How to Make Meat Loaf

Who doesn't love meat loaf? It's an easy way to please any appetite. Use the leftovers for meat loaf sandwiches and you have two meals in one.

Savory, oh-so-satisfying meat loaf -- an elementary mixture consisting of ground meats, a bit of starch, egg, and seasonings -- has been bringing smiles to the dinner table for decades. It doesn't take much to make this inexpensive family-pleaser -- just follow the traditional recipe below from Better Homes and Gardens. When you're in the mood for jazzing it up, choose one of the sensational selections that follows the first recipe.

In the meantime, bite into these meaty tips, each of which will help you make magnificent meat loaf:

  • For moist meat loaf, make sure your meat mixture is not too lean. Aim for about 15 percent fat in your beef, pork, or veal.
  • Mix meat mixture lightly and gently with your hands. Overmixing may cause meat loaf to become tough and dry.
  • To bake meat loaf more quickly, skip the loaf pan. Instead, shape the meat mixture into a long, narrow oval on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Reduce baking time by about 20 minutes or until meat loaf reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
  • Once your meat loaf has finished baking, allow it to stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before removing from pan and slicing. This will allow for moist and easy-to-slice portions.

In the meantime, bite into these meaty tips, each of which will help you make magnificent meat loaf:

Meat Loaf

Servings: Makes 8 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Total:1 hr 40 minutes


  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs or 2 cups soft bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf sage, basil, or oregano, crushed
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef, lamb, or pork
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard


  1. In a medium bowl combine eggs and milk; stir in bread crumbs, onion, parsley, salt, sage, and pepper. Add ground meat; mix well. Lightly pat mixture into an 8x4x2-inch loaf pan.
  2. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 1 to 1-1/4 hours or until internal temperature registers 160 degrees F. Spoon off fat. In a bowl combine ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard; spread over meat. Bake for 10 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting into eight slices.
  3. Makes 8 servings.

Ham Loaf: Prepare as above, except use soft bread crumbs. Substitute 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard for the sage, basil, or oregano and omit the salt. Substitute 12 ounces lean ground beef or pork and 12 ounces ground cooked ham for the 1-1/2 pounds ground beef, lamb, or pork. Bake and let stand as above.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 225, Total Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 4 g, Monounsaturated Fat 4 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 108 mg, Sodium 676 mg, Carbohydrate 13 g, Total Sugar 7 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 19 g. Daily Values: Vitamin A 0%, Vitamin C 5%, Calcium 6%, Iron 13%. Exchanges: Other Carbohydrate 1, Lean Meat 2.5, Fat .5. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet.

Here are 20 more of the Web's best meat loaf recipes.

Savory Meat Loaf

Tomato soup makes this meat loaf especially moist and flavorful -- perfect for when the family gathers for a meal and conversation.


Old Fashioned Meat Loaf

Croutons, rather than bread crumbs, help hold this well-seasoned meat loaf together. Serve it for dinner with a side of creamy mashed potatoes.


Cheesy Meat Loaf

Purchased pesto, a bit of beer, and cheese impart a flavor punch to ordinary meat loaf.


Classic Meat Loaf

This special meat loaf recipe is made with half ground beef and half ground turkey.


Mom's Meat Loaf

Even with fat and calories slashed and a few veggies tucked in, this home-style meat loaf recipe retains all the goodness that makes it an all-American favorite.


Simply Delicious Meat Loaf and Gravy

The name says it all. This family-pleasing meat loaf is made special and scrumptious with golden mushroom soup.


Meat Loaf Magnifico

Double the flavor in this meat loaf by using some of the bountiful sauce inside and some on top of the final dish.


Bill's Meat Loaf

Beef, Italian sausage, and turkey make up this simple seasoned meat loaf.


Cheese Topped Meat Loaf

Serve this Italian-inspired turkey meat loaf with pasta. The oregano-seasoned meat loaf is topped with marinara sauce and shredded Italian cheese.


Spicy Meat Loaf

An old-fashioned ground beef favorite gets spiced up in this dinner recipe. Leftovers (think meat loaf sandwiches) guarantee another quick and easy meal.


Glazed Meat Loaf with Peppers and Warm Spices

For a twist on an American classic, this meat loaf recipe incorporates warm Indian spices, such as garam masala, coriander, and cumin, sitting under a spicy-sweet glaze.


Easy Sauerbraten-Style Meat Loaf

Here's a delicious, quick-to-assemble alternative to German meat loaf.


Firehouse Meat Loaf

Prepared pasta sauce tops a cheese-stuffed meat loaf for a home-style dinner with an Italian twist.


Grilled Stuffed Meat Loaf

The indirect grilling method and a square of heavy foil make easy work of grilling a meat loaf.


Enchilada Meat Loaf

This main-dish recipe includes a corn muffin mix to form an outer shell that holds ground beef, salsa, and chili powder.


Oatmeal Meat Loaf Slices

Steel-cut oats add moisture and nutrition to this sausage meat loaf.


Salsa Meat Loaf

Serve meat loaf with a little sass. High-fiber cereal and salsa as hot as you like sets this meat loaf apart.


Turkey Meat Loaf

If you want an Indian dish that will appeal to the whole family, try this turkey loaf seasoned with garam masala.


Mediterranean Meat Loaf

This fabulous meat loaf is moist, tender, and colorful. Keep the fat content low in this recipe by using lean ground beef and refrigerated egg product.


Best-Ever Meatloaf

This tantalizing meat loaf includes a packet of dried onion soup mix and a can of tomato soup for flavor.



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Comments (1)
lisali184 wrote:

I tried this recipe and it was great everybody enjoyed it ..I had made meat loaf before but I had always. Ruined it ..but this one was great thank you for step by step

2/18/2011 06:23:16 PM Report Abuse
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