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5 from 1 vote

Southern Meatloaf Recipe

Classic comfort food with a Southern twist! You just can't beat a moist, flavorful, tender Southern meatloaf recipe that brings your family together around the table.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Southern
Keyword best meatloaf recipe, easy meatloaf recipe, southern meatloaf recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 446kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 cup day old cornbread crumbs or other fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 small onion, grated or finely diced
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil (or about ¼ cup chopped fresh basil)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Optional, for serving: mashed potatoes, chopped fresh herbs for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  • In a small bowl, stir together ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, use your hands or a fork to gently combine beef, pork, cornbread, onion, eggs, basil, Dijon, garlic, salt, oregano, pepper, and ½ cup of the ketchup mixture. Be careful not to mash or over-mix or the meatloaf will be dense or mushy.
  • On the prepared baking sheet, shape the meat mixture into a rectangular loaf.
  • Spread the remaining ketchup mixture on top.
  • Bake the meatloaf for about 1 hour, until the internal temperature is 160°F and the meatloaf is cooked through. (A pan of hot water in the oven, under the meatloaf, will prevent the top from cracking.) Remove from the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. Serve warm.


  • Use your hands or a fork to gently combine the meatloaf mixture. Be careful not to over-mix the meat, or it will become dense and mushy.
  • Lean ground beef (85%-93% lean) works best in this recipe. You need some fat to keep the meatloaf moist, but you don't want it to be too greasy.
  • You do not need to cover the meatloaf while it's baking.
  • You'll know the meatloaf is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F and the juices run clear.
  • Place a pan of warm water on the rack below the meatloaf in the oven. It's not necessary, but this moist environment will prevent the meatloaf from cracking.
  • Instead of using a rimmed baking sheet, bake the meatloaf in a greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. At the end of baking, tilt the pan to drain off the grease.
  • Swap out the cornbread crumbs for other fresh breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs (such as saltine crackers).
  • Substitute yellow mustard for the Dijon mustard.
  • Try other herbs in addition to the basil and oregano. Good options include rosemary, chives, parsley, and thyme.
  • Add more vegetables to the meatloaf mixture, such as diced bell pepper or celery. If you don't want crisp vegetables in your finished meatloaf, you can sauté them in a skillet with butter before adding them to the beef and pork mixture.
  • Rather than a 50-50 combination of ground beef and ground pork, use just ground beef, some ground turkey, or a "meatloaf mix" of ground beef, ground pork, and ground veal.
  • Like meatloaf with cheese? Add a handful of grated cheddar (or other good melting cheese) to the meatloaf mixture!
  • Recipe slightly adapted from Sarah Foster's book, Southern Kitchen.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 446kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 1378mg | Potassium: 732mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 257IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 5mg