through.
Yes, you can prepare the meatloaf mixture a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator, covered. Before baking, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then shape it and follow the baking instructions as usual.
If you don't have Italian breadcrumbs, you can substitute plain breadcrumbs or crushed cracker crumbs. If you use plain, add ½ teaspoon of Italian seasoning to maintain the flavor profile.
The best way to ensure your meatloaf is fully cooked is by using a meat thermometer; the internal temperature should reach 160°F. If you don't have a thermometer, check that the meatloaf is firm to the touch, and when cut into, it should be browned throughout with clear juices.
Yes, you can use a loaf pan, but it will retain more of the juices and fat, which could make the meatloaf slightly greasy. Grease the pan before use, and remember that the cooking time may vary slightly.
More Dinner Recipes
- Easy Skillet Chicken Thighs
- Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
- Best French Bread Pizza
- Instant Pot Baked Ziti with Meat Sauce
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The Best Meatloaf Recipe with Glaze
- Preheat oven to 350℉ and prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Set Aside
- In a large bowl, add ground beef, onion, eggs, garlic, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, bread crumbs, milk, parsley, salt, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and paprika. Mix well to combine and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Shape the meat into a loaf and position it in the center of the prepared baking sheet. Bake in oven for 45 minutes.
- Combine the glaze ingredients in a small bowl, mix until well combined.
- Remove meatloaf from the oven and spread the sauce evenly over the meatloaf, then place it back in the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160˚F. Let the meatloaf rest 10 minutes before serving.
- Finely chop the onion to ensure it cooks thoroughly, or you can sauté the onion separately before adding it to the meatloaf.
- Don't overmix; it can make your meatloaf tough and dense. Gently combine the ingredients to keep it tender and delicious.
- Give your meatloaf a 10-minute rest before you grab the knife to slice it. Allowing it to sit briefly after cooking helps the juices redistribute within the meatloaf, ensuring it remains tender and moist when you cut into it. This resting period is a simple yet essential step in serving a delicious meatloaf.
*All nutrition information provided is automatically calculated and is an estimate and will vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact numbers on your ingredients, I would recommend calculating them with your prefered nutrition calculator.