Classic Southern Style Meatloaf

Classic Southern Style Meatloaf just like your mother (or grandmother :-)) used to make. Topped with the perfect glaze, this meatloaf is a winner any day of the week. Pair a side of mashed potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes & brussels sprouts, or creamed spinach for a simple and easy meal idea!

single sliced serving of meatloaf

Some things in life can take us back in time, and this recipe does just that for me. My mother was a great cook, and there were certain dishes she made that brought the entire family together in no time. Today I’m sharing my spin on a childhood favorite, Classic Southern Style Meatloaf.

I can’t give away all my mother’s secrets, but I will let you in on a few things I did a little differently than she did. The best southern-style meatloaf recipe uses a dairy binder and a bit of parmesan cheese. Yep!

Most of the recipes you will find will use milk as one of the ingredients. Milk is typically added to meatloaf to soak up the bread crumbs, bind the ingredients together, and add the needed moisture so it’s nice and tender. But if you’re looking for a more rich flavor, then heavy cream is the way to go.

Meatloaf isn’t meatloaf without the staples of onions, breadcrumbs, and eggs. Still, I added grated Parmesan cheese (my twist) to enhance the flavor and texture slightly — without overdoing it with the breadcrumbs. Also, I use Italian breadcrumbs for that extra kick of savory.

whole unsliced meatloaf in casserole dish

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Wet ingredients: ground beef, eggs, heavy whipping cream, minced garlic, white onion, and green onion
  • Dry ingredients: Italian breadcrumbs and grated parmesan
  • Seasonings: sea salt, black pepper, burger spice, chili powder, garlic powder, and oregano
  • For the glaze/topping: tomato sauce, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce (this combo adds a slightly sweet and tangy flavor to the outside meatloaf)

A few cooking tips:

This is a very hands-on recipe, so be ready to get messy! All ingredients must be well blended to ensure an even consistency and flavor throughout. The moisture and tenderness of the meatloaf are perfect, and you can witness that as soon as you cut this bad boy open to enjoy!

Tips & Tricks

  • Adding eggs and breadcrumbs makes sure the meatloaf stays together. There is nothing more disappointing than a meatloaf that falls apart. That is why it is so important to blend all ingredients well. Also, allow the meatloaf to cool before slicing.
  • Remember to cover the meatloaf for the first half of the baking time and remove the cover for the remaining time. After you remove the cover and before placing it back in the oven, you will top it with the glaze.
  • Be careful not to overmix the ground beef mixture. Mixing the beef mixture too much can lead to a tough meatloaf. You’ll want the meatloaf to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If you need a heavy cream substitute, you can use milk, half and half, beef stock, chicken stock, water, or a non-dairy milk substitute. Your measurements will be the same (1:1).
  • Instead of a casserole dish (paid link), you can use a rimmed baking sheet (paid link) to bake your meatloaf. Using a baking sheet (paid link) will allow the beef drippings and glaze to drain. However, if you like your meatloaf on the saucy side (like me), you can use a casserole dish (paid link).

Meatloaf prep & storage tips

  • Make in advance: You can prepare your meatloaf up to 24 hours in advance. Store it covered in the refrigerator. When ready to bake your meatloaf, let it come to room temperature while your oven preheats to 250°F. Bake covered for 25-30 minutes or until meatloaf is warmed through.
  • Store after cooking: Cooked meatloaf can be refrigerated or frozen. Meatloaf can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
slide meatball in casserole dish

When you want to satisfy every palate at your dinner table, give this old-fashioned meatloaf recipe a time slot on your dinner menu. You will not be disappointed! And because I use very few breadcrumbs, this is an awesome low-carb recipe for those on various diets.

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single slice of meatloaf

Classic Southern Style Meatloaf

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Eric Jones
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


Classic Southern Style Meatloaf, just like your mom used to make. Simple and easy to prepare!


Units Scale
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups white onion, chopped
  • 1 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp burger spice
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 15 oz tomato sauce (plain)
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Add ground beef, white onions, green onions, parmesan, and breadcrumbs into a large bowl. Set aside a handful of green onions for the topping.
  3. Add minced garlic, sea salt, black pepper, burger spice, chili powder, garlic powder, and oregano.
  4. In a small bowl, blend eggs and heavy whipping cream. Add to ground beef mixture.
  5. Mix the ingredients by hand until well blended, then add to a baking dish while forming the meatloaf into an oval-like shape.
  6. Blend tomato sauce, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl. Set to the side.
  7. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the cover, drain off excess fat, and top the meatloaf with the tomato glaze and a handful of green onions. Cook uncovered for the remaining 25-30 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 428
  • Sugar: 6.7g
  • Sodium: 1554mg
  • Fat: 15.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 17.8g
  • Fiber: 3.2g
  • Protein: 53.1g
  • Cholesterol: 202mg

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  1. Can I se this to make meatballs and if so do I need to make adjustments?

    1. Eric Jones says:

      Hi Vashti! You don’t need to adjust the ingredients, but you should change the baking time according to the size of your meatballs. (You’ll form the meatballs into balls versus the loaf and ignore the steps for the glaze/topping.) Thirty minutes should do for a standard-size meatball.

  2. What’s in your Burger Spice?

    1. Eric Jones says:

      Hi Jim! I use Weber’s Gourmet Burger Spice. It is made with salt, onion, garlic, sugar, chili pepper, tomato powder, red bell pepper, and paprika.

  3. You state about adding the tomato sauce. But it’s not in the ingredient list. How much do you use? Do you add anything to the sauce or just use plain?

    1. Thanks a lot for catching that Stacye. It has been updated and you will need 15 ounces of (plain) tomato sauce. Thanks again!