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Southern Meatloaf Recipe – Only 5 Ingredients!

This Southern Meatloaf Recipe, made with just 5 ingredients, is so easy to make and even more delicious when you have leftovers. It’s a southern staple in my house, especially when you put a piece between two slices of white bread the next day for lunch!

Meatloaf is one of those meals that you’ll see on our weekly menu at least twice a month. It’s an easy meal for me to prepare and one that our entire family loves. Let me be honest though.

Growing up I used to shudder at the thoughts of meatloaf. I only began liking the menu staple a few years ago when I combined a few recipes to make a dry, but not too dry version of the meal.

I feel like my meatloaf version is one of the best I’ve ever tried and it’s so easy with just 5 ingredients!

This one is easy to make too! It comes together in literally 10 minutes and bakes for about an hour which gives you plenty of time to do other things instead of standing by the stove.

meatloaf topped with ketchup in glass dish close

What’s in this 5-ingredient southern meatloaf recipe:

  • Ground Beef
  • Onion
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Milk or Almond Milk
  • Egg [optional]
  • Worcestershire Sauce [optional]
  • Salt & Pepper

Now, you may notice that my list is a little longer than 5 ingredients, but that’s because a few are optional.

If you are looking for an egg substitute for meatloaf, you can simply eliminate the egg in this recipe. The breadcrumbs will hold the meatloaf together just fine. Egg in meatloaf is used as a binding agent, but so are breadcrumbs.

meatloaf in dish with text southern style quick and easy meatloaf

Honestly, this southern meatloaf recipe can be made with so many variations:

  • onion powder or salt instead of chopped onion
  • using breadcrumbs as an egg substitute for meatloaf
  • almond milk as a milk substitute
  • ground turkey instead of ground beef
  • a dash of garlic powder for extra flavor

I feel like that’s the sign of a great southern recipe – it can be made your own with just a few alterations and it will still come out tasting great!

southern style meatloaf on plate with carrots and potatoes

You can also make this southern meatloaf recipe without ketchup. You could add barbecue sauce on top or just skip the topping altogether, if you choose.

How Long to Cook a Meatloaf

I cook my southern-style meatloaf recipe in a 8×8 glass dish. I use about 1.5 pounds of ground beef and it feeds my family of 6, plus a little leftover. If you want even more leftovers, I would make at least 2 pounds.

This recipe calls for your meatloaf to cook at a lower temperature, longer. I feel like this makes for a more moist meatloaf – no true southern lady would ever serve you a dry meatloaf!

close up of southern meatloaf recipe and meatloaf in glass dish

For 1-2 pounds of meatloaf, you should cook the 8×8 glass pan for about 1-1.5 hours on 350 degrees, time varies depending on your oven, but this is what times work best for me.

When it comes to meatloaf, I don’t want it super soggy, but not too dry either. This recipe is just perfect, in my opinion, and makes for an easy meatloaf recipe for any night of the week!

meatloaf slice in leftover container with potatoes and carrots

What to Serve with Meatloaf

This classic southern meatloaf recipe deserves only the best side dishes. In the south, you’ll always find some form of potato beside a meatloaf. While I love to make mashed potatoes and green beans on meatloaf night, I also have another potato favorite.

carrots and potatoes with butter and herbs in glass dish

These oven roasted mini potatoes with carrots are a perfect meatloaf side dish! They compliment the juicy meatloaf and give off a southern twist to the side dish variety. I bake them right alongside my meatloaf so they’re both perfectly cooked at about the same time.

Some of my other favorites to serve with meatloaf are:

Best Way to Reheat Meatloaf

There are certain meals that I make when I purposefully make too much food so we can have leftovers and this easy meatloaf recipe is one of them. There’s just nothing like a good leftover meatloaf sandwich on white bread! Is that a Southern thing? White bread or not, meatloaf makes great leftovers!

You have a few choices when it comes to reheating meatloaf. I think the best way to reheat meatloaf is in the oven. But how long to reheat meatloaf in oven? It will depend on if it’s still in the original pan or sliced, but about 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees should warm it just fine.

You could also put it in the microwave for a minute or two – or even the air fryer! I love this option as it crisps the meatloaf slices just a bit.

Easy Meatloaf

Easy Meatloaf


  • 1 1/2 lbs. Ground Beef
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Cup Milk [I substitute with Almond to make this dairy free!]
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • Topping:
  • 2/3 cup Ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 3 tbsp Brown Sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all above ingredients.
  3. Mash mixture in a square baking pan - I use a 8x8 glass dish.
  4. In a small bowl, combine: Ketchup, Dijon Mustard, and Brown Sugar. Pour on top of meatloaf.
  5. Bake for about 1 hour. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

If you love classic comfort food and this southern-style meatloaf, you should check out some of my other favorite recipes!

Applewood Bacon Pork Loin Filet

Applewood Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin Filet

chicken casserole in glass dish

Southern Chicken Casserole

cole slaw with sweet cole slaw dressing ingredients

Sweet Southern Cole Slaw

Jackie Moe

Friday 27th of January 2023

I use ground chuck and when the meat loaf is done, there is SO much oil in the pan. How can I remedy this? Thank you!


Monday 30th of January 2023

You might could try using a trivet in your pan, but I haven't tried that myself.


Monday 30th of January 2023

I always have the same issue, Jackie. I just pour slowly out of the pan and then use paper towels to also get some out. I think that goes with making a southern meatloaf - they're definitely not the healthiest, but they are delicious!


Monday 16th of January 2023

Hi, Thanks for the recipe. What are some good substitutions for the breadcrumbs in here, if you are gluten free? Could you do eggs, flaxseed, chia seeds or oats instead? Thanks!


Wednesday 18th of January 2023

Honestly, you could probably just leave the breadcrumbs out and it would work fine. I like the addition because of the flavor, but you could also use other spices to add flavor. If you mix it up and it's not sticking together well enough with 1 egg, you could add in an extra binding agent. I've just never tried myself. Good luck!

Kimberly Flickinger

Friday 14th of October 2016

This meatloaf sounds delicious and very easy to make. Thank you for sharing. I plan to make it for my family.

Amber Ludwig

Thursday 6th of October 2016

Sounds super similar to my mom's recipe!! Easy and delicious!! Thanks for sharing!! This is one of my favorite comfort foods!

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