Air Fryer Meatloaf Recipe

This quick and easy Air Fryer Meatloaf Recipe takes just 10 minutes to prepare and 30 to cook. It is one of the best homemade meatloaf recipe ever, as it makes a delicious loaf crisp on the outside and moist in the center

air fryer meat loaf slices over mashed potatoes with broccolini, arranged on a white plate

Why This Recipe Works

Here’s what makes this the best quick and easy meatloaf recipe:

  • This air fryer meatloaf recipe comes together in just 30 minutes, which makes it a great go-to meal. on a busy weeknight, just like our Easy Salmon Patties Recipe 2-Ways
  • When you cook your meatloaf in an air fryer, it gets wonderfully crisp on the outside, but the center stays moist and juicy. If you love cooking in an air fryer, be sure to try our Air Fryer Salmon with Everything Bagel Seasoning.
  • The meat loaf also stores well! You can serve leftovers for lunch the next day, or freeze it to pull out for some other time. Another great recipe for meal prep is our Healthy Greek Chicken Bowls.
  • The sweet and spicy glaze is full of flavor and makes this a crowd-pleasing meal for kids and adults.

What Goes Into This Recipe

ingredients for the best homemade meatloaf recipe

Grab these ingredients for this air fryer meatloaf recipe:

  • Ground beef. I recommend lean ground beef for this recipe.
  • Onion. Finely chop your onion so it fully mixes into the meat.
  • Parsley. This adds a nice bright herby flavor.
  • Breadcrumbs. I recommend panko, which are Japanese-style breadcrumbs, but Italian breadcrumbs will work in a pinch.
  • Cheese. This meatloaf gets its rich flavor from a combination of parmesan and cheddar cheese.
  • Milk. You can use any kind of milk you like, but whole milk will give you the richest flavor.
  • Eggs. Large eggs help bind the meatloaf together.
  • Garlic. Press or finely mince your fresh garlic.
  • Worcestershire sauce. This adds a nice salty, savory flavor.

For the meatloaf glaze, you’ll need just three ingredients:

  • Ketchup. For the classic tomato flavor.
  • Sriracha. You can use more or less sriracha sauce, depending on how spicy you like it.
  • Honey. For just a touch of sweetness.
closeup on air fryer meat loaf slices over mashed potatoes with broccolini

Ingredient Swaps

If you don’t have everything fo this recipe, here are a few easy ingredient swaps:

  • You can swap the ground beef for minced turkey or chicken. I recommend using minced meat from thighs, as it’s dark meat and tends to be juicier. A combination of breast and thighs will also work.
  • You can swap Worcestershire for soy sauce or coconut aminos.
  • To mix up the cheese, try swapping out cheddar cheese for shredded mozzarella or gouda.
  • For even more flavor, add grated or minced shallots. 2 medium shallots should be just enough to enhance the flavor.

How To Make this Quick and Easy Meatloaf Recipe

first four steps to make this Quick and easy meatloaf recipe. Mixing the onion and parsley with the ground meat

Follow these steps to make the best homemade meatloaf recipe:

To make the meat mixture, simply combine all of the ingredients for the meatloaf in a large bowl. Make sure everything is evenly combined, then transfer the mixture to a clean cutting board or countertop.

Next, wet your hands and gently shape the meat mixture into a loaf that fits into your Air Fryer basket. Place the loaf into the basket diagonally, then air fry at 350°F/175°C for 28-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F on an instant-read thermometer.

next 4 steps for making the Best meatloaf recipe ever. Mixing all the ingredients with the ground meat, shaping the loaf and placing it into the air fryer

While the meatloaf air fries, combine the ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl.

During the final two minutes of cooking time, open the basket and brush the loaf with the glaze. Finally, once the meatloaf is finished cooking, remove it from the air fryer and let the loaf cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

air fryer basket with a cooked meatloaf inside

FAQs

What is the best meat for Meatloaf?

This comes down to a matter of taste. I personally think that beef makes the best meatloaf recipe ever. But you can also use a combination of beef and pork, or turkey or chicken.

What is the best sauce for meatloaf?

Simple ingredients like Ketchup, sriracha, and a bit of honey, make the best sauce and glaze to go with your meatloaf. The great thing about this glaze, is that all you need is three simple ingredients.

How long to cook the meatloaf in the air fryer?

If you make a meatloaf with 1.5 pounds or less of meat, then it should cook in around 25-30 minutes. However, it’s always best to use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the loaf. The meat is fully cooked when the thermometer reads 160°F/71°C.

At what temp to cook the meatloaf in the air fryer?

350°F (175°C).

Can you freeze meatloaf?

Yes, you can freeze cooked meatloaf. I suggest letting the loaf cool fully, then slicing it before you freeze the slices. When you’re ready to eat, make the glaze and brush it over each slice, then reheat and serve.

What can I use instead of breadcrumbs in meatloaf?

You may use almond flour for a gluten-free substitute.

What is the secret to moist meatloaf?

The secret to the best moist meatloaf comes down to the proportion of your ingredients. Too much meat will make it too dry. This recipe has the right combination of ground meat, breadcrumbs, and shredded cheese to make a perfectly moist meatloaf.

How can I keep my meatloaf from falling apart?

To prevent your meatloaf from falling apart, it’s important to use eggs. Plus melty cheese, like cheddar, will also help.

Is it better to use milk or water in meatloaf?

Milk adds nice flavor and has a good percentage of fat, which is needed if you’re cooking with lean meat. So I suggest using milk.

Can meatloaf be made without eggs?

You could leave the eggs out and swap them with vegan eggs in this recipe. To make one vegan egg, combine 1 tbsp ground flax seeds (flax meal) with 2.5 tbsp warm water.

What should I serve with homemade meatloaf?

My creamy potato puree is the classic choice to go with meatloaf. Also, I love to serve it with cold green bean salad, or strawberry avocado arugula salad.

air fryer meatloaf slices over mashed potatoes with broccolini on a white plate

Expert Tips

Keep these tips in mind if you want to make the best meatloaf recipe ever:

  • Do not make more meat mixture than called for in the recipe. This is the maximum amount of ingredients that can be cooked in your air fryer, without getting burnt on the outside and undercooked on the inside. Been there, done that!
  • You can flip your loaf halfway to ensure even cooking. This also helps keep the loaf golden brown on both sides.
  • After mixing the meat mixture very well in a bowl, start to bring it all together and form it into a large ball on a work surface. It’s important for the loaf to be as evenly shaped as possible for uniform cooking. Then transfer it to the air fryer and continue to shape it into a meat loaf.

More Easy Air Fryer Recipes

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air fryer meat loaf slices over mashed potatoes with broccolini
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5 from 1 vote

Air Fryer Meatloaf Recipe

This quick and easy meatloaf recipe takes just 10 minutes to prepare and 30 to cook. It is one of the best meatloaf recipes ever, as it makes a loaf crisp on the outside and moist in the center.
Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 201kcal
Author Mihaela

Equipment Needed

  • Air fryer

Ingredients

For the meatloaf:

  • 1 1/2 lbs (680g) lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion - finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (15g) parsley - finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup (18g) panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup (25g) parmesan cheese - shredded
  • 1/3 cup (37g) Cheddar cheese - shredded
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3-4 garlic cloves - pressed
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • Sea salt and ground pepper - to taste

For the glaze:

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) ketchup
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) sriracha sauce
  • 2 tsp honey

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, add all the ingredients for the meatloaf. Thoroughly stir to combine, then transfer the meat mixture to a clean working surface.
  • Use your wet hands to shape the meat mixture into a loaf that fits the Air Fryer basket diagonally.
  • Place the meatloaf into the basket diagonally.
  • Air fry at 350°F/175°C for 28-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the ingredients for the glaze.
  • When the meatloaf has about 2 minutes left to cook, brush it with the glaze.
  • Once the meatloaf is done, allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Recipe Notes

  • Make sure to shape your meatloaf as evenly as possible to ensure it cooks evenly.
  • The loaf should be cooked to 160°F on an instant-read thermometer. 
  • For the crispiest exterior, flip the meatloaf halfway through the cooking time.
  • Do not make more meat mixture than called for in this homemade meatloaf recipe. If you do, the meat loaf will get burnt on the outside and remain uncooked on the inside. 
  • The glaze only needs to cook in the air fryer for 2 minutes, so do not put it on too early, or it may burn. 
  • To freeze the meatloaf, let it cool fully, then slice it and freeze the slices. You can reheat the slices and add the glaze just before serving. 

Nutrition

Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 361mg | Potassium: 411mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 347IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 3mg
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