Dutch Oven Meatloaf Recipe

Cast iron dutch oven meatloaf is a traditional dish that’s great for dinner on a busy weeknight. It requires little prep work and is an excellent option for those who don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen.

This recipe for cast iron dutch oven baked meatloaf in the oven is simple and easy to make. It’s great classic comfort food for the whole family.

Cast Iron Dutch Oven Meatloaf

What is Meatloaf?

Meatloaf is an all-American comfort food dish that many people love and enjoy. Meatloaf is a dish made with ground meat that has been mixed with seasonings, formed together with eggs or breadcrumbs, then formed into the shape of a loaf, and baked.

It is usually made with ground beef but can also contain other meats like turkey or pork. It is traditionally served with mashed potatoes, gravy, and homemade dinner rolls.

It’s a dish that is hearty and satisfying and simple to make. Our family has been eating meatloaf baked in a dutch oven for years, whether it’s served for dinner or packed in lunches for a sandwich.

Meatloaf in a Dutch Oven

There are many variations of dutch oven meatloaf recipes, but this one is a favorite because it’s easy to make, doesn’t take much time, and it’s delicious. The best part is that it is baked in my favorite cast iron dutch oven!

This old-fashioned meatloaf recipe is perfect for the 4.5-quart dutch oven. If you don’t have a dutch oven, you can use a 10″ cast iron skillet or stoneware loaf pan.

If you are new to cooking with or caring for cast iron, check out my cast iron care series of blog posts. I have put together a series of tips and tricks on caring for your cast iron cookware.

Best Meatloaf Recipe

Should You Cook Meatloaf Uncovered or Covered in the Oven?

Do you cover meatloaf when baking? Yes, it would be best to cover it with a dutch oven lid or piece of aluminum foil.

This helps keep the meat moist during the baking process, but do not let it be covered for the whole cooking process.

Take off the meatloaf cover and leave it uncovered for the last 15 minutes of baking to give it a bit of a crispy outside.

Do You Drain the Grease From Meatloaf?

Baking meatloaf in a cast iron dutch oven will produce a juicy, moist loaf, but you will want to drain the excess grease off of the loaf 15 minutes before the end of cooking time.

I drain the grease off the bottom of the pan and scrape off the excess fat from the top of the loaf before adding the glaze.

How Can I Tell If My Meatloaf is Done?

The key to cooking a perfect meatloaf is to be able to judge when it is done. One of the most reliable ways to know that your dutch oven meatloaf is done is by taking an internal temperature at the thickest part of the meatloaf with an instant-read thermometer.

Once the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, the meatloaf has finished baking.

How Long to Cook Meatloaf at 350 Degrees?

The best way to tell when meatloaf is done is to use a meat thermometer. For a 2-pound meatloaf in a cast iron dutch oven at 350° F, plan for 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes.

Kitchen Essentials You May Need

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You can find my favorite essentials can be located in my Amazon storefront. While I often try to link to the exact products you see in my photos and videos, my pieces are usually vintage and thrifted. However, I try to find and link replicas as much as possible, made in the USA or by other small shops, as I believe in supporting hardworking American families.

  • Dutch Oven: A dutch oven is my preferred way of making this cast iron meatloaf recipe. Whether you’re using a budget-friendly Lodge or, my favorite, the Field Company dutch oven.
  • Meat Thermometer: I highly recommend a meat thermometer as this device is essential to ensure that the meatloaf reaches a temperature of 160 degrees.
  • Mixing Bowls: I love stoneware mixing bowls. Mixing bowls are a crucial part of the kitchen and come in various sizes. They are durable, usable for cooking and serving, and can be passed down from generation to generation.
Dutch Oven Meatloaf

Dutch Oven Meatloaf Ingredients

Dutch oven meatloaf is a hearty, savory, and delicious dish that can be made using ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. The best part about this recipe is that it can be made in the oven, making it one of the easiest recipes to make at home.

For bulk pantry ingredients like organic spices, I order from Azure Standard.

  • Ground Beef: I recommend using 90% ground beef when cooking this particular recipe, as it has the right amount of fat to bring moisture and flavor.
  • Ground Sausage: the secret to the best tasting homemade oven meatloaf is to use ground sausage and ground beef! I prefer to use Italian Pork Sausage.
  • Organic Herbs and Spices: Minced garlic and onion, basil, oregano, rosemary, parsley, and thyme make for an incredibly flavorful meatloaf.
  • Celtic Salt and Ground Black Pepper
  • Large Eggs: Eggs are added to meatloaf for two reasons. The first is moisture. The second reason eggs are used is to hold or bind the meatloaf and other ingredients together in the desired form.
  • Half-n-Half: Using dairy helps to keep the meatloaf moist and keeps the meat tender.
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese: Instead of using breadcrumbs or oats, I love to use grated parmesan cheese as a binding agent for this recipe.

Meatloaf Glaze Ingredients

I love a good old-fashioned meatloaf smothered in a healthy heaping of ketchup. The glaze pairs perfectly with savory meatloaf.

If you don’t like ketchup, try using your favorite BBQ sauce or skip the glaze altogether and smother the meatloaf with gravy and a side of mashed potatoes.

  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • Two teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • One teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • One teaspoon honey
  • Three tablespoons of beef broth

How to Make Dutch Oven Meatloaf In Oven

Meatloaf is a farmhouse-style classic meal that never goes out of style. It is simple and easy to make, and the ingredients are pretty basic.

This recipe takes less than 10 minutes to prepare, but plan ahead as it takes plenty of time, about an hour and a half to bake in the oven. Despite its long cook time, this meatloaf tastes excellent and is super healthy!

Step 1: Preheat and Prep

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees f. Layout all of the ingredients as well as the dutch oven and mixing bowls.

Step 2: Mix Together the Herbs and Spices

In a small mixing bowl, combine salt, pepper, herbs, and spices and mix until thoroughly combined. Add in parmesan cheese, and mix.

Step 3: Combine Eggs and Half-n-Half

In a separate bowl, add three large eggs and the half-n-half. Mix until eggs are beaten and well combined.

Step 4: Mix Together

The best way to combine the meat is to mix the meat with your hands. Place ground beef and ground sausage in a large mixing bowl and mix the meat together.

Another option for mixing the meat is to use a potato masher or a wooden spoon if you prefer not to use your hands.

Once the meat is mixed together, add the spices and herbs and the egg mixture. Mix well until all ingredients are combined.

Dutch Oven Meatloaf in Cast Iron

Step 5: Shape the Meatloaf

Form meat mixture into a 9″ x 5″ loaf shape. Press the meatloaf together firmly enough to hold its shape, but not so firmly that it becomes dense. Place loaf into a cast iron dutch oven or loaf pan.

Step 6: Bake the Meatloaf

Place the dutch oven with the meatloaf in the oven and bake for one hour and 15 minutes.

Step 7: Make the Meatloaf Glaze Recipe

While the meatloaf is baking, combine glaze ingredients together. Mix tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, honey, and beef broth together to form a homemade ketchup glaze.

Step 8: Add Glaze to Meatloaf

After baking the meatloaf for an hour and 15 minutes, remove it from the oven. Drain off the grease from the bottom of the dutch oven and scrape off the excess fat from the top of the meatloaf.

Then, brush glaze on top of the meatloaf. Return the meatloaf, uncovered, to the oven for another 15 minutes.

Step 9: Finish Baking the Meatloaf

The best and most accurate way to know if the meatloaf is finished is by checking its internal temperature. When meatloaf hits 160°F, it’s time to pull it from the oven.

Step 10: Rest and Serve

When cooking meatloaf, it is essential to let the meat rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Doing this allows the juices in the meatloaf to redistribute and settle after cooking. This results in a moist and juicy final product that is easy to slice!

Best Dutch Oven Meatloaf Tips

The best dutch oven meatloaf is a family favorite that you’ll love to share with your loved ones. It’s easy and delicious, and it goes perfectly with mashed potatoes or green beans. Here are a few tips for making a great meatloaf recipe!

  • Don’t Overmix: Avoid overmixing as this will make the meatloaf dry and dense.
  • Use Your Hands: When it comes to making meatloaf, your hands are the best tools for the job! Mix ingredients until combined but avoid packing the loaf down or squishing it too much as this will make the meat tough and dense!
  • Use Beef and Pork: Most recipes call for using only ground beef, but my recipe uses ground sausage along with the beef. The ground sausage adds such a great flavor making this the best dutch oven meatloaf!
Cast Iron Dutch Oven Meatloaf

What to Serve with Meatloaf

Meatloaf is often served as a main dish to mashed potatoes, homemade gravy, from scratch dinner rolls, fried sweet potatoes, or loaded roasted cauliflower with a veggie.

You can try some other vegetables like green beans, roasted carrots, or pan-fried asparagus for a complete meal! This leftover cast iron meatloaf oven recipe is great for sandwiches the next day!

Cast Iron Dutch Oven Meatloaf

How to Store Meatloaf

To store cooked meatloaf for up to three to four days, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container. Keep the meatloaf stored in the refrigerator.

How to Reheat Meatloaf

Leftover meatloaf is a delicious and filling meal, but it can quickly turn into a dry, unsavory mess if it’s not reheated correctly. Here are some easy tips to help you get the perfectly moist meatloaf every time.

  1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place your leftover meatloaf in a shallow baking dish. Add two tablespoons of beef broth to avoid drying out the meat. Cover with aluminum foil and place it on the center rack of the oven.
  3. Bake 25-30 minutes until warm.

More Delicious Dutch Oven Recipes

Cooking in a dutch oven is one of my favorite ways to cook anything. These dutch oven recipes are perfect for beginners because they are easy to follow, are delicious, and can be cooked in a cast iron dutch oven.

Yield: 12

Dutch Oven Meatloaf

Cast Iron Dutch Oven Meatloaf

Cast iron dutch oven meatloaf is a traditional dish that’s great for dinner on a busy weeknight. It requires little prep work and is an excellent option for those who don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound Italian ground sausage
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon celtic salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup half n half
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Meatloaf Glaze
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons of beef broth

Instructions

Step 1: Preheat and Prep

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees f. Layout all of the ingredients as well as the dutch oven and mixing bowls.

Step 2: Mix Together the Herbs and Spices

In a small mixing bowl, combine salt, pepper, herbs, and spices and mix until thoroughly combined. Add in parmesan cheese, mix.

Step 3: Combine Eggs and Half-n-Half

In a separate bowl, add three large eggs and the half-n-half. Mix until eggs are beaten and well combined.

Step 4: Mix Together

The best way to combine the meat is to mix the meat with your hands. Place ground beef and ground sausage in a large mixing bowl and mix the meat together. Another option for mixing the meat is to use a potato masher or a wooden spoon if you prefer not to use your hands.

Once the meat is mixed together, add the spices and herbs and the egg mixture. Mix well until all ingredients are combined.

Step 5: Shape the Meatloaf

Form meat mixture into a 9″ x 5″ loaf shape. Press the meatloaf together firmly enough to hold its shape, but not so firmly that it becomes dense. Place loaf into a cast iron dutch oven or loaf pan.

Step 6: Bake the Meatloaf

Place the dutch oven with the meatloaf in the oven and bake for one hour and 15 minutes.

Step 7: Make the Meatloaf Glaze Recipe

While the meatloaf is baking, combine glaze ingredients together. Mix tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, honey, and beef broth together to form a homemade ketchup glaze.

Step 8: Add Glaze to Meatloaf

After baking the meatloaf for an hour and 15 minutes, remove it from the oven. Drain off the grease from the bottom of the dutch oven and scrape off the excess fat from the top of the meatloaf.

Then, brush glaze on top of the meatloaf. Return the meatloaf, uncovered, to the oven for another 15 minutes.

Step 9: Finish Baking the Meatloaf

The best and most accurate way to know if the meatloaf is finished is by checking its internal temperature. When meatloaf hits 160°F, it’s time to pull it from the oven.

Step 10: Rest and Serve

When cooking meatloaf, it is essential to let the meat rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Doing this allows the juices in the meatloaf to redistribute and settle after cooking. This results in a moist and juicy final product that is easy to slice!

Notes

The best dutch oven meatloaf is a family favorite that you’ll love to share with your loved ones. It’s easy and delicious, and it goes perfectly with mashed potatoes or green beans. Here are a few tips for making a great meatloaf recipe!

  1. Don’t Overmix: Avoid overmixing as this will make the meatloaf dry and dense.
  2. Use Your Hands: When it comes to making meatloaf, your hands are the best tools for the job! Mix ingredients until combined but avoid packing the loaf down or squishing it too much as this will make the meat tough and dense!
  3. Use Beef and Pork: Most recipes call for using only ground beef, but my recipe uses ground sausage along with the beef. The ground sausage adds such a great flavor making this the best dutch oven meatloaf!

Did you make this recipe?

If you make this recipe, please share your results by leaving a comment or tag me on Instagram @rockyhedgefarm

Why not try this delicious dutch oven baked meatloaf! It is the perfect meal to gather your family around the country kitchen table for a savory meal with this classic meatloaf!

Thank you for sharing!

2 thoughts on “Dutch Oven Meatloaf Recipe”

  1. Sounds delicious! Love meatloaf but after all these years still haven’t found a hands down favorite which is funny- how can something so simple and well known have so many variations?! I have never used half and half or so many eggs so I am looking forward to trying yours!
    On another note, I’d love for you to consider putting together a cookbook because you have so many family friendly, down home recipes that you share on here. It wouldn’t have to be anything fancy, maybe just a little binder booklet for readers……and include household tips, recipes, environmental friendly homemade cleaning products, starting a small garden, and just the good old home wisdom you are known for…..
    I have followed your blog for awhile and I would love to have all your helpful knowledge in one place! Maybe you’ll consider something like that one day…..I hope so!!
    Happy Spring!
    Dee

    Reply
  2. Thanks for all the wonderful tips and yummy ideas. this meatloaf looks amazing. Sorry I have not been responding. Just loss my husband. Can’t stop crying…

    Reply

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