When we think of home-cooked meals that bring that comfort food flavor, meatloaf stands out as a quintessentially American family favorite. Our Momma’s Meatloaf isn’t just any meatloaf; it’s a classic that boasts the best flavor ever! While everyone may have their version of this American classic, this particular recipe takes all the best elements and combines them into a dish that’s simply unforgettable.

Why Our Recipe

  • Free-form loaf baked in a 9×13 or on a sheet pan so that the loaf isn’t sitting in its own grease.
  • Lots of flavor goes straight into the meat so that every bite is delicious.
  • The most delicious glaze goes without saying.

Slice of meatloaf on mashed potatoes all on a white plate.

Substitutes and Variations

  • The Meat: While ground beef is commonly used, consider a blend of ground meats such as pork, veal, or lamb for varied flavor and texture.
  • Binders and Fillers: Ingredients like bread crumbs are added to both stretch the amount of servings and to hold the meatloaf together. Consider using oats or crushed crackers instead. Gluten-free bread crumbs and crackers are acceptable substitutes.
  • The Liquid: Milk soaks the breadcrumbs, adding essential moisture. If you prefer not to use milk, opt for low-sodium beef stock, chicken stock, water, or a non-dairy milk substitute.
  • Flavorings: Fresh herbs, grated Parmesan cheese, and minced garlic add layers of flavor. Worcestershire sauce, mustard, or even a splash of soy sauce can add depth.

Doubling This Recipe

Begin by simply doubling all the ingredients listed in the original recipe. When combining the ingredients, ensure that they are mixed thoroughly but avoid overmixing to maintain a tender texture.

When shaping the loaf, the diameter or thickness of the meatloaf will determine the baking time. After the initial 45 minutes at 350°F, check the meatloaf’s progress using a meat thermometer. Aim for an internal temperature of 160°F. If it hasn’t reached this temperature, continue baking and check every 10 minutes. You may need an additional 30 to 45 minutes before applying the glaze and baking an additional 15 minutes at 400°F to allow the glaze to caramelize.

Meatloaf sliced and on a white plate.

Mini Meatloaf Freezer Meal

Smaller portions will freeze and defrost more easily. You can make mini meatloaves in a muffin tin!

  1. Portioning: Scoop the meat mixture into the cavities of a muffin tin, pressing down slightly to mold.
  2. Freezing: Put the entire muffin tin in the freezer. After the mini meatloaves are fully frozen, pop them out and place them in a resealable freezer bag. Keep stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Baking Mini Meatloaves from Frozen:
When you’re ready for a fresh meatloaf dinner, preheat your oven to 350°F. For small loaf pans, place the frozen meatloaves on a baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes. For muffin tin sizes, start checking around the 25-30 minute mark.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Reheat single servings in the microwave on high in 30-second increments until warmed through. Check in between each interval to make sure you don’t overheat.

More Meatloaf Recipes

Video Demonstration

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve got you covered with a full video tutorial where we’ll demonstrate the entire recipe from start to finish.

Save This Recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!