19 Delicious Meat Loaf Recipes to Spice Up Your Comfort Food Dinner Plans

Slow Cooker Taco Meat Loaf
Photo: Andy Lyons

Taste the ways budget-friendly, back-to-basics meat loaf can incorporate the fresh flavors you love. We've given the classic comfort food a makeover with international ingredients, healthy spins, and even use of some of your favorite appliances (i.e. slow cookers and air fryers). Don't worry, we've still got the traditional meat loaf recipes you know and love as well.

01 of 19

Best Meat Loaf

The Best Meatloaf on white plate
Blaine Moats

When it comes to classics, our tried-and-true best meat loaf recipe is hard to beat. Sauteéd vegetables, two types of ground meat, and bread crumbs combine for a moist, flavorful family meal. Combine ketchup and brown sugar for a classic glaze, or try one of our four fantastic variations featuring fruit preserves.

02 of 19

Italian-Style Slow Cooker Meat Loaf

Italian-Style Slow-Cooker Meat Loaf
Jacob Fox

Tuck roasted red peppers, onion, and zucchini into a ground beef and lamb mixture to boost this slow cooker meat loaf's flavor and nutrients. Balsamic vinegar and crumbled feta cheese add Italian flavor to the simple supper.

Buy It: Crock-Pot Cook & Carry Slow Cooker ($50, Target)

03 of 19

Southwestern Meat Loaf

Southwestern Meat Loaf
Blaine Moats

Ditch the tortilla—this irresistible moist meat loaf recipe packs all your favorite Southwestern ingredients into one juicy bite. Swap traditional bread crumbs for crushed corn chips, and flavor the loaf with a zesty blend of taco seasoning and picante sauce.

04 of 19

Meat Loaf Muffins

Meat Loaf Muffins
Blaine Moats

Rethink dinner with this super cute meat loaf recipe made with a little muffin tin magic. A scoop of sour cream-and-chive mashed potatoes joins the mini loaves with an irresistible chili-cranberry glaze filling.

05 of 19

Grilled Meat Loaf Burgers

Grilled Meat Loaf Burgers
Andy Lyons

Fruity peach preserves keep these grilled meat loaf burgers extra moist while adding a hint of sweetness. Place the meat loaf on toasted buns with cheddar cheese, red onion, and barbecue sauce, and serve with grilled new potatoes.

06 of 19

Pizza-Topped Meat Loaf

Pizza-Topped Meat Loaf
Hannah Bigot

Piled with slices of roma tomatoes and seasoned with plenty of fresh parsley, basil, and garlic, this pizza-inspired meat loaf recipe is baked in a round "pie" and is brimming with flavor. Serve with a side of marinara for spooning on top of each cheesy slice.

07 of 19

Slow Cooker Taco Meat Loaf

Slow Cooker Taco Meat Loaf
Andy Lyons

We've slow-cooked meat loaf to perfection and piled it into a warm corn tortilla. The Mexican-inspired meat loaf recipe joins smoky homemade salsa, creamy avocado, and spicy jalapeños.

08 of 19

Air-Fried Mini Italian Meatloaves Stuffed with Cheese

Mini Italian Meatloaves Stuffed with Cheese on white rectangular platter with small round dish of chopped basil in foreground
Brie Passano

Yes, your trusty air fryer can make comforting meat loaves, too. With pepperoni, basil pesto, and fresh mozzarella involved, this stuffed meat loaf recipe gives major pizza vibes (with way fewer carbs). Bonus: these beauties are ready in less than an hour.

Buy It: Instant Vortex Air Fryer ($120, Target)

09 of 19

Mix-and-Match Meat Loaf

Meat Loaf
Blaine Moats

Our well-loved homemade meat loaf recipe gives options for ground beef recipes galore. Mix and match sage, basil, or oregano with beef, pork, or lamb. Opt for our brown sugar-ketchup topper, or simply substitute barbecue sauce.

10 of 19

Macaroni and Cheese Meat Loaf

Macaroni and Cheese Meat Loaf
Andy Lyons

Enjoy two comfort foods in one incredible main dish with this cheesy noodle-stuffed meat loaf recipe. The creamy pasta center helps balance the spicy poblano-studded beef and adobo sauce glaze.

11 of 19

Deep-Dish Mexican Meat Loaf Pie

Deep-Dish Mexican Meat Loaf Pie
Andy Lyons

This stuffed meat loaf recipe transforms the classic comfort food into a spicy savory pie. Flavored with onion soup mix and crushed tortilla chips, the meat mixture forms a savory crust, while Spanish-style rice, hominy, tomatoes, and peppers form the filling.

Buy It: OXO Pie Plate with Lid ($14, Target)

12 of 19

Next-Day Grilled Meat Loaf Sandwich

Next-Day Grilled Meat Loaf Sandwich
Andy Lyons

Leftovers never tasted better. These hearty sandwiches—filled with provolone cheese, roasted red pepper, and last night's meat loaf—are simple to grill indoors on a grill pan. The roasted garlic mayo makes an excellent topper.

13 of 19

Pasta and Meatballs Meat Loaf

Pasta and Meatballs Meat Loaf
Andy Lyons

With penne pasta folded into mini meat loaves, these open-face sandwiches combine all the favorites of a traditional Italian supper, right down to the garlic bread. The all-in-one dinner recipe yields six individual servings, so no one will have to share the hearty family favorite.

14 of 19

Mediterranean Mini Meat Loaves with Broccolini

Mediterranean Mini Meat Loaves with Broccolini
Jason Donnelly

Here's a healthy ground beef recipe everyone in the family will love. The adorable mini meat loaves get a burst of Mediterranean-inspired flavor from parsley, basil, roasted red pepper, and fennel seed. The one-pan meal is complete with a side of roasted broccolini (sub regular broccoli, if you like).

Buy It: Nordic Ware Sheet Pan ($11, Walmart)

15 of 19

Moroccan Meat Loaf

Moroccan Meat Loaf
Jason Donnelly

Lighten up your menu with this hearty turkey meat loaf recipe. It's got an irresistible blend of raisins, couscous, curry powder, and cinnamon. Topped with spiced tomato chutney, this Moroccan-inspired spin on traditional meat loaf is about to become a new favorite.

16 of 19

Cheesy Bacon-Wrapped Meat Loaf

Cheesy Bacon-Wrapped Meat Loaf
Brie Passano

Calling all bacon fans! This mouthwatering meat loaf recipe is stuffed with chunks of cheese before being wrapped in bacon. Barbecue sauce serves as an easy glaze.

Test Kitchen Tip: To prevent tough meat, do not overwork the meat mixture when mixing.

17 of 19

Greens, Eggs, and Ham Loaf

Greens, Eggs, and Ham Loaf
Andy Lyons

Take a cue from the classic children's book and bake this pork and ham loaf for a weekend brunch or delicious dinner. A no-cook mock Hollandaise sauce adds rich, tangy flavor.

Buy It: Fox Run Loaf Pan ($16, Bed Bath & Beyond)

18 of 19

Nutty Meatless Loaf

Nutty Meatless Loaf
Andy Lyons

This vegan meat loaf recipe is so good, even the carnivores will ask for second helpings. Lentils, brown rice, vegetables, and nuts combine to make a hearty vegetarian meal that's packed with protein and flavor. Garam masala (a blend of warm spices such as cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, and dried chiles) provides an unforgettable flavor.

19 of 19

Mini Turkey Meat Loaves with Walnut-Parsley Gremolata

Mini Turkey Meat Loaves with Walnut-Parsley Gremolata
Jason Donnelly

When you want a comforting meal that's light on calories, opt for this turkey meat loaf recipe. Each mini loaf only has 270 calories and is bulked up with healthy ingredients such as mushrooms, oats, dried tomatoes, and onion. The gremolata topping featuring walnuts, lemon peel, and parsley makes one refreshing, crunchy bite.

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