Skip to content

Get 5 Secrets to Make Homemade Taste Food Better + New Recipes Weekly!

    Country Style Meatloaf Recipe

    Published April 24, 2020. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This easy to make meatloaf recipe is the ultimate comfort food made from few ingredients and that is guaranteed to bring smiles around your table.

    Even though I’m a classically trained chef, I’m a comfort food cooker.  I want to eat things like Wedding soup or boeuf bourguignon, things that are simple can be eaten in large quantities, and that comfort the soul.

    sliced meatloaf with. tomato glaze on a cutting board

    Country Meatloaf

    If you’re like me and wasn’t a fan of meatloaf growing up, I believe this recipe will help you break through those torturous childhood dinner tables.  Meatloaf is meant to be simple to prepare and extremely flavorful.  It can have several variations but in its basic form there are few ingredients consisting of:

    • Ground Beef
    • Onions
    • Peppers
    • Eggs
    • Bread
    • Salt and Pepper

    After these ingredients, you can get as creative as you want with things to put in and on top.

    The secret to Making It Moist

    While most recipes call for breadcrumbs, I believe this leads to drying out the meatloaf.  Breadcrumbs need to be reconstituted and when mixed into the meatloaf it will draw out the moisture from the eggs and ground beef causing it to be dry.

    The secret to keeping it moist is by mixing in water-soaked bread that is squeezed out and added in with the beef, vegetables, and seasonings. I do this exact same process when making meatballs as well.   My grandma used to call it, “wet bread.”

    I recommend using Italian or French bread, but you can absolutely use a homemade loaf as well.  Here’s how to do it:

    1. Completely submerge the bread in water until it becomes soft and wet, about 5 minutes.

    pouring water over bread in a large pan

    1. Squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible before adding it to the bowl with the meat, vegetables, and seasonings.

    squeezing bread to drain out any water into a pan

    Meatloaf Glaze

    There are several different types of glazes you can put on top, but I prefer a sweet tangy glaze.  It should complement the meatloaf, not overpower it and provide a little acid to help enhance the flavor of the beef.  My simple breakdown of ingredients consists of:

    • 1 Part Ketchup
    • ½ Part Brown Sugar
    • ¼ Part Soy Sauce

    How to Make It

    Add the vegetables, ground beef, wet bread, eggs, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper to a large bowl and thoroughly mix until completely mixed in.

    mixing together meatloaf ingredients in a bowl

    Transfer the mixture between 2 non-stick sprayed 9×5 loaf pans and press down to compact.

    forming meatloaf into a loaf pan

    Add on the glaze and bake in the oven.

    glazing the top of meatloaf with a tangy tomato sauce

    Rest the meatloaf for 3-4 minutes before removing from the pan, slicing, and serving.

    slicing glazed cooked meatloaf on a cutting board

    Ingredient Variations

    There are countless variations when it comes to meatloaf including ingredients that go into the mixture, different glazes or toppings.  Here are some great things you could include in it or on it:

    • Wrapped in Bacon
    • Cooked Chopped Bacon
    • Mushrooms
    • Shredded Mozzarella
    • Jalapeños
    • Soy Sauce
    • Cheddar Cheese Chunks

    What to Serve It With

    Recipe Chef Notes + Tips

    Make-Ahead: You can make this up to 1 hour ahead of time.  Wrap in foil and keep warm in the oven at 200°.

    How to Store: Place cooled and covered in plastic for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.  It will freeze well covered for up to 3 months.  Thaw for 1 day in the refrigerator before reheating.

    How to Reheat: Place your desired amount of meatloaf into a pan or on a tray with 2 tablespoons of water and cover with foil and cook at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until hot.  You can also heat in the microwave.

    This recipe makes enough for 2 loaves and will feed 6 people per loaf.

    In the meatloaf glaze, you can swap the brown sugar for regular sugar or honey.

    Make sure to press the meatloaf into the loaf pans to compact it so that it does not fall apart when slicing after it is cooked.

    Make sure the meatloaf reads 165° internally using a thermometer before removing it from the oven.   It is ok if there’s a little pink in there, it’s like eating a medium to medium-well hamburger.

    sliced meatloaf on a cutting board next to mashed potatoes and green beans

    More Comfort Food Recipes

    Be sure to follow me on FacebookYoutube, Instagram, and Pinterest, and if you’ve had a chance to make this then definitely drop me a comment and a rating below!

    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Video

    Country Style Meatloaf Recipe

    5 from 7 votes
    This easy to make meatloaf recipe is the ultimate comfort food made from few ingredients and that is guaranteed to bring smiles around your table.
    Servings: 12
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour

    Equipment

    • loaf pan

    Ingredients 

    For the Meatloaf:

    • ¾ loaf Italian Bread, soaked in water and squeezed
    • 1 seeded medium-diced red bell pepper
    • 1 seeded medium-diced green bell pepper
    • 1 peeled small-diced yellow onion
    • 4 finely minced cloves of garlic
    • 3 ½ pounds 90/10 ground beef
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 ½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • sea salt and pepper to taste

    For the Glaze:

    • ¾ cup ketchup
    • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

    Instructions

    • Preheat the oven to 375°.
    • Add the squeezed out wet bread to a large bowl along with the peppers, onions, garlic, ground beef, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly until completely combined.
    • Divide the mixture between to 9x5 prepared loaf pans and pack it in tight. You can line one of the pans with bacon as I did in the video for extra flavor if you prefer.
    • In a small bowl mix together the ketchup, brown sugar, and soy sauce until combined and add it to the top of the meatloaf and spread around to coat the top.
    • Bake in the oven at 375° for 50-60 minutes or until cooked throughout and reads 165° internally.
    • Rest for 3-4 minutes, slice, and serve.

    Notes

    Chef Notes:
    • Make-Ahead: You can make this up to 1 hour ahead of time. Wrap in foil and keep warm in the oven at 200°.
    • How to Store: Place cooled and covered in plastic for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. It will freeze well covered for up to 3 months. Thaw for 1 day in the refrigerator before reheating.
    • How to Reheat: Place your desired amount of meatloaf into a pan or on a tray with 2 tablespoons of water and cover with foil and cook at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until hot. You can also heat in the microwave.
    • This recipe makes enough for 2 loaves and will feed 6 people per loaf.  In the meatloaf glaze, you can swap the brown sugar for regular sugar or honey.
    • Make sure to press the meatloaf into the loaf pans to compact it so that it does not fall apart when slicing after it is cooked.
    • Make sure the meatloaf reads 165° internally using a thermometer before removing it from the oven. It is ok if there’s a little pink in there, it’s like eating a medium to medium-well hamburger.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 569kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 28gFat: 38gSaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 148mgSodium: 542mgPotassium: 573mgFiber: 2gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 503IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 4mg
    Course: american, english
    Cuisine: entree, main, main dish