These Are the Best Meatloaf Recipes You Can Make

Meatloaf can get a bad rap, but when prepared correctly, it can be quite tasty. Meatloaf is a nostalgic dish that packs a meaty flavor, and it can be made in a pinch. It’s perfect for easy weeknight meals and tastes great as leftovers, too. Some like their meatloaf packed with veggies, while others like theirs plain. Some like it on a sandwich, and others prefer it unaccompanied. Regardless of how you like meatloaf served, prepare it at home and enjoy the nostalgic supper right in your own kitchen. Here are 15 recipes that will get you started. There are recipes on this list for everyone — even those who don’t want meat in their meatloaf.

1. Classic Meatloaf

Classic meatloaf with tomato sauce

It doesn’t get much better than this classic meatloaf | iStock.com

Here’s the classic meatloaf recipe from Martha Stewart. If anyone can help you master meatloaf, Martha can. Her tried-and-true formula is one that home chefs go back to time and time again, and for good reason. This meatloaf is made primarily from ground beef, pork, onion, garlic, and egg. It’ll cook for 45 to 55 minutes before yielding 6 servings. Make this meatloaf for your family and friends and remind them what an old-fashioned dinner tastes like.

Ingredients:

  • 3 slices white sandwich bread
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • 1½ pounds ground beef chuck
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • ½ medium onion, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

Head to Martha Stewart for the full recipe. 

2. Turkey Meatloaf

meatloaf

Try making a turkey meatloaf to lighten up the dish | iStock.com

If you want to go easy on the beef, try this turkey meatloaf featured on Epicurious. Ground turkey is enlisted in the recipe, as are carrots, garlic, mushrooms, and breadcrumbs. The dinner requires only 30 minutes of active time and then it’s into the oven to cook. Serve this turkey meatloaf with ketchup and a side, and you have an easy weeknight dinner on your table in no time.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into ⅛-inch dice
  • ¾ pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and very finely chopped in a food processor
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 cup fine fresh bread crumbs
  • ⅓ cup 1% milk
  • 1 whole large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1¼ pound ground turkey (mix of dark and light meat)

Head to Epicurious for the full recipe. 

3. Chicken Meatloaf

meatloaf with ketchup and rosemary

Meatloaf | iStock.com

Care for a meatloaf of the poultry variety? Try this chicken meatloaf from Chowhound and go for dark meat rather than light. Chow explains that ground dark meat results in the juiciest meatloaf possible, and pair it with panko breadcrumbs to yield a satisfying weeknight dinner that will fill you up without tiring you out. This easy meatloaf variation cooks in the oven for 1 hour and feeds 4 to 6. Aged Gouda cheese even makes a star appearance, as does white wine.

Ingredients:

  • Unsalted butter, for coating the loaf pan
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup small-dice yellow onion
  • ½ cup small-dice carrot
  • ½ cup small-dice celery
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 2½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 2 pounds ground dark-meat chicken
  • ½ cup panko
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup shredded aged Gouda cheese
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Head to Chowhound for the full recipe. 

4. Vegetable Meatloaf

Sandwiches chicken meat loaf in a white plate

Meatloaf with vegetables | iStock.com

For the veggie lovers at your dinner table, serve this vegetable meatloaf from Taste of Home. This meatloaf isn’t vegetarian-friendly (that recipe’s next), but it is packed full of fresh veggies including carrots, peppers, and celery. The veggies not only make the meatloaf more nutritious — they add a dash of color, too, and they’ll help you feel good about what you’re feeding your dinner guests. Heat your oven to 350 degrees and get to work on this vegetable meatloaf.

Ingredients:

  • ½ pound ground beef
  • 1 slice of bread, torn into small pieces
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup shredded carrot
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Dash each pepper and garlic powder
  • 5 tablespoons chili sauce or ketchup, divided
  • 2 baked potatoes, optional
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, optional

Head to Taste of Home for the full recipe. 

5. Veggie Meatloaf with Mushrooms and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

individual meatloaves

Individual meatloaves | iStock.com

As promised, this next recipe is for the vegetarians who want their meatloaf fix, too. Carnivores and herbivores alike can enjoy this veggie meatloaf featured on Food Network. The star ingredients in the dish are mushrooms, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, and sun-dried tomatoes. Unlike other meatloaves that are baked in loaf pans, this meatloaf is prepared in ramekins. Butter four ramekins, coat them with breadcrumbs, and get to work on the filling.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs, plus more for coating ramekins
  • 4 ounces sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound mix of portobello and cremini mushrooms, trimmed and finely chopped in a food processor
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 ounces cheddar, grated
  • 8 ounces baby spinach leaves, for serving

Head to Food Network for the full recipe. 

6. Meatloaf Stuffed with Prosciutto and Spinach

Meatloaf stuffed with spinach and a side dish of red cabbage and green beans

Once you’ve had this stuffed meatloaf, you’ll never go back | iStock.com

If you’re in the market for a more sophisticated meatloaf dish, this recipe from Food & Wine is for you. As if meatloaf isn’t filling enough, when it’s stuffed with prosciutto and spinach, you really know you’re going to leave the dinner table satisfied. The dish requires 45 minutes of active time and serves 8. While the ingredients list is long, the end result is well worth it, and Food & Wine’s easy-to-follow instructions ensure anyone can master this meatloaf stuffed with prosciutto and spinach.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large carrots, each cut lengthwise into 6 slices
  • 4 cups spinach, thick stems discarded
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 2½ cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 cups freshly grated pecorino cheese
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 12 thin slices of prosciutto
  • ½ pound caciocavallo or provolone cheese, cut into 12 18-inch-thick slices
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 cup water

Head to Food & Wine for the full recipe. 

7. Lentil and Rice Loaf

Meatloaf and potatoes

This vegetarian lentil and rice loaf is a twist on a classic | iStock.com

Here’s one last vegetarian loaf recipe from Forks Over Knives. As its name suggests, this lentil and rice loaf is made from lentils and rice, as well as mushrooms, oats, and nuts. Fresh herbs also add a nice touch. The loaf mixture is made in the food processor and then pressed into a loaf pan to bake. Your vegetarian loaf will spend an hour in the oven and then it’s time to serve the satiating supper alongside the suggested mashed potatoes and with a mushroom gravy.

Ingredients:

  • 1¾ cups water
  • ½ cup brown-green lentils
  • ½ cup short-grain brown rice
  • 2 teaspoons dried poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 medium white or brown mushrooms
  • 1 large rib celery, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
  • ¾ cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage leaf
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1½ teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

Head to Forks Over Knives for the full recipe. 

8. Edward’s Open-Faced Meatloaf Sandwiches

Hamburger with fired egg and salad

Adding an egg to this meatloaf makes it over-the-top delicious | iStock.com

We’re not sure who Edward is, but Southern Living gives him credit for this sandwich that could pass as a hearty breakfast or a satisfying weeknight dinner. The cherry on top, so to speak, is the over-easy egg that adds an extra punch of flavor and texture. The recipe makes 8 servings and is served with gravy along with other sandwich toppings.

Ingredients:

  • 7 bacon slices, diced
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion (1 large)
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 2 pounds ground chuck
  • 1½ cups soft, fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ cup cola soft drink
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon (can substitute with cola, if desired)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
For the gravy
  • 1½ tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
For sandwiches
  • 8 Texas Toast slices
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 large eggs
  • 8 thick tomato slices
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • Chopped fresh parsley

Head to MyRecipes for the full recipe by Southern Living. 

9. Turkey and Roasted Red Pepper Meatloaf

Paprika roasted bell peppers

Roasted red peppers add a ton of flavor to this meatloaf | iStock.com

As with burgers, meatballs, or any ground meat mixture, you can achieve different flavor profiles based on the ingredients and spices you add to the mixture before cooking it. In this case, you’ll add roasted red peppers, Parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, and white wine vinegar (among other ingredients) to give your meatloaf a Mediterranean flair. Real Simple lays out the directions for the meatloaf and a simple green salad to go with it, and it makes enough to serve 4.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ pounds ground turkey
  • small yellow onion, chopped
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • egg, beaten
  • cup grated Parmesan
  • tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 17-ounce jar roasted red peppers, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • cups mixed greens

Head to Real Simple for the full recipe. 

10. French Onion Meatloaf

Onion Soup in a bowl

Meatloaf crossed with French onion soup is the best of both worlds | iStock.com

Meatloaf can have a bad reputation for being too dry, but that definitely won’t be the case when it’s slathered in caramelized onions and Gruyère cheese. This recipe from Ari’s Menu takes the favorite elements from French onion soup and translates it into meatloaf form. Since many French onion soups have a beef broth base, you know the flavors will go together perfectly. Cooking the onions will take time, but it’s an easy step in an otherwise simple recipe that serves 6.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large sweet onions, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ⅓ cup low-sodium beef broth
  • ½ cup raw oats (gluten-free oats can be substituted)
  • 1 pound 96% lean ground beef
  • 2-3 ounces Gruyère cheese, sliced or freshly shredded

Head to Ari’s Menu for the full recipe. 

11. Mini Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Cupcakes

tomato sauce in a glass jar

Chicken Parmesan and meatloaf go together perfectly | iStock.com

The recipe creator from Bev Cooks admits there’s a lot going on in the name of this recipe, but bear with her. You’ll use chicken for this meatloaf (dark meat if desired), press the mixture into cupcake pans instead of a loaf, and stuff them with gooey, melty mozzarella. These delicious individual “cupcakes” won’t pass for a dessert, but they’re certainly perfect for an appetizer, or whenever you’re looking to add a whimsical touch to your dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pound ground chicken breast (or dark meat)
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup diced white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 16 small mozzarella cubes, cut from a block
  • 2 cups pasta sauce (the blogger suggests Muir Glen organic Cabernet marinara)

Head to Tablespoon for the full recipe by Bev Cooks.

12. Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

bacon meatloaf

What could be better than a meatloaf with bacon? | iStock.com

When you use similar ingredients for a burger as you do for meatloaf, it’s not a far stretch when one starts to look like the other. In the case of this meatloaf recipe, the loaf begins to imitate its patty-like cousin. Adding cheddar cheese and basic seasonings to a traditional meatloaf starts on the right foot, which only gets better by layering strips of bacon over the top of the loaf. The bacon will add extra flavor while also keeping the loaf from drying out in the baking process. Make this for yourself by following the directions at The Chic Site, and have a perfect dinner for 8.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds ground beef (80% to 85% lean)
  • 1 small yellow onion, grated
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 7 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Head to The Chic Site for the full recipe. 

13. Meatloaf Wellington

Beef Wellington

Meatloaf Wellington is a delicious twist on a classic dish | iStock.com

This fancy, traditional dish isn’t one you probably cook everyday, but we can’t deny how delicious filet mignon wrapped in puffed pastry is. If you’ve never considered giving your meatloaf a similar treatment, then you’re in for a delicious surprise. You don’t even have to make your own dough — all you need is prepared pastry dough and some seasonings to elevate your meatloaf to whole new heights. Check out this recipe for meatloaf Wellington from Beyond Black & White.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup oatmeal or breadcrumbs
  • ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 package dehydrated onion soup mix
  • 2cup milk
  • 1teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup finely chopped pimento
  • Pastry for 2 pie crusts
  • 1 egg, for glaze

Head to Beyond Black & White for the full recipe. 

14. Southwestern Meatloaf

Ground beef | iStock.com

Ground beef | iStock.com

If you’re in the mood for chips and salsa but you’ve already got the ground beef thawed for dinner tonight, not to worry — you can have all this in one delicious dish. Instead of traditional breadcrumbs, you’ll be using crushed tortilla chips to help hold the loaf together and give it that extra bit of texture. The salsa helps keep the meat moist while it bakes, and if you choose to use the chipotle salsa as suggested, then you’ll also be getting a kick of smoke that’ll liven up the dish. Try serving this Southwestern meatloaf by Southern Living in between two slices of bread for a meatloaf sandwich you’ll come back to again and again.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup finely crushed whole-grain tortilla chips
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon bottled salsa (chipotle salsa works well here), divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1¾ pounds ground beef
  • 1½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Head to MyRecipes for the full recipe by Southern Living. 

15. Fried Meatloaf

Fish fingers from salmon

Fried leftovers | iStock.com

If you’re hesitant to make an entire meatloaf because you’re unsure of what to do with the leftovers, we have the answer. This fried meatloaf recipe from Fine Cooking only requires a few ingredients for a crispy plate of meaty goodness that you can whip up any night of the week. You’ll need slices of leftover meatloaf to start, and the breadcrumbs and egg help make a crunchy coating that your traditional meatloaf might lack. Put your dredged slices in hot oil, fry them up, and eat.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup panko or fresh breadcrumbs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ½- to ¾-inch-thick slices cold leftover meatloaf
  • 1 to 1½ cups canola or peanut oil for frying

Head to Fine Cooking for the full recipe. 

Lauren Weiler also contributed to this story.

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