The Easiest Air Fryer Meatloaf
Air fryer meatloaf is the air fryer version of everyone’s favorite classic comfort food. Get your family to enjoy the great taste of meatloaf with this easy-to-follow recipe.
Who doesn’t love meatloaf? It’s a great comfort food, it’s delicious, and with this recipe it is fast and easy. Also, leftover meatloaf means meatloaf sandwiches for lunch the next day! Although, with this recipe, there is a good chance you won’t have any leftovers.
We’ve started with a classic meatloaf recipe but there are so many ways to make meatloaf like our keto meatloaf, big mac meatloaf (also keto!), and our instant pot meatloaf, and every single one of them can be adapted to this simple air fryer meatloaf recipe.
I know what you’re thinking. You can make meatloaf in an air fryer?!? Yes, you absolutely can. It’s fast, easy, and absolutely delicious! Your family will beg you to add this into your regular dinner rotations.
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Ingredients You’ll Need
- Breadcrumbs –Plain and unseasoned. You can make your own or buy them. If you wish to buy them, they should be in the baking aisle of your grocery store.
- Ground beef – We prefer a higher fat content of 80/20 as it makes for a juicier dish, but use whatever beef you prefer. You can also try ground turkey or ground pork if you want to shake up the standard recipe.
- Onion – You can use white or yellow onion for this dish.
- Egg –It helps to bind the meat together so your loaf doesn’t fall apart while cooking.
- Seasoning – Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, black pepper, salt
This simple sauce adds so much flavor to the meatloaf and it’s just three simple ingredients – Ketchup, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce
How to Air Fry Meatloaf
Step 1 – Mix – In a large bowl combine the breadcrumbs, ground beef, grated onion, egg, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and salt to the breadcrumb mixture. Mix together until everything is fully combined, but be careful not to over mix.
Step 3 – Mold into loaf – Shape the meat mixture into a loaf approximately 2 inches thick.
Step 4 – Cook – Place the meatloaf into the basket of the air fryer. Brush half of the sauce over the meatloaf. Set it to 350 degrees F and cook for 25 minutes
Step 5 – Make sauce – While the meatloaf cooks, whisk together in a small bowl the ketchup, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce to make the meatloaf glaze.
Step 6- Pause cooking and add sauce – After the meatloaf has cooked for 15 minutes, pause the air fryer and remove the basket. Brush the sauce over the meatloaf. Return the basket to the air fryer and resume cooking for the remaining 10 minutes.
Step 7 – Check temperature – When the 25-minute timer goes off, check the meatloaf with an instant read thermometer. The meatloaf is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. If the meatloaf needs more time, put it back in the air fryer for an additional 5 minutes.
Step 8 – Rest and serve – Once it has cooked completely remove from the air fryer basket and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then slice and serve.
If you don’t have plain bread crumbs there are several ingredients you can use instead. Rolled oats, crushed saltine crackers, or crushed Ritz crackers make a great substitution for bread crumbs.
You can also buy plain bread crumbs at your local grocery store. Check the baking aisle near the cornmeal and you should find several brands to choose from.
Yes! It is safe to cook raw meat in your air fryer. Just make sure the meat is fully thawed before placing it in your air fryer and don’t leave it unattended, like you could with an Instant Pot or pressure cooker.
As always, make sure to check the temperature of your meat with a meat thermometer when it has finished cooking to ensure the meat has cooked thoroughly all the way through.
Over mixing your meatloaf mixture can result in a dense meatloaf. You should mix the ground beef and other ingredients only as much as needed to bring everything together. If you mix for too long and too thoroughly, the ground beef will be packed tightly together and you’ll lose that light, moist texture that makes meatloaf special.
In general, 350 degrees is the perfect temperature to cook your meatloaf. This low temperature will allow the inside of the meatloaf to cook through without drying out the outside.
If you cook it on a higher temperature, you run the risk of the outside burning while the inside is still raw. Cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of your loaf.
There is no need to cover your meatloaf as it bakes. Having it uncovered allows the outside to crisp slightly as it bakes.
Leaving it uncovered also allows your sauce to caramelize once you add it, giving it that classic glaze everyone loves on a meatloaf!
Meatloaf is made with ground beef, so you want the internal temperature to be 160-165 degrees F to ensure it is fully cooked.
We suggest using an instant read thermometer to check the temperature in the center of the meatloaf to make sure it reaches a safe temperature.
Yes! Air fryers cook everything faster. You don’t have to pre-heat with an air fryer and the mechanics of the rapid air technology allows for your food to be cooked faster than an conventional oven.
Sides to Serve with Meatloaf
Don’t forget the mashed potatoes, because meatloaf just isn’t the same without them! Other side dishes you may want to try are stovetop creamed corn, Instant pot collard greens, and air fryer broccoli for a complete meal the whole family will enjoy!
Looking for More Air Fryer Recipes
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Easy Air Fryer Meatloaf
- 3/4 cup Plain breadcrumbs
- 1.5 pounds Ground beef, we prefer a higher fat content 80/20
- 4 ounces Onion, grated
- 1 large Egg
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon Garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Black pepper
- 1/4 cup Ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- In a large bowl combine the breadcrumbs, ground beef, grated onion, egg, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and salt to the breadcrumb mixture. Mix together until everything is fully combined.
- Shape the meat mixture into a loaf approximately 2 inches thick.
- Place the meatloaf into the basket of the air fryer.
- Set to 350 degrees F and cook for 25 minutes
- While the meatloaf cooks make the sauce. In a small bowl whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce to make the meatloaf glaze.
- After cooking for 15 minutes pause the air fryer and remove the basket. Spread the sauce over the meatloaf. Return the basket to the air fryer and resume cooking for the remaining 10 minutes.
- When the timer goes off, check the meatloaf with an instant read thermometer. The meatloaf is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. If the meatloaf needs more time, put it back in the air fryer for an additional 5 minutes.
- Once it has cooked completely remove from the air fryer basket and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then slice and serve.
What if I don’t have Worcestershire sauce? What can be substituted?
Consider mixing equal parts soy sauce and ketchup and a little bit of white wine vinegar.