Best-Ever Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy

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We’ve taken this iconic dish and raised the ante…by quite a bit.

We realize to say this is the ‘best-ever’ meatloaf is saying a lot. But wait until you try it. The ultimate in comfort. Right up there with our Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese. So delicious and surprisingly easy to make!

Two slices of best-ever meatloaf sitting on top of each other on a white plate with mushroom gravy on top.


We’ve tweaked this recipe for many years, and have come up with a meatloaf that is deeply flavorful, moist, and easy to prepare.

And the mushroom gravy is so good and can be made in advance.

Watch us show you how to bring this retro classic dish to modern culinary heights!



This meatloaf is loaded with so many layers of flavor, that you can’t really go wrong with choosing the meat.

You’ll need a total of 2 lbs of meat. We like an even mix of ground beef and ground pork.

EXPERT TIP: We love using ground Wagyu, which has a delicious taste and the tenderness of highly marbled beef. It can be found in the meat department of most well-stock supermarkets. If you can’t find Wagyu, no worries! Go with an 85% lean ground beef, and you’ll be just fine. You can also use a combination of beef, pork, veal, chicken, or turkey. As mentioned, we like the taste and texture of beef and pork, combined.

The addition of seasoned panko bread crumbs, eggs, tomato sauce, onions, herbs, parmesan cheese, and balsamic sauce deliver a deeply flavorful meatloaf every single time!

A glass bowl holding ground meat with eggs, bread crumbs, cheese and fresh herbs.


Of course, you can form the loaf with your hands and place on a greased, rimmed baking pan. That’s no problem.

But we find placing the meatloaf mixture into a damp 8½”x4½” or 9″x5″ loaf pan helps to form the perfect loaf.

EXPERT TIP: Use a damp paper towel to wet the inside of the loaf pan. This helps the uncooked loaf to slip right out of the loaf pan when inverted onto the baking sheet. Again, make sure to use a baking sheet with a rim, there will be excess grease that comes from the meatloaf as it bakes.

Two hands lifting a metal loaf pan away from an uncooked meatloaf on a baking sheet.

After baking the best-ever meatloaf for 50 minutes, it’s time to brush on the topping.

We use balsamic throughout this recipe, and the sauce is a simple mixture of balsamic vinegar mixed with tomato sauce.

Brush a layer on and then return the loaf to the oven for another 20 minutes of baking. We add another layer once the loaf is finished cooking.

A hand using a brush to apply a tomato sauce to the top of the best-ever meatloaf, partially cooked.


This meatloaf is so loaded with flavor, it’s just incredible.

Let the loaf rest for about 10 minutes to allow the juices to settle.

It slices very easily and beautifully serves a hungry family.

A best-ever meatloaf on a white platter next to a bowl of mushroom gravy.


We just can’t leave well enough alone, I mean, how could we?

The mushroom gravy is a simple, yet deeply flavorful sauce, that compliments the sliced meatloaf perfectly.

EXPERT TIP: The gravy can quickly be made after you return the meatloaf back into the oven for the final cooking, or you can make it up to a day in advance and stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

A spoon drizzling mushroom gravy over slices of a meatloaf on a white platter.


So many meatloaves over the years have suffered from under-seasoning, and over-cooking. Bland and dry.

Well, folks, we are so excited for you to make truly the best-ever meatloaf in the world. So loaded with flavor and super moist.

And just wait until the following day when you make Best-Ever Meatloaf Sandwiches! Wow!! Just look at this meatloaf!

Two slices of meatloaf on a white plate with mushroom gravy poured over the top.

Ready to take this classic dish to amazing new heights? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a picture, post it on Instagram, and tag @howtofeedaloon and hashtag #howtofeedaloon!

Two slices of meatloaf on a white plate with mushroom gravy poured over the top.

Best-Ever Meat Loaf with Mushroom Gravy

This truly is the Best-Ever Meat Loaf with Mushroom Gravy. Moist and exploding with flavor. The mushroom gravy puts it over the top. And you won't believe the meatloaf sandwiches the next day! So good!
5 from 33 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best meatloaf recipe, homemade meatloaf, moist meatloaf
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 449kcal


  • 8½"x4¼" loaf pan and rimmed baking sheet


  • cooking spray for greasing the baking sheet
  • 1 lb ground beef 85% lean
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 cup yellow onion chopped
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs seasoned
  • ½ cup tomato sauce plus 3 more tablespoons (for the glaze)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar divided, 2 for the meat mixture, 1 for the glaze
  • 1 tbsp thyme fresh, chopped
  • 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley fresh, chopped
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper


  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup shallot chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 oz mushrooms sliced
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley fresh, for garnish, optional


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Spray a lined baking sheet with the cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine the beef, pork, onion, breadcrumbs, ½ cup tomato sauce, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, thyme, parsley, cheese, salt, and pepper.
  • Mix all the ingredients with clean hands until fully mixed.
  • Rinse a loaf pan (8" x 4") with water and then pack the meat mixture into the wet pan.
  • Invert the pan over the greased baking sheet and gently transfer onto the sheet.
  • Bake for 50 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mix 3 tbsp tomato sauce with 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar. Set aside.
  • After 50 minutes, remove the meatloaf from the oven and brush the tomato/balsamic sauce over the top of the loaf and return to the oven to bake for another 20 minutes. Save some of the sauce for another brushing after the meatloaf has finished cooking.


  • In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
  • Add the shallots and cook until soft, about 2 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 1 minute.
  • Add the mushrooms and Worcestershire sauce and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and have released their liquids, about 8 minutes.
  • Whisk in the flour and stir to coat. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the balsamic and then the stock. Use a whisk to incorporate the flour into the liquid. Slowly simmer and stir until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm over low heat.


  • Transfer the meatloaf to a platter and slice.
  • Drizzle the gravy over the top. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.
  • Serve at once, passing the leftover gravy at the table.



We love seasoned Panko breadcrumbs, but regular breadcrumbs, seaoned or plain, will work just fine, too. 
If you don't have an 8"x4" loaf pan, simply form the loaf with your hands onto the rimmed baking sheet.  
When you remove the pan after the first 50 minutes of baking, some of the cheese may have exuded from the loaf and starting to brown along the edges of the loaf.  Just take a small knife to cut it away and discard.  
The mushroom gravy can be made up to a day in advance.  Simply reheat on the stove before serving.  
The meatloaf mixture can be made up to 3 or 4 hours before baking.  Keep covered in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
The cooked meatloaf will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and freezes beautifully for up to 1 month.


Calories: 449kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 792mg | Potassium: 673mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 424IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!

POST UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in January 2017 but was updated with improved tweaks to the recipe, new photography, tips, and a fabulous new video in February 2020.


  • 5 stars
    Hi Guys,
    This was by far the best meatloaf I’ve ever made. I made it for dinner but it smelled so great that I didn’t even wait for my husband to come home to eat. The gravy was amazing!!! The only addition I made was baking soda slurry which I’m sure you’re familiar with but it was new for me. I just read it really helps meat to retain its moisture. I don’t know if it even needed it but my meatloaf was chronically dry so I experimented. Thank you so much for this recipe. I am putting into heavy weeknight rotation.

    • Hi Deborah! Sorry for the delayed response! We are so so happy you had such great success with the meatloaf and gravy! Thank you so so much for sharing and for the wonderful review! That truly means the world to us Stay in touch!! xoxo Kris & Wesley

    • Deborah,
      I’m trying to get my teenage sons to eat meatloaf. Is this a good recipe? How did you add the slurry soda? What does it include? Did it make your meatloaf turn out better?
      Thanks in advance for your help.

      • 5 stars
        Hi Leah, For the baking soda slurry you just mix 1/2 to 1 tsp of baking soda with 1 tablespoons of water and add it to the meat. It changes the pH of the meat allowing it to absorb more moisture. I don’t know if it made a difference in the recipe since this was the first time I’d ever made this but I can tell you it was delicious!!! This was so tasty I think your teen might really like it. I plan on following these guys and making more of their delicious recipes.

  • 5 stars
    Hi Guys, I absolutely love your cooking and interactions. Can this meatloaf be made in an air fryer?

    • Hi Sandra!! Thank you so so so much! Yes! You can absolutely make this in your air fryer. We’d recommend forming two smaller loaves so they will fit in your air fryer basket. Cook for 20 minutes at 350. Don’t put the sauce on until after the 20 minutes, and then slather it on, and cook for another 5 minutes. Let us know if you make it and how it turns out!

  • 5 stars
    Great meatloaf and I don’t like meatloaf generally. My kids and my husband loved it and wanted me to make it again the next day! I appreciate all the tips- you two are the best!

    • Hi Jennifer! You just made our weekend! We are so so thrilled that you and your wonderful family enjoyed the meatloaf! We appreciate you sharing and the wonderful review so very much! Please stay in touch! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Have you ever considered putting the meatloaf on a rack over a sheet pan? I have been doing it that way for about 50 years! That way the fat drains away. Also, I have always used oatmeal instead of bread crumbs. Please try it!

  • 5 stars
    I have to agree, BEST MEATLOAF EVER! I followed the recipe exactly, easy, and so delicious. I could easily just lap the gravy off my plate. After a very hearty serving, I made two servings I froze and have two servings for sandwiches. I made it with mashed potatoes and corn. Thank you Kris and Wesley, another fine recipe, you two are just the best!

    • Abby! You literally just made our day! We are thrilled you are enjoying our recipes and we can’t thank you enough for sharing and for always being so kind!! That means the world to us! xoxo Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    This was just incredible. I have been making yummy meatloaf for years but I thought that I would try this as I’m your biggest fan and reviewer (hopefully 🙂
    I was intrigued by the balsamic in it and wanted to try it. Other than sautéing onion, celery and green pepper, I followed exactly. Oh my, what a winner. The mushroom gravy was drinkable on its own. But slathered over the meatloaf and your best mashed potatoes recipe was over the top. Well done, guys. Thanks for giving me another meatloaf to try. And thanks always for making me look like a way better cook than I am. I’m sure my husband thanks you as well. Still LOVING your membership site as well.

    • That is one of our favorite dishes to prepare! We couldn’t be happier that you made it (and the gravy) and LOVED it! You are amazing! And we so much appreciate you keeping us in the loop! That’s why we do what we do!! xoxo

  • 5 stars
    Well, this is the recipe for the Best Meatloaf ever. I made both the meatloaf and gravy and at the first bite everyone commented on the meatloaf – melt in your mouth. The gravy was a hit as well. This will now be my go to recipe for meatloaf. The only change I made was to sauté the onions with the garlic for about 10 minutes. I let them cool before adding to the mix. Thankyou for sharing this fantastic recipe!!!

  • 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe! I’ve made it MANY times because it’s become a favorite. I’m making it tonight to take to my son’s house for dinner.

    • Hi Vicki! Nothing makes us happier to hear than that! We hope you had a wonderful time with your son! No doubt you did! Thank you so so much for sharing and for the wonderful review! It means so much to us! xoxo Kris & Wesley

  • I made this recently and it is hands down the best meatloaf I have ever tasted!!! Absolutely delicious
    My son follows you exclusively and suggested I follow do follow you as well!!! All of your recipes are over the top!!! Thank you for sharing your talents with others!!

    • Hi Jeanne! You have no idea how much you just made our day! We are thrilled you and your son are enjoying our recipes and having such great success with them! Thank you so much for sharing and please give our best to your son!! Kris & Wesley

  • I haven’ tried the recipe yet.

    I was looking for a mushroom gravy recipe–but the gravy ingredients calls for Worcestershire sauce but that isn’t in the directions. Did I miss it?

    • Hi Roo! Thanks for bringing that to our attention. Add the Worcestershire sauce at the same time you start to sauté the mushrooms. We’ve updated the recipe to reflect this. Let us know if you try it and what you think! All the best, Kris & Wesley

      • 5 stars
        I did make the mushroom gravy and added the worchestershire sauce with the broth and vinegar. I’m sure it’s not important when added—I just wasn’t sure it was suppose to be in there. I adjusted the amount of broth and vinegar alittle for our taste. We enjoyed the gravy with a lentil loaf. Thanks for the recipe.

    • The meatloaf is great with (OR withOUT) the gravy! LOL! So so happy you enjoyed it and thank you so very much for letting us know and for the wonderful review! That means the world to us! Please stay in touch!! Kris & Wesley

    • Hi Kathlene! We are so so thrilled you and your hubby loved our meatloaf recipe! And thank you so so much for letting us know and for the GREAT review! That means the world to us! Please stay in touch! Best, Kris & Wesley

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