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best meatloaf recipe
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3.72 from 104 votes

Grandma Barb's Meatloaf Recipe (The Best Meatloaf)

Southern-style meatloaf made with simple, flavorful ingredients!
Course Main, Main Course
Cuisine American, southern
Keyword beef, tomato sauce
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil for sauteing
  • 1/2 cups onions finely diced
  • 1/4 cup red bell peppers finely diced
  • 1/4 cup green bell peppers finely diced
  • 1/4 cup celery finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup dry/stale bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk (may need more or less)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • teaspoons onion powder
  • teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 8 oz tomato sauce (can use less if desired)
  • 2 lbs 90 % lean ground beef


  • 1/2 cup natural ketchup
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • liquid smoke splash


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet.
  • Add onions, peppers and celery and saute until tender.
  • Add garlic and cook just until fragrant.
  • Remove from heat and let cool. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add breadcrumbs and just enough milk to moisten the crumbs.
  • Add remaining ingredients, except for the beef.
  • Mix these ingredients well.
  • Add the beef. Use your hands to mix it in. Don't be alarmed if the mixture seems a bit too wet at first. Handle the beef as little and as gently as possible to prevent it from becoming tough when baked. Mix JUST until everything is combined.
  • Optional: Fry a tiny piece of the mixture to check the taste and adjust the seasonings if desired.
  • When all of the ingredients are well combined, spoon the mixture into a loaf pan and smooth to an even layer. Set aside.
  • To make the glaze, combine all glaze ingredients and spread half on top of meatloaf.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes and then top with remaining glaze. ( you don't have to use all of the glaze. You can save some to use when serving the meatloaf of desired)
  • Continue baking for another 30-35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 F. or to your desired (safe) doneness. ( I like to flip the oven to broil for the last few minutes to get the glaze a bit sticky but watch it carefully if you decide to do this)
  • Remove from oven, drain off the fat and let meatloaf rest before slicing. (If meatloaf is steaming hot when you cut into it, it will fall apart)