This seasoned Meatloaf with Tomato Sauce is the ultimate comfort-food and a family favorite!
Savory ground beef, seasoned with onion, bell pepper and Worcestershire sauce, topped with a sweet and savory tomato sauce.
All-natural ingredients, easy to make and no packaged seasoning mix!
Whenever I find myself craving some good ole' "comfort food," this is one of my go-to recipes, besides Mom's Pot Roast! I usually serve this with pinto beans and rice, collard greens, green bean casserole or homemade macaroni and cheese!
The combination of these things reminds me of when I was a kid without a care in the world! Especially when I follow it up with a slice of Classic Buttermilk Pie - yum!!!
Why this meatloaf recipe works
Never results in a soggy or oily meatloaf
The type of pan you use, as well as the ratio of eggs to breadcrumbs and meat is what makes this recipe work perfectly every time ! The ratio is roughly: 2 parts ground beef, 1 part breadcrumbs, 2 eggs per pound of beef.
The chopped onion and bell pepper add bulk to the meatloaf, resulting in a deliciously seasoned meatloaf that is tender, yet firm enough to slice with a knife.
- It is probably the quintessential "comfort food" of all time..side of mashed potatoes, please?
- The leftovers are awesome the next day (meatloaf sandwich, anyone?)
- Easy to make and easy clean-up! One mixing bowl and one baking pan
- Really nice flavor and texture
Ingredients and seasonings
Meatloaf ingredients and seasonings:
Ground beef, bread crumbs, yellow onion, bell pepper, eggs, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt & pepper.
Tomato sauce ingredients and seasonings :
Ketchup, dry mustard, Worcestershire, brown sugar, salt.
Type of pan
You'll need a broiler pan - a two-part pan that has a removable slotted top and a solid pan underneath.
I do not recommend using a loaf pan because the oil from the beef drips down into the pan, which causes the meatloaf to sit in oil and get soggy on the bottom.
How to make it
Combine chopped onion and bell pepper with beef; add eggs, breadcrumbs, seasonings and form into a loaf.
Place the meatloaf on a broiler pan that has slits in it; this allows the juices from the meat to go into the broiler pan instead of puddling in a loaf pan.
Make the sauce while meatloaf cooks.
Once the meatloaf reaches 150ºF, spoon the tomato sauce over the top of the meatloaf and return to oven; bake 10-15 more minutes, until the sauce thickens, and the meat thermometer reads an internal temperature of 160ºF.
What grade of beef to use:
Ground beef is available in varying degrees of fat content. Use any grade you like, because the way you're going to cook the meatloaf, there won't be any oily residue in the pan.
How to keep meatloaf from getting soggy
A loaf pan is not necessary to make a homemade classic meatloaf. In fact, cooking meatloaf in a loaf pan results in a soggy meatloaf because the oils have nowhere to go. If you use this method, you will not have a soggy meatloaf.
Just throw the meatloaf mixture out on the counter and shape it into a log. Then place it on a broiler pan with slits on top and a pan underneath to catch the oil.
You can use a loaf pan, but I find the oily residue from the meat sits in the pan right next to the meat and the ground beef loaf turns out a bit soggy.
What kind of bread crumbs? Traditional or Panko?
You can use either! I usually use plain seasoned traditional bread crumbsbecause they're finer. If you don't have either, crunch up a sleeve of saltines real fine and use them.
How to freeze it
It's always nice to have a prepared meatloaf in the freezer, especially when you don't feel like cooking!
The best way to freeze a cooked meatloaf is to allow it to cool after baking (do not put sauce on it), wrap the whole meatloaf in plastic wrap, then again in foil. Don't slice it.
When ready to serve, remove foil and place in fridge to thaw.
Once thawed, remove plastic wrap, cover meat with foil and bake t 325 or 350ºF till the center reaches 150ºF.
Remove it from the oven, add the tomato sauce mixture, then put it back in the oven for 15 minutes or so, until it thickens and the internal temperature is 160ºF.
I do not recommend freezing raw meatloaf due to the uncooked eggs. Eggs don't freeze very well and the texture and structure of the classic meatloaf changes.
Serve meatloaf with tomato sauce with a side of mashed potatoes and green beans! If you have any leftover, which I never do, you can always make a mean meatloaf sandwich!
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♥ If you make this recipe, please leave a comment and rating below. Thank you!
Meatloaf with Tomato Sauce
- 2½ lb. ground beef
- ¾ cup chopped yellow onions
- ¾ cup chopped green bell peppers
- 1½ cups bread crumbs .seasoned or not seasoned; traditional or Panko
- 2 whole eggs , lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- spray oil for broiler pan
- 3 cups ketchup
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- Combine sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside3 cups ketchup, ⅓ cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- Lightly spray broiler pan; set asidespray oil
- Lightly beat eggs in a bowl; set aside2 whole eggs
- Preheat oven to 375°
- Combine all meatloaf ingredients into big bowl; with clean hands, mix ingredients until combined; do NOT overwork the meat2½ lb. ground beef, ¾ cup chopped yellow onions, ¾ cup chopped green bell peppers, 1½ cups bread crumbs, 2 whole eggs, 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon dry mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Place beef mixture onto counter and shape into a rectangular loaf
- Place on lightly oiled broiling pan and bake uncovered for 30-45 minutes, or until meat has reached 150° internal temperature
- After it has reached 150ºF, remove from oven, pour some tomato sauce over the top and return to oven
- Bake until internal temperature reaches 160ºF and tomato sauce is thickened
- Remove from oven; allow meatloaf to sit for a few minutes, then slice and serve
- Make the sauce first and set it aside
- The onion and bell pepper will be slightly crunchy; if you don't like any crunchy texture, saute them in a skillet, then drain them and pat dry with a paper towel before adding them to the beef mixture
- Pour sauce over the top when the internal temperature of the loaf is about 150ºF; then, put it back in the oven for about 15 minutes until the sauce thickens and the internal temperature is 160ºF
- Allow meatloaf to rest about 5 minutes before slicing