This ultimate comfort-food is a family favorite! Savory ground beef, seasoned with onion, bell pepper and Worcestershire sauce, topped with a sweet and savory tomato sauce.
Why this recipe works:
- 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
What you'll need:
Ground beef, bread crumbs, yellow onion, bell pepper, eggs, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt & pepper. The sauce is: ketchup, dry mustard, Worcestershire, brown sugar, salt.
Step by step instructions:
- Chop the onions and bell peppers; lightly beat two whole eggs (set aside)
- Place ground beef in large bowl; add onion, bell pepper; combine well
- Add bread crumbs, eggs and seasonings: combine well
- Place ground beef mixture onto counter; shape into a rectangle
- Place meatloaf on prepared baking sheet; do not put the sauce on yet
- Bake 350ºF until internal temperature reaches 150ºF
- Remove from oven, put sauce on top; return to oven for 15 minutes or until it's thick and the internal temperature is 160ºF
Make the sauce while meatloaf cooks. Once the meatloaf reaches 150ºF, spoon it over the top; return to oven; bake 10-15 more minutes, until it thickens, and meat thermometer reads 160ºF.
What grade of beef to use:
Ground beef is available in varying degrees of fat content. Use any grade you like, but be aware that a higher fat beef (80% or less) results in more fatty liquid in the pan. If you use a higher fat beef, place the meatloaf on a cooling rack and place the rack in a baking dish or roasting pan.
What kind of bread crumbs? Traditional or Panko?
You can use either! I usually use traditional because they're finer. If you don't have either, crunch up a sleeve of saltines real fine and use them.
Do I need a meatloaf pan?
A loaf pan is not necessary to make a homemade classic meatloaf. Just throw the meatloaf mixture out on the counter and shape it into a log. Then place it on a baking dish with a rack.
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.
Can it be frozen?
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 ketchup 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.
♥ If you make this recipe, please leave a comment and rating below. Thank you!
Meatloaf with Tomato Sauce
- 2½ lb. ground beef
- ¾ cup yellow onions chopped
- ¾ cup green bell peppers chopped
- 1½ cups bread crumbs seasoned or not seasoned
- 2 whole eggs
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cups ketchup
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- Combine sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside
- Preheat oven to 375°
- Combine meat, onion, peppers, eggs, bread crumbs into big bowl; with clean hands, mix ingredients until combined
- Place beef mixture onto counter and shape into a rectangular loaf
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until meat has reached 150° internal temperature
- After it has reached 150ºF, pour some 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 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