Rating: 4.5 stars 4.5
574 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 412
  • 4 star values: 110
  • 3 star values: 27
  • 2 star values: 17
  • 1 star values: 8

This traditional meatloaf recipe made with sautéed vegetables, spices, and bread crumbs is moist and flavorful and topped with an old-fashioned glaze. Cook time will depend on the size and shape of your loaf, as well as the type of baking pan you use. Serve this hearty meal on cool fall or winter evenings with mashed potatoes and a simple mushroom gravy.

Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
1 hr
total:
1 hr 30 mins
Servings:
10
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When you're in need of delicious comfort food that everyone in your household will love, a traditional meatloaf is the way to go. It's a classic meal, and it's an incredibly simple one too. 

This top-rated recipe from Chef John is sure to become a family favorite in no time. And with only 30 minutes of prep time, you won't mind making it every time it's requested!

Traditional Meatloaf Ingredients

Every chef has their own recipe for meatloaf. Here are the ingredients Chef John uses in his:

Ground Chuck
This recipe calls for ground chuck, but some reviewers like to use other kinds of ground meat (like beef or venison).

Vegetables
The nearly-pureed carrot, celery, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, and garlic will keep the meatloaf moist and flavorful. 

Worcestershire Sauce
A tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce gives the meatloaf its umami-rich flavor.

Egg
The egg helps bind the meatloaf together.

Spices
Chef John uses dried Italian herbs, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to season his meatloaf.

Bread Crumbs
Bread crumbs will bind the meatloaf together.

Glaze
This meatloaf has a glaze made with brown sugar, ketchup, Dijon mustard, and sriracha.

How to Make Meatloaf

You'll find the full, simple recipe below, but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when making this Classic Meatloaf.

Chop the Vegetables

Combine the vegetables and garlic in a food processor until nearly pureed.

Form the Meatloaf

Combine the vegetables, ground chuck, Worcestershire sauce, spices, and egg. Sprinkle in the bread crumbs and mix them with your hands (be careful not to overmix).

Bake

Form the meat mixture into a loaf and place it in a prepared baking pan. Bake for about 15 minutes.

Make the Glaze

Combine brown sugar, ketchup, Dijon, and sriracha to make the glaze.

Glaze the Meatloaf

Spoon the glaze over the slightly hot meatloaf. Return meatloaf to the oven and bake until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. 

How Long Do You Cook Meatloaf?

Baking times for meatloafs will vary depending on the size of the baking pan that you use. This recipe calls for a baking time between 60-75 minutes. But when in doubt, use your digital thermometer and check the thickest part of the loaf. If the thermometer reads 160 degrees F, then the meatloaf is ready to come out.

What to Serve With Meatloaf

Meatloaf goes with just about everything (that's one of the reasons we love it so much)! If you're in need of a little meatloaf side dish inspiration, we recommend trying one of these tasty recipes.

Not feeling any of those? Check out our collection of side dishes for meatloaf.

Can You Make Meatloaf Ahead of Time?

Absolutely! Meatloaf is a great make-ahead meal. Simply assemble the meatloaf in the loaf pan, then cover it with plastic wrap or foil. Store it in the refrigerator overnight.

How to Store Meatloaf

Tightly wrap your meatloaf in plastic wrap or aluminum foil (or stash it in an airtight container). Store meatloaf in the refrigerator for three to four days.

Can You Freeze Meatloaf?

Yes, you can freeze meatloaf! First, wrap the meatloaf in plastic wrap, then, add a second layer of aluminum foil. For extra protection, place the double-wrapped meatloaf in a zip-top freezer bag labeled with the date. Store meatloaf in the freezer for three to four months.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"We made this recipe exactly like the recipe called for but we replaced the beef with ground venison...WOW, it was awesome. Even folks that 'don't eat meatloaf' tried it and loved it. The flavors were great...The glaze can be spicy but very good so you need to pay attention to that but it was awesome! We also used a temp probe to ensure the meat was done," according to Lorraine And-Brian Threlkeld.

"Made this tonight for supper and it was a big hit....and even better was the fact that it was so quick and easy to make! The minced veggies made it very moist and tasty. I baked it for a total of 1 hr 15 mins at 325 degrees like others suggested. I will definitely be making this recipe again," says CookinCanada.

"Hip Hip Hooray!!! My husband is the world's pickiest meatloaf eater. I have tried a gazillion recipes. He didn't like any of them. THIS RECIPE HE LIKES!! Thank you, Chef John. You ROCK," raves Anne Norman Hastings.

Editorial contributions by Bailey Fink

Ingredients

10
Original recipe yields 10 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Meatloaf Ingredients:
Glaze Ingredients:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line a baking dish with lightly greased foil.

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  • Place carrot, celery, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, and garlic in a food processor; pulse until very finely chopped, almost to a puree. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

  • Add ground chuck to the vegetables, along with Worcestershire sauce, egg, Italian herbs, salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Mix gently with a wooden spoon until ingredients are just combined. Sprinkle in bread crumbs and gently mix with your fingertips until just combined; don't overmix.

  • Shape the mixture into a loaf, about 4 inches high by 6 inches across. Place in the prepared baking pan.

  • Bake in the preheated oven just until the meatloaf is hot, about 15 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, stir brown sugar, ketchup, Dijon, and Sriracha for glaze in a small bowl until brown sugar has dissolved.

  • Remove meatloaf from the oven. Spoon glaze on the top of the meatloaf with the back of a spoon, then pull a tiny bit glaze down the sides.

  • Return to the oven, and bake until no longer pink inside, 45 to 75 more minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the loaf should read at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C), so start checking at 45 minutes and continue baking until meatloaf reaches that temperature.

  • Cooking time will depend on shape and thickness of the meatloaf.

Tips

The shape and thickness of your meatloaf, as well as the type of baking pan you choose, will affect the cook time of the meatloaf. The timing in Step 8 is a guide; be sure to start checking the internal temperature after 45 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

284 calories; protein 21.6g; carbohydrates 14.8g; fat 14.9g; cholesterol 85.3mg; sodium 755.4mg. Full Nutrition
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