weeknight beef meatloaf

This weeknight beef meatloaf recipe let’s you batch cook a healthy protein to enjoy after any busy day. Chopping the veggies in a food processor makes preparation a breeze, letting you cook this loaf in no time!

Growing up in an Iranian home, I didn’t taste meatloaf until my mid-twenties! Mom once cooked meatloaf when I was ten years old. She is a fantastic cook but her extensive repertoire of Persian dishes left me craving ‘American food’ once in a while. I’ll never forget the day when, inspired by a cooking magazine, my mom decided to make meatloaf for dinner! Like…real meatloaf! What I saw TV families eat for dinner while I was enjoying basmati rice and gheymeh!

Pin this recipe to your ‘weeknight meals’ board for future use! 

I eagerly watched Mom combine the simple ingredients and shape the beef into that familiar TV loaf. Baking the meatloaf in a Pyrex glass dish, mom carefully removed the dish from the oven. The house smelled amazing and she gently placed the Pyrex on the counter when…CRACK! The hot glass dish shattered upon contact with the cold counter top and our highly anticipated meatloaf dinner was ruined. That was the closest I got to tasting meatloaf for several years.

Since then, I’ve cooked and enjoyed meatloaf many times. It easily tops my list of favorite comfort foods! My all-beef recipe combines lean ground beef with savory additions such as onions, tomato paste and worcestershire sauce. To keep the meatloaf moist, I prepare a panade (paste of milk and bread), add an extra egg for richness, and avoid overmixing the meat.

This is the perfect dish to serve alongside mashed potatoes and asparagus. Much of the cooking is done in the oven. Simply combine the ingredients and relax while this tasty meal bakes away. I hope you enjoy this family recipe as much as we do. Leave a comment and let me know what if you’ve tried it! 

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weeknight beef meatloaf

weeknight beef meatloaf

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  • Author: Sepideh Esmaili Campos


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup torn crustless bread pieces, about 2 slices 
  • ½ cup whole milk 
  • 1 medium yellow onions
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil 
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt 
  • 4 celery sticks
  • 2 pounds ground beef, 85% lean
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • ⅓ cup low sodium chicken broth 
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce 
  • ⅓ cup ketchup 


  1. Combine the bread and milk in a small bowl. Press the bread down into the milk and allow the mixture to soak for 5 minutes. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, set aside. 
  3. In a bowl that’s large enough to mix the meat in, whisk together eggs and bread and milk mixture. 
  4. Cut the onions into quarters and pulse them in a food processor until evenly (more or less) chopped. This will only take a couple pulses depending on your food processor. 
  5. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. 
  6. Add the chopped onions and ½ teaspoon salt to the pan, cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent, 5-6 minutes. 
  7. Meanwhile, cut the celery into big chunks and place in food processor. Pulse until the celery is evenly chopped then add the celery to the onions in the pan. 
  8. Cook over medium heat until the onions are beginning to brown on the edges, 5-6 minutes. 
  9. Remove the vegetables from the heat and allow them to cool slightly. 
  10. Add the cooled vegetables to the bowl of milk and bread. Crumble the beef over the vegetables. 
  11. Sprinkle the remaining 1 ½ teaspoon salt over the beef. 
  12. Sprinkle the garlic powder and dried thyme over the beef. 
  13. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, and worcestershire sauce over the beef. 
  14. Combine with clean hands until just mixed. 
  15. Form the meat into an even loaf on baking sheet and top with ketchup. 
  16. Bake until the beef registers 160 degrees fahrenheit on an instant read thermometer, 45-50 minutes. 
  17. Be sure not to overcook the loaf to keep meatloaf moist. 
  18. Cut into portions and serve with mashed potatoes and roasted veggies. 


The order in which you combine the ingredients is important because you want to mix everything evenly while handling the beef as little as possible to prevent dryness.

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