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The Best Meatloaf Recipe Your Family Will Love


This classic recipe for the best meatloaf will have your kids asking for seconds!

The best meatloaf recipe for classic meatloaf

Meatloaf can be one of the simplest, most versatile dinner ideas.  However, it can also be a total turn off for some kids.  To make the BEST meatloaf ever, you want to make sure that the texture is acceptable, and that it’s not too wet or too dry.

One way to bring your meatloaf to the next level is to provide a variety of veggies, that fit nicely within a meatloaf. For the best meatloaf, we like mushrooms, onions, bell  peppers, and garlic.  To really make the flavor stand out,  we like spices like thyme, salt, and pepper. Another flavor enhancer is Worcestershire sauce.

Then, to make the meat and veggies really come together, we like cheese, yogurt, and most of all, an egg!

a loaf pan of the best meatloaf recipe

Steps to make the BEST meatloaf

Making the best meatloaf is pretty basic. You don’t need to pre-cook your meat, or even your veggies. Combine all the ingredients in one bowl, and then scoop the entire contents of the bowl into a loaf pan.  However, sauteing your veggies first can really bring out the flavor and make a great tasting meatloaf. I prefer to cook the veggies first, and then add them to the meatloaf.

The second thing that will create the best meatloaf is to combine the mixture thoroughly, without over-mixing. This means to mix with our hands! Yes, get your fingers all up into the raw meat and make sure all of the veggies, seasonings, and other ingredients are combined properly.

The last thing that will make your meatloaf the best is to make sure it’s not too sticky or wet, but also not too dry.  Sticking with a tried-and-true recipe can help with this.  And also, making sure the middle is cooked through, but not over-done.

meatloaf dinner with sweet potatoes and pears

And that’s it! We like to serve our meatloaf with mashed potatoes, and especially mashed SWEET potatoes!  Let us know how it turns out for you!

Best meatloaf recipe for kids


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3.7 from 13 votes

Classic Meatloaf

This classic recipe for the best meatloaf will have your kids asking for seconds!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 413kcal




  • Set oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  • Mince the mushrooms, onion and bell pepper. In a skillet over medium heat add olive oil in mushrooms, onion, red bell pepper, garlic (minced) and thyme; saute for about 6 minutes, then transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add in all remaining ingredients; using clean hands mix thoroughly. Place mixture into the prepared pan, then place on a baking sheet to catch any spills.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes.  Let rest 5-7 minutes before slicing.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add potatoes and cook until tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
  • With an electric mixer on low, blend potatoes, slowly adding milk. Use more or less to achieve desired texture.
  • Add butter and maple syrup, to taste. Blend until smooth. Serve warm.


Calories: 413kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 785mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 20g
Keyword : Classic Meatloaf



Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

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I am making this tonight but am not a fan of mushrooms….. was thinking about adding 3/4 cup to a cup of shredded carrot instead. Wondering if you think this will make it too wet?