Wholesome Comfort: Quick & Easy Weeknight Meatloaf
November 17, 2023
Weeknights are busy! We get it.
We love quick and easy recipes, but also want to make sure we are making it nutritious.
Who's to say we can't have it all?!
For best results:
To make this the best meatloaf recipe, we opted to keep this recipe simple. We use pure ground beef, forest raised ground sausage, a moderate amount of breadcrumbs (pork panko crumbs for a super healthy alternative), a few seasonings, and a super flavorful bacon-topped glaze.
This is a pretty easy dish to cook. But if you're just learning how to make meatloaf, there are two tips that will ensure big smiles and clean plates.
The first is to use the best ingredients that you can. If possible, use freshly ground beef that hasn't been packed down. If you're using packaged ground beef, spend a little time separating it, so it's less dense. Our sausage is a decadent additive to ensure this meatloaf is moist and delicious.
We also prefer a homemade BBQ sauce for the topping.
Second, don't over-mix the ingredients. You don't want the meatloaf to fall apart, but you also don't want it to be too dense. Keeping it lighter will help it cook through as well as ensuring a much tastier loaf.
Sheet pan or loaf pan?
Both methods of making meatloaf are delicious, but our instructions are for making it on a sheet pan. This helps make the recipe more versatile. More cooks have sheet pans, and you certainly don't need a loaf pan. We also find it a little easier to slice and serve from a sheet pan.
If you want to cook this meatloaf in a loaf pan, you can. As long as it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F as measured by a meat thermometer, either method is fine.
Cook covered or uncovered?
Some recipes recommend covering meatloaf to keep it moist, but with this recipe you don't have to. Cooking this meatloaf uncovered will give you some tasty, crispy bits around the edges and top.
To keep it moist, we recommend turning down the temperature partway through cooking.
- 1 1/2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 c. ketchup
- 1/2 c. country Dijon
- 3/4 c. unseasoned dried breadcrumbs
- 3 large Edwards Family Farms eggs
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb. 90% lean ground beef
- 1 lb. Edwards Family Farms mild breakfast ground sausage (or for more flavor enhancements, try our Italian sausage!)
- 1/4 c. ketchup
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 4 to 5 slices Edwards Family Farms bacon, halved crosswise
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- Combine onions, pepper, ketchup, mustard, breadcrumbs, eggs, Worcestershire, oregano, and thyme in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- Gently combine in beef and sausage with your hands, being careful not to overmix. (It should be soft but hold its shape.)
- Transfer meat to prepared baking sheet and shape into a 10-by-5-inch loaf.
- Make topping: Combine ketchup, Worcestershire, and brown sugar in a bowl.
- Brush meatloaf with 3 tablespoons topping.
- Place bacon crosswise over top of meatloaf and cover with remaining glaze.
- Bake 15 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and bake until an instant-read thermometer reaches 160°F, 35 to 40 minutes.
- Let rest 15 minutes before serving.