The Very Best Meatloaf Recipe

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9 votes | 78012 views

This my family's favorite meatloaf recipe, of all time--and has become my most viewed recipe on my blog! What makes this taste so good is a combination of beef, veal* and pork-- pricier, but it doesn't taste like a giant hamburger! Fresh marjoram and spices, hot sauce and herbs, and a fantastic glaze makes this so good-- you really don't need gravy. I also share a glazed carrots that makes this a "Retro Blue Plate Special" *NOTE: I've recently omitted the ground veal, and find that the beef and pork combo is perfect.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 8


Cost per serving $1.61 view details
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1½ cups onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1½ tsp fresh marjoram, or ½ teaspoon dried, crumbled
  • 1½ tsp fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried, crumbled
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lb chuck (ground beef)
  • ½ lb veal (optional. Use half pork and beef if you can't find ground veal or don't buy veal)
  • ½ lb ground pork
  • 1½ cups fresh bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
  • For the Glaze:
  • ½ cup ketchup*
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1½ Tbs cider vinegar
  • NOTE: *I have used Heintz Chili Sauce in place of ketchup and that's also a great choice!


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a skillet over moderate heat, add the oil. Heat the oil until hot, but not smoking. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, mustard, and hot sauce together. Add marjoram, thyme, salt, and pepper.In a large mixing bowl, combine the meats, egg-milk mixture, bread crumbs, parsley, and the cooked onion mixture.
  4. In a small bowl stir together ketchup, sugar, and vinegar. Set aside.
  5. Form 1 tablespoon of the meat mixture into a small patty, add it to a small oiled skillet, and cook until no longer pink. Taste for seasoning and adjust.
  6. Transfer meat mixture to an oiled loaf pan.* NOTE: I have, since, discovered that I can mix all the wet ingredients in my Kitchen Aid mixer bowl, then add the meat and cooked onions and garlic. I turn the mixer on LOW for a few minutes-- so much easier and less messier!
  7. *NOTE: The best way to make the meatloaf is to use a baking sheet, lined with foil. Place a cooling rack on top. Cut a piece of foil to be larger than a the loaf-- and shape the meat into a loaf. Using a metal skewer, poke holes along the foil...usually every other hole. Place the shaped loaf on top of the foil. I prefer this method, as the loaf is less likely to "steam" in a loaf pan. You can also glaze all around the meatloaf, which is even better!
  8. Brush meat with ketchup glaze. Bake in oven for about 45 minutes, until glaze has set.
  9. Brush meat loaf with remaining glaze and bake for 15 minutes more; glaze again. My oven takes 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach the desired doneness. Times do vary, so allow for that!
  10. Internal temperature of loaf should be 160 degrees F.
  11. NOTE: Sometimes, I freeze half of the mixture in a plastic lined loaf pan. Once it's frozen, I remove the loaf and place it in a zip-loc bag, and the loaf is perfectly shaped. When ready to prepare, thaw in the refrigerator, make the glaze and bake as directed.
  12. WITH THE OTHER HALF: I shape individual meat loafs, and bake as directed for 20 minutes. This speeds up the time, quite a bit.


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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 209g
Recipe makes 8 servings
Calories 417  
Calories from Fat 202 48%
Total Fat 22.51g 28%
Saturated Fat 7.91g 32%
Trans Fat 0.7g  
Cholesterol 130mg 43%
Sodium 437mg 18%
Potassium 501mg 14%
Total Carbs 29.16g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1.6g 5%
Sugars 13.51g 9%
Protein 23.76g 38%
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  • Mikey
    Absolute meatloaf nirvana and I even forgot the marjoram! Didn't have parsley so used cilantro. No veal, just half and half ground beef and ground pork. Perfect texture and moisture content. Will certainly make this again AND remember the marjoram this time! Thanks Debby.
    I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
    This is a variation
    • Tyler
      Okay, let me begin by saying that I am a 50 yr old male who cannot cook to save his life, and I absolutely hate being in the kitchen. No recipe is safe from being able to follow the directions exactly, and still have it come out undesirable.

      I love meatloaf and had to make something for the family dinner before my wife got home from work. I found this recipe and decided to go for it. (I've tried other meatloaf recipes already, with poor results).

      But let me tell you, this meatloaf came out great! My main complaint is that it says "20 minutes prep time". Please! Maybe if you are a very skilled chef in the kitchen. It took me about an hour to put this together. But when all was said and done...the results speak for itself. this was an amazing meatloaf and I would be happy to make this again for my family. The loaf was great. The glaze was great. I served it with mashed potatoes and corn and the whole family gave it a thumbs up! Usually, they give me that polite smile and some comment like, "Thanks for trying again dad. At least were not going to bed hungry".

      If I can do it, anyone can! It has my dad seal of approval. Go for it!
      And thank you to FoodieWife.
      I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
      • Carol
        Five Star by Far! Thank you so much, it was great. I made it first time with fresh bread crumbs this time didn’t and notice a difference. I will make sure I have them next time. Both times great and enjoyed by fam.
        I've cooked/tasted this recipe!


        • Patsy
          October 25, 2020
          I made this for my Grandson and girlfriend 4 years ago. Now every time they visit, I have to make this meatloaf. They absolutely love it. My husband and I do too.
          • ShaleeDP
            July 11, 2014
            Looks nice, i like making meatloaf when i have the time too.

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