Simple Meatloaf With Optional Topping

Meatloaf
The Spruce
Ratings (139)
  • Total: 95 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 80 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
432 Calories
18g Fat
27g Carbs
39g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 432
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 218mg 73%
Sodium 958mg 42%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 39g
Calcium 109mg 8%
*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 delicious and simple meatloaf recipe is a great fit for Sunday dinner. Feel free to use plain ketchup to top this dish, or, if you're feeling a little adventurous, make the optional topping. For a tasty meal, serve the meatloaf with homemade mashed potatoes and peas and carrots or your favorite vegetables. 

Note: Ground beef with a ratio of 80/20 or 85/20 will produce the moistest and most flavorful meatloaf. Baking the meatloaf in a specialty meatloaf pan or on a rack will help drain away some of the excess fat. If you don't have either, you can make a free-form loaf on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or ​9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan.

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Watch Now: Simple Meatloaf With Optional Topping

Ingredients

  • For the Optional Glaze/Topping:
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon (or similar mustard)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • For the Meatloaf:
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup fine dry breadcrumbs (plain)
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onion (or 1/2 cup finely minced fresh onion)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons burger seasoning (or 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (plus more for topping, if desired)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Meatloaf with topping ingreadients
    The Spruce
  2. Heat oven to 350 F.

  3. Spray a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

  4. If using the optional topping, in a small bowl, combine 4 tablespoons ketchup, maple syrup, mustard and Worcestershire until well mixed. Set aside.

    Mix ingredients for topping of meatloaf
    The Spruce
  5. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, eggs, milk, breadcrumbs, onion, burger seasoning, and 1/2 cup of ketchup.

    Combine the ground beef, eggs, milk, breadcrumbs, onion, burger seasoning, and 1/2 cup of ketchup
     The Spruce
  6. Mix until well blended and pack into the prepared loaf pan.

    Mix ingredients and place in loaf pan
    The Spruce
  7. Bake the meatloaf for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Carefully drain off any excess fat and then top the loaf with the optional topping mixture or about 4 tablespoons of ketchup. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer.

    Bake meatloaf and spread topping on finished loaf
     The Spruce
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Meatloaf Tips

  • Experiment with meat mixtures in meatloaf. While beef gives excellent flavor and holds together well, adding a portion of lean ground pork will provide juiciness. Ground veal would add lightness to a loaf, and ground chicken or turkey would reduce some of the fat and calories.

  • Top the meatloaf with prepared barbecue sauce just before it's finished baking.

  • Use cracker crumbs or soft breadcrumbs in the meatloaf instead of fine dry breadcrumbs. 

  • Line the loaf pan with parchment paper or foil, like a sling. Just grab the ends of the paper or foil and lift the meatloaf out of the pan when it's done.

  • Bake the meatloaf in individual muffin cups. Use about 1/4 cup of meatloaf mixture for each muffin cup.

  • Pack the meatloaf mixture into individual oiled ramekins, and then invert them onto a rimmed baking sheet for perfectly shaped individual meatloaves.

  • Instead of breadcrumbs, use crushed cheese crackers in the meat mixture.

  • Top a meatloaf with strips of bacon before baking, or add crumbled cooked bacon to the meat mixture.