beef meatloaf recipe

Juicy Beef Meatloaf Recipe | Classic Comfort Food

Welcome to our flavorful and easy beef meatloaf recipe, the epitome of classic comfort food. If you’re looking for a delicious homemade beef meatloaf that is both moist and bursting with savory flavors, you’re in the right place. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe will guide you step by step to create a mouthwatering dish that will please the whole family.

Our beef meatloaf recipe combines lean ground beef with a mix of Italian breadcrumbs, eggs, diced onions, garlic powder, chopped parsley, and a touch of salt and pepper. The secret ingredient that keeps this meatloaf exceptionally juicy is the addition of barbecue sauce. This tangy and smoky sauce not only enhances the flavor but also adds an extra level of moisture to the dish.

To make this easy beef meatloaf, simply gather your ingredients, mix everything together in a large bowl, shape the mixture into a loaf, and bake it to perfection. The result is a golden-brown, tender meatloaf with a flavorful crust that will make your taste buds sing.

Whether you’re planning a cozy family dinner or hosting a gathering with friends, our homemade beef meatloaf is sure to impress. Serve it with creamy mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, or a side of your choice for a complete and satisfying meal.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive into the world of classic comfort food with our irresistible beef meatloaf recipe. Trust us, once you try it, you’ll be hooked!

Ingredients and Preparation

For this classic beef meatloaf recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of lean ground beef
  • 1 cup of Italian breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of diced onion
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce

To prepare the meatloaf, follow these steps:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, diced onion, garlic powder, chopped parsley, salt, pepper, and barbecue sauce.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together until fully combined.
  3. On a lined and coated baking sheet, press the mixture into an 8″ x 4″ loaf shape.
  4. Bake the meatloaf at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together ketchup, brown sugar, and yellow mustard to create a topping.
  6. After the initial 45 minutes of baking, remove the meatloaf from the oven and spread the topping mixture over the top.
  7. Return the meatloaf to the oven and continue baking for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Allow the meatloaf to rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

This classic meatloaf recipe is the perfect combination of flavors, resulting in a moist and flavorful dish that will satisfy your taste buds.

Leftover Meatloaf Ideas

Leftover meatloaf can be used in a variety of delicious ways. Instead of letting it go to waste, get creative and transform your leftover meatloaf into satisfying meals. Here are some ideas to make the most out of your meatloaf leftovers:

1. Meatloaf Sandwiches

One classic way to enjoy leftover meatloaf is by making meatloaf sandwiches. Simply slice the meatloaf and place it between two slices of your favorite bread. Add some crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, and tangy mayo for a tasty and hearty sandwich. Savor the combination of flavors and textures as you bite into this satisfying meal.

2. Crispy Meatloaf

If you prefer a different texture, you can heat up your leftover meatloaf by pan frying it until crispy. The outer edges will become golden brown and slightly crispy, adding a delightful crunch to each bite. Serve the crispy meatloaf slices alongside a fresh salad or roasted vegetables for a balanced and flavorful meal.

3. Potato Cakes with Meatloaf Filling

Another creative idea is to crumble the leftover meatloaf into mashed potatoes and make potato cakes. Pan fry these potato cakes in butter until golden brown and crispy on the outside. The meatloaf filling will add a savory and moist center to each potato cake, making them a delicious and satisfying side dish or even a main course. Serve them with a dollop of sour cream or your favorite dipping sauce.

These leftover meatloaf ideas are just the beginning. Feel free to experiment and let your palate guide you in discovering new ways to enjoy this classic comfort food. Don’t let your leftover meatloaf go to waste when you can turn it into a delicious meal that will bring joy to your taste buds.

Tips for a Moist Meatloaf

When it comes to making a delicious and moist meatloaf, there are a few key tips to keep in mind. By following these recommendations, you can prevent your meatloaf from becoming dry and bland.

Firstly, consider using milk instead of water in the recipe. Adding milk to your meatloaf mixture adds both richness and moisture, resulting in a more tender and flavorful final product.

Secondly, when baking your meatloaf, avoid covering it with foil. While covering the meatloaf may seem like a good idea to retain moisture, it actually steams the meatloaf instead of allowing it to roast. This can lead to a grey and soggy texture. Instead, bake the meatloaf uncovered to allow for browning and caramelization, which enhances the flavor and texture.

If you find that your meatloaf is always turning out dry, there may be a few other factors to consider. Make sure you are using the right recipe and following it accurately. Over-baking the meatloaf can result in dryness, so be sure to check the internal temperature and remove it from the oven once it reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, allow the meatloaf to rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to reabsorb into the meat, keeping it moist and preventing it from becoming dry.

Lastly, consider alternatives to traditional breadcrumbs. If your meatloaf tends to be dry, it may be due to the breadcrumbs absorbing too much moisture. Instead, you can try using alternatives such as panko breadcrumbs, gluten-free breadcrumbs, or quick-cooking oats. These alternatives can still provide the necessary texture and binding without drying out the meatloaf.

Incorporating these tips into your meatloaf recipe can make a significant difference in the final result. You’ll be able to enjoy a moist, flavorful, and delicious meatloaf every time.

Flavorful Variations and Serving Suggestions

While this recipe is a classic beef meatloaf, there are many variations you can try to add different flavors. Some suggestions include:

  • Adding onion and garlic powder for extra depth of flavor
  • Using a combination of ground pork and ground beef for a richer taste
  • Spicing up the meatloaf sauce with chili sauce or chipotle seasonings for a smoky kick

The meatloaf sauce plays a crucial role in enhancing the overall taste of the dish. It typically consists of ketchup, brown sugar, and sometimes pepper or other seasonings. The sauce is spread over the meatloaf before baking and can also be brushed on top during cooking to add an extra layer of flavor.

When serving meatloaf, it pairs well with classic sides such as mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. The combination of creamy potatoes and savory meatloaf creates a satisfying and balanced meal.

Whether you stick to the classic recipe or experiment with different variations, the key is to serve it with love and enjoy the comforting flavors of this beloved comfort food.

Make-Ahead and Freezing Options

If you have a busy schedule, you can prepare the meatloaf mixture in advance. Simply mix all the ingredients together and keep the mixture in the bowl, tightly covered with a lid, plastic wrap, or foil. Chilling the mixture in the fridge not only saves time but also enhances the flavor. When you’re ready to bake the meatloaf, shape it into a loaf and place it on a lined baking sheet. You can also freeze raw meatloaf by wrapping each loaf tightly in plastic wrap and foil before placing them in freezer bags. Properly stored, frozen meatloaf can last up to 3 months. When it’s time to cook the frozen meatloaf, allow it to defrost overnight in the refrigerator before following the baking instructions.

Make-Ahead Tips for Preparing Meatloaf in Advance:

  • Mix all the ingredients together and keep the mixture covered in the refrigerator until ready to bake
  • Shape the meatloaf and place it on a lined baking sheet

Freezing Tips for Raw Meatloaf:

  • Wrap each loaf tightly in plastic wrap and foil
  • Place wrapped loaves in freezer bags for better storage

Tips for a Perfect Meatloaf

Creating the perfect meatloaf requires attention to detail. Follow these tips to ensure your meatloaf stays intact and bursting with flavor:

1. Binding the Mixture

Properly binding the meatloaf mixture is essential to prevent it from falling apart. Use an adequate amount of eggs and vegetables like diced onions and garlic to help bind the ingredients together. Not only will this improve the texture, but it will also add a delightful flavor to your meatloaf.

2. Opt for Lean Ground Beef with Slightly Higher Fat Content

While lean ground beef is a healthier option, it tends to result in a drier meatloaf. To overcome this, choose ground beef with a slightly higher fat content, such as 80% lean. The extra fat contributes to a juicier and more flavorful meatloaf.

3. Let it Rest

After baking, resist the temptation to slice your meatloaf immediately. Allow it to rest for about 10-15 minutes. This resting phase allows the juices to redistribute and reabsorb into the meat, keeping it moist and preventing it from falling apart when sliced.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a perfectly bound and delicious meatloaf that will impress your family and friends.

Storing and Reheating Meatloaf

Leftover cooked meatloaf is a versatile dish that can be easily stored and reheated for future meals. Whether you want to enjoy the flavors again or save time in the kitchen, here are some tips for storing and reheating meatloaf.

Storing Cooked Meatloaf

When storing cooked meatloaf, it’s important to keep it fresh and safe to consume. Here are two simple methods:

  1. Wrap it tightly in foil or plastic wrap: This prevents air exposure and helps to retain moisture. Ensure that the entire meatloaf is covered.
  2. Use airtight containers: If you prefer a more durable option, place the meatloaf in an airtight container and seal it tightly. This method helps to preserve the flavors and prevent any odors from spreading in the fridge.

Both methods can keep cooked meatloaf fresh in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Freezing Cooked Meatloaf

If you have more meatloaf than you can consume in a few days, freezing it is a great option to extend its shelf life. Follow these steps to freeze your cooked meatloaf:

  1. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap: Ensure that the entire meatloaf is covered with multiple layers of plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn.
  2. Wrap it in foil: After wrapping it in plastic wrap, wrap the meatloaf in foil to provide an extra layer of protection.
  3. Place it in a freezer-safe bag: Put the wrapped meatloaf in a freezer-safe bag to prevent any freezer odors from affecting its taste.
  4. Label and date the package: It’s essential to label the package with the date it was frozen, so you can keep track of its freshness.

Cooked meatloaf can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months, allowing you to enjoy it at a later time.

Reheating Cooked Meatloaf

When it comes to reheating cooked meatloaf, you want to ensure that it’s heated evenly without compromising its texture. Here are two methods you can use:

  1. Reheat in the oven: Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C). Place the meatloaf in a baking dish or on a baking sheet and cover it with foil to prevent it from drying out. Heat it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
  2. Reheat in the microwave: If you’re looking for a quick option, you can use the microwave. Place the meatloaf on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap. Heat it in intervals of 30 seconds, checking the internal temperature as you go until it reaches 165°F (74°C).

No matter which method you choose, it’s best to let the frozen meatloaf defrost overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. This ensures that it heats more evenly and retains its moisture.

The cooking time for meatloaf can vary depending on the recipe and your oven. In general, most meatloaf recipes take between 45-60 minutes to cook through. It’s important to follow the recipe instructions and use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C) to be fully cooked and safe to eat.

Conclusion

This beef meatloaf recipe is the epitome of classic comfort food. With its easy preparation and flavorful ingredients, it’s a dish that will satisfy the whole family. Whether you’re making it for a special occasion or a weeknight dinner, this beef meatloaf is sure to become a favorite in your home.

By combining lean ground beef, Italian breadcrumbs, eggs, diced onion, garlic powder, chopped parsley, salt, pepper, and barbecue sauce, you’ll create a moist and delicious meatloaf that will leave everyone asking for seconds. The homemade flavors in this recipe elevate it to a whole new level.

So why wait? Indulge in the moist and flavorful goodness of this homemade beef meatloaf today. Your taste buds and your family will thank you.

FAQ

What ingredients do I need for this beef meatloaf recipe?

You will need 2 pounds of lean ground beef, 1 cup of Italian breadcrumbs, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of diced onion, 2 teaspoons of garlic powder, 2 teaspoons of chopped parsley, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper, and 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce.

How do I prepare the meatloaf?

Simply combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix until fully combined. Then press the mixture into an 8″ x 4″ loaf shape on a lined and coated baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes, then top with a mixture of ketchup, brown sugar, and yellow mustard. Continue baking for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the meatloaf rest before slicing and serving.

What can I do with leftover meatloaf?

Leftover meatloaf can be used in sandwiches, heated up by pan frying until crispy, or crumbled into mashed potatoes to make potato cakes pan-fried in butter.

How can I make a moist meatloaf?

Use milk instead of water in the recipe for added richness and moisture. Bake the meatloaf uncovered to allow for browning and caramelization, which enhances the flavor and texture.

Are there variations to this beef meatloaf recipe?

Yes, you can add onion and garlic powder, use ground pork in addition to the ground beef, or add chili sauce or chipotle seasonings to the meatloaf sauce. Serve the meatloaf with mashed potatoes and vegetables for a complete meal.

Can I prepare the meatloaf mixture in advance?

Yes, simply mix all the ingredients and keep the mixture tightly covered in the fridge until ready to bake. You can also freeze raw meatloaf by wrapping each loaf tightly in plastic wrap and foil before placing them in freezer bags.

How do I prevent the meatloaf from falling apart?

Make sure to use enough eggs and vegetables for binding the mixture together. Adding diced onions and garlic can help with the binding process. Let the cooked meatloaf rest before slicing to allow the juices to reabsorb into the meat.

How do I store and reheat cooked meatloaf?

Leftover cooked meatloaf can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or frozen for up to 3 months. When reheating, it’s best to let it defrost overnight in the refrigerator before warming it up in the oven or microwave.

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