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Paula Deen’s Meatloaf

In the mood for comfort food that’s budget-friendly and easy to make? Look no further. Paula Deen’s meatloaf recipe is everything you need and more.

Meatloaf is a well-loved classic, and for good reason. First of all, the flavor is absolutely mind-blowing.

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

Homemade Ground Beef Meatloaf

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

Best of all, it’s a breeze to make. It’s so simple, and it requires less than 10 minutes of hands-on prep. The rest is up to the oven.

So, if you’re in dire need of a quick dinner that will knock your socks off, you’ve come to the right place. Paula Deen’s meatloaf is here to save the day!

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 takes it over the top.

Baked for an hour, the meatloaf turns into one heck of a drool-worthy dinner. This meatloaf is simple, but it can rival any restaurant.


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.

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Salt and black pepper. For flavor.

Onions. Yellow Spanish onions work best. Chop them finely to help cook them faster.

Bell peppers. Any color will do! 

Egg. To help give meatloaf its structure.

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

  • Use 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.  
  • Use fresh ground beef as much as you can. Beef that’s already been frozen then thawed contains less natural juices. 
  • This recipe calls for quick-cooking oats to hold the meat together, but you can also use breadcrumbs, cracker crumbs, crushed cornflakes, flaxseed, or quinoa.
  • 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.
  • 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 just until the ingredients are well-combined. 
  • 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.
  • That said, use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. Take it out of the oven as soon as the center of the meatloaf reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes before slicing. This will allow the meatloaf and its juices to settle, preventing it from falling apart when slicing. 

Can I Freeze Meatloaf?

Absolutely. You can freeze it both baked and unbaked! Here’s how.

Freezing Cooked Meatloaf

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.

Thaw in the fridge overnight, remove the foil and reheat at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour.

Freezing Uncooked Meatloaf

Line your loaf pan with plastic wrap and place the meatloaf mixture. Freeze it for an hour. Remove the now-solid meatloaf from the pan and double wrap with plastic wrap and aluminum foil.

Freeze for up to 3 to 4 months.

To thaw, remove the plastic wrap and aluminum foil and place the loaf in a loaf pan. Thaw it in the fridge overnight. Top it with the ketchup-mustard mixture and bake as instructed.

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.

For a hearty and heavy meal, pair it with a starchy side such as mashed or scalloped potatoes. Or how about some mac and cheese for the ultimate comfort food pairing?

Other pasta dishes work well, too. Whether it’s the classic spaghetti, or a creamy Fettucine Alfredo, or an herby pesto, you can’t go wrong.

For a lighter option, go for a crisp broccoli salad or a creamy mashed cauliflower.

Paula Deen’s Meatloaf



Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 pound 1 ground beef

  • 1 1/4 teaspoon 1 1/4 salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 chopped onion

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 chopped bell pepper

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 (8-oz) can diced tomatoes without juice

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 quick-cooking oats

  • 1/3 cup ketchup

  • 2 tablespoons 2 brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon 1 mustard


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a large bowl, stir together ground beef, salt, pepper, onion, bell pepper, egg, tomatoes, and oats. Place the mixture in a loaf pan. Press the surface lightly with your palm to flatten the top.
  • 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.
Paula Deen’s Meatloaf

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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 :)

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