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Alton Brown Meatloaf (Easy Recipe)

Alton Brown meatloaf is exceptionally moist and packed with flavor. This is not your grandma’s meatloaf recipe!

Even that glaze on top bursts with flavor (and a little kick of spice).

Sliced meatloaf with ketchup on a cutting board - a delicious and savory dish ready to be enjoyed
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But don’t worry, this recipe is a cinch to make and comes together in under an hour. 

So, if you’re craving the classics you have to give Alton Brown’s meatloaf recipe a try! I promise you won’t be disappointed. 

Alton Brown Meatloaf

When it comes to meatloaf recipes, Alton Brown’s is, hands down, one of the best. You can always trust this food scientist to deliver!

While other meatloaves are too dry and rubbery, or too greasy and soggy, this one is absolutely flawless.

With a perfect combination of ground meats, croutons, and eggs, the texture of this meatloaf is on point. It’s super moist and tender but doesn’t fall apart.

And the flavor is also extraordinary. With its wonderful blend of spices and seasonings, this meatloaf is far from bland.

The fact that the recipe is embarrassingly easy to follow is just a plus.

Sliced homemade meatloaf topped with ketchup glaze on a wooden board


It may look like a long list, but these ingredients are super basic! I’ll bet you already have them on hand.

  • Garlic-flavored croutons. These crunchy salad mix-ins bind the ingredients together to keep the meatloaf from falling apart. I like to use garlic-flavored because I just love the taste.
  • Salt and ground black pepper. A quick dash of salt and pepper draws out the flavor of the bold spices. 
  • Cayenne pepper. Adding cayenne pepper delivers the perfect amount of heat without overpowering the dish.
  • Chili powder. Chili powder is a mild heat with a kick of peppery flavor that tastes amazing.
  • Dried thyme. Thyme adds a rich, sweet, and spicy flavor to this recipe. It’s potent, so a little goes a long way!
  • Onion and garlic. The essential aromatics that give the loaf its savory flavor. 
  • Carrots And bell peppers. These vegetables give the meatloaf some sweetness and crunch. 
  • Ground chuck and sirloin. This mix of ground meat results in the perfect meatloaf texture: tender and moist, not dry, tough, or greasy. If you’re using only one kind of meat, be sure to stick to 80/20 or 85/15 lean.
  • Egg. Along with the croutons, it binds the meat mixture together such that it holds its shape during baking.
  • Glaze. A sweet, savory, and spicy mix of ketchup, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and honey. Adjust the spices to suit your taste. Aside from flavor, the glaze also helps keep the meatloaf moist.
Savory homemade Alton Brown meatloaf with mashed potatoes

Tips for the Best Meatloaf 

Check out these quick tips and tricks to ensure that your meatloaf comes out perfectly the first time! 

  • Use the right meat ratio. Tender, juicy meatloaf is all about the meat. The duo of chuck and sirloin creates the perfect fatty-to-lean ratio. It’s what makes the texture of this meatloaf perfect. 
  • Don’t use frozen meat. As frozen meat thaws, it will lose its juices. Stick to fresh meat for best results.
  • Make it healthier. The meats typically used when making meatloaves are beef and pork, or a mix of both. If you want a healthier option, though, you can use ground turkey or chicken.
  • Don’t overwork the meat. Stop mixing as soon as the ingredients have come together. If you overmix, your meatloaf will be rubbery and dry. 
  • Create a crisp crust. If you want your meatloaf to have a nice, crisp outer crust, don’t cook it in a loaf pan. Don’t worry, it’ll hold its shape. 
  • Let it rest. Give it 10 to 15 minutes of resting to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. If you slice it too soon, the meatloaf will fall apart.
  • Make it kid-friendly. The spices give this meatloaf a spicy kick.. If you’re serving it to kids, cut the added spices in half. 

How to Store

Next-day meatloaf sandwiches, anyone? Having leftover meatloaf makes for fantastic leftovers. Check out these tips on how to store leftovers so they stay fresh for lunch the next day. 

  • To store. All the meatloaf to cool completely. Then transfer it to an air-tight container and place it in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to four days. 
  • To freeze. Wrap the leftover meatloaf tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place it in an airtight container. To prevent freezer burn, you can double-wrap it by first wrapping it in plastic wrap and then sealing it in a freezer-safe bag. It will stay fresh for 2-3 months. 
  • To reheat. Cover the meatloaf in a baking dish, and bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit until heated through. In the microwave, place individual slices on a microwave-safe plate and cover them with a damp paper towel. Then, heat in short intervals until thoroughly warmed.

More Easy Dinner Ideas

San Giorgio Baked Ziti
Old-Fashioned Hamburger Casserole
American Goulash
McCormick Chili
Ragu Lasagna

Alton Brown Meatloaf (Easy Recipe)



Prep time


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Cooking time






  • For the Meatloaf:
  • 6 ounces garlic-flavored croutons

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped

  • 1 carrot, peeled and broken into 3

  • 3 cloves garlic, whole

  • 1/2 red bell pepper, halved and seeded

  • 18 ounces ground chuck

  • 18 ounces ground sirloin

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 egg

  • For the Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup ketchup

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • Dash Worcestershire sauce

  • Dash hot sauce

  • 1 tablespoon honey


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a food processor, crush the croutons, black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and thyme until fine. Place the mixture into a large bowl.
  • Place the onion, carrot, garlic, and bell pepper in the food processor, Pulse them just until finely chopped, not pureed. Transfer the vegetable mix into the bowl of breadcrumbs.
  • Add the chuck and sirloin to the bowl and season with salt. Add the egg. Mix the ingredients with your hands until well-combined. Avoid squeezing the meat.
  • Place the meatloaf mixture into a 10-inch loaf pan to mold it. Turn the pan over onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Insert a food thermometer into the center of the meatloaf at a 45-degree angle, making it doesn’t touch the baking sheet. Set the thermometer to 155 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake until the meat thermometer beeps, about 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Whisk together the ketchup, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and honey. Brush the glaze onto the top and sides of the meatloaf after 10 minutes of baking.
  • Let the meatloaf rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. Serve and enjoy!
Alton Brown Meatloaf

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

3 thoughts on “Alton Brown Meatloaf (Easy Recipe)”

  1. Hi Alton,
    I’ve looked at 100’s of meatloaf recipies and your recipe is the closest recipie that I would try. I’m really looking for an Irish pub meatloaf recipe. When I worked in mid Manhattan, I would eat lunch in Irish pubs. The food was out of this world, it was like your mother prepared it. Being raised in a Bajan/ St. Christopher household back in the 50’s, Mom cooked every thing. Things people are just discovering, we ate as a kid. I also love a good cornbeef sandwich, not to mention a juicy roast beef sandwich. I believe that you can guess that I’m a New Yorker.
    Thanks for your recipies, and I just adore you on Iron Chef and the Food Network. Been watching since inception. God Bless.

  2. We loved this recipe!!! My eldest daughter recently had allergy tests and reacted to tomatoes or anything that has tomatoes as a base. Are there any ideas for a different glaze that has no tomatoes or mushrooms to glaze this meatloaf that would compliment its taste?? I’d love to make it for her family of 5.


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