- 1 cup of torn-up bread pieces, or ½ cup of bread crumbs
- ½ cup of whole or 2% milk
- 1 small onion, diced small
- 1 small carrot, peeled and diced small
- 1 stalk of celery, diced into small bits
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 2 pounds of ground meat, such as beef, pork, veal, lamb, or a mix
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Pepper, for taste
- ½ cup of ketchup, bbq sauce, or any other sauce for coating (optional ingredient)
- 8 ounces of bacon (optional ingredient)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and place a rack in its bottom third. Aluminum foil should be used to line a rimmed baking sheet or any other baking dish while the oven is heating up.
- In a small bowl, combine the pieces of bread with the milk. Allow this mixture to rest until the bread pieces have broken down into a thick porridge-like consistency; make sure to stir the mixture regularly and squeeze the bread against the bowl’s sides. You can soak the bread with the crusts on or off; however if you choose to leave the crusts on, remove any large chunks that don’t break down after soaking.
- In a skillet, warm up a few teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Combine the diced onion bits, carrots, and celery in a large mixing bowl. Cook this mixture for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the onions are transparent and the carrots get softened. Reduce the heat as soon as the vegetables begin to brown. Stir in the garlic for about 30 seconds, or until it becomes fragrant. Afterward, stir in the herbs and tomato paste until thoroughly combined. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, beaten eggs, salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce, cooked vegetables, as well as the soaked bread and milk. Working fast, blend the ingredients with your hands until they are barely mixed.
- Move the meatloaf to a foil-lined baking sheet or in a baking dish and assemble it. Make a rough 9×5-inch loaf out of it. (If you choose to use a loaf pan, place the meatloaf mix in the pan and pat it down.)
- ¼ cup of the ketchup mixture should be spread over the meatloaf after arranging it (keep the remaining ¼ cup for later use). Alternatively, bacon slices could also be draped over the loaf.
- Leave the meatloaf to bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
- Cover the loaf with the remaining ¼ cup of ketchup that was reserved earlier. Bake the meatloaf for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer in the center of the loaf registers at least 155°F (about 1 hour of cooking time in total).
- Allow a period of 15 minutes at least for the loaf to cool before serving. Drain the liquid fat from the meatloaf if it was baked in a loaf pan before moving it to a clean chopping board. Serve by slicing into thick pieces.
This meatloaf recipe is delicious and most importantly, easy to adopt. When followed properly, the instructions will guide you to moist and flavorful results. If you need more recipe ideas for cooking meatloaf in the oven, then check out this video recipe for the best classic meatloaf.