Classic Oatmeal Meatloaf

Slices of savory meatloaf with oatmeal and a ketchup topping

The Spruce


  • Total: 110 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 90 mins
  • Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
564 Calories
28g Fat
40g Carbs
38g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 564
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 9g 46%
Cholesterol 128mg 43%
Sodium 1070mg 47%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 15%
Dietary Fiber 6g 20%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 38g
Vitamin C 26mg 129%
Calcium 144mg 11%
Iron 5mg 26%
Potassium 1176mg 25%
*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.)

Meatloaf is an easy and filling recipe that is often reminiscent of weeknight dinners as a child, served with a side of mashed potatoes and green beans. Although there are many versions, and each household claims to have the perfect recipe for moist and delicious meatloaf, the truth is that oatmeal meatloaf is a poorly kept secret well known to many cooks, and it's one simple recipe that you'll want to learn.

Beef and oatmeal make a hearty filling, while flavorful savory seasonings perfume this classic loaf. Using oats adds soluble fiber, plus other wonderfully nutritious elements like extra protein, antioxidants, manganese, and phosphorus. Because it's so filling, this loaf can feed up to eight hungry guests, and the leftovers, if any, can be stored for a couple of days in the fridge, or be frozen for up to three months before reheating. Use leftovers for sandwiches, or add into stuffed peppers, tacos, or grilled cheese.

Store-bought ketchup is traditionally used in many recipes to top the loaf, but barbecue sauce would be delicious as well. The oatmeal in the loaf is also a traditional choice, and it actually makes this dish suitable for gluten-free diets. Check the labels on the oatmeal, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce for wheat warnings if you really need to keep this dish celiac friendly. Don't miss out on a slice of this classic recipe.


  • 2 pounds ground beef (80 to 85 percent lean)

  • 2 tablespoons grated onion

  • 1 large egg (slightly beaten)

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic (crushed, finely minced)

  • 3/4 cup oatmeal (quick or old-fashioned)

  • 3/4 cup milk

  • 1/4 cup ketchup (plus more for topping)

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or sage)

  • 6 cups mashed potatoes (for serving)

  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans (for serving)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for making savory meatloaf with oatmeal
    The Spruce
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C / Gas Mark 4) and grease a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf or meatloaf pan.

    Greased pan for meatloaf
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  3. Combine the ground beef, grated onion, egg, garlic, oatmeal, milk, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and thyme or sage.

    Combining the ingredients for meatloaf
    The Spruce
  4. Mix thoroughly but don't overwork the beef.

    Ground beef mixture with oatmeal
    The Spruce
  5. Loosely pack the ground beef mixture into the prepared loaf pan.

    Ground beef mixture in a loaf pan
    The Spruce
  6. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove and carefully pour off any excess grease that might have built up during cooking.

    Draining grease from the cooked meatloaf
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  7. Spread ketchup to taste over the top of the meatloaf and return to the oven for 15 to 20 minutes longer to caramelize the topping.

    Ketchup spread over the top of the meatloaf
     The Spruce
  8. Remove from the pan, slice, and serve with mashed potatoes and green beans.

    Savory meatloaf with oatmeal along with vegetables
    The Spruce
  9. Enjoy.

What Can I Use Instead of Ketchup?

If you'd rather not use ketchup in your filling or as the topping of the loaf, here are a few suggestions:

Additional Ingredients and Substitutions

For extra nutrition, use other vegetables in your oatmeal meatloaf:

  • Add a few tablespoons of minced green or red bell pepper and shredded carrots by processing the veggies in a food processor and then sautéing them in a tablespoon of vegetable oil before adding them to the meatloaf.
  • Use part tomato juice as the liquid in the loaf by replacing half of the milk with the juice.

For a savory cheese filling:

  • Add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of the shredded cheese of your liking.

For a dairy-free version:

  • Substitute the milk with beef broth, water, chicken stock, or a non-dairy beverage with a mild flavor, like almond or soy. If using cheese, use vegan cheese instead of dairy-based cheese.

For an extra-juicy meatloaf:

  • Substitute half of the beef with ground pork.
Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Oats, quick. FoodData Central. Published 4/1/2019