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Paula Deen’s Meatloaf

Paula Deen’s meatloaf recipe is everything you need in your life.

Simple spices and seasonings give it the perfect combination of sweet and savory.

And the texture? It’s incredibly moist and juicy, without being too greasy.  

Homemade Ground Beef Meatloaf
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And it’s so simple, and it requires less than 10 minutes of hands-on prep. The rest is up to the oven.

So, get those loaf pans ready, and let’s check out Paula Deen’s meatloaf recipe!

Paula Deen’s Meatloaf

There are thousands of meatloaf recipes out there, but Paula Deen’s is the best. And the easiest.

Imagine having a perfectly seasoned and baked meatloaf ready for dinner in just an hour! You can’t get that anywhere else.

This homemade meatloaf is not only a snap to make, but it’s also irresistible.

The combination of beef, onions, bell peppers, and diced tomatoes gives this dish its classic, old-fashioned flavor.

The ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar glaze take it over the top.

Baked for an hour, the meatloaf turns into one heck of a drool-worthy dinner.


Another great thing about meatloaf is that it doesn’t take fancy ingredients to make it. In fact, you probably already have everything you need for this recipe.

  • Ground beef. You’ll want to use fresh ground beef for maximum flavor. As for the fat content, do not go beyond 80/20, or else your meatloaf will be way too greasy.
  • Salt and black pepper. No fancy spices needed. A simple dash of salt and pepper draws out this recipe’s natural goodness.
  • Onions. Yellow Spanish onions work best. Chop them finely to help cook them faster.
  • Bell peppers. Any color will do! They’re earthy, a little sweet, and packed with flavor.
  • Egg. To help give meatloaf its structure and bind everything together.
  • Canned diced tomatoes. To add flavor and moisture to the meatloaf.
  • Quick-cooking oats. It helps bind the meat mixture together. Breadcrumbs work great, too.
  • Ketchup, brown sugar, mustard. The flavorful topping is what makes Paula Deen’s meatloaf a cut above the rest. Simple, yet effective.

Tips for the Best Meatloaf

Paula Deen’s recipe is pretty foolproof, but there are some things to keep in mind. Check out these easy tips for the perfect Sunday night dinner.

  • Use the right beef.  85/15 or 80/20 ground beef to ensure super moist and juicy meatloaf. If you don’t want the meatloaf to be too fatty, you can use 90/10 and just add more canned tomatoes to the recipe.  
  • Fresh is best. Use fresh ground beef as much as you can. Beef that’s already been frozen and then thawed contains less natural juices. Using frozen beef results in a dry meatloaf. 
  • Add more seasoning. This meatloaf is already delicious enough as it is, but you can season it with Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, thyme, and smoked paprika for more flavor.
  • Cheese please! Shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese make great flavor additions, too! 
  • Do not overmix the meat. Otherwise, your meatloaf will be dense. Mix it by hand until the ingredients are well combined. Once everything comes together, step away from the loaf. 
  • Use a meat thermometer. Meatloaf recipes have varying baking temperatures, from 325 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The only thing you need to remember is that the meatloaf should have an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit once done.
  • Let it rest. Allow the meatloaf to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. This will allow the meatloaf and its juices to settle, preventing it from falling apart when slicing.

How to Store

Leftover meatloaf makes the best next-day sandwiches! To ensure those leftovers stay nice and fresh, follow these easy steps. 

  • To store. Let the meatloaf come to room temperature, and then wrap it tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. It will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days. 
  • To freeze. Let the meatloaf cool completely. Take it out of the loaf pan and wrap it in an aluminum foil. Place it in a freezer-safe bag, label, and freeze. Frozen meatloaf will last for up to 3 to 4 months.
  • To reheat. Thaw in the fridge overnight, remove the foil, and reheat at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour. Or, just pop individual slices in the microwave (although it will dry out a little). 
Meatloaf with Carrots and Mashed Potatoes

What to Serve With Paula Deen’s Meatloaf

As mouthwatering as meatloaf is, it’s hardly a stand-alone dish. Fortunately, there are a ton of side dishes that go well with meatloaf.

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  • Potatoes. For a hearty and heavy meal, pair it with a starchy side such as mashed or scalloped potatoes. It’s the ultimate meat and potatoes dish!
  • Mac and cheese. Or how about some mac and cheese for the ultimate comfort food pairing? No one will go to bed hungry when meatloaf and mac and cheese are on the dinner menu. 
  • Pasta. Whether it’s the classic spaghetti, a creamy Fettucine Alfredo, or a herby pesto, you can’t go wrong.
  • Roasted veggies. For a lighter option, go for a crisp broccoli salad or a creamy mashed cauliflower.

Paula Deen’s Meatloaf



Prep time


Cooking time



Paula Deen’s meatloaf recipe is a dinner that will knock your socks off! Learn how to make it, plus get tips for making the best meatloaf.


  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion

  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 (8 oz) can diced tomatoes without juice

  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

  • 1/3 cup ketchup

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon mustard


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking tray with foil and lightly grease it with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, stir the salt, pepper, onion, bell pepper, egg, tomatoes, and oats. until well combined. Add the ground beef and gently mix it into the seasonings until fully blended and evenly seasoned.
  • Place the mixture onto the baking sheet, press the surface lightly and shape it into a loaf.
  • To make the topping, combine ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard. Spread it on top of the loaf.
  • Bake the meatloaf for 1 hour. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. The center should be at 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes after baking so that it holds together better while slicing.


  • Don’t overmix! Overmixing the beef mixture will cause it to dry out in the oven.
  • Use 1/3 cup of dry breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs instead of oats if you prefer
Paula Deen’s Meatloaf

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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 :)

10 thoughts on “Paula Deen’s Meatloaf”

  1. Can you double the recipe? How long should I cook it if doubled?

    I have fixed it many times before and it’s wonderful. I just want a thicker meatloaf.

    • Hi Georgianne!
      You can double this (just double the ingredients).

      To cook it: spray some foil with cooking spray and loosely cover the tray.
      Bake for 45-50 minutes, remove the foil, and bake for about 25-30 minutes more.
      1 hour and 15-20 minutes should do the trick.
      Use a meat thermometer to be sure 🙂

    • Hi Paulette!
      The tomatoes bring moisture and flavor, but you could leave them out if you don’t have any.

      Or you could try one of the following:
      1/4 cup ketchup
      1 medium grated zucchini
      1/4 cup broth or milk

      Each of these will bring extra moisture to the dish and some flavor, too

    • Hi Christina!
      I’ve never tried it, but I think it would work.

      If you have a 6-quart slow cooker, I recommend doubling the recipe so it fills the pot. If you have a smaller pot, 3-quarts, you can leave the recipe as it is.

      Here’s how I’d do it:

      1. Line the crockpot with heavy-duty foil. Press it into the sides, edges, and bottom. Spray it with cooking spray.
      2. Combine all the meatloaf ingredients (step 2) and then form a loaf about the size of the crockpot.
      3. Place the meatloaf in the pot and cover with most of the glaze.
      4. Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours (depending on the size)
      5. Top the cooked meatloaf with the remaining glaze then broil for 2-3 minutes until it’s sticky and bubbly.
      6. Rest for 5-10 minutes, then serve!


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