Southern meatloaf recipe is simple and made with ground beef, bell peppers, cheddar cheese, creole seasoning and the best meatloaf glaze with brown sugar! This juicy old fashioned southern meatloaf is comfort food at its best! Serve it with buttery crackers, green beans or mashed potatoes!
If you like homemade meatloaf, make sure to check my Best Meatloaf recipe, Spinach Stuffed meatloaf, Meatloaf with Ritz crackers, gluten free Meatloaf with Oatmeal.
Not everybody likes meatloaf, this happens if you’ve had bad experience with meatloaf in the past. But, guys, not all meatloaf is the same. Different ingredients and their ratio can give different texture and flavor. Plus, most of the recipes tell you to bake meatloaf in a loaf pan. Personally I don’t like it, you can hardly achieve an appealing look with a loaf pan. It is not easy to take it out of pan as well (even if you grease it).
I usually bake meatloaf on a grill skillet. However, this time I used a roasting tray with rack. I was over the moon with the result. Cleaning was a breeze because I lined the tray with parchment paper and baked the meatloaf on the wire rack. The rack keeps the meatloaf off the tray’s bottom and allows air to circulate. This guarantees even cooking and the tray underneath collects the meatloaf’s drippings.
Southern meatloaf recipe with tomato sauce
There is nothing worse than a dry meatloaf. To keep meatloaf moist and juicy, you will need to add some liquid. Many recipes call for milk. But I use tomato sauce (passata) for this southern meatloaf recipe. It adds falvor and makes the meatloaf juicy and tender. You can use homemade passata or store-bought tomato sauce.
Can you make this meatloaf without eggs and breadcrumbs? Yes, you can substitute bread crumbs for ritz crackers or oatmeal for gluten free meatloaf. If you don’t want to add eggs, make sure to add more bread crumbs. But it’ll be denser and meatier than the meatloaf made with eggs.
How to make southern meatloaf
- Preheat you oven to 350 F (175 C). Line a roasting tray with parchment paper and place the wire rack.
- Sauté the veggies until tender in a skillet with butter or ghee. Sautéed veggies give more moisture.
- Combine all the ingredients. Don’t overwork the meat. This can result in dense and tough meatloaf.
- Form a meatloaf using 7 x 9-inch loaf, then turn it out onto the prepared roasting tray with rack.
- Bake for 50 minutes at 350 F (175 C).Higher temps will dry it out.
- Remove from the oven and spread the meatloaf glaze over it. Bake further for 15-10 minutes. Allow to rest before slicing for 10 minutes.
Meatloaf glaze with brown sugar
This meatloaf glaze is made with ketchup, brown sugar and yellow mustard. It is perfectly sweet and tangy. A delicious and irresistible sauce! Simply combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Bake meatloaf for 50 minutes, remove from the oven, spread the glaze over it and bake for additional 15-20 minutes. The glaze will caramelize and will be fantastic!
Can you freeze meatloaf
Absolutely! You can freeze both uncooked and cooked meatloaf.
- Uncooked meatloaf: prepare meatloaf per instructions. Place on the cutting board and freeze for 1-2 hours. Wrap the semi-frozen meatloaf with plastic and foil and freeze for up to 4-5 months. You can cook the frozen meatloaf in a slow cooker. Simply place the frozen meatloaf in a slow cooker, glaze with the sauce and cook on LOW for 8 hours. Alternatively defrost meatloaf in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Proceed with the baking instructions below.
- Cooked meatloaf: allow to cool completely. Wrap the whole meatloaf or individual slices with plastic wrap. Place in a freezer-safe container, write the date and freeze for 4-5 months.
how to reheat meatloaf without drying it out
Meatloaf can feed a crowd and if your family is small, you will most likely to have leftovers. And this leftover meatloaf is perfect for sandwiches or lunch the next day.
But there is one problem with reheating meatloaf without drying it out. You can still get juicy meatloaf if you reheat it correctly. Let’s chat about it!
The best way to reheat meatloaf is to use the oven. It gives you control over the temperature. You can cover the meatloaf with foil to prevent from drying out or uncover to get crispy edges.
How long to reheat meatloaf in the oven
- Simply preheat your oven to 250 F (120 C).
- Place meatloaf on the wire rack and add 2-3 tablespoons of water on the tray. Cover with foil and heat for 30 minutes or until it is hot through. Alternatively you can use a baking dish instead of a roasting pan.
how long to reheat meatloaf in microwave
Another option is to use microwave.
If you prefer to reheat it in the microwave, you might end with dry meatloaf. To avoid this, make sure reheat it separately from your meal.
- Place the slices in a microwave safe dish, cover with paper towel and heat for 2 minutes. It can take more or less time, depends on the size of your meatloaf slices and power of your microwave.
- Remove the dish from the microwave and turn the meatloaf slices over. Microwave further for 1 minute or until hot through.
How to reheat meatloaf in a skillet
It is another great method to reheat meatloaf slices. Melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet, put the slices in one layer and cook over medium-high heat until heated through and crispy. It will be crispy, buttery and not dry at all. You can also add a few tablespoons of beef broth and cook until it evaporates.
- Melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet.
- Arrange the meatloaf slices in one layer and cook for 3 minutes over medium-high heat.
- Flip slices and cook further for 3 minutes or until heated all the way through.
Sides to serve with meatloaf
Healthy broccoli mashed potatoes
Instant pot mashed cauliflower
If you make this southern meatloaf recipe, leave a comment or give this recipe a rating! I will be happy to hear from you!Print
Southern Meatloaf Recipe
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 10
Southern meatloaf recipe is simple and made with ground beef, bell peppers, cheddar cheese, creole seasoning and the best meatloaf glaze with brown sugar!
For the Meatloaf:
- Ground beef (80 % lean)- 2 lbs (1 kg)
- Butter/ghee- 2 tablespoons
- Onion ( finely chopped)-1
- Garlic cloves (minced)-1 tablespoon
- Bell pepper (finely diced)- ¾ cup
- Bread crumbs- ¾ cup
- Cheddar cheese ( grated)-1 cup
- Eggs (lightly beaten)- 2
- Tomato passata- ½ cup
- Worcestershire sauce-2 tablespoons
- Creole seasoning- 1-2 tablespoons, depends on your taste
- Parsley ( finely chopped)-2 tablespoons
- Salt - to taste
For the Glaze:
- Ketchup-½ cup
- Brown sugar-2 tablespoons
- Yellow mustard-1 tablespoon
- Preheat your oven to 350 F (175 C). Line a roasting tray (with rack) with parchment paper.
- Melt butter in a skillet or pan. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic. Saute about 4-5 minutes or until tender. They will be more tender and will give more moisture to the meatloaf. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
- In large bowl combine bread crumbs, cheddar cheese, eggs, tomato passata and sauteed veggies.
- Add the ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, creole seasoning, parsley and salt. Mix just until combined. Don't over work otherwise it will be dense!
- Transfer the meat mixture into a loaf pan and form a 7 x 9-inch loaf, then turn it out onto the prepared roasting tray with rack. Bake for 50 minutes.
- In a medium bowl combine ketchup, brown sugar and yellow mustard.
- Remove meatloaf from the oven and spread the glaze over it. Bake further for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 F (71 C). Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 1 hour 15 min
- Category: Beef recipes
- Cuisine: American
- Calories: 334 kcal
- Sugar: 7 g
- Sodium: 426 mg
- Fat: 21 g
- Saturated Fat: 8 g
- Carbohydrates: 15 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 18 g
- Cholesterol: 103 mg
Keywords: meatloaf recipe, southern meatloaf
All rights reserved. CHEF JAR. All images and content are copyright protected. PLEASE do not use my images without my permission. If you want to share this recipe, PLEASE provide a link back to this post.
If you make this recipe, take a photo of your creation and hashtag it # CHEFJAR on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
This was the first time I tried a meatloaf recipe and this was so delicious, my whole family enjoyed it! The flavors were great and the meat was so tender. Definitely a classic for a reason!
Thank you for sharing your experience! I am glad you like this meatloaf recipe like we do.
The whole meal came out perfect. My husband went back for seconds so I know it is a keeper! This is the only recipe I'm going to use from now on!
I am happy to hear that Ardelle! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review, I really appreciate it! Tatiana 🙂
I followed the recipe as written. This was my first attempt which turned out perfect and so delicious. My husband and I enjoyed it though we are usually a little picky about meatloaf. Thank you for this recipe!
Thank you, Hailee! -Tatiana 🙂
Jaci Marie says
This recipe is hands down the absolute best meatloaf ever! It comes out perfect every time and is perfect the way it's written!
Hey Jaci! Thank you so much for your kind words an review, I really appreciate it! Tatiana 🙂
I've used this recipe over months and it comes out perfect every time. The texture and flavor are perfect and the recipe is easy to follow.
Hey Abish! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review, I really appreciate it! Tatiana 🙂
My daughter and I loved this meatloaf! I paired this dish with some mashed sweet potatoes and a salad. Definitely would make again!
Hey Kendal! Thank you for your feedback! I am glad you liked it!
I have tried several meatloaf recipes, and this is by far the best. My picky son loved it! Thanks for the great recipe!
It's great to hear that this meatloaf recipe was a hit with your family, especially your picky son! Thank you for sharing your experience.