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Impress the family with this simple gourmet meatloaf recipe topped with sweet and tangy glaze. No dried-out brick here. This recipe yields fork-tender and juicy slices!

Don’t eat red meat? Then give my turkey meatloaf a try! It’s just as flavorful.

Two slices of meatloaf on a plate served with mashed potatoes.

A few enhancements can create a gourmet dinner using ground beef. A classic meatloaf is easy to prepare because once mixed, the oven does the larger part of the cooking process while you mix the sauce. My recipe uses simple pantry ingredients to amp up the flavor and juiciness of each serving.

I add a panade to tackle the biggest challenge of dry and crumbly pieces. You’ve probably used it before when making meatballs, but it’s much more than just a binder. It locks in moisture and keeps each slice tender. The combination of savory beef and a thick sweet tomato-based glaze delivers flavorful results. Pile on top of creamy mashed potatoes, and you’ve got a satisfying meal and hopefully a few leftovers.

The key to tender and juicy meat

Adding a panade to the ground beef mixture will lock in more moisture while helping retain the meatloaf’s shape. It combines breadcrumbs and broth or milk to create a starchy paste.

When combined with the meat, it coats the beef proteins and sets them into a gel once cooked. The gel then creates spaces that prevent the beef proteins from binding together too tightly. You often see the meat shrink and become dried out without a panade.

Whisk mixing a panade in a bowl.
Step 1. Make a panade

Making a panade

I use flaky panko breadcrumbs, chicken broth, and eggs to make the panade. Let the breadcrumbs soak until most moisture gets absorbed, ensuring the starches hydrate. The eggs add extra fat for richness, preventing the meat from drying out. Something I’m sure we’ve all tasted before!

I prefer the size of larger Japanese-style breadcrumbs because they’re more coarse and porous. These granules have more oversized air pockets to absorb the liquid for a softer meat texture. You can use traditional smaller and finer breadcrumbs. However, they’ll yield a denser texture. When I have homemade bread crumbs on hand, I use them because they tend to be larger and more similar to panko.

Recipe Resources

Saute the vegetables

Chopped vegetables add a nice variety of flavor and texture to the meat mixture. However, don’t add them raw! Pre-cooking them guarantees more flavor, even before the meatloaf is cooked. Sauteing the onions, garlic, and celery lightly browns the surface, enhancing the sweetness and taste. It also draws out the moisture, preventing soggy slices later.

Sauteed onions and celery in a pan.
Step 3. Saute the vegetables

Meat selection

Use a high-fat ratio of ground beef because the lipids act as protective coatings to prevent the meat from drying out during prolonged bake time. My top choice is 85% lean ground beef, which is 15% fat. This type has just the right amount of beef and flavorful fat that renders and keeps the meat juicy.

You can use an 80% ratio. It will still be delicious, but the loaf will shrink slightly more. Don’t go above 90% lean. It will yield the most meat but have way more chew.

Seasonings to enhance the meat flavor

Use a mix of fresh foods and pantry ingredients to naturally enhance plain ground beef’s flavor. Tomato paste, Parmesan cheese, soy sauce, and the anchovies in Worcestershire sauce are rich in glutamates and nucleotides, molecules that are high in umami and savory notes.

These ingredients instantly increase the beefy flavor of the ground meat. Chopped parsley, salt, pepper, thyme, and paprika are herbs and seasonings that add an earthy taste to the recipe to keep the beef from tasting bland.

Ingredients to make meatloaf placed in a metal mixing bowl.
Step 4. Mix the meat

Don’t overmix!

Have you ever wondered why grilled burgers or meatloaf turn out tough? Often the problem is overmixing. When beef is ground down, then mixed in a large bowl, sticky soluble proteins are released. If overworked, this creates a tighter bond that squeezes out the juices when cooked, yielding a rubbery and tough bite. Mix just enough to combine, and no more!

Pan selection

I use a 9 by 5-inch metal loaf pan. This type of material cooks the bottom and sides faster because it needs less time to heat up. If using glass, you may need more bake time as it takes longer to heat, but it retains heat better, so if using, don’t let it sit in the pan too long, or it will dry out.

When adding meatloaf in a loaf pan, lightly press it down to fill in any gaps. Create a dome shape on the surface for a more attractive presentation.

Raw meat mixture inside a loaf pan before going in the oven.
Step 5. Bake the meatloaf

How long to cook meatloaf

Bake at a moderate temperature of 350ºF (177ºC) for about 45 minutes cooking time. The long exposure to the heat gently cooks the meat, and then when the surface temperature reaches 300°F (149°C), it will turn golden brown due to the Maillard reaction

New flavors and aromas develop for a better-tasting meatloaf. I cook until the internal temperature reaches about 135 (57ºC) on a meat thermometer. This is considered medium doneness and will continue to cook when you add the glaze to get closer to well done without getting dried out.

Add a glaze for extra flavor

One of the highlights of digging into this meatloaf is grabbing a piece along with the tangy sauce. Most recipes use a mixture of ketchup and brown sugar for a barbecue-like flavor. However, I reverse-engineered a version to use many of the ingredients already in the meatloaf mixture, so you don’t have to buy extra stuff.

My recipe glaze is barbecue-style without the need to cook it down. It’s a combination of pure maple syrup, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce that balances nicely. To set the glaze on top of the meatloaf, brush it on the surface multiple times, then briefly roast at 500 degrees to thicken the sauce. This process gets repeated a total of three times. You can also make a pan gravy if you prefer a more savory taste.

Brush applying a tomato-based glazed on top of a meatloaf.
Step 8. Brush with glaze

Serve this with

Frequently asked questions

Should you cover meatloaf when cooking?

Covering the meatloaf will make it steam and turn mushy. Before reaching the desired internal temperature, you do not need to cover unless the surface starts to brown too quickly. Loosely tent with foil to prevent burning if needed.

Do you have to add egg to meatloaf?

The albumin in the egg whites coagulates and helps to bind the meatloaf better together. The fat in the yolks adds extra richness to the mixture for a more flavorful and moist taste.

What is the best filler for meatloaf?

A panade using dried bread crumbs. Make sure to hydrate the starches with broth so that they can turn into a gel-like matrix. A panade makes the meat much more tender.

Do you drain the grease from meatloaf?

Yes, the high level of fat will pool at the bottom. Drain as much as possible before adding the glaze to prevent the meat from getting soggy.

How to remove the meatloaf from the pan

Use a spatula to release the sides and bottom of the meat from the pan. Use a spatula on one side and your hand to lift it out, or two forks poked on both ends, which works better once cooled down more.

Close photo of meatloaf slices with red tomato-based glaze on the edges.

How to successfully bind the meatloaf together

Don’t serve up dry meatloaf or one that doesn’t hold well together. Incorporating a starchy breadcrumb panade, melty cheese, and eggs, keep the meat sliceable. The egg proteins and starches in the bread will solidify as they cook, keeping the moisture from escaping while adding structure to the loaf.

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Impress the family with a simple gourmet meatloaf topped with sweet and tangy glaze. This recipe yields fork-tender and juicy slices!
4.95 from 152 votes
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine American



  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup unsalted chicken broth, or stock
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for greasing
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¾ cup minced yellow onion
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 pounds ground beef, 85% lean
  • 2 ounces parmesan cheese, finely grated, about 1 cup
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, sweet or smoked
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, or dried


  • cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  • Preheat the Oven – Set the oven rack to the middle position, and preheat to 350ºF (177ºC).
  • Make a Panade – In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and chicken broth. Add breadcrumbs, whisk to combine, and allow to absorb all of the moisture.
  • Saute the Vegetables – Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the olive oil. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add onions and celery, and saute until tender and the moisture releases and evaporates, about 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a small plate and refrigerate until cool, about 5 minutes.
  • Mix the Meat – In a large bowl, add the ground beef, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumb mixture, cooled vegetables, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, parsley, soy sauce, 1 ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and thyme.
    Use your hands to gently mix the ingredients until combined, about 1 minute, being careful not to overmix.
  • Bake the Meatloaf – Lightly grease a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with olive oil. Press the meatloaf mixture into the bottom and sides of the pan, then use your hands to make a smooth and slightly domed surface.
    Bake until the internal temperature reaches 135 to 140ºF (57 to 60ºC), about 45 to 55 minutes.
  • Make the Glaze – In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup, ¼ cup tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  • Drain the Pan – Remove the meatloaf from the oven and carefully drain excess juices from the bottom of the pan. Increase the oven temperature to 500ºF (260ºC).
  • Brush with Glaze – Use a brush or spoon to spread an even layer of glaze on the top of the meatloaf, and bake for 3 minutes. Brush the second layer of glaze, and bake for 3 minutes. Brush a third and final layer of glaze, and bake until the sauce is lightly browned and bubbly, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Rest Before Serving – Allow the loaf to cool before removing it from the pan for at least 15 minutes on a wire rack. Cut into even-sized slices and serve with any extra glaze on the side.

Recipe Video


  • Beef selection: Use between 80% and 90% lean ground beef. The higher the percentage, the chewier the texture.
  • Broth: Unsalted beef broth or stock can be substituted for a meatier taste.
  • Breadcrumbs: Traditional breadcrumbs can be used. However, they will have a slightly denser texture unless using homemade breadcrumbs that are less fine.
  • Storage: Cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It’s easier to reheat sliced pieces.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 8 servings
Calories 416kcal (21%)Carbohydrates 16g (5%)Protein 26g (52%)Fat 27g (42%)Saturated Fat 11g (55%)Polyunsaturated Fat 1gMonounsaturated Fat 12gTrans Fat 1gCholesterol 132mg (44%)Sodium 799mg (33%)Potassium 527mg (15%)Fiber 1g (4%)Sugar 8g (9%)Vitamin A 403IU (8%)Vitamin C 4mg (5%)Calcium 150mg (15%)Iron 3mg (17%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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Reader Interactions

98 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Martha Morales says

    Hi, I was wondering if I omit the cheese will it make a difference on the texture? I don’t like cheese at all, yes I know I’m weird, but I just don’t, or can it be replaced with something else? Thanks!

    • hayley says

      I am just making your delicious looking meat loaf recipe. I am a little concerned that it specifies to cook it at 60 degrees celcius. It seems very low to me. I am sure it is not the case, but I have never cooked meat at that temperature before. Please reassure me.
      With thanks

      • Jessica Gavin says

        Hi Hayley- That temperature is about medium doneness. Then you add the glaze and cook at 400ºF for about another 10 minutes total (multiple layers of glaze). This will increase the internal temperature more so that you reach about medium-well doneness in the finished meatloaf.

  2. Phyllis Cypes says

    Your meat loaf recipe looks much more interesting that the one I have been using. I do not plan you use the cheese because I don’t mix meat with dairy. I’m going to be using Gluten Free Panko. I will let you know how we enjoyed it.

  3. Judy Caywood says

    Hi Jessica,

    I was planning to make meat loaf and stew for meals in the week ahead. Thanks for another great recipe with all the science explained to make it so much fun. I printed a copy for myself and one to give my son when he comes at Christmas. We have some of the recipes from your cook book planned to enjoy.

    I bet the little ones are getting so excited for Christmas.
    xo Judy

      • Judy Caywood says

        I have it baking in the oven right now! I generally use a little syrup and ketchup for the top and feel the tomato paste will be better and less sugar.

      • Judy Caywood says

        Hi Jessica, I made the meatloaf tonight with a few exceptions. I was out of celery and didn’t add Panko crumbs since I am doing Keto. I did add some A1 sauce to mine. It was delicious and I can’t wait for warm ups tomorrow night. Thank you for another wonderful recipe. Judy

  4. Terry Moran says

    Hi Jessica,
    27 grams of fat per serving. That is a lot of fat. In lieu of the ground beef, if I wanted to use 93% lean ground turkey, what modifications would I need to make to your recipe?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Terry- I would substitute the turkey 1:1 with the ground beef to test how the texture would be, I think the panade should help keep the turkey moist. Let me know how it turns out!

  5. Stephanie says

    This meatloaf was the best I’ve ever made! My fiance wrote down “Jessica Gavin’s meatloaf” so I remember to cook it in the future. Yummy!

      • Tamara Loperfito says

        This meatloaf is my go-to, dependable, flavorful, tender, scrumptious recipe. Thank you so much for your work to create it. I’ve searched for a long time and tried many recipes by famous chefs. Yours is tops and I can be proud to serve it to anyone, anytime….oh and my husband loves it too.
        I must admit that mine does not turn out as firm as you show in the video. Perhaps I don’t drain it well enough. (?)

        • Jessica Gavin says

          Thank you for your wonderful feedback Tamara! Yes, you can try draining it a bit more or let it cool down a little bit longer for it to be easier to slice.

  6. Glenda Dupler says

    I made your meatloaf this evening and it was absolutely the best tasting meatloaf my husband and I have ever eaten. Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe, it will be my go too from now on!

    • Tammy says

      This recipe looks delicious and I would like to serve this to guests I’ve invited for dinner. However, they eat gluten and dairy free. Any suggestions on what would make the best replacement for the panko? I ask this because gluten-free products tend to vary in the grain or starch used in them.

      • Haunnah says

        Maybe try lentil powder. I have a tomato soup recipe that has you grind up dry lentils and add to soup. It is very tasty.

  7. Paula says

    I followed exactly as written, I will say it is very moist, but to much panko bread crumbs. I could actually taste the panko. Not what you want in meatloaf. I would cut in half or at least 3/4 cup instead of 1 cup

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Paula- Thank you for the feedback! Definitely feel free to adjust the breadcrumb level to your liking. Just curious, was all of the liquid absorbed into the breadcrumb crumb when making the panade? Sometimes if there are some dry spots, it can taste “bready”.

  8. Kim Hawkins says

    We made this last night, and it was DELICIOUS! We added a touch of smoked paprika to the sauce, which was yummy. My four year old ate every bite (that never happens)!! We were wondering if there was a way to make the sauce a teeny bit less sweet. Maybe reduce the syrup and add more tomato paste?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yay! That is such a mom win Kim 🙂 I would say keep the tomato paste the same. Add in 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, then keep increasing until you get the sweetness level you want. Maybe 1/4 cup might be good?

  9. Richard says

    I made your meatloaf recipe Sunday. My wife said ,don’t put celery in it,[i put celery in it] then she said don’t put the glaze on my half, [i put the glaze on all of it]. When we had it for supper she said I apologize Richard, this is the best meatloaf I have ever had! She sent 4 people to your web page. Delicious!

  10. Narra says

    That is a really good recipe. I love how moist the meatloaf is by whisking the eggs, broth and breadcrumbs together first. Thank you for sharing

  11. Tom G Shank says

    I made your meatloaf and it was great. I did cut the burger to 1lb and added 1 lb ground pork. The whole family loved it. My two year old asked me “daddy, is this a meatball?” I told him yes and he ate the whole serving. The extremely picky seven and five year olds ate it too. This recipe was printed, placed in the sleeve and added to the cookbook ( like many others you have shared). Thanks again.

  12. Jim S. says

    I’m thinking about trying this recipe tonight, but 2lbs of ground beef seems like a lot for 2 people. I have 1.25lbs in the refrigerator right now. Would you recommend simply just halving the ingredients for that much beef?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yes you could adjust the levels and check sooner for doneness. The meatloaf will be pretty flat unless you have a smaller pan.

  13. Jessica Dougherty says

    Hi jess! My name is Jessica. I made your amazing meatloaf and my husband and kids begged me for more! Thank you so much for the recipe on line. Best meatloaf I’ve had in a long time. Glaze was fabulous!

  14. Tammy says

    I just prepared the loaf and followed your recipe to a tee. Serving it to the family tonight. Can’t wait to hear their feedback. I’m excited about this recipe because it’s got cheese in it, I never put cheese in my meatloaf before!
    Thanks for this Jessica.

  15. Linda Hitt says

    I prepared this meatloaf for my family and my daughter’s niece tonight and they all raved about it! Everyone loved it, including me! I was a little late getting it on the table; so I didn’t cool it enough and it fell apart a little; but that didn’t ruin it at all! This is by far the BEST recipe for meatloaf. I shared it on my Facebook page! My daughter’s niece is 10 and said she loved the glaze because it was sweet!My Mom always just put ketchup on the top, as did I; but this glaze is so much better! Thank you for this recipe.. it’s Amazing!

  16. Heather says

    This is the best meatloaf recipe I have EVER made. My husband and friends LOVED it. I did a little less cheese and did GF bread instead of Panko. Very delicious. Thank you so much. So moist and flavorful. Its a definite to drain the meatloaf before adding the glaze. Thank you so much.

  17. Kathleen says

    This is the first time I could actually slice my meatloaf without it falling apart and it tasted fantastic! That saying a lot because my family previously have refused to eat any meatloaf but they really liked this one.

  18. Jo'Ann De Quattro says

    Thanks for this recipe. I used 1 LB.of ground beef and 1/2 pound of ground pork. I just cut everything else in 1/2. I don’t own a loaf pan so I made it rounded and mounded it in an 8×8 inch baking pan. It was the best meatloaf ever! Sliced nicely, moist, full of juicy flavor! I will probably reduce the amount of maple syrup as I prefer savory to sweet. I’ll definitely make this again!

  19. Yara says

    I’ve never had meatloaf before so obviously I’ve never cooked it. Tonight I will be doing both, with this recipe! Wish me luck ladies.

  20. Dale and Jeff says

    Uhmmmm….wow. My boyfriend and I just had this meatloaf for Easter dinner and its amazing. Geeeeeze….. The only thing I did different was put 1/2 the recommended parm. If it’s any better with all the parm, I dont know if i could sit still and eat it. Wow! Thx for the great recipe!

    This is the boyfriend’s response, “Dale, that was the best meatloaf ever! Wow! I’m thinking I might have to skip dessert. Wait, did you say something about strawberries, whipped cream, and some chocolate drizzle?”


  21. Brandy pontin says

    I doubled the recipe and made it exactly as written . It was fantastic ! I will make extra glaze next time, everyone wanted more glaze to add to the cut slices.
    Super win !

  22. Gary says

    Attempted to follow the recipe 3 times now. I attempted because I suck at following recipes….

    Came out delicious every time….but the best was when I got closest to the recipe…

  23. JJ says

    July 2019…I made this meatloaf as given and we enjoyed it a lot. We probably won’t add the cheese next time…didn’t appreciate the extra flavor of it, but the texture…OMG…outstanding! We are only two, so a couple pounds of ground meat goes a long way. We enjoyed it in thick-sliced, pan-fried slices for one dinner that followed, and used it up in meatloaf sandwiches, with mayonnaise and creamy horseradish sauce. YUMMM…
    BTW, I cooked the meatloaf in the BBQ grill! Put all two pounds of it in a deep pan, and kept the grill at a pretty steady 350. It took a bit longer, and I watched it with an internal thermometer, but it came out great. Good tip about cooking it in a loaf pan. It was juicy, and succulent for the whole time we enjoyed it.
    Great recipe!!

  24. Patricia Johns says

    Hi Jessica! We made this meatloaf last night and it was the best we have ever had! I didn’t change a thing – its perfect. It will be a standard in our home now.

  25. char says

    This truly is the best meatloaf! It’s also great the next day. Thanks for all the tips and a great recipe. I have been making meatloaf for many years, many that I consider a keeper, but not as tasty and moist as this recipe.

  26. Wendy says

    I never use tomato paste (husband can’t tolerate it) but I always have catsup on hand. Would a 1:1 substitution be okay? I have to leave out the cheese, too, as husband can’t eat dairy. I love your seasonings. For my family of three, I’m going to go with one pound of ground chuck, cut the rest of the ingredients in half and bake it in a 8x4x2.5 loaf pan. I suppose it might work cooked free-form, too, on a quarter sheet pan? I’m going to throw in a half of a finely grated carrot, too, for sweetness (and because I have a zillion carrots right now), but leave off the glaze entirely. It’s too much work LOL. Since I’m making such a small loaf, I’m thinking 40 minutes might be long enough. Is there an internal temperature I should aim for?

  27. Marlene says

    Hi Jessica

    I would like to make this meatloaf for my brother who lives in a different state from me. Should I freeze the meatloaf in tins “raw” and let him cook it off once we ship it too him overnight? Would follow the food guidelines for shipping. Look forward to your guidance.


  28. Penny Grant says

    I had your meatloaf in the oven about 20 minutes when I opened the fridge for something—there sat my “cooling veggies” on a shelf!!! I was sick–that was a lot of chopping. I was really mad at myself. The meatloaf turned out pretty good and I will try again in a few weeks. I have big block letters to remind me to incorporate the veggies before baking. We are enjoying delicious sandwiches.

    I will be trying your tortilla soup soon. Enjoyed your oatmeal recipe this morning–super easy, super delish. Thanks!

  29. Kathy E. says

    Jessica, this is a fabulous recipe! My husband couldn’t even hold up a conversation during dinner tonight as he kept working away at this meatloaf! To keep the calories down, I subbed one pound of ground beef for lean ground turkey….he sure didn’t notice! I will make this again, for sure! Thank you!

  30. Julie says

    Hi Jessica.
    I just wanted to ask a question if I could.
    Do you think that this meatloaf recipe would be okay for hamburger patties?
    I was thinking of making the meatloaf and then slicing thick pieces to put on a hamburger roll.
    I was so taken by your Swedish meatballs that I cooked last night.
    They were so juicy and moist and I was hoping to recreate that same moisture in the meatloaf.
    If you have a hamburger patty recipe I would love to try it.
    Thank you for your time and kind regards.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Julie- Yes, you can use the meatloaf as patties for burgers. It will be like a meatloaf sandwich, yum! Search my website for “stovetop burgers” for my recipe and tips.

  31. Liz says


    This was my first time making meatloaf and this is a damn good recipe. My boyfriend got braces and requested a soft meal and wanted meatloaf. Thank you for this recipe. The flavors balance well and the celery gives a nice subtle crunch. ????

  32. Amber L says

    I’m vegetarian and thinking of trying this with the Beyond or Impossible products. Do you have any insight on why this may or may not work or any suggestions?


    • Jessica Gavin says

      I have tried the Impossible product and really liked it for burgers. The texture was surprisingly similar to ground beef. I think you could use it 1:1 replacement for the meatloaf recipe. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

  33. Darlene Couch says

    I made this for my family. First time in the kitchen for years. I had to replenish a lot.
    The taste was wonderful, but when I tried to remove it from the loaf pan it crumbled. Not sure what happened. I followed the directions. Let it sit in the pan to cool for 15 minutes to Cool.
    Perhaps it was the way I tried to remove it.
    Perhaps I should have placed a pan on top and flipped it. Oh well it was a tasty dish.

  34. Darlene Couch says

    Didn’t get an answer to why I could not get the meatloaf from the pan. I used a large flat spatula on each end but it all crumbled into ground beef. It was delicious. I followed the instructions but substituted Chinese rice crumbs instead of painko bread crumbs. Could this be the cause.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Darlene- The rice is sticky but does not contain gluten like flour, which holds the meatloaf better together. Also if it’s too hot still, it is more susceptible to falling apart. Perhaps next time you can line the pan with greased foil with some overhanging to make it easier to remove.

  35. Doug & Debra says

    Delicious! Only had 1 pound of hamburger so cut recipe in half. I should have thawed more hamburger. I shouldn’t have 1/2ed the glaze either so tasty. We were having a snow day on the farm; Thursday which is our regular day for groceries so had to do a few subs. Stove top stuffing for panko breadcrumbs, no celery lots of onions, no tomato paste use ketchup instead. Used the last of the maple syrup for Christmas baking so good ol’ Aunt Jemima in glaze. Total hit here!

  36. Maria Terry says

    When I was growing up I HATED meatloaf. Somewhere along the line I had good meatloaf. I tried your recipe and it was delicious. Not the least bit dry. The glaze is a wonderful addition. We’re having meatloaf sandwiches in a couple of days. Meatloaf sandwiches were the worst thing I could eat after liver. Made with this meatloaf they’re comfort food. Happy to make this again. Another winner.

  37. Dave says


    OMG, this is so flavorful! I thought our old family recipe cold not be matched let alone beaten. I stand corrected. I made mine with milk, used 3 pounds of 80/20 ground beef (next time, I’ll use 4) and then added proportionately more of everything including two large, green bell peppers. Since it was a bit wet for my liking from the additional peppers, I added a couple handfuls of old fashion rolled oats to dry it out a bit. I like to shape mine into a rounded, rectangular loaf then place it into a blue enameled roasting pan sprayed with non-stick; reshape and center it, so it does not touch the sides of the roaster. I stick a leave-in thermometer probe in the center of the loaf, cover, and alarm it for 160°F. Perfect and sooooo flavorful! A quick 5-miute trip under the broiler to brown the top a bit and done! Great recipe! A keeper!

  38. Annie Barrs says

    I make meatloaf a couple
    of times a month trying to replicate my mother’s recipe so I had to give this a try. Followed it to the letter! FANTASTIC!!!! My husband said it was the best I’d ever made and was mad that I gave him a serving then froze the rest for another meal. He wanted leftovers right away!
    It must have been the panade which I’d never tried or the wicked maple syrup topping?
    Thank you Jessica!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Wow! Great job making the meatloaf, thrilled to hear that the family enjoyed it. Yes, the panade works wonders for the texture and the sauce is a great way to enhance the flavor.

  39. Jill Zinner says

    We are only 2 people in our household. When I cook it is always, of course, knowing the meal will be a “leftover” and I don’t have a problem with that…actually I like it…HOWEVER…your recipe is for 8 people. Could you cut it down for me? Do you cook the glaze separately in a bowl and then after it’s cooked add to the raw meatloaf and then bake the meatloaf? Or cook/bake the glaze in the oven and put on meatloaf AFTER it comes out of the oven and is cooling? Thank you!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Jill- If you look in the recipe card under “servings” however your mouse over the number of servings, that will give you a slider to increase or decrease the recipe yield. The glaze isn’t cooked, it’s whisked together, then brushed over the cooked meatloaf, then broiled a few times, adding more sauce in between, to create a glaze that sticks on top.

  40. Cathy Mcclure says

    Hi Jessica..I’ve never commented on a recipe before but I love this meatloaf! I’ve made it several times over the years and it’s always wonderful..I do double the glaze and increase the fresh thyme to about a Tablespoon. I love trying new recipes so seldom repeat recipes except for this one. Thank you..Cathy

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you for leaving a comment, Cathy! I love hearing about your cooking experience, thrilled to find that you are enjoying the meatloaf. Extra source and herbs is always a good addition!

  41. Michele Cipressi says

    I made this today for my boyfriend and oh my goodness, so absolutely delicious! Best meat loaf ever and I’ve been making a good meatloaf for years. Thank you!

  42. Diane says

    Would it be possible to convert this recipe to a slow cooker version?
    My family LOVES this, but our oven will be temporarily out of commission due to a renovation.
    We’re hoping we can still enjoy it during the chaos!
    Thanks in advance!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yes! You can line the slow cooker with foil and then grease it with vegetable oil or cooking spray. Cook on low for about 6 hours, or until cooked through. Let me know how it goes!

  43. Brad says


    I never post like this, but have been looking for the perfect meatloaf recipe for a long time, and this one is it! I’ve never been able to slice my meatloaf without it crumbling, but following these directions, this one came out perfect. My slices looked like they were done for a photo shoot!

    The only thing I changed – and I suggest everyone try it – is I took a cue from Alton Brown and a couple others and used the loaf pan just to shape the meatloaf, then turned it over onto a Pam sprayed, foil-covered cookie sheet so that I had more edges to glaze and get crispy. So fantastic this way, and you don’t have to drain anything or worry about getting it out of the pan.

    Anyway, thanks so much for this recipe. So amazing!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I think you could shape the loaf and brown it, then let it fully cook the stove top. However, I might recommend making smaller portions (perhaps 4 or 8 individual servings) so it’s easier to remove from the pot. Let me know how it goes!

  44. Brandie Shanor says

    My family loved it and asked for seconds! Next time I’ll be making two! We really like wagyu beef so I did use that instead for this recipe. It turned out very moist and flavorful?

  45. Dawn Caro says

    My all time FAVORITE meat loaf. The glaze sauce is the shining star that finishes it. Can’t tell you how many people I have sent to this recipe…did I say I occasionally crave this?????

  46. Pamela says

    Hi Jessica: I’m making your meatloaf tonight and when it came to the glaze, you said to put the oven up to 500.° I had the meatloaf in a Pyrex 9×5,” and before putting it in the oven, I found out that Pyrex can’t go up to 500.° I quickly transferred the meat to my broiler pan. What do you cook your meatloaf in? Please let me know if you will.

    I’ll let you know how it turns out.


  47. Pamela Harriman says

    My meatloaf was wonderful and in addition I made your green bean recipe which was also excellent. Next time I make this, I’ll follow another commenter’s review about using a sheet tray with parchment paper or foil in her case, as the surface area of the meatloaf will get crispy edges.

  48. Paul Fischer says

    This is a hug in a pan. I have never known that anything with a name as vanilla as meatloaf could have so much going on! I did the glaze the first time, tonight I did curley’s bbq and it still hilariously outmatches anything else. Good show Jessica! Can’t wait to try your other recipes! Do you sell a book?

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