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Classic Juicy Meatloaf Recipe

The secret in this classic juicy meatloaf recipe is the tangy and savory sauce added to the meatloaf as it bakes. It easily comes together with basic pantry ingredients that you likely already have at home! The results are juicy, tender, and moist – the perfect weeknight dinner idea.

Sliced juicy meatloaf slathered in sauce on a pan.
Classic Juicy Meatloaf is easy, moist, and incredibly delicious

WHAT YOU’LL LOVE ABOUT THIS RECIPE 

  • It’s affordable and oh-so-easy to make.
  • You likely already have the simple pantry ingredients in your kitchen.
  • The extra sauce on top sets this classic meatloaf recipe apart.
  • It bakes up in a little less than an hour, for the perfect weeknight meal.
  • Meatloaf is the ultimate comfort food! 
two slices of juicy meatloaf on a plate
Made with basic ingredients for the best meatloaf

BASIC PANTRY INGREDIENTS FOR JUICY MEATLOAF RECIPE

One of the best parts about this classic meatloaf recipe is that you can prepare it with basic pantry ingredients that you likely already have on hand. It’s a great way to use up the ground beef in your freezer. These basic pantry ingredients are all you’ll need for the perfect weeknight dinner:

  1. The base of this classic meatloaf is, you guessed it, ground beef. You’ll need 2 pounds of 85-90% lean ground beef.
  2. The sautéed chopped onion and garlic paired with salt, pepper, and thyme will add a new dimension to the recipe. Toasting the thyme with the onion and garlic highlights its flavor.
  3. To hold it all together, create a binder using eggs and breadcrumbs.
  4. The added Worcestershire sauce and beef broth will give you a moist meatloaf recipe every time! 
  5. Brown sugar, coarse mustard, and ketchup come together to create the tangy special sauce. Add some as your meatloaf bakes, but make sure to save a little for serving.
sliced juicy meatloaf ready to serve
Baked to perfection and topped with a sweet and tangy sauce

Meatloaf COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How Do You Make a Juicy Meatloaf?

The key here is to not skip out on the added moisture. In this classic meatloaf recipe, you’ll notice that it requires both Worcestershire sauce and beef broth. That, along with the special sauce will give you the most moist meatloaf recipe ever!

Is it Better to Cook Meatloaf Covered or Uncovered?

You don’t have to for this recipe. The added moisture in the mixture itself as well as the addition of the sauce will give you the mouth-watering classic meatloaf you’re after. If you’re worried about yours drying out and prefer to cover it, make sure to remove the foil for the last 15-minutes of baking.

What Ingredients Keep Meatloaf From Falling Apart?

The secret to keeping meatloaf from falling apart is the binder. In this recipe, the binder is the breadcrumbs and the eggs. You may be tempted to skip the egg, but trust me, it’s important.

MORE TO COOK AND EAT

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sliced juicy meatloaf on a pan slathered in sauce

Juicy Tender Meatloaf Recipe

5 from 6 reviews

The secret in this classic juicy meatloaf recipe is in the tangy and savory sauce added to the meatloaf as it bakes as well as for serving. It also comes together with basic pantry ingredients that you likely already have at home! The results are juicy, tender, and moist – the perfect weeknight dinner idea.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 70
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Yield: 8 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 TB Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TB packed brown sugar
  • 2 TB stone ground (coarse) mustard
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 2 lbs ground beef

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F, with rack on middle position. Place large pan of water on lower rack underneath.
  2. In a large heavy saucepan, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add a pinch of kosher salt, pinch of pepper, and the thyme. Saute 30 seconds more, and transfer to large bowl.
  3. Add 1 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, beef broth, and bread crumbs. Whisk by hand to combine ingredients. Add ground beef and stir with wooden spoon until fully combined.
  4. Form beef mixture into a loaf (roughly 2x5x8) in a larger baking dish.
  5. In a bowl, combine brown sugar, coarse mustard, and ketchup. Pour half of this sauce over the meatloaf.
  6. Bake about 50 minutes. Brush on more sauce, reserving a little for serving, if desired. Bake 10 more minutes or until meatloaf is cooked through.
  7. Let meatloaf sit at room temp about 10 minutes before cutting into it. Serve, and drizzle with any leftover sauce.

Notes

If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ♡

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 283
  • Sugar: 8.2 g
  • Sodium: 684.5 mg
  • Fat: 8.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20.6 g
  • Fiber: 1.3 g
  • Protein: 28.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 114.3 mg
  • Author: Chew Out Loud
  • Category: main, dinner
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: juicy meatloaf recipe, classic meatloaf, moist meatloaf recipe

Source:  Chew Out Loud

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Recipe rating

30 comments

    • Jacqueline

    I would like to cut this recipe in half, so would it be half the time also ty and sounds delish!

    • Burt

    This has become our favorite meatloaf, and in fact we are making it tomorrow night for some guests.

    I make one change though. Instead of 2 pounds of ground beef, I use 1 pound of ground beef and 1 pound of ground pork. I first did that last year when I had some pork left over and wanted to use it, and discovered it made this recipe move from “delicious” to “fantastic” 🙂

      • Amy Dong

      Sounds fabulous, Burt!

    • Nancy

    I’ve made your meatloaf numerous times and my husband says that is the only meatloaf he wants! I think the ketchup mixture on top is”the icing on the cake”. It is a winner for sure! Thankyou immensely!

      • Amy Dong

      Awww, that is fantastic, Nancy! 🙂

    • Joanne

    Beef broth high in sodium any other suggestions

      • Amy Dong

      Joanne, try low sodium beef broth or even no-sodium and add your own pinches of salt.

    • Gigi

    What type pan did you use for the meatloaf and do you cover it while cooking? I assume you need a pan with some depth to capture the juices and sauce. I never have a problem with my meatloaf being juicy but it’s always tough?? Would cooking at a slow lower temperature be better?

    • Marisa

    My favorite meat loaf recipe because the meat is so moist and tender! I always add 1/4 cup of ketchup to the meat loaf mixture with the meat and it always comes out so perfect! Thank you for this wonderful recipe! It’s my go to!

      • chewoutloud

      SO happy it’s become your favorite! 🙂

    • Denise

    I had to improvise a bit due to lack of exact ingredients but i will say hands down the best my family ever had. No onions so cut and sauteed a whole large garlic clove cut into small pcs. Italian season in place of thyme. Beef marinade packet for broth. Oatmeal in place of bread crumbs. It was perfect and moist!

      • chewoutloud

      So happy your family loved this, Denise!

    • Jeanai

    Made it last night and it was delicious! I want more!

      • chewoutloud

      So happy to hear that, Jeanai!

      • Sandra

      I made your meatloaf recipe last night. And it was delicious. The only thing that I did different was putting my meatloaf on a rack and putting it over a cookie sheet and added the water to that and it was the best and moistest meatloaf we had in a long time.

    • Sam

    This recipe is amazing!! Followed it exactly and it turned out soooooo good!! Made it for a friend who was just out of the hospital and I’m so glad I saved a little for myself! ☺️ This is definitely my new go to Meatloaf recipe!!

      • chewoutloud

      Awesome, Sam! So happy to hear it 🙂

    • Kristin

    I have tried a LOT of meatloaf recipes, mostly because I can never find one that’s simple, classic and moist. I even had my own restaurant and mine didn’t taste this good. So easy and so delicious! This one’s a keeper!

      • chewoutloud

      Aww, thanks for the amazing comment, Kristin 🙂 So happy you loved this 🙂

    • At Home Dad

    I dont usually comment online, but I had to leave a note to say I made this for the first time today and everyone LOVED it! The best, most juicy amd tender meatloaf we have ever had, and so easy to make!

      • chewoutloud

      Brian, that’s awesome!!! So glad to hear it

    • ELLE

    G’Lawd woman! This meatloaf is everything to my family. I’ve made it three times in the past month and our mouths water for this bad mother… Let me shut my mouth lol

      • chewoutloud

      YAY, Elle! So happy to hear you guys love this as much as we do 🙂 Thanks so much for taking the time to come over and let us know!

    • Lyndsey

    As a newlywed still trying to get some dishes under my belt that are easy and good enough to keep for generations. I have never made anything than the simple spaghetti and such let alone meatloaf! I followed this recipe to the T and it turned out amazing I was so impressed and my husband had second, third and fourth servings. THIS WILL DEFINITELY BE A RECIPE I WILL USE FOREVER! Thanks Chew Out Loud! 🙂

      • chewoutloud

      YAY, Lyndsey! Thanks for taking the time to let us know you liked it! So happy to hear it 🙂

    • Tracy

    My girls an I tried this as our first attempt at meatloaf. Easy and amazing. Everyone loved it.

      • chewoutloud

      Awesome job, Tracy! Thanks for coming over and letting us know! 🙂

    • manuel

    Do I have to remove the pan of water at some moment of the process?

      • chewoutloud

      Just at the end, when it’s done 🙂

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