What Are the Ingredients for a Classic Meatloaf?

Meatloaf has been a staple on family dinner tables for generations. Its hearty texture and rich flavors have made it a go-to option for a wholesome and fulfilling meal. But what are the ingredients for a classic meatloaf? While meatloaf recipes tend to vary based on who you ask, you’ll find that the best meatloaf recipe contains a few core ingredients:

Ground Meat

At the heart of every meatloaf lies the ground meat. Ground beef is the most popular choice, but you can also use a mix of meats, including ground pork, veal, or all three. Ground meat provides the foundation for the meatloaf’s texture and taste.


Breadcrumbs act as a binder, holding the meatloaf together while adding a subtle texture. They also contribute to the overall volume of the dish. Classic meatloaf recipes often call for plain breadcrumbs, but panko breadcrumbs tend to work best.


Eggs are another essential binding ingredient that helps hold the meatloaf together. They provide moisture and help create a cohesive mixture. Typically, one to two eggs per pound of ground meat are used.

Onion and Garlic

Adding chopped onions and minced garlic adds a new layer of flavor to the meatloaf. Sautéing the onions and garlic before mixing them into the meat mixture can further enhance their flavors.

Herbs and Spices

A medley of herbs and spices elevates a classic meatloaf from ordinary to extraordinary. Common choices include dried thyme, oregano, smoked paprika, parsley, salt, and black pepper.


To keep the meatloaf moist and tender, it’s important to add some liquid. Many recipes call for milk, which also contributes to the overall flavor profile. The liquid helps prevent the meatloaf from becoming too dry during baking.

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Hey I'm Matt Morgan. Meatloaf was something I grew up on as a kid and was always my favorite dish. Its something that developed into a passion of mine so after years of perfecting my stable of meatloaf recipes I decided to share my passion for you to enjoy with your family!

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