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Grandma's Famous Meatloaf is my Grandma's version of a tried and true Italian meatloaf. A family favorite that is perfect for weeknights or Sunday dinner.
Ahhhh.... Where do I start with this gem? This meatloaf recipe is a family heirloom. My Grandma Pat was a spunky full blooded Italian, and I remember always eating the best food when I was with her and during family gatherings. She made her meatloaf to perfection when I was a kid. It was a recipe her family made for her, she made for my mom, my mom made for me and now I make it for my family. It has got to be the best meatloaf I have ever had or made, and it always tasted so much better when my gram made it. She had the magic touch. It is so good that is doesn't even need any sticky sugary sauce on top. It's just that good, there is no reason to change it up. Ever. At all.
P.S. I love my Grandma's meatloaf recipe so much, it was served in the form of meatballs at my wedding!
This post was originally posted on 02/10/2015 and updated on 10/14/2020.
What you Need to Make Grandma's Famous Meatloaf
- Ground Beef
- Dried Bread Crumbs
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Minced Onion, dried
What kind of beef should I use for Grandma's Meatloaf recipe?
Growing up, my grandma and mom always used an 80/20 ground beef. The more marbling in the meat, the more flavor there is. I personally prefer a more lean ground beef, which is what I get from our own butchered cows. Any variation will work with this recipe.
Best Dishes to Serve with Meatloaf
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower
- Oven Fries
- Air Fryer Garlic Mushrooms
- Honey Garlic Glazed Carrots
- Roasted Ranch Potatoes
- Garlic Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Air Fryer Garlic Parmesan Broccoli
- Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes
How to Make Grandma's Famous Meatloaf Recipe
Step 1: Mix the Meat
After you gather all your ingredients and prepare your baking dish, it is time to mix the meatloaf. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and mix the meat with your fingertips until it is all evenly combined. Doesn't take very long and you don't want to overwork the meat.
Step 2: Make a loaf
Place the meat on a parchment lined sheet pan or baking dish and form the meat into a loaf no more than 4 inches high. Any taller than that and it will take forever to get the inside cooked completely.
Step 3: Bake it
Bake the meatloaf in a 375° oven for 45-75 minutes until the middle is no longer pink and has 160°. Depending on the shape of your loaf will determine how long it needs to bake. I like to make mine about 6 inches long, 4 inches wide and no more than 4 inches tall. This size of loaf will take around 60-65 minutes to bake. Once the meatloaf reaches 160° in the thickest middle part it is done, let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
Tips for making Grandma's Famous Meatloaf
- Don't overwork the meat while mixing.
- Bake the meatloaf on a sheet pan or in a baking dish to allow the outside to create a tasty crust. If you prefer, you can bake it in a bread loaf pan, but it will take much longer to bake through and only the top will have a nice crust.
- Check the meatloaf for doneness with a thermometer at the 45 minute mark. It would be a tragedy to cut into a raw meatloaf or a hard dried out piece of meat. The meatloaf is done when it reaches 160°F.
- Let the meatloaf rest for at least 10 minutes so all the juices can redistribute. This is essential so the meatloaf is juicy and not dry. Do NOT skip this!
- Serve with marinara or ketchup. I personally like it plain.
More Sunday Dinner Recipes to Try!
- Chicken & Spinach Stuffed Shells
- Crock Pot Busy Day Steak
- Instant Pot Drip Beef Sandwiches
- Herb Roasted Spatchcock Chicken
- Crock Pot Beef Stew
- Mexican Lasagna
- Perfect Roast Chicken
Please yourself and your family with a slice of Grandma's Famous Meatloaf. Let me know how much you and your family enjoy it in the comments below! Pictures encouraged on Instagram with the hashtag #heathershomemadekitchen You can also follow me on Social Media to see what other crazy things my family and I are doing! If you like what you see, please share with your friends and family!
Don’t forget to pin the recipe for later!
Grandma’s Famous Meatloaf
- 2½ lbs ground beef
- 1 cup dried bread crumbs
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced onion, dried
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Crumble beef into a large bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients.
- Using your hands (they're the best tools you got!) mix it until evenly combined. Be careful not to overmix.
- Place meat on prepared pan and shape meat mixture into a loaf no more than 4 inches tall.
- Bake for 45-75 minutes or until inside is no longer pink and reaches 160°F in the thickest center area.
- Let meatloaf rest at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
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