Air Fryer Meatloaf is an easy option when you need a quick weeknight dinner. Simply combine ground meat, breadcrumbs, onion, and seasonings and cook it in the air fryer for a juicy meal that is ready in half the time! This dish is the perfect kid-friendly recipe, even for those picky eaters.
Meatloaf is a classic, comfort dish that people of all ages turn to.
However, sometimes this meal gets a bad rap. If you’ve had a dry, dense one, you know what I mean.
But not this recipe! Air fryer meatloaf is juicy, tender, and packed with flavor.
And the irresistible homemade glaze… it takes this dish over the top.
If things could get any better, this meatloaf is ready in just about half the time of a traditional recipe in the oven.
Next time you’re craving meatloaf and mashed potatoes (or mashed cauliflower), give this recipe a try!
There really is nothing you can’t cook in the air fryer!
The simple ingredients you need to make this Air Fryer Meatloaf recipe include:
- Ground meat. Opt for a lean blend, 90/10 or 85/15 work best. While ground beef is recommended, you could sub in ground turkey if you prefer.
- Onion. Sweet, diced onion perfectly balances the savory flavor of the seasonings, but you can use white or yellow.
- Breadcrumbs. You will want plain, regular breadcrumbs. Steer clear of flavored or panko-style as they will drastically affect the flavor and texture. You can sub gluten-free, if needed.
- Egg. One large egg is used in this recipe, whisk it first to make mixing easier.
- Garlic. Fresh, minced garlic adds so much depth to this dish. You can use ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder if that’s all you have.
- Parsley. Be sure to measure the parsley after chopping it!
- Seasoning. Dried oregano and basil are used in this recipe to round out the flavor.
- Ketchup. Go for a high-fructose corn syrup-free variety. This is the base for the glaze, so use one that you like the flavor of.
- Worcestershire sauce. An earthy and salty sauce, Worcestershire enhances the glaze.
- Brown sugar. Light or dark will work, brown sugar perfectly caramelizes on top of the meatloaf.
How to Make Air Fryer Meatloaf
These are the steps to follow to make Air Fryer Meatloaf recipe:
Add lean ground beef, breadcrumbs, onion, egg, parsley, garlic, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper to a large bowl.
Remove any jewelry so you can use your hands to combine the ingredients. Thoroughly mix until there are no chunks remaining and everything is blended.
Shape and Air Fry
Preheat the air fryer to 370℉.
Once the mixture is completely combined, you need to prepare it for cooking.
Shape the meatloaf into a log that is about 6-7 inches long, 3 inches wide, and 3 inches high. This is very important as the thickness of the loaf will affect the cook time.
Spray the air fryer basket with non-stick cooking spray and then carefully add the meatloaf.
Place the basket in the preheated air fryer and cook for 18 to 20 minutes
Make the Meatloaf Glaze
While the meatloaf is cooking, whisk together the ketchup, Worcestershire, and brown sugar in a medium-sized bowl until well combined.
After the meatloaf has baked for about 20 minutes, brush the top and sides with the glaze. Return the basket to the air fryer and cook for an additional 4 or 5 minutes.
The meatloaf is done when a meat thermometer inserted in the middle reads an internal temperature of 160℉.
Slice and Serve
Let the meatloaf rest for 5 minutes before slicing into it. If you cut into it too soon, the juices will run out and the loaf might not hold together.
Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and enjoy!
Meal Prep and Storage
- To Prep-Ahead: You can mix the meatloaf up to one day ahead of time, just keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook.
- To Store: Leave the leftover meatloaf in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 to 4 days.
- To Freeze: Be sure to let the meatloaf completely cool first. For easy reheating, flash freeze individual serving-sized pieces on a tray, then transfer to a freezer-safe bag. Keep the leftovers in the freezer for up to 4 to 6 months.
- To Reheat: To warm the meatloaf up, pop it back in the air fryer at 325℉ for 5-6 minutes. You can also use the microwave or oven, if preferred.
The recipe you’ll find below is already dairy-free as written. Here are some adjustments and substitutions you can make to help it fit your other dietary requirements:
- Gluten-free: Opt for gluten-free breadcrumbs and ensure the Worcestershire is, as well.
- Sugar free: Be sure to get a no-sugar added ketchup and choose a natural sweetener rather than brown sugar.
Yes! You can absolutely cook meat in the air fryer, and it takes about half the time than in the oven.
Meatloaf can come out dry and dense if you overwork it when mixing or add too much of the dry ingredients, like breadcrumbs. Be careful of your proportions and stop mixing as soon as it’s combined.
You don’t want to cook meatloaf at too high of a temperature. 370℉ in the air fryer is perfect.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Go lean. The higher the fat content, the more the meatloaf will drip. Opt for a 90/10 or 85/15 blend for the best results. You can use ground pork or turkey, as well.
- Give it a chop. A finely diced onion allows the flavor to mix throughout the meatloaf.
- Spray it down. Be sure to thoroughly coat the air fryer basket with oil so nothing sticks and clean up will be a breeze.
- Don’t overwork. If you spend too much time working the mixture, the meatloaf will turn out dense and dry.
- Serve it up. Enjoy this meatloaf with your favorite side dishes, like Instant Pot mashed potatoes.
What to Serve with Meatloaf
Meatloaf is a comfort dish that goes perfectly with any of these sides:
- Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Smashed Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan Cheese
- Loaded Hasselback Potatoes
- Lemon Garlic Roasted Asparagus
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Mashed Cauliflower
- Melting Potatoes
More Air Fryer Main Dish Recipes
Once you see how easy cooking in the air fryer is, you will definitely want to try other dishes next:
- Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
- Air Fryer Hamburgers
- Air Fryer Salmon
- Air Fryer Fish
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings
Air Fryer Meatloaf Recipe
Air Fryer Meatloaf is an easy option when you need a quick weeknight dinner. Simply combine ground meat, breadcrumbs, onion, and seasonings and cook in the air fryer for a juicy meal that is ready in half the time!
- 1 lb. ground beef 90/10 or 85/15
- ½ cup sweet onion finely diced
- ⅓ cup breadcrumbs plain, gluten-free, if needed
- 1 large egg whisked
- 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- ¾ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- ½ tsp. oregano and basil dried
- ½ cup ketchup
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
Preheat air fryer to 370 degrees for at least 3 minutes.
Add all meatloaf ingredients to a large bowl and mix together by hand until well combined. Shape the meatloaf mixture into a loaf that is roughly 8 inches long and 4 inches wide.
Spray the air fryer basket with non-stick cooking spray and then add the meatloaf. Cook in the preheated air fryer for 18-20 minutes.
While the loaf is cooking, whisk together the glaze ingredients in a medium-sized bowl until well combined.
Brush the glaze over the top and sides of the meatloaf and then return it to the air fryer for an additional 4-5 minutes.
Let the meatloaf rest for 5 minutes before slicing into it. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and enjoy!
Meal Prep and Storage
- To Prep-Ahead: You can mix up the meatloaf up to one day ahead of time, just keep in the fridge until you’re ready to cook.
- To Store: Leave leftover meatloaf in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 to 4 days.
- To Freeze: Be sure to let the meatloaf completely cool first. For easy reheating, flash freeze individual serving-sized pieces on a tray, then transfer to a freezer-safe bag. Keep leftovers in the freezer for up to 4 to 6 months.
- To Reheat: To warm the meatloaf back up, pop it back in the air fryer at 325℉ for 5-6 minutes. You can also use the microwave or oven if preferred.
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