meatloaf in a pan

Basic Meatloaf your family will love

by Cheryl Moreo

Basic Meatloaf

Properly prepared, meatloaf is the epitome of comforting cuisine. While my mother used fresh crumbled bread in her classic recipe, I personally opt for old-fashioned oats or bread crumbs. Regardless of the method you select, your family is guaranteed to enjoy it.

A meatloaf sandwich makes a convenient lunchbox treat.


13″x9″ baking pan


  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of dried marjoram leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce or catsup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats or 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs


If you like a sweet or tangy topping on your meatloaf, drizzle it with a mixture of ketchup/brown sugar or top it with sauce like one of Sweet Baby Ray’s.


  • Don’t over-mix the hamburger mixture. Mix just until the ingredients are combined.
  • Don’t be afraid of the chili sauce. It will surprise you!
  • My mother used a 13’x9″ baking pan. A meatloaf needs room so it doesn’t steam, and a baking pan results in a more evenly cooked meatloaf.–My opinion.
  • Shape the meat mixture into a rectangle about 8″ long and 5″ wide. Usually, ends of an inch or two high.
  • Do not overcook. Test for doneness with a meat thermometer (170 degrees.)
Basic Meatloaf

Basic Meatloaf

Serve this tasty meatloaf with mashed potatoes. When you feel the need for comfort food, meatloaf does the trick.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of dried marjoram leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce or catsup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats or 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat, and add onion, garlic, basil, marjoram, salt, and pepper.  Stir and cook the mixture until the onions are softened-about 3 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, beat egg, stir in onion mixture, chili sauce or catsup, Worcestershire sauce, and parsley.
  • Crumble beef into the bowl and add in the rolled oats or bread crumbs.  Gently mix until evenly combined.
  • Place the mixture into a 13"x9" pan and shape into a loaf. Shape the meat mixture into a rectangle about 8" long and 5" wide. Usually, ends of an inch or two high.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until a meat thermometer inserted in the center of the loaf registers 170 degrees F.
  • Let stand for 5 minutes.  Drain pan juices, turn out onto a plate and cut into thick slices.


Drizzle either ketchup/brown sugar or BBQ sauce on top of the meatloaf before it bakes for a tasty bite.
Variation:  Use only 1 pound of ground beef and add 1/2 pound mild Italian Sweet Sausage.


Nordic Ware Classic Metal 9×13 Covered Cake Pan
  • Natural aluminum commercial bakeware is made of pure aluminum which will never rust for a lifetime of durability
  • Baked goods rise and bake evenly due to aluminums superior heat conductivity and the reinforced encapsulated steel rim prevents warping
  • Easy clean up, hand wash only.Nylon, wood, or silicone utensils are recommended
  • Pan exterior dimensions 15.63 x 9.63 x 3.25 inches and interior dimensions 13 x 9 x 2.5 inches
  • Proudly made in the USA by Nordic Ware
13" x 9" pan
Keyword comfort food, ground beef, meatloaf
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Other Comfort Recipes

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Macaroni and Cheese

Last update on 2024-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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