Foolproof Meatloaf

(Foolproof!) Kid-Friendly Super Delicious Meatloaf

I can’t say that I have always been a fan of meatloaf. Meatloaf is basically the opposite of how I eat meat. In our house, feeding 6 or 7 people every night, I rarely use more than a pound of meat (if any) for all of us. Meat is never really the focus of our meal – it’s more like an enhancement. Stir fries, soups, crockpot meals – the focus is usually on the veggies.

But, once in a while, when I need something really easy and really tasty, this kid-friendly super delicious meatloaf fits the bill. Jump to Recipe

Easiest Recipe Ever

It only takes a few minutes to mix together a few key ingredients, toss the pan into the oven, and walk away.  Since I have a programmable oven, this meal is perfect for busy afternoons driving kids around to sports practices. We can walk back in the door, the oven is off, and dinner is ready. It almost feels like cheating…


Foolproof Meatloaf
Foolproof, Kid-Friendly, Super Delicious Meatloaf








Use More Than Ground Beef

When I make meatloaf, I always use more than one kind of meat – usually, something seasoned like pork sausage or Italian sausage – and then something simple like ground beef or ground bison or even ground turkey. The combination adds more flavor and moistness – I don’t recommend straight-up ground beef meatloaf. Since we get all of our meat from farmers around North Carolina, I use whatever I’ve got in my fridge that month. This recipe is very, very flexible!

Mix-Ins Are Essential 

If you want to make tasty meatloaf that your friends and children will love, it only takes a few simple additions. I change up my kid-friendly super delicious meatloaf recipe just about every time I make it but I always put in at least one egg, either breadcrumbs, cornmeal, or dry stuffing mix, lots of barbecue sauce and lots of seasoning. If I have any kale in my crisper, I always add chopped kale (either raw or sauteed with onions) but I will leave that optional for you…

Finish With Salt

For my finishing touch, I brush it with more barbecue sauce and coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper. If all the ingredients that go into your meatloaf are tasty, you can’t help but to have a delicious final product.

Other meatloaf ideas … Spend With Pennies has a meatloaf recipe with a fun meatloaf sauce if you are feeling adventurous! And, truly, I love everything Ina Garten makes, so here is her meatloaf recipe – it’s amazing.

Kid-Friendly, Super Delicious Meatloaf

Foolproof Meatloaf
5 from 1 vote

Foolproof, Kid-Friendly, Super Delicious Meatloaf

Super easy, super quick meatloaf that your whole family will love!
Course Dinner
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Erin Brighton


  • 1 lb ground beef or ground bison
  • 1 lb ground pork sausage - any flavor
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup ketchup or barbecue sauce (plus more for the top)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup breadcrumbs or dried stuffing (I use gluten-free)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped kale (optional)
  • Generous dried herbs - parsley , thyme, rosemary
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Combine all the ingredients in one large bowl using your hands.
  2. Form one large meatloaf in a 9 x 13 baking pan or make smaller meatloafs in mini bread tins. (Great for freezing!)
  3. Wash hands very well.
  4. Brush additional barbecue sauce over the top. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for at 60 to 75 minutes. Cook the meatloaf on a lower rack to prevent the barbecue sauce on top from getting overcooked.
  6. Serve with your favorite veggies and a green salad. For a true comfort food meal, serve with mashed potatoes and peas! Enjoy!
Foolproof Meatloaf
Foolproof Meatloaf – Ready For The Oven

Other favorite easy dinners …

Baked Chicken Caprese

Asian Meatballs With Garlicky Hoisin Sauce

Baked Meatballs With Swiss Chard #SundaySupper

Homemade Meatball Subs With Mozzarella

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Erin Brighton

I am a native New Englander now living in beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina and enjoying summers in sea-breezy Scituate, Massachusetts with my five small kids and two large dogs. I love to cook easy, local, and gluten-free for friends and family.

10 thoughts on “(Foolproof!) Kid-Friendly Super Delicious Meatloaf”

  1. I have a hard time getting my 3 year old to eat red meat, but I’m going to have to try this out! I haven’t found a good meatloaf recipe, and this looks perfect! I’d love if you’d come share some recipes on our #TryABiteTuesday Link Party at Caleigh’s Kitchen!

    1. Hey, Amber!! How did I miss this note from you? I will definitely check out #tryabiteTuesday at Caleigh’s Kitchen and share some recipes. Red meat can be tricky with little kids! I hope your daughter likes it.

    1. It took me a while to warm up to meatloaf … but now I really do love it. And whenever I make it, it’s gone in a flash – so, clearly, the little people love it, too. 😉

  2. Kaitie Creator of Fuchisa Freezer

    This is a wonderful meal to have kids help you make!! I know both of my girls would enjoy making (and eating) this!!

    1. YES! You are right, Kaitie! Very kid-friendly preparation – and very hard to mess up. Even just cracking the egg in the bowl brings some smiles!

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