Classic Meat Loaf Recipe

Love it or hate it, there's no denying that meatloaf is one of the most classic dishes out there. If you're here, then hopefully that means you love it, you're just searching for that perfect meatloaf recipe. Well, if you follow developer Christina Musgrave's recipe for classic meatloaf, you definitely won't be disappointed — and you just might find your go-to meatloaf recipe.

There is an endless sea of meatloaf recipes out there, but Musgrave's rendition keeps things simple and classic. "My favorite thing about this meatloaf is how easy it is," she says. "The meatloaf is packed with flavor and is really easy to prepare." And really, what more could you ask from a recipe? It doesn't take much time to whip the meatloaf together (just over an hour, in total), and the time required is mostly dedicated to baking it. So other than the roughly 10 minutes it takes to prep this dish, you can simply kick back and get ready to enjoy a savory and classic delicacy. 

Gather the ingredients for classic meatloaf

What goes into a classic meatloaf, you ask? Well, for starters, you'll need beef — Musgrave uses 80% lean ground chuck. You'll also need olive oil, chopped garlic, a diced yellow onion, chopped fresh rosemary, chopped fresh sage leaves, salt, black pepper, ketchup (it wouldn't be classic meatloaf without it), bread crumbs, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, and a couple of beaten eggs. 

"The sage and rosemary [are] the special ingredient[s] in this recipe," Musgrave explains. "[They add] a herby and savory flavor that elevates the meatloaf."

Sauté the onion, garlic, and herbs

First things first, preheat your oven to 350 F and grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Now, place a large skillet on the stovetop over medium heat, and add in the olive oil. Once that has heated up a little bit, add in the chopped garlic, onion, rosemary, sage, salt, and pepper. Allow these ingredients to sauté for 8-10 minutes, and be sure to stir frequently so the garlic doesn't burn. The onion will be soft and translucent by the time the aromatics are done cooking. At this point, transfer the mixture to a large bowl, and let everything cool down completely. 

Form the meatloaf

Once the onion, garlic, and herb mixture has cooled, add in ½ cup ketchup, the 2 pounds ground beef, the bread crumbs, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, and beaten eggs to the bowl as well. Mix everything together until just incorporated, then scrape the meatloaf mixture out of the bowl and into the prepared baking pan. Be sure not to pack the meat too tightly. 

Bake the meatloaf and serve

With the meatloaf ready to go, brush the remaining ½ cup ketchup on top of it. Pop the dish into the oven to bake for about an hour, or until a centrally-placed thermometer reads 155 F. Let the meatloaf cool down a little bit, then it's time to slice, serve, and enjoy. 

"This would be great with mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, rice or orzo, and a side salad," Musgrave suggests. Also, if you happen to have leftovers, you're in luck — meatloaf keeps really well. "You can definitely keep leftovers," Musgrave adds. "They should be good for 3-4 days."

Classic Meatloaf Recipe
5 from 104 ratings
Meat loaf is truly a versatile dish: ours is stocked with 80 percent lean ground beef and fresh herbs that are sure to have all the flavor.
Prep Time
Cook Time
meatloaf slices on plate
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup ketchup, divided
  • 2 pounds 80% lean ground chuck
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • ⅓ cup chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add 3 cloves minced garlic, chopped onions, 1 tablespoon rosemary, 1 tablespoon sage, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper, and cook until the onions are soft and translucent, 8-10 minutes.
  3. Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl and let it cool completely. Carefully mix in ½ cup ketchup, 2 pounds beef, 1 cup bread crumbs, ⅓ cup chicken stock, 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, and 2 eggs until just incorporated.
  4. Scrape the mixture into the loaf pan and place it on a baking sheet, being careful not to tightly pack the meat into the pan.
  5. Brush the meatloaf with ½ cup ketchup and bake until a thermometer inserted into the center reads 155 F, about 60 minutes.
  6. Cool, then slice and serve.
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