Secret 4-Ingredient Meatloaf

This is a very easy and foolproof recipe for meatloaf. The meatloaf is tender, juicy and has a sweet and tangy glaze that elevates the meatloaf to new (super flavorful) levels. Serve this delicious meatloaf on a pile of mashed potatoes, green salad or a side of steamed green beans or asparagus.

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What makes a really good meatloaf

Using good quality minced beef, tightly pressing the meatloaf in the loaf pan and nailing the meatloaf sauce will result in an incredible meatloaf recipe that is juicy, full of flavor and doesn’t fall apart.

FAQ:

Can you freeze the meatloaf?

Yes you can make your meatloaf in advance and freeze it for later. Simply make your meatloaf as instructed, cover tightly with plastic wrap and aluminium foil and freeze. Let the meatloaf thaw overnight in the fridge and cook according to instructions. 

Can you make the meatloaf on a baking sheet? Do you have to use a loaf pan?

Yes we highly recommend using a loaf pan for the juiciest meatloaf possible. There are many benefits of using a loaf pan; it cooks evenly in its own juices (therefore stays juicier) and also holds its shape better. 

If you choose to make the meatloaf on a baking sheet, the sides will cook way before the middle does and the meatloaf won’t hold its shape. You can however use foil and shape a pan with edges to keep the juice from the meatloaf from dripping while it’s baking. Just shape the meatloaf and place it into the foil. Baking time may vary slightly, depending on the thickness and shape of the meatloaf. Check on it regularly. 

Why does the meatloaf fall apart?

To prevent your meatloaf from falling apart, you need to mix the meat mixture together well enough and make sure you press the meatloaf together firmly. Using a loaf pan helps a lot here. 

What is the best meat for meatloaf?

The best meat for meatloaf is a good quality beef meat with at least 15% fat. Even 10% fat will work because the rest of the ingredients will keep the meatloaf juicy. Avoid using extra lean meats for best results. 

How long does it take to cook the meatloaf?

Cook the meatloaf uncovered. It takes approximately one hour and fifteen minutes to cook the meatloaf at 350ºF (180ºC). Half way through add the sauce and cook until the internal temperature is 160ºF.

How to store leftover meatloaf?

Refrigerate the meatloaf in a shallow airtight container or wrap it tightly with aluminium foil or plastic wrap. The cooked meatloaf will last in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. You can also freeze the cooked meatloaf covered in an airtight container or freezer bag for about 3 to 4 months. It’s better to freeze the meatloaf together with the sauce, otherwise might become mushy when thawed. 

What to do with leftover meatloaf?

If there is any leftover meatloaf you can either freeze it for later or you can use it to make other tasty recipes. Some ideas for your leftover meatloaf are:

  • Make sandwiches with the leftover meatloaf
  • A quick and tasty beef chilli
  • Delicious beef tacos, just break up the meat and add it to your tacos
  • Spaghetti bolognese, just add the meat to the sauce

What to serve with meatloaf?

There’s nothing better than serving your meatloaf on a pile of delicious and creamy mashed potatoes. Try cauliflower mash for a lower carb version which is still a delicious side that will pair great with the meatloaf.

You can also serve your meatloaf with some steamed green beans, a fresh green salad or a big dollop of ketchup. The possibilities are endless. 

Should you cover the meatloaf when baking?

We don’t recommend covering the meatloaf when baking because you want the meatloaf to brown and the glaze to caramelize. If however you notice that the meatloaf browns too quickly, cover it with a piece of aluminium foil.

What do you need to make Secret 4-Ingredient Meatloaf

Ground beef (at least 15% fat)

Onion, preferably grated or chopped finely 

Panko breadcrumbs

Fresh parsley

Seasonings

Meatloaf sauce (recipe below)

Tips to make the best meatloaf

Don’t overmix the meatloaf, if you do so you’ll get a tough and dense meatloaf

a)

b)

c)

To easily remove the meatloaf from the loaf pan, line the loaf pan with parchment paper with the edges hanging over the pan

Grate the onion or chop it extra finely, which will allow the onion to cook through

Tightly press the meat into the pan so it holds its shape

Rest the meatloaf for a few minutes before slicing

Keep the juices from the meatloaf and pour them over the meatloaf slices right before serving for extra flavor and juicer meatloaf slices

How to make meatloaf glaze

I highly suggest coating your meatloaf with a glaze. Not only will the glaze add extra flavor to the meatloaf but it’s going to make it look delicious. Plus if there are any cracks into the meatloaf the glaze will fall right through them resulting in a juicy and flavorful meatloaf throughout.  

The meatloaf sauce has the perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors. The ketchup combined with brown sugar, garlic and spices creates a delicious sauce that, once baked, the glaze caramelizes taking the meatloaf to a whole new level.

All you have to do for the meatloaf glaze is to combine in a mixing bowl ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, ground black pepper and salt. Then spread the sauce over the meatloaf halfway through baking.

Secret 4-Ingredient Meatloaf

Secret 4-Ingredient Meatloaf

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • Ground beef (at least 15% fat)
  • Onion, preferably grated or chopped finely 
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Fresh parsley
  • Seasonings
  • Meatloaf sauce (recipe below)

Instructions

Tips to make the best meatloaf

Don’t overmix the meatloaf, if you do so you’ll get a tough and dense meatloaf

To easily remove the meatloaf from the loaf pan, line the loaf pan with parchment paper with the edges hanging over the pan

Grate the onion or chop it extra finely, which will allow the onion to cook through

Tightly press the meat into the pan so it holds its shape

Rest the meatloaf for a few minutes before slicing

Keep the juices from the meatloaf and pour them over the meatloaf slices right before serving for extra flavor and juicer meatloaf slices

How to make meatloaf glaze

I highly suggest coating your meatloaf with a glaze. Not only will the glaze add extra flavor to the meatloaf but it’s going to make it look delicious.

Plus if there are any cracks into the meatloaf the glaze will fall right through them resulting in a juicy and flavorful meatloaf throughout.  

The meatloaf sauce has the perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors.

The ketchup combined with brown sugar, garlic and spices creates a delicious sauce that, once baked, the glaze caramelizes taking the meatloaf to a whole new level.

All you have to do for the meatloaf glaze is to combine in a mixing bowl ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, ground black pepper and salt.

Then spread the sauce over the meatloaf halfway through baking.

Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 120Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 10gCholesterol: 240mgCarbohydrates: 240gSugar: 28gProtein: 12g