This Homestyle Meatloaf is pretty much total comfort food – right from your freezer. It’s deliciously easy to mix and tastes just like Grandma used to make.
We love Freezer Meals at Must Love Home, and this Easy Homestyle Meatloaf Freezer Meal is one of our all-time favorites. It’s super quick and easy to prep and takes no special ingredients. It’s a perfect recipe to use when ground beef is on sale and can be served with whatever you have handy in the pantry.
One of the best things about meatloaf is how versatile it is…it doesn’t have to be served as…well…meatloaf. You can slice it to make meatloaf subs and sandwiches or break it up into chunks to add to any pasta dish or casserole. The tender seasoned meat is delicious in just about any dish.
If you want to take this easy meatloaf up a notch, try this Classic Meatloaf.
How To Make Easy Homestyle Meatloaf Freezer Meal
Just prep the meat mix, shape into a loaf and freeze it for when you need it. Or bake it right away for dinner tonight!
Ingredients Needed for Homestyle Meatloaf
- Ground Beef – we used 85% lean ground beef. It has enough fat to keep the meatloaf moist, and lessens the shrinking from higher fat beef.
- Bread Slices – plain white loaf bread soaks up the fat in the bottom of the pan while baking. Just scrape it off before serving.
- Bread Crumbs – regular bread crumbs were used for this recipe, but panko, seasoned bread crumbs or even crushed saltine crackers can be substituted. (omit additional salt if using the saltines). If you want more fiber, go ahead and use oatmeal or flax meal. Both have lots of fiber and taste amazing in meatloaf.
- Egg – we always use large eggs in our recipes.
- Barbecue Sauce – your favorite sauce or homemade barbecue sauce adds tangy, caramelized flavor.
- Worcestershire Sauce – great for depth of flavor!
- Spices – minced onion flakes, thyme flakes, salt, pepper
This recipe is completely expandable…just double triple or more your recipe ingredients to make as many loaves of freezer meatloaf as you like. I usually make at least 3, so I triple the recipe using 6 pounds of beef, 3 eggs, 3 cups of bread crumbs….3x the amount of everything.
- Ready your loaf pan(s) by spraying lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Or brush lightly with oil.
- Lay 2 slices of loaf bread in the bottom of the pan(s). The bread helps to absorb the grease during baking.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients except the reserved barbecue sauce into a large bowl. The ingredients are easier to mix if you crumble the ground beef into the bowl, rather than adding it as a block. Mix with a sturdy spoon until everything is combined. A cook’s best tool is clean hands…..so I mix mine that way….with my fingers.
- Transfer the meat mixture to a cutting board or wax paper and form into loaf/loaves that will fit into your pan(s). Place meatloaf into pan(s) and work the mixture until it fits snuggly to the sides.
- Spread the remaining barbecue sauce evenly over the meat mixture and cover with a foil lid or sheet of foil. Label and wrap the entire pan with plastic wrap to seal.
- Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking.
We don’t recommend baking from frozen. The outside of the meatloaf may start to burn before the center reaches a food safe temperature of 160 degrees F/ 70 degrees C.
What substitutes can I use instead of barbecue sauce for the topping?
If you don’t have barbecue sauce, you can use ketchup, honey mustard sauce, sweet and sour sauce, a mix of tomato paste and brown sugar just to name a few.
I don’t have breadcrumbs, what can I use instead?
Panko, crushed saltine or Ritz crackers or oatmeal are all tasty substitutions.
No loaf pan…can I freeze and bake the meatloaf in a different pan?
Sure you can! Just form the loaf and wrap tightly in plastic or plastic freezer bag. When you’re ready to bake the thawed loaf place it in the center of a roasting pan, on a rimmed sheet pan or even a round cake pan. The oven cooking times will be slightly different so check with a meat thermometer to make sure it’s done.
What Foil Loaf Pans do you use to make meatloaf?
My go-to pans freezing meatloaf are the Quarter-size Aluminum Foil Steam Table Pans. They are the perfect size for a 2 pound meatloaf and come with a thick foil lid.
More Easy Freezer Meals
If you love meal planning using freezer meals, check out the tasty collection on our Freezer Prep Meals page.
Homestyle Meatloaf Freezer Meal
- 2 slices loaf bread
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup barbecue sauce divided
- 1 cup bread crumbs plain or italian
- 2 tbsp minced onion flakes
- 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1-1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp thyme flakes
- Lightly grease a 9 x 5 foil loaf pan. Lay bread flat in bottom of pan.
- In a large bowl, combine beef, egg, 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, bread crumbs, minced onion, worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and thyme. Mix just until blended.
- Transfer meat mixture to foil pan and shape into a loaf. Cover top with foil, then wrap entire loaf in plastic to seal out air. Freeze for up to 3 months.
To Cook Right Away
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
- Place loaf pan on baking sheet to catch any juices that bubble over. Bake covered for 1 hour, raise oven temperature to 400°F/200°C and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes. Meatloaf is done when internal temperature reaches 160°F/70°C on meat thermometer. Remove pan from the oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before slicing.
To Cook After Freezing – Recommended to Thaw Before Baking
- Thaw frozen meatloaf in refrigerator overnight. Remove plastic before cooking.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
- Bake covered for 1 hour, then raise oven temperature to 400°F and bake an additional 10 minutes. Meatloaf is done when internal temperature reaches 160°F/70°C. You may want to set the loaf pan on a cookie sheet to catch any juices bubbling over. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
© Copyright Christine Mello for Must Love Home. We would love for you to share a link to this recipe but please do not copy/paste the recipe instructions to websites or social media. We are happy for you to share a photo with a link back to this website instead.