Easy and Perfect Meatloaf Recipe

Author: Veruska Anconitano, Award-Winning Food Travel Journalist, Sommelier & Outdoor LoverAuthor information
About the author
Veruska Anconitano
Veruska is a a food travel journalist with awards to her credit, such as World Best Food Travel Journalist. She holds a certification as a sommelier and she is also an ardent lover of the outdoors. Aside from this, Veruska is a Multilingual SEO and Localization Consultant and co-owns multiple websites that cater to a global audience.
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What’s the perfect meatloaf recipe? How to make the best meatloaf ever?

Meatloaf is one of those comfort foods that everyone loves to eat (just like meatballs!). Sitting around the kitchen table, surrounded by family and friends, while enjoying bite after bite of comfort food meatloaf sounds like the perfect way to spend a cold, winter or fall day. The best part about meatloaf? It’s versatile to feed your dietary needs. No matter how you make meatloaf, that taste and flavor remain true!

Meatloaf is truly delicious any way that you cook it. Think back to your childhood and how your mom used to make it. More than likely, it’s probably one of your favorite dishes to this day, even if you weren’t a fan of it when you were little. Cooking and making meatloaf is wonderful because it’s so easy and forgiving to make.

It doesn’t have to necessarily look beautiful, but everyone knows that meatloaf in it’s truest form is cut like a square and laid on your plate. The shape may be a little off, the size may vary depending on the fat content of the meat and how much it shrinks after cooking it, but ultimately, each and every person who has meatloaf sitting on their plate will eat it in its entirety each and every time.

Why? Because meatloaf is delicious and has a way to make you feel warm and cozy inside. Pair it up with a side of mashed potatoes and some peas, and you’ve got one of the best down-home country cooked meals imaginable. And if you like a bit of gravy with your meatloaf, so be it. Because anything that you pair with, it is going to taste amazing.

How to make the best meatloaf?

  • Always opt for a minced meat with a fatty part and a lean part so to avail of the different texture and different taste (I love mixing veal and pork, for example, like sausages);
  • Ask for a double grinding so to make sure the minced meat will be perfect to be mixed with other ingredients;
  • For the perfect Italian style meatloaf, you don’t need to add cheese into the meat (this is just a different version of the meatloaf) to make it juicy: the secret is in the cooking process not just in the ingredients;
  • Double cook your meatloaf: at first, brown it in a pan then finish to cook it over medium heat by adding a bit of liquid such as white wine or homemade broth;
  • If you want a juicy meatloaf, cook it in a pan and not into the oven ’cause the heat from the oven tends to dry the meat out and the risk is that you keep adding liquid and your meatloaf will break or will lose its taste;
  • Make sure you’ve some breadcrumbs at your disposal, but don’t overuse it if your meat is not that runny ’cause it will cause the opposite effect and you’ll end up with a hard meatloaf!

The secret to make a perfect meatloaf Italian style

No strange ingredients, just very few seasonings, and some good meat. This is, to me, the secret of a great meatloaf, the best meatloaf ever.

Ingredients for for 6-8 portions

  • 800 grams (1,6 pounds) of mixed minced meat (veal, be, f and pork)
  • 200 grams (0,4 pounds) of white bread
  • 1 glass of cold milk
  • 1 beaten egg
  • Chopped parsley
  • 4 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
  • Bread crumbs
  • White wine
  • Vegetable broth
  • Celery
  • Carrot
  • Onion
  • Extravirgin olive oil


  1. Soak the bread in milk and when it is soft, squeeze it and mix it with the minced meat (without milk);
  2. Add the beaten egg, a handful of chopped parsley, the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper if needed and taste;
  3. Add the breadcrumbs a little bit at a time and only if the mix becomes too soft until the consistency of the meat is not too soft but workable;
  4. Form the meatloaf, wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge for 1 hour;
  5. Prepare a sauté by browning coarsely chopped celery, onion, and carrot in a little extra virgin olive oil;
  6. Once browned, place the meatloaf in the same pan without the cling film, leaving it to brown on both sides;
  7. Once cooked well on the outside, add with a glass of white wine and cook adding, as needed, hot water or vegetable broth;
  8. Once the liquid is completely absorbed, the meatloaf will be cooked;
  9. Allow to cool so as to make it easier to slice it then serve it warm or cold or, once sliced, put it back in the pot and heat it quickly.
  10. Serve with vegetables, potatoes or gravy (or, if you’re American, ketchup!)


Preparation time: 1 hour

Cooking time: 1 hour

Total time: 2 hours

The next time that you get an urge to cook meatloaf for yourself and your family, try my recipe and treat your family to the perfect Italian style meatloaf.

Perfect meatloaf recipe

Or if you’ve been searching high and low for a few meatloaf recipes to have in your meal planning mind, look no further than these 20 awesome options below: you may be pleasantly surprised at how much you appreciate all the different meatloaf recipes options that there truly are!

20 Meatloaf Recipes Perfect for Any Meal

  1. Turkey Meatloaf – Cut down on a few of the calories and fat content with this simple meatloaf option!
  2. Whole 30 Meatloaf – Who says you have to give up meatloaf when on the Whole 30 meal plan?
  3. Mini Meatloaf – Mini or not, these pack a huge flavor of taste!
  4. Apple Meatloaf – When it’s apple season, it’s a great idea to combine the flavors together for one unforgettable meal!
  5. Pressure Cooker Meatloaf Bites – Is there anything easier than cooking up your meatloaf in the pressure cooker?
  6. Southwestern Mexican Meatloaf Burgers – Add a fun twist to your dinner menu with this fun recipe.
  7. Old Fashioned Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Meatloaf – See? All types of meatloaf for any dietary or allergy-friendly needs.
  8. Low Carb Cheese Meatloaf – Carbs be gone when it comes to this hearty meal.
  9. Meatloaf Hamburger Patties – Delicious to the last bite!
  10. Instant Pot Turkey Meatloaf – Using your Instant Pot is always a great idea!
  11. Sweet Pepper Meatloaf – If you like a bit of sweetness to your meatloaf, this is the recipe for you.
  12. Vegan Cauliflower Lentil Loaf – Totally vegan, totally delicious.
  13. Egg Free Meatloaf – Can’t have eggs? Not a problem with this egg free meal!
  14. Meatloaf Cupcakes – Try this fun spin on cupcakes for your children’s dinner plates.
  15. 4 Ingredient Stove Top Meatloaf – If you have these four ingredients, you have what it takes to make this meatloaf!
  16. Pressure Cooker Cheeseburger Meatloaf – Cheeseburger meatloaf? You had me at hello.
  17. Meatloaf Pizza – Such a fun spin for this classic dish.
  18. Italian Meatloaf – Good ol’ fashioned meatloaf never tasted so delicious.
  19. Meatloaf Wrapped in Bacon – Everything is better with bacon.
  20. Gourmet Healthy Meatloaf – Healthy and gourmet? Yes, please!
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