This southern meatloaf is perfectly seasoned and topped with a classic ketchup glaze. It only takes 10 minutes to put together!
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I have been making this southern style meatloaf for years. It’s based on my grandma’s southern meatloaf recipe, so it’s a family tradition that has been handed down for years.
But I don’t just make it for the sake of tradition—this juicy southern meatloaf recipe is also one of my all-time favorite easy meals to whip up on a busy weeknight. It is so easy to mix all the ingredients together, pop the mixture into a loaf pan, and throw the whole thing into the oven. Add a side of southern green beans and we’re good to go. I just love easy dinners like this!
Southern Meatloaf Recipe
Just because this southern meatloaf recipe is insanely easy to make doesn’t mean it lacks flavor. In fact, it’s the most flavorful meatloaf I have ever had. The ground beef is mixed with white onions, green bell peppers, and a perfect blend of Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. I add a good amount of garlic powder, salt, and pepper to the meatloaf, too, giving it an exciting flavor boost. Southern-style meatloaf is anything but bland!
However, I think it’s the amazing glaze that really sets this meatloaf recipe apart. I make a simple mixture of ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard powder then spread this glaze on top of the baked meatloaf. The meatloaf glaze gives the meal that extra “wow” factor that makes me keep coming back for more.
If you are looking for an easy southern meatloaf recipe with bread crumbs, peppers, onions, and a delicious glaze topping, look no further. Give this recipe 10 minutes of your time and you will be rewarded with one of the best homemade dinners ever. Oh, and don’t forget to make mashed potatoes and gravy!
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Ground beef
- White onions – I like to use white onions because they have the perfect balance of sweet and spicy flavor.
- Green bell pepper – Green bell peppers add a nice crunch to the meatloaf and gives it a subtle flavor.
- Whole milk – Use almond milk or soy milk to make the meatloaf dairy-free.
- Worcestershire sauce – Worcestershire sauce adds a robust tangy, sweet, and sour taste to the meatloaf. It also helps keep the meatloaf tender and moist as it bakes.
- Ketchup – Ketchup in the meatloaf mix also helps keep the meat soft. I also use ketchup in the glaze topping to add a rich, sweet flavor.
- Garlic powder
- Panko breadcrumbs – I like to use panko breadcrumbs because they are larger and crispier. They absorb more of the meatloaf juice to keep the meat tender.
- Brown sugar – Brown sugar in the meatloaf glaze adds a rich sweetness to the meal.
- Mustard powder – A little bit of mustard powder makes the glaze slightly spicy, but it also enhances the sweet taste.
- Use ground turkey or ground chicken in place of ground beef. The same quantity of ground meat will work well, however, I recommend adding one extra egg to the recipe as turkey and chicken tend to be much softer than ground beef. They will need that extra egg to bind the meat together and make it a sliceable meatloaf.
- Replace the ketchup in the meatloaf and in the glaze with barbecue sauce for a whole new type of southern meatloaf.
- Regular breadcrumbs work in place of panko breadcrumbs.
How to Make Southern Meatloaf
- Prepare your equipment: Start by preheating your oven to 375ºF. Then, line a 9-inch loaf pan with foil and spray it lightly with cooking spray.
- Mix the ingredients: Add all of the meatloaf ingredients to a large bowl and use your hands to mix everything together well. Scoop the meatloaf mixture into the prepared loaf pan and pat it evenly into the pan.
- Make the glaze: Whisk the glaze ingredients together and spread half of the glaze over the meatloaf in the pan. Save the rest of the glaze for after the meatloaf bakes.
- Bake the southern meatloaf: Bake the meatloaf for one hour. Once fully cooked, the meatloaf will feel firm to the touch.
- Add the glaze: Use the foil to pull the meatloaf out of the pan. Peel the foil off of the meatloaf and place it on a serving plate. Top the meatloaf with the remaining glaze, then slice it and serve!
If you do not have a loaf pan, you can also bake the meatloaf on a rimmed baking tray lined with foil. Shape the meatloaf mixture on the pan, creating a loaf shape about 9 inches long and 4 inches wide. Bake the meatloaf on the tray for about 50 minutes. It will cook a little faster on the flat pan.
How to Store Southern Meatloaf
If you have leftover meatloaf, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container. The baked meatloaf will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days. To reheat the meatloaf, simply pop a slice in the microwave and reheat in 30-second increments until it is hot.
You can also choose to freeze the cooked southern style meatloaf. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for up to two months. Thaw the frozen meatloaf in the fridge overnight and it will be ready to heat and serve for dinner the next day!
Southern meatloaf pairs well with so many side dishes. I absolutely love serving meatloaf with potatoes. My easy cheesy potatoes are perfect with southern meatloaf, but you also can’t go wrong with crispy smashed potatoes.
Easy 5-ingredient corn casserole is a great veggie side dish and biscuit and gravy casserole is always one of my favorites. Don’t forget to make a southern inspired dessert like chess pie to help complete the meal!
Having a good number of wet seasonings in the meatloaf mixture is important. My recipe uses ketchup, eggs, and Worcestershire sauce to keep the meatloaf tender and juicy as it cooks.
Eggs are essential in helping to bind the meatloaf together as it cooks. Without eggs, the meatloaf would not slice nicely or hold its shape. Don’t skip the eggs in this southern meatloaf recipe!
Meatloaf can be cooked uncovered. Having a nicely browned top makes the meatloaf look and taste good. If the top of the meatloaf starts to look too dark, you can lay a piece of foil loosely over the pan, allowing the meatloaf to continue cooking without getting darker.
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1/2 cup diced white onion
- 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup pank breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon mustard powder
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9” loaf pan with foil and spray it lightly with cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together all of the meatloaf ingredients. I find that it is easiest to use my hands so I can really feel everything getting mixed together well.
- Scoop the meatloaf mixture into the prepared loaf pan and press it evenly inside the pan.
- Next, make the meatloaf glaze. Whisk all of the ingredients for the glaze together in a small bowl. Spread half of the glaze over the top of the meatloaf and save the rest for after the meatloaf bakes.
- Bake the meatloaf in the hot oven for 1 hour. The meatloaf should feel firm when touched and also be pulled away from the edges of the pan slightly.
- Remove the meatloaf from the oven and spread the rest of the glaze over the top.
- Use the edges of the foil to pull the meatloaf up and out of the pan. Then, slice and enjoy!
- If you do not have a loaf pan, you can also bake the meatloaf on a foil lined baking tray. Simply shape the meatloaf on the tray using your hands, making it into a log about 8 inches long and 3 inches thick. Bake as directed!
- Red, yellow or orange bell peppers will work in place of green.