How to make easy homestyle meatloaf any day of the week. Here, a loaf that's moist, tasty, and beefy topped with a sweet tangy glaze, made healthier with whole wheat bread crumbs. With meatloaf, a classic American comfort food, you can find varying recipes with just about every family.
This simple recipe is our take on classic meatloaf and makes ample glaze to keep loaf moist and flavorful. We make the glaze first and add a portion of it right into the loaf mix, bringing together a cohesive flavor between loaf and glaze. When we make the meatloaf, we brown the onion, garlic and celery beforehand to caramalize the onion, bring out its sweetness and add deeper more complex flavors. For the ground beef, 80/20 or 85/15 lean is all you really need for a moist loaf. Anything fattier will yield a lot of grease.
We like our meatloaf more beefy and less bready, so we're doing 2 pounds of ground beef to 1 cup of bread crumbs. For a healthier meatloaf,
we use whole wheat bread crumbs (an excellent source of dietary fiber), which is surprisingly hard to find at some grocery stores. In our search, we found a great product from Whole Foods in their signature 365™ Everyday Value brand. It contains 3 grams of dietary fiber per 1/4 cup serving size, a commendable amount. But if you're unable to find it, you can certainly use enriched regular plain bread crumbs instead.
Whole Foods 365™ Everyday Value whole wheat bread crumbs. Ingredients: Enriched whole wheat flour (whole wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), sugar, dried yeast. (Net Wt. 15 oz)
This meatloaf recipe yields a soft moist loaf, so easy to cut through, you won't even need a knife. A sturdy spatula is all you really need to do the job, and you can do it right in the pan. No worrying about a metal knife scratching a nonstick surface. And no need to take it out to slice on a cutting board and have one more thing to wash.
To make a fantastic meatloaf, you don't need high end loaf pans. A good heavy gauge nonstick metal loaf pan works great. Heavy gauge won't warp with repeated use. Another widely available option is a Pyrex glass loaf pan with lid, but obviously, don't bake with the lid on! The glass pan conducts heat well for baking, looks good enough for serving, and then very conveniently acts as a storage container with lid for leftover meatloaf. It goes from the oven to the dining table to the refrigerator. That's one versatile pan.
To get the meatloaf easily out of the pan onto a serving platter, you have two options. Before baking, you can line your loaf pan with heavy duty aluminum foil cut to fit the length of the long side and leave foil edges free on either side of pan. Then lift meatloaf out of pan using those foil edges after it bakes. Or bake normally with no liner and simply make an initial 3 slices and lift those out first, sandwiching each slice between two spatulas for support. Then use a spatula to support the bottom of the remainder of the loaf and a second spatula to support the back and lift onto platter. Surround meatloaf with steamed vegetables like we did and you've got a colorful and enticing presentation for the dinner table.
With leftovers, if any, you can make meatloaf sandwich the next day. It might be even better the second time around. Here's how to make a meatloaf sandwich. We like to grill or sear the two open faces of a slice of meatloaf, which coincidentally also reheats it. Melt cheese right on top of the meatloaf if you like. Meanwhile, toast the bread with butter in a skillet or on a hot griddle. Spread a little mayo, maybe a little mustard. Add some lettuce, sliced tomatoes and red onion. Make it a classic meatloaf sandwich or try something interesting.
Want to switch it up? Try our meatloaf recipe with
coarsely grated zucchini, olives, artichoke hearts, or diced bell peppers. Add grated carrots, chopped parsley, maybe cheese. Like things spicy? Try it with diced pickled jalapenos and add Tobasco sauce to the glaze. You might also consider substituting bread crumbs with panko or stuffing mix to make use of whatever is already in your pantry. Meatloaf is so versatile, there are infinite ways to create different flavors. Go ahead and experiment.
You and your family will love this meatloaf. It's moist, delicious, has big beefy flavor, great texture, and it's served up with a perfect glaze. So satisfying and filling, it'll take on hunger pangs or fierce cravings. It's easy to see why this is our most popular recipe.