My Best Easy Meatloaf recipe is deliciously moist and contains 2 “secret” ingredients that really pack a flavor punch.
Using only 5 simple ingredients, my traditional American meatloaf is a budget friendly dinner, the whole family will enjoy and keep coming back for. It’s a really popular dish with my family and friends.
There is very little preparation required which makes this an ideal dinner mid week. Only 5 minutes to combine all the ingredients together then you leave the oven to do all the hard work. Quick and tasty dinners like this are a staple on my weekly dinner menus.
My “secret” ingredients!
There are 2 secret ingredients in my meatloaf recipe. Firstly, rather than using 2lbs ground beef, I use a combination of 1lb ground beef with 1lb Jimmy Dean Maple Flavored Breakfast Sausage. The sausages not only add in great flavor, but also adds in extra moisture, stopping the loaf from being too dry.
When I make this for friends they really enjoy it. They can never figure out the “secret” to my amazing tasting meatloaf. It’s really very simple as well as the Jimmy Dean maple sausages, my KEY ingredient is Hunt’s Seasoned Tomato Sauce for Meatloaf.
I took this picture on my camera phone inside a Walmart so you could see exactly what it looks like. It’s only $0.78 a can (you need just one per loaf), it not only adds in great flavor but it’s an affordable option too. One tin seasons a 2lb meatloaf perfectly.
How to make my Best Easy Meatloaf recipe:
- To begin, place all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
- Reserve some of the Hunts seasoned tomato sauce for pouring over later.
- Mix all the ingredients together until really well combined. You can stir with a wooden spoon, or your hands.
- I prefer to use my hands as I find I get a more thorough mix. However, I do wear food grade gloves, because it gets messy (and I have weird allergies, to some ingredients)!
- If you have a deep loaf pan, it should fit inside that for baking.
- Line the pan with kitchen foil and place the loaf into it.
- Place the pan into a preheated oven at 400F and cook for 1 hour.
- After an hour remove the the pan from the oven, drain off any excess grease, pour over the remaining Hunts seasoned tomato sauce and place the pan back into the oven for 10 minutes.
What’s the secret to keeping Oven Baked Meatloaf moist?
The trick to keeping meatloaf moist is to ensure that you add in plenty moisture. I always add eggs, which not only add moisture, but help bind the ingredients together. The sausages I add also add moisture to the mix as does the Hunts seasoned tomato sauce. All these ingredients stop the loaf from drying out.
Should I drain the grease from meatloaf?
You don’t want your meatloaf drying out, but neither do you want it swimming in grease. I like to cook my loaf for an hour then remove it from the oven and drain away any excess fat. I then pour over the remaining Hunts seasoning which adds moisture back into the meat as well as flavor.
- I like to use Italian seasoned breadcrumbs as they add in extra flavor. If you can’t get Italian seasons crumbs, regular will do just fine.
- If you don’t have a loaf tin, no problem. Line a baking sheet with kitchen foil and place the meatloaf into the centre. Then gently pull up the sides a little around the loaf to form foil sides.
- This is a really easy recipe to double or even triple up, depending on numbers. I have three teenagers who are varsity athletes in high school. Two pounds of meatloaf doesn’t stretch far enough to feed them, so I often triple up the recipe.
- If you are increasing the recipe, rather than use 3 loaf pans, I just make a giant meatloaf on a foil lined baking sheet.
Can Easy Meatloaf be made ahead of time?
This is a great make ahead dish. The meatloaf can be made up the day before, wrapped in cling film and stored in the fridge until you are ready to cook the next day.
Can I reheat leftover Meatloaf?
Once cooked, any leftover meatloaf can be cooled and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can enjoy it cold, but if you want to heat up, place on a tray in a preheated oven at 400F and warm through.
Can I freeze Meatloaf?
There are two stages where you can freeze meatloaf. Firstly, you can make and shape the meatloaf then place the raw mixture in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to cook, defrost thoroughly and cook as per the recipe card below.
You can also freeze cooked meatloaf in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before heating up in a warm oven.
You can serve this traditional American meatloaf with the sides of your choice. I like to keep things simple as there is so much flavor in the meatloaf, I usually serve with it Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Green Beans, and Sprite Biscuits. For dessert, try these delicious 4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies.
Leftover meatloaf can be stored in the fridge and makes a great sandwich filling cold with a spread of mustard.
Don’t miss these delicious Ground Beef Recipes from When Is Dinner:
- Sunday Spaghetti Sauce
- Beef and Bean Burritos
- Taco Pasta Bake
- Cheeseburger Pie
- Baked Penne Rigate
- Slow Cooker Homemade Chili
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 lb Jimmy Dean Maple Flavored Breakfast Sausage
- 1 can Hunt's Meatloaf Seasoning
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 cup Italian Seasoning Bread Crumbs
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray
- Mix ground beef and breakfast sausage in a large bowl. Add in half the can of tomato seasoning, the beaten eggs, and the bread crumbs. Mix well and thorough.
- Transfer mixture onto the baking sheet and form into a long, narrow loaf, shaping with your hands.
- Bake uncovered 1 hour, remove - drain if necessary - usually any grease just burns onto the foil, as you can see in my picture, pour remaining seasoning from can over top of loaf and return to oven to cook about another 10 minutes.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 540Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 215mgSodium: 947mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 44g
These are a few things I find helpful when preparing this Easy Meatloaf Recipe in my own kitchen:
Hunt’s, Dinner Starters, Seasoned Tomato Sauce For Meatloaf, 15oz Can (Pack of 6)OXO Good Grips Mixing Bowl Set with Black Handles, 3-PieceWilton Perfect Results Premium Non-Stick Bakeware Meatloaf Pan Set, Reduce the Fat and Kick Up the Flavor, Bake Your Favorite Meatloaf and Let the Fat Drain Away, 2-Piece Set, 9.25 x 5.25 x 2.75 inch