We’re calling this a “bomb meatloaf recipe” because well, it may just be the best one we’ve ever tasted. It’s easy to put together, tender, juicy and topped off with the most mouthwateringly sweet and tangy glaze that thickly coats each slice.

Sliced meatloaf on a white plate with a sweet and tangy glaze and fresh parsley.
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I don’t know who first came up with the idea to shape a hunk of meat into a bread loaf but you got to give it to whomever it was for becoming one of the most iconic American dinners ever.

I mean, when you think of American food, I’d say after hamburgers and hotdogs, meatloaf is right there.

Meatloaf in my house growing up was always a delicious night but for some strange reason my mom always dumped a can of peas and mushrooms on the top after she glazed it. To be honest, I think that’s where my aversion to canned vegetables came from.

This bomb meatloaf recipe involves zero canned vegetables. In fact, the reason I love this recipe so much is it uses simple ingredients and only a handful of them.

There’s nothing weird going on, the flavor is still big and most importantly, the texture is tender (raise your hand if you’ve hand a dense brick for meatloaf before) and juicy.

Hands down the thing that takes this recipe from boring old meatloaf to bomb status though is: the glaze.

This sticky sweet and tangy glaze is the star of the show and the thing that will keep you coming back to this recipe time and time again.

Meatloaf ingredients in a large glass bowl.

INGREDIENTS FOR MAKING THE MOST BOMB MEATLOAF

  • Ground beef – 85/15 is our preferred blend. 80/20 is also ok but be prepared to drain some fat.
  • Rolled oats – we nix the traditional breadcrumbs and use oats instead for the binder. It makes the recipe suitable for gluten-free eaters too.
  • Diced yellow onion – an important ingredient for carrying flavor throughout the loaf.
  • Ketchup & mustard – what meatloaf recipe do you know that doesn’t include both of these in the mixture? We prefer dijon for added depth of flavor.
  • Worcestershire – this is the secret to any good ground beef recipe including burgers. Don’t skip it in this meatloaf recipe either.
  • Salt & pepper – yep, that’s it for the seasonings. Told you this recipe was a simple one!
  • Parsley – fresh herbs are the perfect garnish for a dish like this. A pop of parsley is all you’ll need.
A whisk in a glass bowl with glaze for meatloaf.

THE BEST MEATLOAF GLAZE

For a recipe titled “bomb” to live up to its name, there better be something outstanding and for this meatloaf, it’s the glaze.

What you’ll need to make this sticky sauce:

  • ketchup
  • brown sugar
  • apple cider vinegar
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder

The glaze is brushed on both in the beginning and the end of baking the meatloaf so part of it sets in deep while the rest sits on top. It’s the best of both worlds.

Shaping meatloaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with a brush for glaze on the side.

HOW TO MAKE THE MEATLOAF

Start by preheating the oven to 350°F and lining a heavy duty baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine all the ingredients for the meatloaf except the parsley in a large bowl. Using clean hands mix together until thoroughly combined.

Transfer the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and form into the shape of a loaf.

Whisk all the ingredients for the glaze together in a small bowl.

Brush about 1/3 of the glaze mixture all over the meatloaf. Set the rest aside.

Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the meatloaf from the oven, turn the temperature up to 400°F.

Brush the remaining glaze onto the meatloaf in a thick even layer. Return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meatloaf has reached about 160°F.

If you don’t already have an instant read thermometer for cooking meat, grab one like this. It’s a well used item in our kitchen.

Remove from the oven, cover loosely with some foil and let rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Serve with chopped fresh parsley for garnish along with your favorite sides.

Cooked meatloaf sliced on a white plate with fresh parsley and a serving spatula on the side.

WHAT’S THE SECRET TO TENDER MEATLOAF?

The answer is simple: fat.

Some will say it’s eggs, milk or even bread soaked in milk but I’m a firm believer in the power of fat.

Whatever you do when making meatloaf, do not choose a ground beef blend leaner than 85/15. People love to swap out leaner meats like turkey and chicken in meatloaf and it’s just not the same.

Heck, I’ve done it too with recipes like these chicken parmesan muffins but you can’t truly get a good meatloaf recipe without a fattier blend of ground beef.

HOW TO MAKE MEATLOAF NOT FALL APART

There’s a few reasons meatloaf will fall apart:

  1. Lack of eggs
  2. Lack of breadcrumbs (or any other bread-like binder)
  3. Overcooking it

Binders are important in meatloaf. They not only help the meatloaf stay together but they also keep it from coming out like a dense brick of meat.

You can definitely play around with the ingredients when it comes to binders but something mimicking eggs and breadcrumbs usually needs to be used for the best texture.

You’d think overcooking the meat would mean it would be denser but when beef is overcooked, it crumbles. It’s important not to overcook the meatloaf for this reason.

Moisture is needed to keep it together otherwise you’ll end up with a crumbled mess when trying to slice it.

Close up of sliced bomb meatloaf recipe on a serving platter garnished with chopped parsley.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH MEATLOAF

A bomb meatloaf recipe calls for equally “bomb-tastic” side dishes!

Mashed potatoes are classic and I won’t try to argue with the traditionalists on that.

If you want some variety to a mashed carb though you can give these mashed purple sweet potatoes or this mashed yuca a try instead.

Brown butter mashed cauliflower or mashed rutabaga with garlic herb butter are both great lower-carb options.

Add your favorite green vegetable to the meal to round things out and you’ve got a delicious dinner.

Options like Instant Pot asparagus or maple roasted Brussels sprouts on the stalk are both classic choices.

Two slices of glazed meatloaf showing the tender inside on a white plate.

HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS

For a family of four, there probably won’t be any leftovers but this recipe is easily doubled if you so choose.

Leftovers can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

The meatloaf can also be frozen in a freezer safe bag or container. Thaw under refrigeration then reheat as desired.

MORE RECIPES LIKE THIS TO TRY:

Beef kafta is kind of like meatloaf on a stick with a middle Eastern vibe.

These turkey quinoa muffins combine leaner turkey with protein rich quinoa in a “meatloaf muffin” sort of way. They’re fun and great for a savory high protein snack.

Of course, you can always swap in meatballs for meatloaf and we’ve got plenty of great meatball recipes on here.

Try venison meatballs or these cheddar stuffed turkey zucchini meatballs which are some of our personal favorites.

Hamburger steaks and gravy is another classic comforting recipe the whole family will love too.

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4.50 from 34 votes

Bomb Meatloaf Recipe

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Sliced meatloaf on a white plate with a sweet and tangy glaze and fresh parsley.
The most tender, juicy and flavorful meatloaf recipe you'll taste. This bomb meatloaf includes a sticky sweet and tangy glaze that thickly coats each slice.

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound ground beef, 85/15 preferable
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup diced onions
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • chopped fresh parsley for garnish

For the glaze

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Combine all the meatloaf ingredients except parsley garnish in a large bowl. Using clean hands, mix together until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Shape the meat mixture on the prepared baking sheet into the shape of a loaf.
  • Combine all the ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl and whisk together.
  • Brush 1/3 of the glaze onto the tops and sides of the meatloaf then transfer to the oven.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the meatloaf from the oven. Turn the oven up to 400°F.
  • Brush on the remaining glaze into a thick even layer and return to the oven. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meatloaf reaches 160°F.
  • Remove from the oven, cover and let cool approximately 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley before serving with your favorite sides.

Nutrition

Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 406kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 34gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 147mgSodium: 905mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
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Watch the web story – The BEST bomb meatloaf.

Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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12 Comments

  1. The Bomb Meatloaf Recipe is an absolute game-changer! The perfect combination of spices and flavors make for an incredibly savory and delicious meal. It’s so easy to make, and the end result is a mouth-watering meatloaf that will leave you wanting more. I highly recommend this recipe to anyone looking for a simple yet flavorful meal that will impress even the toughest food critics!

  2. 5 stars
    The glaze definitely shines in this recipe! I love that it was a simple and delicious meal. Everyone loved it.

  3. 5 stars
    This meatloaf recipe is definitely a must-try! It was so delicious and packed with flavors. It was also a crowd-pleaser. A new go-to recipe!

  4. I grew up eating meatloaf then my kids wouldn’t touch it, so I stopped making it, until I found your recipe. I had never made meatloaf with rolled out and I totally loved the texture and flavor from them. The glaze was perfect on top!!!

  5. 5 stars
    A simple and delicious meal for family dinner! We gobbled up every last morsel. Thanks for sharing your recipe!