Bomb Meatloaf Recipe

Last time I made this Bomb Meatloaf Recipe my husband said it was better than his mom’s. It’s the perfect blend of ground beef and savory seasonings. Packed with flavor and always moist and tender, it is one the whole family will love!

slices of bomb meatloaf recipe

Bomb Meatloaf Recipe

This simple recipe brings me back to my childhood. When mom said she was making meatloaf and mashed potatoes I knew I was going to go to bed with a super full belly because I would always have seconds.

Her tender meatloaf, topped with a sweet and tangy glaze, also makes the best leftovers! The next day I will have a slice with any leftover mashed potatoes or pop it in between two slices of toast for a meatloaf sandwich.

This dish is oven overlooked as not a fun dinner but I make it all the time because it’s budget friendly, easy to make, feeds a large family, is kid friendly, and great as leftovers.

Perfect for sandwiches the next day!

ingredients for best meatloaf recipe

Ingredients Needed

Ground beef – I like to use lean ground beef but feel free to use a chuck or a mixture of pork and beef.

Onion – I always prefer a sweet onion like Vidalia but a white onion is a great substitute

Breadcrumbs – Regular plain bread crumbs are great or substitute panko.

Mustard – I prefer a Dijon mustard but plain yellow works well too.

Worcestershire Sauce – Essential and you won’t need to try and say it out loud.

Seasoning – I make a homemade meatloaf seasoning (recipe below) or substitute a steak seasoning.

Ketchup – I prefer regular ketchup not the sugar or salt free.

Brown Sugar – Light brown sugar works best.

Pantry staples – Milk, large eggs.

Looking for more leftover worthy dishes? Follow LTB on Pinterest and pin to a board!

How to Make this Bomb Meatloaf Recipe

First: Preheat the oven to 400F. Prepare a loaf pan or 8×11 baking dish with cooking spray.

Second: In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, onion, panko, milk, eggs, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and meatloaf seasoning.

Mix to just combine. Don’t over mix or it will be tough. Press into a loaf pan or 8×11 baking dish.

Third: In a small pot, combine the glaze ingredients and cook over medium heat to combine ingredients and dissolve the sugar.

Brush the uncooked meatloaf with half the glaze. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.

Fourth: Remove from the oven and brush with remaining glaze. Return to the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160F.

Remove from the oven and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Slice and serve warm.

For the full recipe and detailed baking instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.

really good meatloaf recipe in a pan

How long does it last?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. It will be good for up to 4 days. Just be sure to cool it completely beforehand.

If you just need to wrap the top of the dish, use plastic wrap. I don’t like to put aluminum foil directly around the meatloaf because the acidity from the tomato in the glaze can cause holes in the foil.

How to Reheat Meatloaf

Reheat your meatloaf in the oven at 350F until warmed through. Cooking times will vary depending on the size of the piece you’re reheating.

You can also microwave in 1 minute intervals until warmed through.

My favorite way is to cook it in a hot skillet on the stovetop with a little bit of oil or butter. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until heated through.

side of easy meatloaf recipe

Can I make it ahead of time?

You can prep and shape your meatloaf up to 2 days in advance. Wrap tightly and keep in the fridge. Be sure to leave off the glaze until ready to bake.

When ready to bake, remove from the fridge and set out for 30 minutes to take some of the chill off and have it cook evenly.

Can I freeze it?

Yes! I prefer to freeze it after it’s cooked. Cool it completely and wrap in plastic wrap. Then place in a freezer safe airtight container.

Label and date and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.

Be sure to check the internal temp when finished reheating.

classic ketchup glaze on sliced meat

Meatloaf Seasoning Recipe

I make a homemade meatloaf seasoning that helps to bring all the sweet and savory flavors together.

The mix includes Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dried ground mustard, salt, and black pepper. See the exact amounts in the recipe card below or grab the recipe here.

Ground Beef Recipes

Meatloaf is one of my favorite ground beef recipes. I buy mine in bulk usually so it’s cheaper and you can make so many things from it.

This crockpot taco meat recipe is perfect for a large family dinner when everyone wants tacos, or use it to make your favorite soups. Mine are this 7 Can taco soup and this Santa Fe soup.

slices of meatloaf on a wood board

What is the secret to a moist meatloaf?

The secret to a moist meatloaf isn’t just one thing. Here are a few tips for making a moist and tender meatloaf.

  1. Use the correct meat to fat ratio. I prefer to use lean ground beef (93/7) so I add in milk to add moisture. If you prefer to use a ground beef with a higher fat ratio (80/20) you won’t have to use milk, broth, or even some tomato sauce.
  2. Don’t over mix the meat. Overworking the meatloaf mixture when combining the ingredients can cause the meat to get tough and dry out. I like to add all the ingredients at once and mix until just combined. I don’t add in a few items, mix, and repeat because I end up mixing too much.
  3. Use bread crumbs. These help to bind the mixture but really to keep it moist. Use regular, panko, or even white bread slices. For even more moisture, soak 1-2 white bread slices in the milk, then tear and add in the mixture.
  4. Add some vegetables. Grate in some zucchini, bell peppers, or even carrots.
  5. Don’t overcook the meatloaf. Overcooking will cause it to dry out. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C) and then let it rest for a few minutes before slicing it. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meatloaf, making it juicier and more flavorful.
stack of meatloaf slices

Serving Suggestions

You can serve it all by itself but these are my favorite sides to serve with it.

How do I know when this bomb meatloaf is done?

I always wonder when mine is done and if I took it out too soon. Which is why I use a thermometer. The meatloaf is done when the center is at 160F.

I like to take mine out of the oven a few degrees lower because it will continue to cook while it rests. Just be sure to check the final temperature before eating.

In addition, there are few things you can see to check it’s done. It should be firm when you press on it. And when you cut with a knife the juices will be clear and not pink.

side view of pan with loaf

Does meatloaf have to be made in a loaf pan?

Of course not! I love mine in a loaf pan because that is why I love meat loaf. Plus it makes the perfect size slice for sandwiches the next day. But you can make meatloaf in any shape or size you like.

Here are a few ways to bake it:

In a casserole dish. Just be sure it’s deep enough to catch the fat as it cooks out of it.

In a loaf pan. You can do mini loaves or one large one.

Make meatloaf muffins. These are fun for kids and make portioning easy.

Mini muffin pans are great for making meatloaf bombs that are similar to meatballs.

On a baking sheet. Free form your loaf or loaves on a baking sheet and cook. Be sure to have a rim or lip on the pan so the fat doesn’t fall into the bottom of the oven.

Cooking temperatures and times can vary drastically depending on shape and baking dish.

fork of pieces of meatloaf

Variations on Classic Meatloaf

Stuff with cheese: Form your meatloaf in layers and add slices of cheese in between them.

Make it smoky BBQ: Mix in a little barbecue sauce in the meatloaf mixture and switch it out with the ketchup in the glaze.

Go for an Italian spin: Add some garlic and parmesan cheese in the meat mix and top with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.

Switch up the ground beef for ground turkey. Turkey is very lean so you might need to add a little extra breadcrumbs and milk to keep it moist.

Make it taco style: Add in some southwest or taco seasoning and top with salsa! This is my favorite variation for sure and it’s great for Taco Tuesday.

fork or piece of meatloaf

What is the best meat to use for meatloaf?

The best ground beef for meatloaf is a ground chuck (80/20 or 85/15% fat) or ground sirloin (90/10 or 93/7% fat). These have a decent amount of fat throughout to keep the meatloaf moist as it cooks.

My mom used to use a combination of beef and ground pork (2:1 ratio) when she made it. When I do this I use a hot pork sausage.

When buying ground beef, check to make sure it is bright pink/red and had a fat distributed throughout it and not in big chunks.

overhead pic of sliced meatloaf

Tips for No Leftovers

  • Use a lean meat and some moisture adding ingredients like breadcrumbs.
  • They make special meatloaf pans with a double layer with an inside pan that rains the fat away. Here is my favorite.
  • If not, try placing a few slices of toasted bread under the meat while it cooks to soak up the grease.
  • Poke some holes in the top of the meatloaf before adding the glaze. Then the glaze will drip down into the meat as it cooks.
  • Rest the meatloaf before slicing so the juices can redistribute and thicken. This will keep it moist and hold it’s shape better. Tent with foil as it rests.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

meatloaf collage

Looking for a delicious and easy recipe for dinner? Look no further than this classic meatloaf recipe! It’s one of my favorite recipes with its juicy and flavorful blend of ground beef, spices, and topped with a savory glaze.

slices of meatloaf

Bomb Meatloaf Recipe

This easy to make meatloaf recipe is full of flavor and bakes up moist and tender every time!
Give me a rating:)
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 419kcal
Author: Jennifer Stewart

Ingredients

Meatloaf

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 recipe for Meatloaf seasoning

Meatloaf Seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried mustard

Meatloaf Glaze

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, onion, panko, milk, eggs, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and meatloaf seasoning.
  • Mix to just combine. Don’t over mix or it will be tough.
  • Press into a loaf pan or 8×11 baking dish.
  • In a small pot, combine the glaze ingredients and cook over medium heat to combine ingredients and dissolve the sugar.
  • Brush the uncooked meatloaf with half the glaze.
  • Bake at 400F for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and brush with remaining glaze.
  • Return to the oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160F.
  • Remove from the oven and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Slice and serve warm.

Notes

  • Use a lean meat and some moisture adding ingredients like breadcrumbs.
  • They make special meatloaf pans with a double layer with an inside pan that rains the fat away. Here is my favorite.
  • If not, try placing a few slices of toasted bread under the meat while it cooks to soak up the grease.
  • Poke some holes in the top of the meatloaf before adding the glaze. Then the glaze will drip down into the meat as it cooks.
  • Rest the meatloaf before slicing so the juices can redistribute and thicken. This will keep it moist and hold it's shape better. Tent with foil as it rests.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 419kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 141mg | Sodium: 863mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g

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