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Everyone enjoys Meatloaf and is always eager to eat it since it is delicious. It’s a delectable dish. However, because it comprises various ingredients, it is not so simple to make it flavorful. Consequently, many people are turned off by Meatloaf that is dry or flavorless. Therefore, it is now. Consequently, it is now time to revisit this recipe. This post will teach you Meatloaf temperature, Meatloaf Cooking temperature, Meatloaf internal temperature, at what temperature is Meatloaf done, and how to make the softest, most delicious Meatloaf you can imagine from scratch.


The Basic Recipe of Meatloaf

  • The Meat – Meatloaf can be made with ground meat, including pork, veal, lamb, and cattle. It’s entirely up to you how many different types of meat you use; you can use just one kind of meat or a mixture of various meats to give your Meatloaf a unique flavor and texture. Most people prefer to combine 70 percent beef (for flavor) with 30 percent pig (for fat richness). If you don’t want your Meatloaf to be dry and crumbly, you must introduce some fat into the recipe. I usually look for beef about 80% to 85% lean.
  • The Veggies – A mirepoix of small diced onions, carrots, and celery is traditional. Still, you can use any of your favorite vegetables instead: More carrots, peas, and even broccoli are on the menu. Whatever vegetables you use, make sure they’re well-cooked before going into the Meatloaf, so they’re tender and toothsome rather than crunchy.
  • The Glaze – Although it is an old recipe, a large number of people enjoy a spread of good all-purpose ketchup on their Meatloaf. While cooking, the ketchup concentrates, resulting in a creamy, ultra-tomato yummy coating that complements the Meatloaf’s deep savory flavor. If you don’t like ketchup, you can substitute BBQ sauce or another type of sauce to suit your tastes. In addition, you have the option of omitting the glaze entirely and wrapping the Meatloaf in bacon strips before cooking – as everyone knows, bacon enhances the flavor of any dish and improves everything.
  • Some other Final terms – The final element of the puzzle to creating a superb meatloaf is twofold: cooking time and resting time. A 2-pound piece of beef should take about an hour to cook; if you overcook it, the meat will become hard and crumbly. Therefore, the internal temperature of the Meatloaf is quite essential when cooking it. At the same time, we can tell whether the Meatloaf is done or not by checking the interior temperature of the Meatloaf.

All meatloaf recipes start with two pounds of ground meat and a “panade” of soaked bread or crackers in milk. This panade, made with a couple of eggs, helps hold the ground meat together while also adding moisture to the dish. Don’t worry, the taste of bread in your Meatloaf won’t bother you, but you’ll surely miss it if it’s missing!


As soon as the temperature reaches 155 degrees F, please remove it from the oven. You are allowing it to rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving to allow the Meatloaf’s liquids to redistribute and settle, similar to when you’re preparing a steak or roast. If you cut the loaf too quickly, the delicious juices will pool, and the Meatloaf will become dry.

Also Read: A Guide to Tell You What Temp to Cook Lasagna



To prepare a tasty meatloaf, you’ll need a few items.

  • 1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and diced small
  • 1 cup torn-up bread pieces
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 stalk celery, diced small
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup ketchup, bbq sauce (optional)
  • 2 pounds of meat (ground) such as beef, pork, lamb, or a mix
  • 2 large eggs,
  • 2 teaspoons sauce as per the taste

Meatloaf Sauce

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 6 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup


To prepare Meatloaf, you’ll need a variety of tools.

  • Fork
  • Skillet
  • Mixing bowl
  • Rimmed baking sheet, roasting pan, casserole dish, or loaf pan
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Aluminum foil


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F- Preheat the oven to 350°F and place a rack in the bottom third. A rimmed baking sheet or another baking dish should be lined with aluminum foil. 
  1. Soak the bread slices in milk – In a small bowl, combine the bread pieces and milk. Allow it to rest until the bread has broken down into a thick porridge, stirring regularly and squeezing the bread against the bowl’s sides. You can soak the bread with the crusts on or off; if you leave them on, remove any large chunks that haven’t broken down after washing.
  1. Prepare the vegetables – In a skillet, heat a few teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Combine the diced onions, carrots, and celery in a large mixing bowl. Cook the vegetables properly. Turn down the heat when the vegetable starts to brown. Stir in the garlic for about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Stir in the herbs and tomato paste until thoroughly combined. Take the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool.
  1. Prepare the meatloaf mixture – In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, eggs, sauce according to the taste, salt and pepper, bread and milk, and prepared vegetables. Working quickly blends the ingredients with your hands until they are barely integrated.
  1. Form the Loaf – Bake the Meatloaf on a foil-lined baking sheet or in a baking dish. Make a rough 9×5-inch loaf out of it. (If using a loaf pan, place the meatloaf mixture in the pan and pat it down.)
  1. Ketchup or bacon can be used to coat the loaf – 1/4 cup of the ketchup mixture should be spread over the Meatloaf (reserve the remaining 1/4 cup for later). Alternatively, bacon slices can be draped over the loaf.
  1. 45 minutes in the oven – Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake the Meatloaf for 45 minutes.
  1. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes after that – Cover the loaf with the remaining 1/4 cup ketchup. Bake it between 10-15minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer in the center of the loaf registers at least 155°F (about 1 hour total).
  1. Allow 15 minutes to cool before serving – Allow at least 15 minutes for the loaf to cool before serving. Drain the liquid fat from the Meatloaf if it was baked in a loaf pan before transferring it to a clean cutting board. Serve by slicing into thick slices.

Meatloaf requires numerous guidelines to be followed when cooking.


Serve Meatloaf with various items

You have multiple options to serve with the Meatloaf.

Some options are:

  • Bread – Breadsticks, no-knead artisan bread, homemade rolls
  • Salad –Macaroni salad, tomato-cucumber salad, classic wedge
  • Vegetables – French green beans, roasted vegetables
  • Potatoes – Potato salad, baked, mashed potatoes, Instant pot potatoes

Instructions for Making Ahead and Freezing

To make ahead – Make the Meatloaf 1-2 days ahead of time and shape it into a loaf pan. Keep into Refrigerate until ready to bake. Before baking, allow it to come to room temperature. You can make the meatloaf sauce ahead of time and keep it refrigerated for several days.

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To freeze unbaked – Wrap a layer of plastic wrap and aluminum foil around the unbaked Meatloaf. It can be frozen for three months. Refrigerate for about 24 hours to thaw. Allow coming to room temperature before baking after removing from the fridge.

To freeze baked – Allow Meatloaf to cool completely before cutting into slices. Freeze slices for one hour on a baking sheet until semi-frozen. Then freeze the pieces for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe bag. Refrigerate it overnight before reheating in the microwave or oven.


Also Read: Spatchcock Turkey Cooking Time Chart: How to Spatchcocked Turkey?


1. Stuffed Meatloaf –Make half of the meatloaf mixture and press it into the bottom of the pan. Cover with remaining meat mixture and cheese slices (your favorite kind of cheese). Bake according to package directions.

2. No loaf Pan? – No problem, shape the Meatloaf into a loaf shape and bake it on a baking sheet.

3. Healthier Meatloaf – Replace the ground beef with lean ground beef or half ground turkey/half ground beef.


4. Turkey Meatloaf – Ground turkey can be used instead of ground beef.


Meatloaf, a versatile dish, offers a canvas for culinary experimentation. Crafting this comfort food involves a choice among a variety of meats: pork, veal, lamb, and beef, either solo or in delightful combinations to yield distinct flavors and textures. A common preference among many is a blend comprising 70 percent beef and 30 percent pork, creating a harmonious marriage of flavors that tantalize the taste buds.


Achieving meatloaf perfection involves not just the selection of meats but also precision in cooking. A recommended cooking temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit and a cooking time of 45 minutes lay the foundation for a well-cooked, savory delight. This moderate heat ensures that the meatloaf cooks evenly, allowing the flavors to intermingle and develop, while the crust achieves that desirable golden-brown hue.

The meat blend, carefully balanced in its proportions, contributes not only to the taste but also to the texture of the final dish. The richness of beef harmonizes with the slightly sweeter notes of pork, creating a flavorful profile that’s become a go-to for many meatloaf aficionados.



What are the key ingredients needed to make meatloaf from scratch?

Common ingredients for meatloaf include ground meat (such as beef, pork, or a mixture), breadcrumbs, eggs (used as a binding agent), onions, garlic, various seasonings (like salt, pepper, and herbs), and a sauce or ketchup for topping.

How do I ensure my meatloaf stays moist and flavorful?

To keep your meatloaf moist and flavorful, consider using a mixture of meats with varying fat content. Additionally, adding ingredients like sautéed onions, garlic, or vegetables, as well as incorporating moistening agents like ketchup or tomato sauce into the mixture, helps retain moisture and enhances flavor.

Can I customize my meatloaf recipe to suit dietary preferences or restrictions?

Absolutely! Meatloaf is versatile, allowing for numerous variations. For instance, individuals can use leaner meats, substitute breadcrumbs with oats or quinoa for gluten-free options, or even incorporate vegetarian alternatives like lentils or mushrooms for a meatless version.

How long should I bake a meatloaf, and at what temperature?

Generally, meatloaf is baked at around 350°F to 375°F (175°C to 190°C). The cooking time varies based on the size and thickness of the meatloaf. A standard-sized meatloaf may require around 45 to 60 minutes, but using a meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) ensures it’s thoroughly cooked.

Can I prepare meatloaf ahead of time?

Absolutely! Preparing meatloaf ahead allows flavors to meld. You can assemble the meatloaf mixture and store it covered in the refrigerator for up to a day before baking. Alternatively, you can also freeze the uncooked meatloaf for a few weeks, thaw it in the refrigerator, and bake it when ready to use.

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