Instant Pot Meatloaf

Instant Pot Meatloaf

The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
590 Calories
29g Fat
35g Carbs
46g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 590
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 11g 54%
Cholesterol 198mg 66%
Sodium 1124mg 49%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Total Sugars 22g
Protein 46g
Vitamin C 3mg 15%
Calcium 126mg 10%
Iron 6mg 31%
Potassium 870mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This Instant Pot meatloaf is full of flavor. The vegetables—onion, carrot, and celery—are finely chopped or processed and added to the meat mixture, making it an excellent way to get vegetables into picky eaters come mealtime. The vegetables also add texture and moisture to the meatloaf. If there is a vegetable you don't care for, feel free to change it or add more of another. The meatloaf holds together nicely as well, and it makes fabulous sandwiches.

The Instant Pot pressure cooker cooks a meatloaf in a fraction of the time it would take in the oven, which frees up the oven for other dishes. While the meatloaf cooks in the Instant Pot, you can bake potatoes, a casserole, or a dessert in the oven.

If you like lots of sauce, feel free to double the topping ingredients. Or skip the topping and drizzle on ketchup or your favorite barbecue sauce.

Serve Instant Pot meatloaf with boiled or mashed potatoes or mac and cheese, and steamed green beans or corn.


For the Meat Mixture:

  • 1/2 small onion

  • 1 stalk celery

  • 1 medium carrot

  • 2 pounds ground beef

  • 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs

  • 1/2 cup tomato ketchup

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

For the Topping:

  • 2/3 cup tomato ketchup

  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon or yellow mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for an Instant Pot meatloaf

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  2. Chop the onion, celery, and carrot in a food processor, or mince them finely.

    carrots and celery on a wood board

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  3. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, onion, celery, carrot, breadcrumbs, ketchup, milk, eggs, kosher salt, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce. Using your hands, mix the ingredients until thoroughly blended. 

    Combine the meatloaf ingredients in a bowl

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  4. Shape the meat mixture into a round or oblong loaf and place it in a 7-inch baking pan or on a sheet of heavy-duty foil. 

    Meatloaf on aluminum foil

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  5. Add 1 1/4 cups of water to the Instant Pot. Place the meatloaf in a sling or on the Instant Pot steamer rack or trivet, and lower it into the pot.

    meatloaf in an instant pot

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  6. Lock the lid in place and ensure the steam release valve is in the sealing position. Choose the pressure cook or manual button, high pressure, and set the time to 40 minutes. When the time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Carefully turn the steam release valve to the venting position to release the remaining pressure. To protect your hand from any remaining steam, use the handle of a wooden spoon or another utensil to turn the valve.

    instant pot

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  7. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the 2/3 cup of ketchup, the brown sugar, mustard, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Bring the sauce mixture to a simmer just before the meatloaf is ready.

    sauce in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  8. Remove the meatloaf from the Instant Pot. Carefully drain excess liquids from the pan or foil. Move the loaf to a plate or platter and drizzle it with the sauce.

    Instant Pot Meatloaf on a platter

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

How to Store and Freeze

  • Refrigerate leftover meatloaf in an airtight container for up to four days.
  • To freeze cooked leftover meatloaf, transfer cooled slices to zip-close bags and freeze for up to three months. Defrost frozen meatloaf in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat leftover meatloaf in the microwave or a 350 F oven until it reaches at least 165 F, the minimum safe temperature for leftover food.

Make It Ahead

  • Prepare the meatloaf mixture as directed. Line the pan with a sheet of foil, leaving a few inches of overhang on each end to serve as handles. Freeze the loaf until firm, then grasp the foil and lift the meatloaf out of the pan. Wrap the meatloaf tightly in plastic wrap and then foil. Freeze it for up to three months.
  • When it's time to cook the frozen loaf, unwrap it and place it back in the same pan. Cook in the Instant Pot as directed, but add about 15 minutes to the cooking time.

What Are Some Good Substitutes for Breadcrumbs in Mealoaf?

If you don't have dry breadcrumbs or panko crumbs, you can use oats, crushed crackers, or crushed unsweetened cereal flakes. For a low-carb breadcrumb replacement, choose keto breadcrumbs, ground pork rinds, or almond meal.

Why Does Meatloaf Contain Eggs?

Eggs are added to meatloaf for a few reasons. Eggs help bind the ground meat, crumbs, and other ingredients together, and the yolks add extra protein, moisture, and flavor.

What Ground Beef Ratio Is Best for Meatloaf?

The fat is important to ensure a moist and flavorful meatloaf, so ground beef with a lean to fat ratio or 80/20 or 85/15 is best. If your ground beef is very lean, add some fattier meat, such as ground pork or finely chopped bacon.


  • Refrigerate leftover meatloaf. Slice it thinly to make grilled sandwiches with or without cheese, or add it to a pot of chili, a quiche, or hash.
  • Avoid overmixing the meatloaf mixture or packing it too tightly.
  • If you don't have a pan that will fit in the Instant Pot, fashion a sheet of heavy-duty foil into a "pan" and place it on the trivet. Shape the loaf and place it on the foil.

Recipe Variation

Italian-Style Meatloaf: Add 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and 1 1/2 teaspoons of Italian herbs to the meat mixture. Replace the topping with heated marinara sauce or pizza sauce.