Best Meat Loaf Ever!

Best Meat Loaf Ever!

Best Meat Loaf Ever!

Everyone raves about my meat loaf recipe and you’ll see why. Serve it with real mashed potatoes or you’ll love it the next day in a fantastic meat loaf sandwich. Be sure to use a baking sheet and not a loaf pan so any grease can run off and all sides can brown. - Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Makes: 4 to 6 servings

Best Meat Loaf Ever!


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/3 cup 1% milk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste

  • 1 1/2 pounds extra lean ground beef


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
  2. In a small pan sauté the onion, garlic and thyme in oil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients, including cooled onion mixture, except the meat. When mixture is well blended add the meat by hand but do not overwork it.
  4. Place on baking sheet and shape into a 9 by 5-inch loaf. Bake for about an hour or until the center reaches 160° F. Let rest 10 minutes.

Note: Too much meat loaf? For my recipe using only ONE pound of ground beef, click here.

Best Meat Loaf Ever!

114 Comments on "Best Meat Loaf Ever!"

  1. Jenny

    I made this meatloft for my 18 year old son for dinner and left the house. I tasted it and it was so good!! Came home to find the meatloft all gone! He said it was the best meatloft and couldn’t stop eating.

  2. Elaine

    Delicious…will make again….not sure what happened…it cracked open in the middle why did this happen….

    • Jenny

      Did you follow the recipe exactly? Any changes at all? Did you use quick-cooking oats?

      • Elaine

        I just realized not the quick oats… the meatloaf and your videos…you are my go to for receipies

  3. Jenny

    Can I use almond milk instead of reg cow milk?
    Love your recipes!!

    • Jenny

      I have never used almond milk but it seems to me it would work. Look through the comments as someone may have done it.

  4. Jeanene

    My Husband and I fixed this meat loaf, first time…We love it! thank You!!

  5. Laura

    I by accident defrosted meat. I remembered your recipe. OMG, the smell in the home and then they ate it and it is not the best, it is the best ever!

  6. Sandycheei

    Jenny this is the best meat loaf I have ever made. So full of flavor. I’m not a meatloaf eater but I did make it for my husband n I decided to taste it and to my surprise I loved it. Thanks for the recipe

  7. Linda

    Jenny what are the latex gloves that you use & where can I buy them?

    • Judith Smith

      You can get on Amazon and put in latex gloves or nitrile gloves and pull up whatever you’re looking for. Some people are allergic to latex and do better with vinyl, nitrile and other materials. Also, some gloves are powdered and some aren’t. The powder can irritate your hands. I’m a nurse and we have sterile gloves.You probably don’t need sterile.

      Thanks and good luck!


  8. Carol

    This meatloaf is simply gorgeous! Full of flavour. Another epic success from Jenny – thanks again

  9. steve iwan

    i noticed your using a ceramic frying pan. i badly want one and can you comment on a good one to buy and where. thx steve

    • Jenny

      I use many different brands of cookware and I find most of them at either Target or Bed Bath & Beyond. For higher end cookware, Sur La Table is a good store.

  10. Jeannie

    Have now made your meatloaf. I love it! I used extra lean ground beef, and had no problem with it not holding together. I let it sit for 20 minutes before slicing. This is now my go-to recipe for meatloaf!

  11. Jeannie

    Got all the ingredients and will make later today. As to a glaze, I have used apricot preserves with some Dijon mustard and a couple squirts of Heinz 57. It always turns out great. I can’t give measurements, as I just taste as I go.

  12. Jeannie

    My Mom could throw together a great meatloaf, but I have never been able to duplicate hers – it just doesn’t taste the same! When I watched your video, I knew I had a winner! As soon as I can get the ingredients, I will definitely make yours! I like your tip about putting the oatmeal and milk together, sautéing the garlic, onion and thyme until brown, also about mixing all the ingredients together before adding the ground beef. Anyway, will let you know how mine turns out!

  13. Carmen

    Looking forward to making it for diner tonight. Love your recipes/videos, there are all great! It is always a pleasure watching you in action. Keep up the great work!

  14. Paul Cervantes

    Followed the recipe with the exception of bell peppers (didn’t have any). I used celery instead. The meatloaf itself was delicious. Well balanced with sweetness and good consistency. The only set back would be the presentation. Doesn’t exactly look as good as it taste. Thanks Jenny

  15. Frank

    Love the recipe and the flavor tried something different cooked it in the slow cooker for 6 hours on high or 9+ hours on low sliced it beautiful and taste great.very YUMMY!

    • Shane

      I love new crockpot ideas. Did you make it loaf style? If so did it keep its form while cooking in the crock pot? I may have to try this.

  16. Jan

    I made this meatloaf for tonight’s dinner and had high hopes for it. However, it was a disappointment. Everyone has an idea of what their ideal meatloaf is I suppose. This one was just not mine. Although I used very good ground sirloin, it did not slice well and basically fell apart. There was little grease but the mixture just seemed to have too much liquid to firm up.

  17. Paula

    Hi Jenny – made the meatloaf today – it tasted great but I was unable to slice it. It just kind of fell apart – like I said it tasted great but the presentation left something to be desired. Any idea what could have caused this? Love all of your recipes especially the cinnamon rolls – absolutely delicious!

    • Jenny

      That’s usually from using beef with too much fat.

  18. Cheryl

    Hands down the best meatloaf I have ever tasted. Best part, my kids (all 4 of them to include husband) had no idea there were vegetables in there. Thanks Jenny!! This recipe is a keeper.

  19. Judy

    My husband was requesting meatloaf for dinner today. I am always looking for new versions of our favorite comfort foods. After reading such positive reviews couldn’t wait to make it. Followed the recipe as written despite my strong desire to add mushrooms. I must say we were a little disappointed in the taste. We found the vegetables made it a little too sweet and other than the sweetness lacking in flavor. We prefer a richer, earthier flavor.

    • Jenny

      No problem. I never expect my recipes to be right for everyone.

  20. mona

    love it so delicious. i covered aluminum foil for 30mins. continue uncovered for another 30 mins. plus i pour BBq sauce. so yummy and moist.

    • M, Elmasry

      I have done it like you too.
      very delicious

  21. Nancy

    Hi Jenny
    Love your baking video. Would like to know where do you get all your lovely gadgets so colourful.

  22. Susan

    Hello..BTW I used to love to watch your show.

    Im 50 years old and never made a meatloaf in my life. Thank you so much for your recipe my family loved it!! It was so easy for me for followed.
    Thanks again!!

  23. Bill

    Jennie, I love sauces and gravies. Your meatloaf with mashed potatoes would seem a little “dry” to me.
    What sauce would you recommend (tomato maybe?) for this recipe!?

    • Jenny

      I’m not much of a sauce maker so I’m sorry I can’t help with a sauce. However, I think you’ll find this meatloaf is not dry at all of you follow my recipe.

      • Bill

        You are right. It’s not “dry” at all……..and very tasty!!

    • June

      The sauce I’ve enjoyed has mixture of ketchup and brown sugar. I found this one, but not sure how hot the chili pepper might make it: 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder.

  24. Beth

    I have been cooking and baking for a long time and my family loves my meatloaf….BUT..:) I will have to say, “this is the best meatloaf we have ever had”., and the clean-up and less fat is great. Thank you so much.!

  25. Vicki

    This meatloaf is by far the best! I’m so glad I found it. We have it once a week for dinner. Thank you Jenny!

  26. D

    I hadn’t had meatloaf in 20+ years. In saw your recipe and gave it a try… Making it again today, I shared your video with family and friends. Thanks Jenny!

  27. lurdes

    hi Jenny I love you recipes

  28. elaine

    Thank you for this recipe… easy and really tasty

  29. Rupa

    I love your videos and your receipes are awesome. My kids simply love them. Please keep them coming. ….love your smile too!

  30. Graham

    Hi Jenny,

    I made the meatloaf last night as per the recipe. Fantastic flavour, good texture, nice mouth feel. This goes into my recipes folder.

    I have also made your 20 minute pizza dough. Again another excellent recipe. My favourite toppings are sea food marinara mix, avocado & cheese.

    Love your videos, your smile and your naughty sense of humour.

    Cheers, Graham.

  31. priscilla

    can u use honey mustard

    • Jenny

      This recipe is so good the way it is (Dijon mustard adds a lot to the flavor) that I encourage you to make it as written before making changes.

  32. Shelly

    Hello Jenny,

    I just want to let you know that I cooked you loaf for Christmas using turkey and doubling the recipe and it was absolutely wonderful. I will be cooking this again soon. The turkey stayed moist and did not dry out at all. I baked on parchment paper and the loaf did not stick to pan. I followed your recipe as list just substitute ground turkey.

    It was delicious and a hit.

    Thanks for sharing it. .

  33. Yoly T.

    I followed your Best meat loaf recipe. It was very good, the only thing was it spread and flattened out a bit.It tasted goooood. I tried to make another one and instead of forming it on a baking sheet, I used an aluminum foil loaf pan container and made few slits at the botton to drain some of the grease.VOILA success. Thank you Jenny for all your recipes.

    • Jenny

      If you follow the recipe exactly with no changes it should hold together on the sheet. Mine does every time. Just make sure when you shape it there are no air pockets in the loaf. I’m glad it tasted good but in the loaf pan, you don’t get the same nicely browned crust.

  34. Linda

    We use 5 minute oats instead of the quick-cook. Will
    those work the same in this recipe? Looking forward to
    making this soon.

    • Jenny

      I have only used quick-cooking oats, which cook in one minute. I don’t know how 5-minute oats will work – they may not dissolve as well as the quick ones. This is a fabulous meatloaf but I can only guarantee the result if you don’t make changes so I would try to get the quick oats, just to be sure.

  35. Jimmy

    Hi Jenny,

    I tried your recipe out and the meatloaf fell apart. Could you give me some advice to prevent it from crumbling?

    I did pretty much what you did but with 5% ground beef instead of 9%. Would adding more eggs or more oats help keep the meat together?

    • Jenny

      If you follow the recipe exactly it will not fall apart. Please tell me exactly what you used and then I can help figure it out. Did you use a flat baking sheet? I don’t think using a leaner beef than mine would make a difference. Let me know…

  36. Kim

    Hi! Planning to make your meatloaf this week. Looks amazing. Do you think that whole milk will work or will it keep it from binding properly. Thanks in advance for your help!

    • Jenny

      I have only made it with 1% milk but it’s such a small amount of milk I see no reason why it wouldn’t stay together.

  37. Dustin

    OMG the end of the video, classic LOL!

  38. samm iamm

    Well Jenny I made a few changes to this and it,was spectacular! The main change was the ketchup, all the ketchups I have seen have HFCS in them and I will not use.
    So I used my own homemade “Ketsauce” instead 🙂

    The addition of 1/4 tsp. Toated sesame seed oil and tablespoon of Tamari gave it a much deeper flavor. I also used equal portions of whole milk and cultured butter milk and tblsp. of small curd cottage cheese blended in the processor for quick pulses. This gave a little tang to it.

    All in all, it is the best damn meatloaf ever!!! Thank you so much!!!!


  39. Aasha

    Hi Jenny can i make this loaf a day before and serve it the next day???
    How to store it??
    I dont find minced beaf here nd so can i use pork???

    • Jenny

      Leftover meat loaf is very good, even cold in a sandwich. Just keep it in a tightly covered container, refrigerated. However, I don’t think pork would work in this recipe. I have never seen a loaf recipe made with pork, probably because of its bland flavor and dryness. I think you would be disappointed.

      • Ann H

        Loved Jenny’s recipe and video, it was funny, colorful, and so easy to follow.
        I wanted to taste meatloaf all my life, and since I don’t eat beef, I couldn’t try it anywhere else, as most people make it with beef. So I thought I’ll make it on my own using Turkey, but since Jenny mentioned Turkey didn’t work with this recipe, I decided to make it with a mixture of Turkey (1 lb) and Pork (1.5 lb). I doubled all the ingredients in the recipe, and made a few modifications as follows per my preferences for spice, and amount of vegetables. As Jenny says, it turned out to be the best meatloaf ever, even though it was my first one ever. I hope I can repeat the results next time. Here are some of the tweaks I made for the 2.5 pounds of meat…
        + added one cup of breadcrumbs, & ½ cup flaxseed powder in addition to Oatmeal
        + 2 medium-sized onions
        + one whole green pepper
        + one whole red pepper
        + 2 med size carrots
        + replaced just ketchup with 50-50 mix of ketchup and Spicy BBQ sauce
        + 4 tbsp spicy Chipotle Mayo
        + replaced parsley with Cilantro
        + 2 tbsp Steak Sauce
        + Red-chilli pepper powder – ¼ – ½ tsp per taste
        + Glazed with mixture of 4 tbsp brown sugar and ½ cup spicy BBQ sauce in last 15 min of baking time
        + Doubled baking time due to larger loaf size. I baked leftover mixture into mini meat-loaves, in a muffin pan for shorter baking time of 30 minutes at 350°F, since I couldn’t wait to try them.
        Both the mini-meatloaves and larger meatloaf were perfectly moist and well done, and so delicious!!
        It was an instant hit with the whole family and they are already asking when will I make it again.

        • Jenny

          Thanks for taking time to share your creation. I’m glad it turned out so well.

      • David

        I beg to differ…my Grandmother always made meatloaf with a combination of ground beef, ground pork, and ground veal. It was and continues to be the best. I have yet to find any recipe that compares, as my Grandmother just dumped everything onto a big bowl and mixed with her hands. No measuring needed. Always baked it in a cast iron skillet.

        • Jenny

          Yes, a combination of meats is very good and commonly used but I was saying that using only pork would not work.

  40. Margie

    Hi Jenny my question! Is it ok if I use fat free milk instead of the 1%?

    • Jenny

      I think the little bit of fat in 1% milk contributes to this recipe. You can make any changes you like but if you want a proven recipe that gets raves every time, I would suggest you make this recipe as is.

  41. Tosin

    Hi Jenny, this meatloaf was indeed the best I’d ever tried! Only thing is that it crumbled a bit when I cut into it. I used 95% lean ground beef, added 200g finely chopped and sautéed mushrooms in addition to the other veggies (added to the cooking onions) and I used a medium egg not large. Do you think that’s why? Too many veggies? Not enough eggs? I also let it cool 5 mins first before cutting. Should I have let it cool longer? Thanks so much!

    • Jenny

      I don’t think the size of the egg would make that much difference but I think the mushrooms are the problem. They are full of moisture and might have kept the loaf from setting. I suggest trying it without mushrooms next time and maybe serve them on the side.

  42. Aasha

    Hi Jenny can i use chicken instead of beaf in dis recipe??
    Will d cooking time and temperature differ if i do so??

    • Jenny

      No, this recipe will not work with ground chicken. Ground chicken is too soft to hold the shape.

  43. Linda

    Have made this meatloaf several times, and now getting requests for it (including from one person who didn’t like meatloaf till she tasted this one).

    Thanks heaps for sharing your recipes!


    LOVE YOUR RECIPE!!!. However, I don’t have Djoin Mustard. What do I do?

    • Jenny

      You don’t have it or you can’t get it? Please clarify – thanks!


      both. Don’t have it and can’t get it.

      • Jenny

        Oh, that’s too bad. Dijon adds a nice complex flavor to things so you could try using another whole grain mustard – maybe you have one you already like. If not, try an online search for substitutes for dijon mustard or just try your grocery store and you may find another brand of whole grain mustard. (I would not use yellow mustard) Good luck!

  45. Carole

    This is the best! Taste exactly like my nana always made us. Thanks Jenny.

  46. Luvstocook/bake

    If you use a foil lined 1/2 sheet pan then a foil covered broiler pan & place the meatloaf on it the fat/oil drains away from the meatloaf instead of sitting in the fat/oil! Try it you’ll like it & there’s no mess, just discard the aluminum foil.
    Also, when you’re sauteing the onion & garlic (I use more than you call for), I also saute the carrot & any other vegetables, chiles, mushrooms spices etc. This really makes the meatloaf more complex & truly more flavorful ! I can’t stand the taste of sweet peppers, I use chilies. Also I use oats as you do but, I also add rice to my recipe as well as mushrooms & I make a sauce out of tomato ketchup, onion powder, garlic powder, Brer Rabbit Dark Full Flavored Molasses & I slather this sauce onto the meatloaf, I believe that my meatloaf is much better than your Plain Jane meatloaf. Please give my meatloaf a try & let me know what you think? BTW, your recipe for stuffed cabbage rolls is OUTSTANDING!!!


    • Barbara

      I love Jenny’s recipe. Yours has so many changes its nothing like hers. Honestly, it doesn’t belong in the comments. It sounds good, though!

  47. CHEF ZEE





    • Jenny

      There is no nutrition and calorie information with my recipes. I’m just sharing what I make at home.

  48. frank

    you are just to funny lmfao the end of this video was hilarious jenny great job!!!

  49. Kathie Morgan

    Hi! This recipe sounds soooo good, but if I get caught putting red or green peppers in ANYTHING my husband will have a hissy fit! Would it ruin the recipe’s taste not putting the peppers in, or could I substitute somethiing else tasty? Any ideas??

    • Jenny

      I can’t think of a good replacement for the peppers that would add the sweetness and flavor but you can just leave them out.

    • Rhonda

      I don’t know if you would want to do this, but my sister wanted to make meatloaf for dinner and I suggested Jenny’s recipe. She processed a couple of the veggies in a food processor to hide them in the meat. They never knew there were carrots and peppers in this recipe. I had dinner with them that evening and it surprised me to see her husband and son go back for seconds…btw, Jenny I’m about to make your meatloaf for tomorrow’s dinner. Once a week I make a main dish for dinner and they are wanting your meatloaf. My brother-in-law calls your meatloaf the world’s famous…lol…he really does love your recipe. We all do

  50. kathy

    omg Jenny you are hilarious!! I so enjoy your videos..keep them coming please!!

  51. debra

    hi jenny this is new to me and i am going to try this recipe i believe it will be good because of the way you put it together i never thought about cooking the onion, garlic, olive oil.i just dump it in to the meat i never thought about mixing everything and adding the meat last thank for this information i will surely let you know how it came out thanks

  52. yna

    Hi ms jenny,

    i want to try you meatlof recipe but i dont have oven, im using the turbo could you help me about the exact time and temperature? thanks

    by the way i love the way you smile..your same like a teenager..:)

    • Jenny

      I have no knowledge of a Turbo and tried to look it up but I can’t tell if it’s a slow cooker or a convection oven. If you can give me the exact brand name I will try to help.

  53. Linda

    Tried this recipe last night for dinner, and we all loved it! Meatloaf is not hubby’s favorite, and he went back for seconds. And my son’s friend said it was the best meatloaf he’d ever had. I didn’t have any oats, so used crackers instead, crushed fine – still came out delicious.

  54. Renee

    I’d love to try this recipe, but I can’t eat gluten or dairy. Think I could get away with leaving out the milk?

    • Jenny

      I can only guess but I believe you can just leave out the milk. If the loaf comes out too dry, you could add 2-3 tablespoons of water the next time.

  55. letitia

    Ok jenny meatloaf is in the oven as I write this will let you know how it came out. Tish

  56. letitia

    just wanted to let you know about the ribs. I made them using my on rub and wow I could not believe it they were falling off the bone. I will never grill again. Thanks for the recipe. My husband loved them. I had 3 rib and the rest will I am sure you’ll figure out who ate the rest husband. Lol

  57. ashley

    This is really good. Thank you for the recipe!! 🙂

  58. Lori

    WOW! It really is the best! I’m trying more of your recipes!

  59. Amy

    I’ve made this meatloaf a couple times. Everyone loves it. Thank you! I was just wondering, could I use 2 lbs. of ground beef to make a little more with the same measured ingredients or should I add more milk, ketchup, and oats? Thanks in advance for the help!

    • Jenny

      I would try to increase all the ingredients by about 1/3, except the egg. It’s hard to mess up meatloaf so you could just add a little more onion, use 2 bigger cloves of garlic, mound the thyme, oats, vegetables & spices a little when you measure and add no more than 2 extra tablespoons of milk. To make sure it has enough “glue,” I would probably beat an extra egg and just add about half of it. I can’t guarantee it but this is the way I would do it. I’m glad you like this meatloaf – it really is fabulous.

  60. Cecilia

    I was not going to try your meat loaf recipe because my husband said “why mess with perfection; yours is the best.” However, I did it anyway and it was delish. The only thing I did differently was add some ground pork to the ground beef which I always do. I think the pork addition negates the need for the milk. I feel guilty that I didn’t follow your recipe to the letter. However, I did restrain myself from adding my usual small can of V8 juice instead of the ketchup and throwing in a can of mushrooms. This was very tasty and we are looking forward to leftovers. Don’t you think leftover meatloaf is the best? Keep doing those videos! You are adorable and I actually catch myself smiling while watching.

  61. Jennifer

    I had my doubts… But this meatloaf is AMAZING!!! My new favorite meatloaf recipe 🙂

  62. Monica

    I grew up eating meatloaf with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese as the binding agent…and after eating this, I can’t go back. The flavors of all the veggies along with the onion and garlic – wow! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  63. Chase

    Wow, this was seriously good meatloaf. Sometimes the details really matter, thanks for the pointers. I am going to take my old meatloaf and sh———

  64. Claudia

    This is the very best meatloaf ever. My husband and I sat down and our two grown sons (who don’t live with us) just happened to drop over.

    The youngest had call his father at work and my husband mentioned I was trying out your meatloaf recipe for the first time. So they just “happened to be in the neighborhood. 😉

    Both sons asked for the recipe and said to let them know when I make this again as they don’t want any to go to waste. (ha ha)

    I was hoping for a little piece for my lunch tomorrow……….no chance it’s all gone. 🙁

    Well tomorrow night is Jenny’s Chicken Pot Pie but I’m not telling even my husband ahead of time.

  65. Anh Hoang

    Hi jenny
    Never make meatloaf before. I’ll try your receipt tonight, hope it come out good, I’ll let you know later. Thanks so much.

  66. Cindy Click

    Making the meatloaf tonight for dinner. Can’t wait to try it. The only thing I added was a little bit of liquid smoke. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  67. sarah j densen

    Recipe sounds great but can I use ground white meat turkey breast?

    • Jenny

      I’m not sure. White turkey meat is very lean and there may not be enough moisture in the loaf. I’ve had several questions about this so I will make one using white turkey and report back in the next week or so.

    • Jenny

      Well, I made my meatloaf tonight using ground white turkey breast. It does work with my recipe but not on the baking pan. You have to bake it in a loaf pan; otherwise, it will spread out too much. With the ground turkey breast there is not enough body to maintain the loaf shape on a baking sheet. I kept pushing it into a loaf and it kept flattening on me so I put it in a loaf pan. Once it’s cooked, it’s a little more crumbly than the beef so slice it carefully. But it tasted good and it was a pretty pink color.

      • Jean

        There is a loaf pan especially for meat loaves. It’s actually two loaf pans that fit one inside the other. The top pan has holes in the bottom to allow the fat to drain away. I think you would lose even more fat that way than if you used a cookie sheet and foil.

        • Jenny

          I used to have one of those pans but I really like the browning on all sides that I get on the foil, but it’s a great invention (and it helps keep the loaf shape). Here’s a link for anyone interested: Click here

  68. Ben

    Made it. Loved it. Keep em comin.

  69. Imthebeachgirl

    Greetings from Florida! OMG Jenny, you were right, I made this tonight and the family raved about it. We now have a new “Best ever meatloaf” recipe. thanks so much!

  70. Zeb

    Made the meatloaf for me and the wife….very very very DELISH ! <3

  71. Christine

    I LOVE me some meatloaf!! I always try it when I see it on the menu of any place I go….I’m definitely going to try this recipe-I haven’t found a bad recipe on your site yet!! My ribs for 4th of July were OUT OF THIS WORLD!! Keep up the good work Jenny!

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