Simple and Easy Homemade Meatloaf Recipe

Updated on February 12, 2020
Alyssa Nichol profile image

Alyssa loves sharing her family's favorite recipes with the world. She is a wife and a mom who enjoys drinking large amounts of coffee.

Delicious meatloaf.
Delicious meatloaf.

Growing up, meatloaf was one of my favorite dishes, and my grandpa made the best meatloaf! I've tried many times as an adult to recreate his recipe, and it never turned out right. There was always something a little off about it. My husband feels the same way about his grandma's recipe. We've tried off and on for ten years or so to make meatloaf, and each time it has been a disaster. We attempted many recipes, some we found online, others were recommended from friends. Nothing worked. We settled on the fact that we would never be able to make it, resigning ourselves to having meatloaf at restaurants and from the frozen-food section of the grocery store.

A month or two ago, we were discussing what we would have for dinner. I had some ground beef in the refrigerator, but we were tired of the same old dishes. We both agreed that meatloaf sounded amazing. After all, it was a cold day, and we wanted something hearty. We dug out my secret family recipe book and found the recipe for meatloaf. Why not give it a try, we thought.

An hour and a half later, it was the moment of truth. We each took a little bite and were pleasantly surprised. It worked! It wasn't quite as good as we each remembered from our childhood—after all, no one can make those meals quite like our grandparents—but it was delicious!

The recipe was simple and easy, only required a few ingredients, and took little effort to put together. If you've had trouble in the past trying to get this dish just right, this is the recipe for you. It's foolproof! The best part, everyone will love it! We've made this twice since that first day, and there is never any left.


  • 1–2 lbs. Ground Beef
  • Saltine Crackers
  • 2 Eggs
  • Ketchup


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the ground beef in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. Open your package of crackers. Pour the crackers into a large freezer bag. Seal the bag tight, making sure all of the air is out of it.
  4. Squeeze the bag and begin crunching up the crackers. This is a great way to get the kids involved or let out any pent up anger from your day. haha!
  5. Once the crackers are crumbled, open the freezer bag and dump the crumbs into the mixing bowl with the ground beef.
  6. Crack open the eggs and add them into the mixing bowl.
  7. Mix all the ingredients together. Using your hands is best to make sure that everything is mixed well.
  8. Place the mixture into your loaf pan.
  9. Squeeze ketchup on top in a nice even layer.
  10. Cook for 90 minutes.
  11. Cut a small slice to check the inside. It should be lightly brown. If it's still a little pink, cook in 5 minute increments until brown.
  12. Allow the meatloaf to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Steps 8 and 9

Put ground beef mixture into the loaf pan.
Put ground beef mixture into the loaf pan.
Squeeze ketchup on top in an even layer.
Squeeze ketchup on top in an even layer.

Step 11

Cut a small slice to check the inside. It should be a nice light brown color.
Cut a small slice to check the inside. It should be a nice light brown color.

Serve meatloaf with a side of homemade mashed potatoes or french fries.


You can customize your meatloaf to your taste by adding chopped onion or green peppers. I think jalapeño peppers would be delicious, too!

Ready to eat!
Ready to eat!
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© 2018 Alyssa


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    • Alyssa Nichol profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from Ohio

      Hello Larry! Thank you for stopping by! I'm sure your wife does make the best. You can't argue with 47 years of marriage! And I know the biased feeling well. I still feel my grandfather made the best. My husband maintains that his grandma made the best. haha! I think meatloaf does that to people. I was just happy that after our 12 years together that we finally got it close, but it will never live up to those special memories we have. :)

    • Larry Fish profile image

      Larry W Fish 

      2 years ago from Raleigh

      Alyssa, whenever si see a meatloaf recipe I have to read it. My wife, in my opinion and other people too, says that she makes the best meatloaf. Maybe me being married to her for 47 years makes my opinion one sided. Anyway I find your recipe interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      2 years ago from U.S.A.

      Excellent article. I love meat loaf. I'm looking forward to trying this. I do add onions to the meat. My wife also adds spices. She's probably like you: She has an incredible spice drawer, filled with more spices than should have names.

      Thanks for the wonderful article. It does remind me of my grandmother's simple but tasty meat loaf.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I used to love my mom's meatloaf. Haven't had any that good in decades. Perhaps it's time for me to give it a try. Thank you!


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