Wondering how to make meatloaf? This is my best meatloaf recipe and it’s so easy to make! Meatloaf stuffed with feta cheese and topped with a sweet and tangy glaze.
The Best Meatloaf Recipe with Ketchup Glaze
This Meatloaf Recipe is my family’s favorite and it’s SO incredibly easy to make. Moist, tender, and packed with flavor, but also low carb and keto-friendly! AND – just like my crockpot meatloaf recipe – there’s cheese in it! Who can resist?
I think most people have had either really good experiences with meatloaf OR really bad ones. There’s no in-between. As a child, I hated that big lump of beef that looked like a loaf of bread. But with time I realized that meatloaf is so much more than just ground beef topped with ketchup. Now I am LAH.VING.IT!
Good meatloaf, when done right, is about as comforting as comfort food gets. Also? The more you make it your own, the better it will turn out.
What You’ll Need
One of the reasons meatloaf is such a classic American recipe is that it’s super easy to put together. Here’s what you’ll need. The ingredients list may look long but you really just mix everything in a bowl! (Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.)
For the Meatloaf
- Ground beef chuck – I recommend using this kind of beef because it has a higher fat content that will make your meatloaf more tender, juicy and flavorful!
- Almond meal – I use this instead of breadcrumbs, which makes this meatloaf recipe healthier and keto friendly.
- Onion and Garlic
- Crumbled feta cheese – You could also use mozzarella cheese if you prefer.
- Heavy cream
- Tomato paste
- Soy sauce
- Herbs – Fresh parsley, dried thyme and dried oregano
- Salt and Pepper
For the Tangy Glaze
- Tomato paste
- White vinegar
- Seasonings – Onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder and cayenne pepper powder
- Salt and Pepper – Added to taste
Can I Use a Different Kind of Cheese?
Absolutely. If you’re not a fan of feta cheese you can also use mozzarella cheese or cheddar cheese. Goat cheese would also be super yummy!
How to Make Meatloaf from Scratch
It’s all about throwing a bunch of delicious things in a big bowl and mixing them together.
- First, we will start with ground chuck in a big bowl. Make sure you get ground chuck, please. Ground Chuck contains enough fat to add flavor and juiciness, and it’s always the best choice for meatloaves and hamburgers. Break up the meat with your hands a bit.
- Mix everything in with the ground meat. We will add eggs, feta cheese, shredded onions, garlic, tomato paste, a bit of heavy cream, seasonings, and almond meal. Don’t worry – it won’t taste like almond. Not one bit. It’s just what we need to use in place of bread crumbs.
- You’ll mix all of that up and shape it into a loaf. I like to use my loaf pan for this part. I just put the entire thing in there, pack it up real well, and then invert it onto a rimmed baking sheet.
- Add some of the glaze and bake. Before baking, we will smother some of that homemade ketchup all over the top, then bake our meatloaf for about 55 minutes.
- Add remaining glaze and finish baking. Top the meatloaf with the rest of the glaze and bake for 15 more minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 155F.
- Remove from oven and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. ⬅ Important! You don’t want to lose all that juice.
- Cut and serve.
How Do I Tell When Meatloaf is Done Cooking?
The best way to tell is using an instant-read thermometer. Meatloaf is done cooking when it reaches an internal temperature of 160F.
If you test your meatloaf and the center has not yet reached that temperature, bake it for another 15 minutes and test again. If the top is drying out you can loosely cover the meatloaf with a sheet of aluminum foil.
Tips for the Best Meatloaf
- Don’t overmix. You want to combine everything well, but don’t overdo it or you’ll end up with a meatloaf that is tough instead of tender.
- Finely chop the onion and garlic. This way their flavor is added to every bite and you don’t end up with large chunks of onion.
- Press the meat into the pan. As I mentioned above, make sure you pack the meat into the pan so that it holds its shape when you depan it.
- Let it rest. Be sure to let your meatloaf rest for a least 10-15 minutes when it is done cooking! This way all the juices are re-absorbed into the loaf. The cooling time also helps the meatloaf hold its shape when you remove it from the pan.
Can I Make this Recipe Ahead?
Yes! Prepare the meatloaf, invert it onto a baking sheet or baking dish, cover, and set in the fridge up to 1 day ahead. When you are ready to bake it, let the meatloaf stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before baking.
How to Store and Freeze Meatloaf
- Storing in the fridge: Meatloaf makes great leftovers – just keep it in the fridge and reheat as needed. Stored in airtight containers, cooked meatloaf will last for 4 days in the refrigerator.
- Freezing: To further extend the shelf life of cooked meatloaf, cut into slices and freeze it in covered airtight containers OR heavy-duty freezer bags. You can also wrap it tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. When ready to use, just set it in the fridge overnight to thaw, then let sit 20 minutes on your countertop before baking.
I find the best results when you freeze meatloaf uncooked, and then fully thaw it before baking.
Ways to Use Leftovers
My absolute favorite way to use leftover meatloaf sandwiches. It’s so good! You can even use Keto Cloud Bread for this. Just warm up a slice of meatloaf in the microwave, then sandwich it between slices of bread and maybe add a slice of cheddar cheese.
You can also saute extra meatloaf in a pan with diced onions and red peppers, then top it with a fried egg for a hearty breakfast. Or serve it in tacos or burritos!
More Meatloaf Recipes to Try
Easy Meatloaf Recipe
- 2 pounds ground beef chuck
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1 large sweet onion (like Vidalia), shredded (use the large holes on a cheese grater to shred the onions)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons tamari soy sauce
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet or a baking dish with aluminum foil. Set aside.
- Lightly grease a 9×5 loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- Place ground meat in a large bowl.
- Add in almond meal, shredded onions, minced garlic, feta cheese, eggs, heavy cream, tomato paste, tamari (if using), parsley, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper; mix it all together with your hands until everything is thoroughly combined.
- Transfer the ground meat mixture into previously prepared loaf pan; pressing the meat down to form into a loaf shape.
- Invert it onto previously prepared baking sheet and set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine tomato paste, water, vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper; whisk to combine.
- If you want a thicker consistency, add more tomato paste. To thin it out, add more water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time.
- Spread half of the prepared ketchup over the top of the meatloaf; reserve remaining ketchup for later.
- Bake the meatloaf for 55 minutes.
- Remove from oven and spread remaining ketchup over the meatloaf.
- Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the middle of the meatloaf reaches 155F on a meat thermometer.
- Remove meatloaf from oven and let stand for 15 minutes.
- Cut and serve.
- Prepare the meatloaf (do not bake), invert it onto a baking sheet or baking dish, cover, and set in the fridge up to 1 day ahead.
- Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before baking.
- Stored in airtight containers, cooked meatloaf will last for 4 days in the refrigerator.
- To further extend the shelf life of cooked meatloaf, cut into slices and freeze it in covered airtight containers OR heavy-duty freezer bags.
- You can also wrap it tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.