This homemade meatloaf recipe is a comfort food classic with an Italian twist. Never dry, perfectly seasoned, and ready in under an hour. While this may not be a traditional meatloaf recipe, it is a delicious one, packed with savory Italian flavors.
Another reason why I love making meatloaf this way is because of how moist it keeps the meatloaf. I really hate a dry meatloaf, and with all the sauce in the pan, this one turns out nice and juicy every time.
Ingredients for Meatloaf
For the Meatloaf, you will need:
- Ground beef
- Garlic cloves
- Dried parsley
- Dried basil
- Dried oregano
For the Meatloaf Sauce, you will need:
- Tomato sauce
- Half and half
For the exact amounts needed, please see the recipe card below.
How to Make Homemade Meatloaf Recipe
- Combine all of the meatloaf ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well combined. It may seem like there are a lot of breadcrumbs, but they will absorb the milk as you mix. Make sure to mix everything together well as that is key to getting a smooth texture.
- Spray the inside of a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Pour your meatloaf into a meatloaf pan or place it into a large pan and shape it into an oval about 3-4 inches thick.
- Place the meatloaf into the oven to broil for 10 minutes. This will help to make sure that it stays together and has a nice crust under the sauce.
- Remove the meatloaf from the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add half of the sauce over the top of the meatloaf and bake for 15 minutes.
- Add the remaining sauce and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the meatloaf internal temp reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
Homemade Meatloaf Recipe Tips
If your family likes green beans, you can sprinkle about 1 cup of fresh or frozen green beans around the outside of the meatloaf and just bake them right in the sauce. An easy way to incorporate a veggie side.
How Long to Cook Meatloaf
The cooking meatloaf time will vary based on the pan used. Some people like to use bread loaf pans, while others spread it out into 9×13 baking dishes. The thinner your meatloaf is, the more quickly it will cook. For this recipe, the meatloaf will cook for a total of 35-40 minutes.
What to Serve with Meatloaf
- Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
- Green Beans
- Brown Sugar Roasted Carrots
- Oven Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Herby Creamed Potatoes
- No Knead Easy Dinner Rolls
- Ciabatta Bread
- White Bean Pasta
- Lemon Cream Pasta
I like to use ground beef or ground lamb for meatloaf. You can also use a mix of the two meats. An 85-15 is best for keeping the beef moist.
If desired, you can shape your meatloaf on a baking sheet instead of a 9×13 baking pan. For this recipe, be sure the sauce won’t spill over the edges.
Yes, this meatloaf can be frozen if desired. Freeze it before cooking (without the sauce) as a meal prep dinner for later, or freeze it after it’s been baked and cooled for a simple reheat dinner. Just make sure that it is in an airtight container, and it can last either way for up to 3 months.
We use milk in this recipe to help moisten the breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs are what help the meatloaf to keep its form and shape so by moistening them, we can keep the meatloaf shape and add moisture to the loaf.
Homemade Meatloaf Recipe
For the Meatloaf
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup onion shredded
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon parsley dried
- 2 teaspoons basil dried
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano dried
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2/3 cup milk
For the Sauce
- 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup half and half
- Combine all the meatloaf ingredients until very well combined. It will seem like there is too much milk, but the breadcrumbs will soak it up as you mix the meatloaf together.
- Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
- Pour the meatloaf mixture into the pan and shape into an oval that is about 3-4 inches thick.
- Broil on high for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven.
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- Pour half the sauce over the meatloaf.
- Bake meatloaf for 15 minutes and pour over the rest of the sauce.
- Bake for 15 more minutes or until the inside registers 165ºF on an instant thermometer.