This southern meatloaf recipe combines seasoned ground beef with bread crumbs, fixings, and of course, ketchup. The result is a rich, flavorful meatloaf that's so tender and juicy. Not to mention, it's just so, so easy to make. In fact, 10 minutes of prep work is all it takes to put together, then the oven takes care of the rest from there!
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My Take On Southern Meatloaf
I can confidently say this southern meatloaf recipe is one of the best meatloaf recipes you'll ever make. There's just something about the blend of spices and seasonings - the clove is especially a nice note in it - that gives this meatloaf a one-of-a-kind flavor you just can't get in any other recipe.
Plus, as I mentioned just a second ago it's a breeze to put together. All you have to do is combine all of the ingredients together, then form the loaf out of them, and bake it.
Yep, it's that easy.
By the way, while the meatloaf is cooking, I highly recommend making some equally delicious sides to go with it - that's what I usually do anyway. Some of my favorite sides to make with this southern meatloaf are this stick of butter rice, these twice baked potatoes, this copycat Martha White cornbread, these crack green beans, or these grit cakes.
With that said though, you don't even have to make anything to go with this meatloaf recipe. It's incredible all by itself.
One of my favorite things about this meatloaf recipe is that it's made with a bunch of kitchen staples. In fact, I usually have all of them on hand - outside of maybe the ground beef - at any given time at my house. I'm sure that will be the case at your house too.
Anyway, here's everything you'll need to make this southern meatloaf recipe:
- 2 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 lb. Ground Beef
- ½ cup Bread crumbs (can sub crackers or cornbread crumbs for 'em)
- ½ Onion, chopped
- ½ Green Bell Pepper, chopped
- 2 Eggs, beaten
- 1 Garlic Clove, minced
- 1 tbsp. Oregano
- 1 tsp. Dried Basil
- ¼ tsp. Black Pepper
- ½ tsp. Salt
- ⅓ cup Ketchup
- Parsley to serve
Pretty common stuff, right?
I actually use many of the same ones to make this Texas chili, meatloaf with stuffing, and ham loaf recipe. So, if you end up with some extras give one of those recipes a try. They're a great way to use 'em up.
Also, just so you know, you can use whatever ground beef you want for this recipe. I personally prefer 80/20 lean ground beef for more flavor, but you can use leaner ground beef if you'd like to make it lower in calories. You could even swap the ground beef for ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground pork if you'd like.
How To Make Southern Meatloaf
As I mentioned, this meatloaf recipe is easy peasy to make! A little mixing is the only work you'll have to do. And, again, it should only take you 10 minutes - or less - to do it.
Then, after that, the oven will take care of all the hard work. That means you can sit back and relax, or work on those tasty sides I mentioned earlier.
Anyway, let's stop wasting time, let's get into the nitty-gritty details, shall we?!
Step 1: Prep Work
First things first preheat the oven to 350°F (180ºC).
Then, take out a large bowl, add all of the meatloaf ingredients (except the ketchup) to it, and mix everything together until fully combined.
Step 2: Shape The Meatloaf
Now it's time to shape the meatloaf. To do this, either line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease a loaf pan.
Then, use your hands to shape the mixture into a meatloaf shape and place it on the baking sheet.
However, if you're using a loaf pan, you'll just want to carefully form the meat mixture in the pan.
Step 3: Add The Ketchup
Next, you're going to add the classic part of meatloaf that makes it so juicy and rich in flavor - the ketchup!
So, at this point, you'll want to evenly cover the top of the meatloaf with the ketchup.
By the way, if you want an even sweeter - more caramelized - meatloaf, you can mix a little brown sugar with the ketchup to make that happen. It's really delicious and it's something we like to do from time to time at our house when we make it.
Step 4: Bake The Meatloaf
Now that the loaf is all prepped it's time to get it in the oven and bake it. This southern meatloaf will take about 50-60 minutes for it to cook completely. The main thing you're looking for is that the meatloaf reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
Then, once your meatloaf has finished cooking, you can slice it and serve it warm with a garnish of fresh parsley on top.
My Recommendations For Storing The Meatloaf
This recipe for southern meatloaf will make about 4 servings - the perfect amount for a hearty family dinner.
And, as good as it is fresh out of the oven, I honestly think it's even better leftover. In fact, it's so good leftover that I like to make a double batch of it so I can eat it for dinner all week long.
Now, as far as storing it goes, you'll want to store the leftover meatloaf in an airtight container in the fridge. Stored that way it'll last for up to 4 days. However, if you want to keep it for even longer, you can freeze it for up to 4 months.
My Recommendations For Reheating The Meatloaf
The best way to reheat this meatloaf is to put it back in the oven. To do that, just preheat your oven to 250°F (120°C) and place the meatloaf in a baking dish. Cover it with aluminum foil and heat for about 15-20 minutes or until warmed through.
Now, if you're reheating just a slice or two, the best way is to heat it in the air fryer. First, preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C) and line the air fryer basket with parchment paper. Then heat for about 4-5 minutes or until warm.
Finally, if you're in a pinch for time and need to reheat it quickly, you can use the microwave. Just reheat your leftovers in 1-minute intervals until warm. This usually takes me just 1 or 2 intervals to do.
FAQs About This Southern Meatloaf Recipe
What is the secret to moist meatloaf?
The secret to moist meatloaf is using ingredients that add moisture and also not overcooking the meat.
As far as moisture-adding ingredients go, eggs and Worcestershire sauce are my preferred ingredients to use when I make a Southern-style meatloaf. The eggs especially add the perfect amount of fat to the loaf so that it doesn't dry out as it cooks.
The other secret - as I mentioned - is to make sure you cook the meatloaf until just done. You don't want to leave it in the oven any longer than that, so make sure you check it with a meat thermometer. Pulling the meatloaf out of the oven at 155°F and letting it rest up to 160°F is almost guaranteed to keep it moist.
What makes Southern meatloaf "Southern"?
While there isn't one specific thing that makes meatloaf "Southern" there are some characteristics that Southern meatloaf typically possesses.
Typically Southern meatloaf is made with:
- Well-seasoned ground beef.
- Binding ingredients like breadcrumbs, crackers, or chunks of cornbread.
- Vegetables like onions, celery, and bell peppers.
- And a sauce or glaze that usually consists of one or more of the following: ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce.
My Final Thoughts
This classic southern meatloaf recipe is hands down one of the easiest weeknight dinner recipes I make at my house. Almost the entire time it takes to make is baking. There's hardly any prep at all to it.
Plus, it's not just super easy to make, it's super delicious too. Everyone you make it for is bound to love it. They always seem to when I serve it anyway.
Anyway, if you give this recipe a try, leave a comment below and let me know how it went.
More Dinner Recipes
If you're looking for some more easy dinner recipes that are just as delicious as this one, we have a ton on the blog that you're going to love.
Here are some of my favorites:
- Applebee's quesadilla burger
- Alice springs chicken
- Ham balls
- Crack chicken casserole
- Chicken divan
- Salmon pasta
- Boiled chicken and rice
- Spicy ramen
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180ºC).
- Place all the ingredients except for the ketchup in a bowl and combine fully.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and form meatloaf with your hands, place it on the paper.
- Cover the top with ketchup.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes.
- Slice and serve with parsley.
Serving Size:1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 189Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 305mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 17g