Basic Meatloaf

Basic Meatloaf

6 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2013

While meatloaf purists focus on the meat, we like to look at meatloaf as a way to pack extra veggies and whole grains into a meal, as we do in this healthy, classic meatloaf recipe.

Ingredients 10 servings

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Original recipe yields 10 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 1 large onion, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 large stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • 5 tablespoons ketchup, divided
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs (see Tip)
  • 2 pounds lean (90% or leaner) ground beef


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray (or see Loaf Pan Variation).
  2. Pulse onion, bell pepper and celery in a food processor until finely chopped. (Or finely chop them with a knife.)
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons ketchup, Worcestershire, mustard, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper to the vegetables; stir to combine. Stir in egg and breadcrumbs. Add ground beef and with clean hands gently knead the vegetable mixture into the meat; do not overmix. Pat the meat mixture into a loaf shape (about 12 by 5 inches) on the prepared baking sheet. Spread the remaining 3 tablespoons ketchup on top.
  5. Bake the meatloaf until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, about 45 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Let stand at room temperature while oven preheats; bake until an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F, about 1 hour.
  • Tip: To make your own fresh breadcrumbs, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. To make fine breadcrumbs, process until very fine. To make dry breadcrumbs, spread coarse or fine breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until dry, about 10 to 15 minutes. One slice of bread makes about ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs or about ⅓ cup dry breadcrumbs.
  • Loaf Pan Variation: If you want a more uniform-shaped “loaf” you can bake your meatloaf in a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan instead of on a baking sheet. Coat the pan with cooking spray, pat the meatloaf mixture into the pan and cover with the topping. Bake for about 1 hour. Let stand for 10 minutes in the pan before slicing.
  • Easy cleanup: Recipes that require cooking spray can leave behind a sticky residue that can be hard to clean. To save time and keep your baking sheet looking fresh, line it with a layer of foil before you apply the cooking spray.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 69 calories; 2 g fat(0 g sat); 2 g fiber; 10 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 13 mcg folate; 19 mg cholesterol; 4 g sugars; 1 g added sugars; 420 IU vitamin A; 15 mg vitamin C; 20 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 283 mg sodium; 157 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (25% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½
  • Exchanges: ½ starch, ½ vegetable, 2½ medium-fat meat, ½ fat

Reviews 6

July 30, 2019
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By: erb
This was one of the best tasting meatloafs I have had! I love any opportunity to use my food processor, so that was a huge plus for me. My 7 year old said she loved it, until she realized there were onions in it.
July 20, 2016
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By: Rebecca Grenier
Downright Tasty This had a delicious flavor although was a bit of a PITA to drag out the food processor and fry up the veggies ahead of time, but the time was not a total waste as I was able to assemble the rest of the meatloaf while they were frying. It was delicious and I would make it again. You can really throw in almost any veggies you have into the mix I would say. Pros: Very tasty Cons: time cosuming, uses food processor
October 27, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Pretty good The flavor was different than what I am used to. It grew on me after a few bites but still didn't seem quite right. Nice texture, and I liked the addition of a generous amount of veggies.
February 16, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Serving Size Oops - found it.. I can't believe I didn't see it at first. I am anxious to try. Thank you
January 16, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Good Healthy Meatloaf It was easy to make. I had all ingredients. The tip of baking in a rimmed baking sheet was great way to make it faster. Its one I will keep in my rotation. Pros: Easy to make, my preschoolers loved it, great tip on cooking faster
January 09, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Super easy & satisfying This meatloaf is so satisfying!! I loved it & my husband did too. We have enjoyed all the leftovers. I used a frozen miraproix mix that further simplified the process. Hearty & filling. Lo cal & good for you. Def keeper. Pros: Very easy to put together & lots of leftovers
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