This recipe for Easy Make-Ahead Meatloaf is going to look incredibly similar to our Easy Meatballs recipe. That’s because it’s the same recipe. Shhhhh.
I grew up eating meatloaf every single week for eighteen years if I remember correctly. My mom made it with baked potatoes and probably green beans (because we didn’t eat a lot of veggie variety when I was growing up, hehe). This was one of my favorite meals. But just like I said in my Meatball post, Matt isn’t a huge fan of meatballs or meatloaf. So this recipe takes a backburner at our house.
I just got a fantastic deal on ground beef though, so I decided to go ahead and make a few meatloaves for the freezer. This is a great meat to serve kids and well, we have a lot of them!
How to make this meatloaf ahead of time
Make this meatloaf and freeze it without the sauce. Then when you’re ready to bake it, thaw it, add the sauce, then bake. It freezes so well! I typically make mine in 9×13-inch dishes, but making it into an actual loaf – in a bread pan – works great. Fun fact: my mom always made ours in a casserole dish so I was a lot of many years old before I learned that meatloaf was supposed to look like a loaf.
If you don’t make your meatloaf ahead and freeze it, at the very least, I recommend making this quickly in the morning, refrigerating it, then baking it later at meal time. This makes dinner prep so fast and easy!
Easy Make-Ahead Meatloaf
- 2-pounds ground beef
- 3 Tablespoons minced onion
- ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 4 Tablespoons rolled oats
- Sauce for Meatloaf
- ¾ cup ketchup
- 2 Tablespoons minced onion
- ¼ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar, molasses or honey
- Mix first seven ingredients together thoroughly.
- Press the mixture into a 9x13 inch glass casserole dish or a 9-inch loaf pan.
- Stir sauce ingredients together in a small bowl, then spread over the meatloaf.
- Bake uncovered in at 350 degrees for one hour.