5-Ingredient Easy Meatloaf

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Close up picture of sliced meatloaf with ketchup on top. This 5-Ingredient Easy Meatloaf recipe may be short on ingredients, but it is loaded with flavor. The lack of breadcrumbs means you don't have them soaking up the juices, so the meat stays moist - and it's gluten free too! Parmesan cheese, onion, egg, ketchup, salt, and pepper are all that go into this yummy loaf of goodness!

Ok, so you might think meatloaf sounds boring, but this is some freakin’ good, super simple, 5-Ingredient Easy Meatloaf!  This Easy Meatloaf recipe may be short on ingredients, but it is loaded with flavor.  Because there are no breadcrumbs, you don’t have them soaking up the juices, so the meat stays really moist – and it’s gluten free too!  I just love this yummy loaf of goodness 🙂

MAKE AHEAD OR EVEN FREEZE

The best part (aside from the amazing taste) is that this is only 5 simple ingredients and you can make it ahead and Freeze before cooking!  I like to double up the recipe and then make one meatloaf to cook and eat and the other to freeze.  For more fantastic ways to use your Freezer to prepare food ahead and make it last longer, check out this printable cheat sheet with 10 Freezer Hacks to make easy dinners!

Close up picture of sliced meatloaf with ketchup on top with mashed potatoes on plate. This 5-Ingredient Easy Meatloaf recipe may be short on ingredients, but it is loaded with flavor. The lack of breadcrumbs means you don't have them soaking up the juices, so the meat stays moist - and it's gluten free too! Parmesan cheese, onion, egg, ketchup, salt, and pepper are all that go into this yummy loaf of goodness!

PREP FOR YOUR EASY MEATLOAF!

The only prep ahead of time for this Easy Meatloaf (assuming you buy the parmesan already grated) is to dice the onion.  I like a larger dice, but you can dice it finely to blend in more.

It really is just 5 simple ingredients (plus salt, pepper, oil).  The ingredients are lean, grass-fed ground beef, onion, parmesan cheese, ketchup, and an egg.  That’s it!  I urge you to try making your own ketchup using honey.  It’s delicious and so super easy!  Check it how here homemade ketchup recipe, but feel free to use the store bought stuff!

Raw Ground Beef in bowl with parmesan cheese, onions and ketchup in measuring cups on counter and egg on counter. This 5-Ingredient Easy Meatloaf recipe may be short on ingredients, but it is loaded with flavor. The lack of breadcrumbs means you don't have them soaking up the juices, so the meat stays moist - and it's gluten free too! Parmesan cheese, onion, egg, ketchup, salt, and pepper are all that go into this yummy loaf of goodness!

HACK: Worried about crunchy onions in your loaf?  Or, don’t have a fresh onion on hand?  Dice several onions in advance and freeze them in in a storage bag!  The onions will already be soft from being frozen and they cook beautifully.  You also always have freshly frozen onion on hand!  

Put all of the ingredients in a large bowl with salt and pepper (except the ketchup reserved for the top of the loaf) and mix it with a large fork or with your hands.

Raw ground Beef in bowl with onions, catchup, egg, and parmesan cheese on top. This 5-Ingredient Easy Meatloaf recipe may be short on ingredients, but it is loaded with flavor. The lack of breadcrumbs means you don't have them soaking up the juices, so the meat stays moist - and it's gluten free too! Parmesan cheese, onion, egg, ketchup, salt, and pepper are all that go into this yummy loaf of goodness!

Raw Meatloaf mixed in bowl with spoon. This 5-Ingredient Easy Meatloaf recipe may be short on ingredients, but it is loaded with flavor. The lack of breadcrumbs means you don't have them soaking up the juices, so the meat stays moist - and it's gluten free too! Parmesan cheese, onion, egg, ketchup, salt, and pepper are all that go into this yummy loaf of goodness!Form the ground meat mixture into a loaf and place into a loaf pan.  I like to line the loaf pan with aluminum foil so that it is easy to remove in one piece when it is done, is you simply lift it out by the sides.  Spread the remaining ketchup over the top evenly.

Raw meatloaf with ketchup on top in aluminum lined loaf pan. This 5-Ingredient Easy Meatloaf recipe may be short on ingredients, but it is loaded with flavor. The lack of breadcrumbs means you don't have them soaking up the juices, so the meat stays moist - and it's gluten free too! Parmesan cheese, onion, egg, ketchup, salt, and pepper are all that go into this yummy loaf of goodness!

Can I make this meatloaf ahead?

At this point, you can store the uncooked meatloaf in the fridge for up to 3 days.  Just be sure to wrap it really well to prevent air from getting in.  Or freeze it for up to 5-6 months, again sealed as well as you can.

Can I use ground chicken or turkey?

You can definitely substitute ground chicken or ground turkey.  The cooking time will be the same.  However, for poultry, you should check the internal temperature to ensure it reaches 165 F.

Do I have to use grated Parmesan Cheese?

The reason grated Parmesan works so well is because it’s so fine that it really mixes thoroughly throughout the meat.  However, you can use shredded if you don’t have grated.  You may also use cheddar, manchego, or other hard cheese if you don’t have parmesan. Though I do recommend getting it as finely shredded or even grated as possible.  

Can I add other ingredients?

Sure!  I tried to keep this recipe as simple as possible, but there are lots of other ingredients that would be great additions!  You can add a clove of minced garlic for added flavor.  Chopped parsley (1/4 cup) is great for added brightness and color.  A finely diced jalapeno would be delicious for a kick.  Red or Green pepper would also be delicious.  I created a delicious variation on this recipe you can check out – 5-Ingredient Mexican Meatloaf!  PLEASE LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER IDEAS AND I WILL UPDATE THIS!

COOKING THIS EASY MEATLOAF

Cook the meatloaf in the oven 350 degrees F for 60 minutes.  Take out and let sit for 5 minutes.

Close up picture of whole meatloaf with ketchup on top. This 5-Ingredient Easy Meatloaf recipe may be short on ingredients, but it is loaded with flavor. The lack of breadcrumbs means you don't have them soaking up the juices, so the meat stays moist - and it's gluten free too! Parmesan cheese, onion, egg, ketchup, salt, and pepper are all that go into this yummy loaf of goodness!

Then remove from pan, slice, and serve!  This Easy Meatloaf recipe is so moist and flavorful, you won’t believe it was so incredibly simple to make!!  Serve with mashed potatoes and enjoy 🙂

Close up picture of sliced meatloaf with ketchup on top. This 5-Ingredient Easy Meatloaf recipe may be short on ingredients, but it is loaded with flavor. The lack of breadcrumbs means you don't have them soaking up the juices, so the meat stays moist - and it's gluten free too! Parmesan cheese, onion, egg, ketchup, salt, and pepper are all that go into this yummy loaf of goodness!

Close up picture of sliced meatloaf with ketchup on top. This 5-Ingredient Easy Meatloaf recipe may be short on ingredients, but it is loaded with flavor. The lack of breadcrumbs means you don't have them soaking up the juices, so the meat stays moist - and it's gluten free too! Parmesan cheese, onion, egg, ketchup, salt, and pepper are all that go into this yummy loaf of goodness!
5 from 8 votes
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5-Ingredient Easy Meatloaf

This 5-Ingredient Easy Meatloaf recipe may be short on ingredients, but it is loaded with flavor.  The lack of breadcrumbs means you don't have them soaking up the juices, so the meat stays moist - and it's gluten free too!  Parmesan cheese, onion, egg, ketchup, salt, and pepper are all that go into this yummy loaf of goodness!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword family dinner, gluten free, meatloaf, no breadcrumbs
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 16 oz 90% Lean Grass-Fed Ground Beef
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Onion, diced
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1/4 cup Ketchup for mixing with beef see my recipe for homemade Ketchup!
  • 1/3 cup Ketchup for spreading on top of loaf see my recipe for homemade Ketchup!
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a loaf pan with aluminum foil for easy removal of the meatloaf after it is cooked.

  2. Finely dice the Onion

  3. Mix all ingredients (except the 1/3 cup Ketchup reserved for the top) together in a large bowl with a fork or with hands: beef, parmesan cheese, onion, egg, ketchup, salt, pepper. 

    Raw Meatloaf mixed in bowl with spoon. This 5-Ingredient Easy Meatloaf recipe may be short on ingredients, but it is loaded with flavor. The lack of breadcrumbs means you don't have them soaking up the juices, so the meat stays moist - and it's gluten free too! Parmesan cheese, onion, egg, ketchup, salt, and pepper are all that go into this yummy loaf of goodness!
  4. Form a loaf in the loaf pan.  Spread the remaining 1/3 cup Ketchup over the top of the meatloaf. Bake in the oven for 1 hour (60 minutes).

    Raw meatloaf with ketchup on top in aluminum lined loaf pan. This 5-Ingredient Easy Meatloaf recipe may be short on ingredients, but it is loaded with flavor. The lack of breadcrumbs means you don't have them soaking up the juices, so the meat stays moist - and it's gluten free too! Parmesan cheese, onion, egg, ketchup, salt, and pepper are all that go into this yummy loaf of goodness!
  5. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes.  Remove from the pan, cut and serve with roast or mashed potatoes or salad.  Enjoy!

    Close up picture of sliced meatloaf with ketchup on top. This 5-Ingredient Easy Meatloaf recipe may be short on ingredients, but it is loaded with flavor. The lack of breadcrumbs means you don't have them soaking up the juices, so the meat stays moist - and it's gluten free too! Parmesan cheese, onion, egg, ketchup, salt, and pepper are all that go into this yummy loaf of goodness!

41 thoughts on “5-Ingredient Easy Meatloaf

    1. Hi Pam! I like to use the real parmesan found in the cheese section pre-grated finely so it mixes thoroughly throughout the meat. You can also buy it in a block and finely grate it at home. Either way, the parm will melt into the meatloaf and be delicious, so I honestly don’t think you can go wrong here 🙂 Please let me know which way you go and how it turns out! Also, if you are on pinterest, please add pics to show off your creation!
      Thanks
      Carrie

      1. Hi Kat, thanks for sending me this question! Yep, as long as the parm is grated so that it completely mixes through the meat, you should be good to go. I hope you love it and if so, if you could drop back here to leave a rating, I would sooo appreciate it! Happy Cooking! 🙂 Carrie

        1. 5 stars
          Found this recipe tonight and have the meatloaf baking in the oven this very moment. For the cup of Parmesan I used a cup of Cotija, which is Mexican Parmesan cheese. It is larger grained than the kind that comes from the shake cannisters. You find it in the refrigerated section, in a resealable bag, and so it is nice and fresh. This recipe was fast and easy. The meatloaf smells great and so I think you just can’t go wrong with this version as an alternative to the classic-style.

          1. Hi Lisa, Thank you so much for sharing this version! I’m sure it will be delicious!! I love hearing about new variations of recipes 🙂 Happy Cooking! Carrie

  1. 5 stars
    I will have to look for one of those grill pans, as I eat a lot of chicken. During the warm months I do use a gas grill outside, but have been using a Forman grill in winter. I have found that it will make nice grill marks, but to cook all the way through, wind up with burned grill marks. I never considered just a quick grilling to get the marks and finishing up in the oven. Thank you for the post. now I won’t have to use ketchup to give my chicken a little moisture when I eat it. 🙂

  2. Hi, I notice grease forming on top of the meatloaf while it’s baking. Does that happen to you well? I also used ground turkey instead of beef.

    1. Hi Jennifer, Thanks for the question. Yes, this is normal as the juices (including any meat fat) will not have anywhere to go in the loaf pan but up on top. These juices will soak back into the meat. If you are using ground turkey, the meat should be very lean, so this is moisture that you will want to retain to keep the meat from drying out. Let your meatloaf rest after cooking to allow the juices to soak back in and redistribute. I hope this helps! Thanks, Carrie

  3. 5 stars
    I was looking for a meatloaf recipe that did not use breadcrumbs or packets of soup that are usually filled with gross and harmful ingredients.
    I made this tonight for dinner, and it was WONDERFUL!!!
    Thank you for posting this recipe <3

    1. Hi Jennifer! Thank you for trying this recipe and for posting this 🙂 I’m so happy you enjoyed it!!
      Take Care and Best Wishes, Carrie

  4. 5 stars
    my mum always follow the recipe but she used bread loaf tin to cook the meatloaf that way the tin holds the sauce and is so yummy!

    1. Hi Harrison, Thank you so much!! I’m so happy to hear you and your family loves this recipe! My family loves this recipe too 🙂 Take care, Carrie

    1. Hi Auggie, Thanks for asking! Yes, you can use onion powder instead. I would add 2 tsp of Onion Powder. Please let me know how it turns out!
      Best,
      Carrie

  5. 5 stars
    I am in love with this recipe! I was in search of a simple meatloaf recipe that didn’t require breadcrumbs, and this fit the bill. I had all of the ingredients on hand, which is great and means the ingredients are simple, and it was super easy to make. The best part: it was truly delicious and super packed with flavor! I can’t even believe how tasty it was. Thank you!

        1. Hi Cassandra, Yes, you can definitely substitute ground turkey! All other ingredients would be the same.
          Thanks so much for checking in and let me know how it goes!
          Happy Cooking,
          Carrie

        2. Hi Cassandra, Yes, you can definitely substitute ground turkey! All other ingredients would be the same.
          Thanks so much for checking in and let me know how it goes!
          Happy Cooking,
          Carrie

    1. Thanks, Andrea! So happy you and your family enjoyed it! I’m all about EASY recipes 🙂
      Take Care,
      Carrie

  6. 5 stars
    I have made this meatloaf and was floored at the wonderful taste. I am making it again today and I honestly think it is the best meatloaf recipe I ever had. This is a real keeper!

    1. Thanks so much for this really kind comment!! I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe! 🙂
      Happy Cooking!
      Carrie

    1. Hi Chelsea, Great question! Yes, you can use cheddar. What I love about the grated parmesan is that is mixes so nicely and evenly, so if you are able to grate the cheddar yourself or put it in a food processor, just use the finest setting.
      Please let me know how it goes!
      Happy Cooking 🙂
      Carrie

  7. Found this recipe will be trying it tonight I have one question I’m using ground turkey do I still follow the recipe for the cook time and oven setting

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