Meatloaf is a comfort meal like no other. This easy meatloaf recipe with oatmeal packs a lot of flavor into every tasty bite. It's finished off with a ketchup topping, and it tastes like childhood memories.
Meatloaf is one of those recipes that everyone's house has its own version of. From adding boxed stuffing mix to bread crumbs, crackers, or oats, it's never the same in two houses.
This is the oatmeal meatloaf recipe I was raised on and that I raise my kids on. It's simple, quick, and easy- everything I love for a dinner recipe. But I do have a recipe for Meatloaf with Ritz Crackers and Meatloaf Without Eggs for those looking for something a little more unique.
Why This Recipe Works
- It's super simple! Just mix it together in a bowl and put it in a greased dish. Bake, top it off, and bake just a little more to cook the top nicely and done.
- There's a make ahead option. This oatmeal meatloaf can also be made in advance and stored covered in the fridge for up to two days if you want to make weeknight meals even easier. Which, let's be honest, who doesn't?
- There's 2 ways to prepare it. You can use a bread loaf pan or a square baking dish (a square pan makes "extra" servings, perfect for smaller portions and more people).
Ground Beef- I like to use 80/20 ground beef because it's not too fatty and not too lean. Lean meats tend to not do as well because they'll burn or not hold up correctly.
Eggs- We use roughly 1 egg per pound to act as the binder for the meatloaf. Without it, the meatloaf will crumble and not hold up well when sliced.
Worchestershire Sauce- Believe it or not, I usually swap this out with A1 Sauce or Ketchup if I don't have Worchestershire on hand.
Minced Garlic- Because garlic goes in like 90% of the dinners I make.
Seasonings- We need salt, pepper, and onion powder to help flavor our meatloaf.
Oats- I almost always use quick cook oats because it's what I keep on hand, but old fashioned and steel cut work too. They'll absorb the fat as the meatloaf cooks, making them tender.
Ketchup- To help smother the top of our meatloaf and add a little sweet and tangy thing to the flavorful beef.
🍽 Equipment Needed
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- Mixing Bowl
- Bread loaf pan or 8x8 baking dish
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
Check out how to make meatloaf with oatmeal with these simple step-by-step instructions:
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the ketchup.
Pour the mixture into greased 9x5 bread pan or an 8x8 baking dish.
Bake for 1 hour (if using a loaf pan) or 45 minutes if using an 8x8.
Remove the meatloaf from the oven and drain the grease. Spread ketchup over the top and return to oven. Cook for another 30 minutes in a bread pan or 15 minutes if using 8x8.
Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
🍴 Recipe Tips
Different Baking Pans
If you want dinner done faster, using a larger pan such as an 8x8 will cause the cooking time to go down by about 20-30 minutes. Keep an eye on the internal temp and watch for it to register 160 degrees F before removing from the oven. Then top with ketchup and return for just 5-15 minutes before serving. (It just needs to be warmed).
I usually make my meatloaf recipe with oats in an 8x8 baking dish because it makes smaller slices, giving the illusion that there's more to share. But, at the same time it's called a "loaf" so throwing it in a bread pan also makes sense.
Your meatloaf will be safe to consume when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. I recommend checking on the meat's temperature when you pull it from the oven to add the ketchup topping as well as after it has finished cooking.
🐄Scaling the Recipe
If desired, double this recipe and cook it in a 9x13 baking dish. You will bake it according to the square baking dish directions in the recipe card. This will give you twice as many servings, which is great for serving a larger family or dinner guests.
Ground turkey. You can use ground turkey instead of beef for a healthier meatloaf alternative. Note that the meatloaf should then be cooked to 165 degrees F and that overcooking it will result in a dry loaf as turkey has a lot less fat in it.
⏲️Make Ahead Instructions
You can make this meatloaf and keep it covered in the fridge until it is ready to bake. Up to 2 days.
If using a glass pan, make sure to let it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes before baking (usually as the oven preheats), so you don't shock the cold glass and cause your pan to shatter.
You reheat multiple slices of meatloaf in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F for 5-10 minutes.
Alternatively, you can place a few slices on a microwave safe plate and heat for about 2 minutes.
🥗 Side Dishes
This meatloaf would taste great with just about anything as a side dish, but because it's a comfort food classic, having it with simpler side dishes makes sense.
Some of our favorite side dishes include Bacon Ranch Brussel Sprouts, 5 Ingredient Mac and Cheese, Italian Green Beans with Tomatoes, or Creamy Garlic Red Skin Mashed Potatoes.
You can keep leftover meatloaf in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Freeze uneaten meatloaf for up to 3 months. Thaw and cook or reheat as needed.
Don't forget to save your leftovers (assuming there are any) in a baggie in the fridge so you can enjoy leftover meatloaf sandwiches the next day. Yum!
Mix together ground beef, oats, eggs, and seasonings and place into pan and bake. Drain grease, top with ketchup, and bake a little longer to warm up the top. Slice and serve. Enjoy!
Oats add fiber to the dish as well as double for a binding agent. Together the oats and the eggs help to keep the meatloaf retaining its shape.
If you want to cook the meatloaf at 375 degrees F, the baking time will be lessened. Check your meatloaf after 40 minutes and if it's reached 160 degrees F, then drain grease, top with ketchup, and return to oven for 5 minutes before serving.
More great dinner recipes to try
- Creamy Tilapia and Spinach with Cherry Tomatoes
- Stuffed Chicken Roll Ups
- Instant Pot Ham and Bean Soup
- Poor Mans Prime Rib
- Honey Orange Glazed Ham
- Ragu Spaghetti Sauce
Simple Meatloaf Recipe with Oatmeal
- Bread loaf pan or 8x8 baking dish
- 3 lbs 80/20 ground beef ($10.11)
- 3 large eggs ($0.24)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce ($0.10)
- 2 teaspoon minced garlic ($0.10)
- ½ teaspoon salt ($0.05)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper ($0.05)
- ½ teaspoon onion powder ($0.05)
- 1 ½ cups oats ($0.27)
- ¾ cup ketchup ($0.30)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9x5 bread pan or 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside. **See note below for baking dish instructions
- In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients, except for the ketchup. Mix well to evenly distribute ingredients.
- Pour the meatloaf mixture into your prepared pan and bake for 1 hour.
- Remove from oven and drain grease from pan.
- Spread ketchup over the top of the meatloaf so that it's evenly covered.
- Return pan to oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F on an instant read thermometer.
- Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
This looks like such a quick and easy go to recipe that gets dinner on the table quickly! Thanks for sharing.
This looks so delicious and tasty! My family is going to love this recipe! So excited to make this soon!
Now that's a classic! Will definitely try this recipe.
What a lovely and unique recipe. Definitely have to try this for my picky toddler!
Perfect timing! My kids were just talking yesterday about how long it's been since we've had meatloaf!