This southern meatloaf is perfectly seasoned and topped with a classic ketchup glaze. It only takes ten minutes to put together!

close up image of two servings of southern meatloaf served on a white round plate showing the cross section, served with a side of mashed potatoes and green beans.

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Southern Meatloaf Recipe

I have been making this southern-style meatloaf recipe for years. Based on my grandma’s southern meatloaf recipe, it’s a family tradition handed down through generations.

This recipe is also one of my all-time favorite easy meals to whip up on a busy weeknight. All you have to do is mix the ingredients and pop the ingredients into a loaf pan. Then, throw the whole thing in the oven.

Add a side of southern green beans, and we’re good to go. I just love easy dinners like this! 

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 combines with white onions, green bell peppers, and a perfect blend of Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. Then, 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 need an easy southern meatloaf recipe with bread crumbs, peppers, onions, and a delicious glaze topping, look no further. Give this recipe ten minutes of your time, and it rewards you with one of the best homemade dinners ever. Oh, and don’t forget to make mashed potatoes and gravy to pair with it for the ultimate comfort food!

oval plate of southern meatloaf with three sliced servings.

Southern Style Meatloaf Ingredients

To print: see recipe card below

ingredients to make southern meatloaf.


  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup diced white onions – I like to use white onions because they have the perfect balance of sweet and savory flavor. 
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper – Green bell peppers add a nice crunch to the meatloaf and gives it a subtle flavor.
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk – Use almond milk or soy milk to make the meatloaf dairy-free. 
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce – Worcestershire sauce adds a robust tangy, sweet, and sour taste to the meatloaf. It also keeps the meatloaf tender and moist as it bakes.
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup – Ketchup in the meatloaf mix also keeps the meat soft.
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup 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. 

Meatloaf Glaze

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar – Brown sugar in the meatloaf glaze adds a rich sweetness to the meal. 
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder – A little bit of mustard powder makes the glaze slightly spicy. 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 the glaze with barbecue sauce for a whole new type of southern meatloaf. 
  • Regular breadcrumbs work in place of panko breadcrumbs. 

Directions for How to Make Southern Meatloaf

  1. Prepare your equipment: Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, line a 9-inch loaf pan with foil and spray it lightly with cooking spray. 
  2. Mix the ingredients: Add all the meatloaf ingredients to a large bowl, and use your hands to mix everything well. Scoop the meatloaf mixture into the prepared loaf pan and pat it evenly into the pan. 
  3. 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. 
  4. Bake the southern meatloaf: Bake the meatloaf for one hour. Once fully cooked, the meatloaf will feel firm to the touch. Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure the meat mixture reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Add the glaze: Use the foil to pull the meatloaf out of the pan. Peel the foil off the meatloaf, and place it on a serving plate. Top the meatloaf with the remaining glaze, then slice it and serve!

Serving Suggestions

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! Or, my 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!

close up image of a bite of southern meatloaf on a fork.

How to Store + Freeze Southern Meatloaf

  • Store leftover meatloaf in the fridge for four to five days. To keep it fresh, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, or place it in an airtight container.
  • Freeze cooked southern-style meatloaf for up to two months. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil. Thaw in the fridge overnight when you’re ready to eat.
  • Reheat leftovers in 30-second increments in the microwave.

Quick Tip

If you do not have a loaf pan, you can also bake the meatloaf on a rimmed baking sheet 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 cooks a little faster on the flat pan.

Sliced southern meatloaf on a plate.

Southern Meatloaf

This southern meatloaf is perfectly seasoned and topped with a classic ketchup glaze. It only takes ten minutes to put together!
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Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 1 9-inch loaf pan
  • 2 Mixing bowls



  • 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

Meatloaf Glaze

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard powder


  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9 inch 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.
    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
  • 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.
    1/2 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon mustard powder
  • 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.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 604kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 204mg | Sodium: 1192mg | Potassium: 764mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 417IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 5mg
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About Kasey Schwartz

For over 15 years, Kasey Schwartz, the mastermind behind All Things Mamma, has been the ultimate go-to for mouthwatering family recipes. Her work has been featured on, Buzz Feed, Better Homes and Gardens, and more, making her your go-to mom next door for all things delicious and family-friendly.

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