Classic Meatloaf Recipe

This Classic Meatloaf Recipe with ketchup glaze brings me back to my childhood! The sweet glaze on top of this meatloaf is my favorite part!

We love comforting, easy dinner ideas like this meatloaf! If you love meatloaf like we do, try our popular Brown Gravy Meatloaf recipe with an easy 5 minute gravy! Or for a twist on taco night this Turkey Taco Meatloaf!

Sliced meatloaf with a ketchup based glaze

Classic Meatloaf Recipe

Meatloaf is big in our house! We even have a Chicken Cordon Bleu meatloaf recipe with layers of ham and Swiss cheese. Not to mention an oldie but goodie, Swedish Meatloaf, which tastes just like a giant Swedish Meatball.

And I’m not promising we’re going to stop there either. I have TONS of meatloaf recipe ideas to go!

Tips For Making The Best Meatloaf Ever!

There’s a few things that I think are key to making the best meatloaf you can get on your dinner table.

The first thing is using what most grocery stores call a “meatloaf mix”. Meatloaf mix is a combination of beef, pork and veal instead of using all beef. This combination of meats makes for a super juicy meatloaf.

Another key to making the best meatloaf is making sure that you don’t over mix the meat. Just mix it enough with your hands (clean hands are the best tools!) to make sure all the ingredients are combined and walk away.

easy meatloaf recipe made with a ketchup glaze on top

NOW – to cook the onions or not to cook the onions??? COOK THE ONIONS. I see tons of meatloaf recipes that just add uncooked, raw onion to the meatloaf mixture. Don’t do it.

Not only does cooking the onions before adding them to the meatloaf mixture soften the onions but it brings out the sweetness and adds much better flavor. So cook the onions from now on, you won’t go back.

The last tip for making the best meatloaf is to test your meatloaf for seasoning before it goes into the oven!

I mean, how disappointing would it be to get this big meatloaf in the oven, cook it for almost and hour then bite in to a bland, under-seasoned meatloaf.

The best way to do this is to take a piece of the meatloaf and fry it up in a pan before baking your meatloaf. Check it for seasonings, adjust if needed, then proceed.

Sliced meatloaf on a black serving platter

Ingredients To Make This Classic Meatloaf Recipe:

Meatloaf can be a base recipe for a lot of add ins, or you can make a chicken or turkey meatloaf too! This classic meatloaf recipe starts with a few basics…

  • Meatloaf Mix: Meatloaf mix is a combination of pork, beef and veal that you can find in most grocery stores in the butcher department. The flavor you get from the different types of meat mixed together is what gives this meatloaf it’s amazing flavor! Can’t find meatloaf mix? Use a combination of beef and pork, or all ground beef will work too.
  • Onions: Lots of onions, people. Don’t skimp on this ingredient, onions give meat and amazing flavor but the also help to keep the meatloaf juicy. Just make sure to cook them down so that there’s no crunchy, raw onions in your meatloaf.
  • Eggs: Eggs are going to help to bind the meatloaf together.
  • Panko Bread Crumbs: I like the texture that Panko bread crumbs give to this recipe, and they help to lighten up the meatloaf so it’s not too dense.
  • Ketchup: There’s a classic ketchup glaze that goes on top of this meatloaf while it’s cooking and those edges where the glaze are is literally the best part. The glaze also helps to keep the meatloaf moist and not dry out.
  • Seasonings & Condiments: You’ll need a few additional seasoning and condiments to make this meatloaf, most of which you probably have on hand!

How To Make Meatloaf With Ketchup Glaze:

  1. Start by cooking down the onions, as we’ve mentioned before this is a crucial step for flavor! Stir in tomato paste and let the onions cool.
  2. Now get a large bowl and add the meatloaf mix, seasonings, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, bread crumbs, mustard and then the cooled onions. Mix gently to just combine the ingredients.
  3. Form the mixture into a “loaf” shape on a baking sheet.
  4. Mix the ingredients together for the glaze and pour half over the top of the meatloaf, saving half for later.
  5. Bake the meatloaf for 35 minutes, then remove from the oven and pour on the rest of the glaze. Bake for another 20-25 minutes until the meatloaf in cooked through in the center. If the glaze is getting too dark you can loosely cover the meatloaf with foil.
Classic Meatloaf Recipe is made with beef, pork and veal and topped with a brown sugar and ketchup glaze

Can You Freeze Meatloaf?

Meatloaf is a one of the best dinner recipe that I can think of for making ahead of time. There’s a few different ways to make meatloaf ahead and have an easy dinner waiting for you!

  • You can make the meatloaf ahead, put in in your refrigerator and bake it off before dinner
  • Make the meatloaf and cook, then reheat in the microwave right before dinner
  • Make the meatloaf, bake, let cool then slice and freeze for easy reheating
  • Make the meatloaf, wrap and freeze before baking, then take out a day before you need it. Let the meatloaf thaw in the refrigerator then bake per the directions.
Classic Meatloaf Recipe is a beef, pork and veal meatloaf with a tomato glaze

What Can I Serve With Meatloaf?

There’s so many side dishes that go perfectly with meatloaf, but we’ll list a few of our favorites for you!

Looking For More Meatloaf Recipes?

Classic Meatloaf Recipe is a meatloaf with a tomato glaze

Classic Meatloaf Recipe

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

This Classic Meatloaf Recipe is sure to become a favorite family recipe. This tender meatloaf with a simple, sweet glaze on top brings me back to my childhood!



  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 1/2 pounds meatloaf mix or ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • For the Glaze:
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Add the butter and oil to a skillet. Once the butter is melted, add the onions and cook 7-8 minutes until softened.
  3. Add the tomato paste to the onions and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
  4. Add the meatloaf mix to a large bowl along with the salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, breadcrumbs, eggs, parsley, garlic powder, basil and the cooled, cooked onions.
  5. Mix together until all the ingredients are incorporated but do not over mix, as this will make for a tough meatloaf.
  6. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, or spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. If using foil, make sure you spray that with cooking spray as well before you add the meatloaf.
  7. Add the meatloaf mixture to the baking sheet, forming into a loaf shape approximately 10″ long by 5″ wide.
  8. Stir the ingredients together for the glaze in a small bowl. Pour half of the glaze over the meatloaf and save half for later.
  9. Place the meatloaf in the oven for 35 minutes, remove from the oven to pour on more glaze, then return to the oven and bake another 20-25 minutes.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

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50 Responses
  1. Susan

    Your recipe doesn’t say when to put in the onions and tomato paste mixture. Of course, I assume it goes in when mixing the meat with the other ingredients, but I have been wrong before!

      1. Cindy

        I made this meatloaf and I do believe it’s the best I’ve ever had!!! Everyone who ate it.. said it was…the bomb!!!!!! thank you.. 😁😁😁

        1. Jerit Barton

          Delicious recipe meat savory I followed recipe exactly. The only additional thing I did was make a sunny side up egg and bisquits with pepper jack blocked cheese and turned it into a sandwich highly recommend.

  2. Camille

    I made this meatloaf for tonights dinner my ex-spouse loved it. The meatloaf mix was ideal. In addition, the different herbs and condiments gave such bursting flavor.
    Thanks for this recipe!

  3. Patricia

    Delicious! Made with 2lbs or ground beef instead of 2 1/2 and cooked it at 375 for 50 min and it was perfect!

  4. Jim hunter

    Help. I prepping meatloaf this moment. Recipe calls for sweet chili sauce but didn’t notice. Sweet chili sauce is an Asian condimentsweet/ spicy. Good stuff but is that the ingredient or a Heinz chili sauce? Will make a big difference and I have both. I’ll put it together Cept for chili sauce and wait to hear or until I cook tomorrow thanks.

      1. Barb Griffin

        My husband says it’s the best meatloaf he has ever eaten! ( He is 76 years old and has downed a few meat loaves over the years!)

  5. Amy

    I am 50 and have never mastered meatloaf although I cook a ton. Tonight I nailed it with this recipe and got rave reviews from my teenagers and husband. Fantastic and a keeper!

    1. Dan

      I would just half the recipe, you don’t need to adjust the cooking temperature just less cooking time. I would test it after about 30 minutes!

  6. rachael

    my husband can’t stop raving about this meatloaf. He has eaten it three days in a row. the only change i made was i didn’t have panko so i just toasted some white bread until dry and made my own breadcrumbs. i did use half ground beef and half ground pork. This recipe makes a delicious , flavorful meatloaf!!!

  7. Jacque

    This recipe was fantastic! Couldn’t agree more that cooking the onions before adding is a must! And panko is the best. The finished meatloaf was light and fluffy and delicious. I made 3 pounds and froze 2 lbs in separate loaves for later. This will be my new go-to meatloaf recipe! Thank you!

  8. Roy

    Wow! When I tasted the finished product, the first thing to cross my mind was the well-worn phrase, this is “not your mama’s meatloaf!” I had some pork tenderloin thawed, so I ground it and used half ground pork and half ground beef. With that and all of the flavors mixed with it, topped with that incredible sauce – amazing! Will do it again, for sure! Meatloaf was a once or twice a year thing for me, but that’s changing. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Denise

    Just made the recipe using a meatloaf mix of beef, veal and pork. I ‘drained’ the grease/moisture a few times during the cooking – resting period. Any suggestions? It seemed to leave a film on top of the ketchup based sauce topping and did not crisp up. Thanks. will be tasting it in a few minutes!

    1. Dan

      The ketchup glaze isn’t supposed to crisp up, it should be soft like a glaze. Did you cook the meatloaf on a sheet pan or in a loaf pan?

  10. Steve

    Great recipe! The sweet chile glaze is outstanding. My gf says this is even better than her mother’s meatloaf, and my gf’s daughter asked for the recipe. This recipe is in our regular meal rotation now. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Delicious!

  11. Linda

    Best meatloaf ever. Used 1 lb beef, 1 lb veal. I have always used a loaf pan, this was SO MUCH better. And, didn’t have sweet chili sauce of any kind so used 1 T Siracha. INCREDIBLE.

  12. rachael

    This is a delicious easy recipe! i used 1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin and 1 # of ground pork. This is the only meatloaf recipe my husband wants . It is just so tasty.

  13. Rebecca

    I just had to come on here and thank you from the bottom of my heart for this recipe!! I have a very lanky 11 year old son who has given me fits over eating any kind of meat his whole life. Until I found this recipe! He loves this meatloaf so much he asks for it regularly and eats several portions every time I make it. Of course, the rest of the family feel the same way so we never ever have leftovers hahaha. I made it for dinner tonight, on my sons request and he even went so far as asking me to show him how to make it so he can make it himself! I told him I would then teased that maybe I’d keep it a secret so he’d have to come visit me more when he grows up 😆
    Thanks for sharing this truly excellent recipe!!

    1. Dan

      We’re so happy to hear that! I always have said that there’s a meal out there for everyone, picky or not! Go ahead and teach him how to make it, he’ll still come back for your because it will always taste better:)

  14. Mike

    If you can’t find the meatloaf mix, what are the proportions of the beef, pork, and veal that I need to use for the meatloaf?

    1. Dan

      Most grocery stores do have it, but if you can’t find it you can 1 pound ground beef, 3/4 veal and 3/4 pork.

  15. Mike

    This was soooo good!!! Better than my grandma’s version. LOL I’m having a crowd over later this month and so I want to double the recipe. How much longer would I need to have this in the oven? I’m also assuming it would be at the same temp.

    1. Dan

      We’re so glad you liked it! When we double meatloaf recipes, we have found that the best way to do it is to make 2 separate meatloaves instead of one super large one. So you can double all the ingredients and then split it in half to make the 2 loaves. Then bake at the same temperature.

  16. Angela

    Can you use ground Turkey as a substitute? I made it with meatloaf mix, but would like to try Turkey next. Has anyone tried this. Original was a big hit!

    1. Dan

      Turkey will work! It might be on the dryer side but if you use a 93% lean ground turkey that would be better than a leaner ground turkey breast.

  17. Ann

    This was excellent, I was going to make a pan gravy thinking it’s going to be dry, it was so moist, I used 2 large forks to mix all ingredients, careful not to over mix , didn’t have the basil so I left it out & I used hienz chili sause ….what sweet chili sause do you use ? this is a keeper

  18. Elaine

    Delicious. I cut salt back to 1 teaspoon but will try 1.5 teaspoons next time. This was moist and delicious. It is going to be my go to meatloaf recipe. Thanks!

  19. Heather

    Definitely the best meatloaf I’ve ever made! Thank you for the wonderful recipe! My significant other raved about it and said it was perfect. I scaled it back as I had only thawed out a lb of meat. The only substitution I made was Himalayan pink salt instead of Kosher. I had a lot of glaze. Better too much than too little! The glaze was outstanding! The only thing I didn’t care for was the gravy I made for pur mashed potatoes. I think the pork drippings lent a taste to the gravy that just didn’t taste good yo me. This recipe is for sure a keeper! I will definitely be trying more of your recipes!!

  20. Beth

    I copied your recipe out and then must have made a few adjustments, since when I checked back, I find my copy of your recipe saying to add 1/3 c dry red wine to the half of the glaze left after pouring the first half over. Was this a comment somewhere?
    I also have variations of dried vs fresh herbs; I suspect that was a factor of what was available in the house the day I made this last.

  21. teachermrw

    This meatloaf is delicious! It is my stand-by recipe. I have prepared it at least two times before. It reminds me of the old-fashioned meatloaf my Dear Mom used to make. Her version was a bit different, but, she always added cooked onions, as well as celery or green bell pepper. Thank you for sharing.

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