Simple Meatloaf Recipes

Meatloaf has lots of varieties.

It doesn't have to be complicated--simple meatloaf recipes make great dinners. Learn how to make a meatloaf no one can resist!

What Is Meatloaf?

Pressed together into a long rectangular shape, meatloaf consists of ground beef or pork and a variety of spices. Some recipes call for ground sirloin or ground turkey. Breadcrumbs and an egg hold the ground meat together. When mixed by hand, these blended ingredients form a succulent meat that can be sliced to serve with mashed potatoes and gravy. Some cooks say that anything can go into a meatloaf. Perhaps that is why the joke about grandma's mystery meatloaf continues to thrive.

Simple Meatloaf Recipes That Are Delicious

The preparation time for the simple meatloaf recipes below takes 10-15 minutes. Baking the loaf is where time is needed since most meatloaf dishes take about an hour to cook.

Ingredients for Meatloaf With Sweet Sauce

  • 1 slice of plain bread torn into tiny pieces to form bread crumbs (premade plain bread crumbs may also be used)
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup of chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 cup of carrots, grated
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef or 1 1/2 pounds of ground turkey

Recipe for the Sauce

1/2 cup of light or dark brown sugar 1/4 cup of vinegar 2 teaspoons of mustard 2 teaspoons of tomato sauce or ketchup 1/2 teaspoon of paprika 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, fresh or bottled


  1. Mix the breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, celery, green pepper, and carrots together.
  2. Add the egg, salt, pepper, and ground beef.
  3. Blend well with fingers.
  4. Place in a 9x9-inch loaf pan.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Mix the ingredients for the sauce in a small saucepan.
  7. Heat for 5 minutes on low heat.
  8. Spoon onto the top of the meatloaf during the last thirty minutes of baking.
  9. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing to serve.
  10. Serve with mashed potatoes and a side of cole slaw.
Mashed potatoes are a common side for meatloaf.

Variations on Meatloaf With Sweet Sauce

For an Italian-style meatloaf, substitute the plain bread crumbs in the recipe above for Italian-seasoned. Add 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and omit the sweet sauce on the top. Instead, mix 1 cup of tomato sauce with salt, pepper, 1/4 cup of Italian dressing, and fresh or dried parsley. Pour this sauce over the meatloaf before the last thirty minutes of baking. This is a zesty variation.

Ingredients for Meatloaf With Cheese

  • 2 pounds of ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese (use your favorite kind)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of plain bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard
  • 3 tablespoons of ketchup


  1. Mix the beef or turkey, onion, red and green peppers, celery, bread crumbs, mustard, and ketchup together well.
  2. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9x9-inch baking pan.
  3. Add the cheese by pressing it onto the top of the mixture.
  4. Add the remaining meat.
  5. Seal the edges with your fingertips.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes.
  7. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Other Variations on Meatloaf

Besides the breadcrumbs, egg, and ketchup, there are other common ingredients used for baking a meatloaf such as a package of onion soup mix, a packet of beef soup, or a beef bouillon cube dissolved in a tablespoon of hot water. A dash or two of Worcestershire sauce can be added to any meatloaf recipe as well.

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Simple Meatloaf Recipes