This is the best meatloaf recipe ever! It has hundreds of five-star recipe reviews. Easy and flavorful, it’s comfort food at its finest!

Finding just the right meatloaf recipe might seem like a feat for a super human individual.

One that will please everyone. The onion haters. The soggy bread haters. The meatloaf haters.

Slices of the best glazed meatloaf on white platter.

The Best Meatloaf Recipe

I did all the work to find the perfect meatloaf recipe so you don’t have to.

This is it. The recipe that’s united us all as a family of meatloaf lovers, and I’m sticking with it for all time.

Because to be quite honest, getting a meatloaf recipe that pleases everyone has been straight up exhausting.

A slice of the best glazed meatloaf on a plate with vegetables and a biscuit.

Meatlof is Easy to Make

This recipe is really easy!

  1. Crush saltine crackers, add milk, and let sit for a few minutes until soft.
  2. Add the seasonings and eggs and mix well.
  3. Add the meat and mix (yep, get your hands right on in there) until well-combined.
Glass bowl with saltine crackers, milk, meat for meatloaf.

What Type of Meat is Best for Meatloaf

I prefer using half ground beef and half ground pork for the best flavor and texture.

Using extra lean meat might result in meatloaf that is tough and dry.

Sheet pan lined with foil with glazed meatloaf.

The Glaze is Everything

Meatloaf would just be…well…a loaf of meat without the glaze. The glaze is tangy and saucy and so yummy!

Slather the meatloaf with glaze before baking. And then bake until the meatloaf is baked all the way through and the glaze is bubbly.

Slices of the best glazed meatloaf on white platter.

A Tried-and-True Recipe

I mean, listen, meatloaf is not a fancy food. It’s not out there winning any gourmet cuisine awards.

But if you want comfort food at its very best, this really is the best meatloaf recipe.

We’ve been making it for years, and it has very much stood the tried-and-true test of time. Others of you agree wholeheartedly!

Rebecca says: The best! My family is definitely opinionated and they LOVE this recipe. I use finely diced onion and sub 3/4 cup breadcrumbs for the crackers since I don’t keep those on hand. Easy to whip up in 5 min, throw in the fridge in a bowl until dinner time. Thanks Mel! 

Mary says: Wow absolutely delicious. 
Loaded with flavor and it was a hit with my husband. Thank You so much for sharing 

S Wiggins says: 23 years of marriage, and I have probably tried 100 meatloaf recipes in attempt to find the right one for my meat-loving husband.  This one wins hands-down, and I can stop searching for the exact one!!  Thank you!!!

A slice of the best glazed meatloaf on a plate with vegetables and a biscuit.

FAQ’s for Glazed Meatloaf

WHAT KIND OF MEAT IS BEST FOR MEATLOAF?

I’ve given notes below in the recipe, but my favorite blend is to use half ground beef and half ground pork for flavor and tenderness. You can experiment using 100% ground turkey or ground beef or creating your own signature ground meat mixture.

HOW DO I KNOW WHEN MEATLOAF IS DONE COOKING?

If you have an instant-read thermometer, it should register about 160 degrees F at the center of the meatloaf. If you don’t have a thermometer, a meatloaf shaped into a 9X4-inch loaf will bake in approximately 50-60 minutes at 375 degrees.

CAN I COOK MEATLOAF IN THE INSTANT POT?

Yes! Shape the meatloaf so it will fit in the Instant Pot (a thick round shape). Place the rack inside the Instant Pot and pour in 1 cup water. Make a foil sling for the meatloaf that is wide enough to hold the meatloaf and long enough to pull the foil edges up and out of the Instant Pot when it is finished cooking.

Place the meatloaf on the foil and place it on the rack inside the Instant Pot. Make sure the foil is completely tucked inside and not hanging out. Glaze the meatloaf. Secure the lid and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. Quick release the pressure and then carefully lift the meatloaf (using the ends of the foil sling) up and out of the pot. Let it rest for 10 minutes or so before slicing and serving.

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Slices of the best glazed meatloaf on white platter.

The Best Glazed Meatloaf

4.69 stars (216 ratings)

Ingredients

Meatloaf:

  • 1 cup crushed saltines, 25-30 crackers
  • cup milk
  • ¼ to ½ cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder, see note to use fresh onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt, I use coarse, kosher salt – use slightly less for table salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, I use coarse black pepper – use slightly less for finely ground
  • 2 pounds ground meat, I use half ground beef/half ground pork (see note)

Glaze:

  • cup ketchup or BBQ sauce, or a combination
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider or red wine vinegar

Instructions 

  • For the meatloaf, in a large mixing bowl, add the crushed saltines and milk and let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes. Add the parsley, eggs, onion powder, garlic, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  • Add the ground meat and mix until evenly and well combined. (You can use a food processor for all of the above if you want a an even more well combined spice and meat mixture.)
  • For the glaze, combine the ketchup (or BBQ sauce), brown sugar, and vinegar and whisk to combine.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly grease with cooking spray.
  • Pile the meat mixture in the middle of the prepared pan and shape into a loaf about 9 inches long and 4 inches wide (it doesn’t have to be perfect; just try to get it an even thickness throughout).
  • Spoon the glaze over the meatloaf. Bake for 45-50 minutes until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees F in the center of the meatloaf.
  • Loosely tent with foil and let the meatloaf rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Notes

Meat: I prefer using half ground beef and half ground pork for this recipe. You could also try using 100% ground beef or ground turkey (or half ground beef/ground turkey). 
Glaze: if you want to serve some of the glaze on the side, double the ingredients and reserve half to serve after the meatloaf has baked (if desired, you can simmer the reserved glaze and serve warm). 
Onion: over the years, we’ve come to prefer onion powder over fresh onions since several of my kids don’t like onion pieces in the cooked meatloaf; however, if you want the flavor of fresh onions, make sure they are very finely chopped and/or precook them in a skillet to make sure they are tender when the meatloaf is finished cooking.
Serving: 1 Serving, Calories: 523kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 30g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 163mg, Sodium: 1186mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 12g
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Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (varied from this old favorite)