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Best Meatloaf

Learn how to make the Best Meatloaf with just a few ingredients including cheese. Yes, this is a cheese-stuffed meatloaf that is tender, moist, and an amazing comfort food dinner. Add in some chopped onions, peppers, and spices and you will love this amazing best meatloaf.

Best meatloaf on white tray.


This was my Mom’s homemade meatloaf recipe and she always called it “the best”, and I am standing behind it 100%. To tell you the truth I have never eaten any other meatloaf but this one.

Which will make some people say,  “then how can you say this is the best if you haven’t tried any other”? Yeah I know, you have a point. But to tell the truth I haven’t found one that makes my mouth water like this one! I think it’s because it’s a cheese-stuffed meatloaf and I love anything cheesy.

I can remember coming home from school and I was so happy to find and smell that amazing aroma drifting all through the house from the kitchen. It was meatloaf night!

IIt was always one of the best and yummiest dinners ever, especially when my Mom served it with Roasted Potatoes.

When you eat something and it is so good,  you know there can’t be anything better! Especially when you add some cheese.

Why You Should Try This Best Meatloaf Recipe

Maybe you have a favorite recipe already? I know many people have a love for their family’s recipes and meatloaf is one of them – there are so many ways to make it. But, I think you should give this one a try!

You only need a few simple ingredients to make it, and it takes no time at all to mix it up and get into the pan. Most of the time is spent waiting for it to bake, so this isn’t one of those quick meals cooked in 30 minutes. But it is very easy, and it does come together in 10 minutes and only an hour to bake.

And if by chance you have leftovers (sometimes it is difficult to leave any on the serving plate), refrigerate the leftovers. The next day slice it up and make a sandwich with some tasty bakery bread and you will certainly agree that you just ate one of the best sandwiches ever!

And let’s not forget about the cheese! It really is what takes it from good to GREAT. It’s stuffed with cheese plus more on top. You are going to love this cheese-stuffed meatloaf right out of the oven, hot and cheesy.

2 slices of meatloaf with roasted potatoes on a white plate.


  • Lean ground beefCracker crumbs – I use saltines.
  • Ketchup
  • Beaten eggs
  • Chopped green pepper
  • Salt
  • Crushed bay leaf
  • Dried marjoram and thyme
  • Shredded cheese – Pick your favorite! firm mozzarella, cheddar, swiss, gouda, gruyere, fontina – any good melting cheese will work fine.
Ingredients for the meatloaf on a grey board.

How to Make It

Place all of the ingredients, except for the cheese, in a large bowl and mix them well.

Ingredients in a bowl and mixed.

Divide the mixture in half and place half of it in a prepared baking dish. Lightly press it into an even layer.

Half the meatloaf in the loaf pan.

Top with 1/2 the shredded cheese, then top with the other half of meat mixture, and lightly press it so it’s even.

Cheese on half the meat and the remaining on top.

Bake it for 45 minutes at 350°F (180°C). Take it out of the oven and sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top. Place it back in the oven and bake it for 10 to 15 minutes more or until the cheese is melted.

Baked meatloaf with cheese and baked.


What’s the secret to moist meatloaf?

The balance of wet ingredients is what makes it moist and delicious. For my recipe, the eggs and ketchup add lots of moisture. Also, it’s important to not overbake your meatloaf. If you are not sure if it’s done, you can use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. It should be between 160 and 165°F when you take it out of the oven.

What’s the best filler for meatloaf?

There are many fillers like dried breadcrumbs, day-old bread crumbs, and I’ve even seen rice, oatmeal, and crushed chips used as fillers! Probably everyone has a favorite, but I think the best filler are cracker crumbs. They just work so well in meatloaf.

Why does my meatloaf fall apart?

Did you forget the eggs or cracker crumbs? You need a binder to hold your meatloaf together and both of these do that.

Can you use ground turkey instead of beef?

Yes, this recipe works well with ground turkey, too.

meatloaf with 3 slices cut on a white tray.

Recipe Tips

When you press the mixture into the pan don’t press too hard. You don’t want to compress the meat too much so you get juicy, tender meatloaf and not one that is dense.

My mom always used ketchup and it’s what I use, too, but try using BBQ sauce instead if you don’t like ketchup. It will give it a sweeter, tangier flavor.

If you have leftovers, keep them wrapped in refrigerator for three to four days. We love to use them to make amazing sandwiches. Oh and don’t forget to put some ketchup on that sandwich, now that’s perfection! 

You can freeze it, too. Cool it completely and then tightly wrap it and keep it in the freezer for later.

Or, assemble it a few hours ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator. Then pop it in the oven to bake. Just add a few minutes of baking time since it will be cold when it goes in the oven.

Whenever you get the urge for an easy tasty meatloaf, then I hope you give this Best Meatloaf a try and remember to let me know what you think. Buon Appetito!

2 slices of meatloaf with roasted potatoes on a white plate.

More Recipes with Ground Beef

Best Meatloaf

Rosemary Molloy
Best Meatloaf, the only meatloaf recipe you need. So delicious and tasty. perfect out of the oven or sliced cold in sandwiches.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 353 kcal


  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 cup cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green pepper
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 medium bay leaf crushed
  • 1 dash marjoram and thyme
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (firm mozzarella, cheddar, swiss, gouda your choice)


  • Pre- heat oven to 350° (180° celsius). Lightly grease a 9 inch (22 cm) shallow baking dish or loaf pan.
  • In a large bowl combine well all the ingredients together, except for the cheese. Add half the meat mixture into a shallow lightly greased baking dish, top with 1/2 the shredded cheese, then top with the other half of meat mixture.
  • Bake approximately 1 hour. After the 45-50 minutes baking time, remove the meatloaf from the oven and top with the remaining shredded cheese, return to oven to finish baking. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!


Leftovers should be wrapped and kept in the refrigerator for three to four days. 
You can freeze it, too. Cool it completely and then tightly wrap it and keep it in the freezer for later.


Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 1055mg | Potassium: 449mg | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 315IU | Vitamin C: 3.1mg | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 3.7mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!

Republished from February 26, 2015.


  1. 5 stars
    it’s such a complete “brain save” for me. I literally do nothing.The texture ends up being a tad different, but not enough that my family has ever noticed. 🙂 The kids love having it cooked in baggies too because I will keep some in the fridge and it makes them much more apt to cook up something on their own. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Hello from Mexico
    I’ve done this recipe several times, my two sons love it, just to comment, as they don’t like Ketchup, I use BBQ and it taste wonderful!
    Thank you

    1. Hi Mon, you can do it either way, just wrap the meatloaf really well so it doesn’t get freezer burn, and when ready to cook or eat defrost completely in the refrigerator. Hope that helps.

  3. Hi Rose,
    Love this recipe! Could you please tell me what kind of crackers you use. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks

  4. This looks wonderful. Your ingredients don’t list a type of cheese, can you tell me what cheese you used?

    1. Hi Ed, I actually used a very mild kraft slice cheese. My mother always used a mild cheddar but that is difficult to find here in Italy. So I leave it up to you, mild or medium would work well, just cut thin slices. Thanks.

  5. 5 stars
    Rose – that really does look delicious! I think I will try it too! My mom always made hers with a ketchup top – but I think I like the idea of cheese better! 🙂

  6. On Yum!! I don’t know why we don’t make meat loaf more often. I used to all the time when the kids were home and I really enjoyed it. Your recipe sounds excellent. I will definitely try it — perhaps a mini-loaf since there is only the two of us.
    Buona sera! Grazie per la ricetta.

  7. I make all kinds of different meatloaves but I’ve never made one with cheese. I can’t wait to try your and your mother’s version…it sounds great.

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