Air Fryer Meatloaf

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5 from 26 votes
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This air fryer meatloaf is perfectly juicy and moist, and cooks in a fraction of the time! The sweet and tangy glaze takes it to another level.

air fryer meatloaf.

We are a meatloaf-loving family; if there is one thing that grinds our gears, it is a dry and overcooked meatloaf.

Enter- the air fryer. I’ve been skeptical about cooking a meatloaf in this gadget because I didn’t want to be disappointed. But the benefits of both time and ease made it a viable option.

After successfully making air fryer meatballs and air fryer hamburgers, it was a no-brainer to use ground beef to make a meatloaf, and let me just say it’s become a weekly staple!

Table of Contents
  1. Why this recipe works
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make air fryer meatloaf?
  4. Can I bake this in the oven?
  5. Recipe tips and variations
  6. Storage instructions 
  7. More air fryer dinners to try
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. Air Fryer Meatloaf (Recipe Card)

Why this recipe works

  • Made with pantry-friendly ingredients. This recipe uses basic ingredients that you might already have in your pantry.
  • Quick and easy. There’s no foil to grease, messy cleanup, or need for multiple pots. It’s so easy I can even get the kids involved in the cooking process.
  • Cost-effective. Using affordable cuts of meat and basics like eggs and milk, this feels fancy without the price tag.
  • Perfect texture and flavor. Can I lament about how incredible the texture is? It’s tender and slightly crisp in the right places but always juicy and moist in the middle. The sticky, sweet glaze gives it a subtle sweetness that balances out all the meaty flavors.

Ingredients needed

We’ll be using common meatloaf ingredients that you’d be familiar with if you often cook it. The only difference is the cooking method. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Ground beef. Always use regular ground beef instead of anything too lean or lower in fat. This is the secret trick to perfectly juicy meatloaf every single time.
  • Yellow onion. Finely chopped or grated. If you have time, grate the onion as it mixes into the meat much better and amplifies the taste.
  • Eggs. Act as binding ingredients and keeps its shape. 
  • Milk. For soaking the breadcrumbs and making the meatloaf soft. I used whole milk but use whatever milk you have on hand.
  • Panko breadcrumbs. Helps keep the juices in the meatloaf and also helps with binding. If you only have standard breadcrumbs, you must reduce the amount by two tablespoons. The finer consistency absorbs more moisture than the larger panko flakes.
  • Parmesan cheese. My secret ingredient in all my meatloaf recipes. If you can, freshly grate the cheese as it will melt better.
  • Garlic. Either fresh or pre-minced garlic. 
  • Fresh parsley. Chopped. 
  • Worcestershire sauce. Adds a sweet, tangy and salty flavor to the meatloaf. 
  • Italian seasoning.
  • Salt and pepper. To taste. 

Glaze

  • Ketchup. You can also use tomato sauce. 
  • Brown sugar. Powdered or granulated sugar also work; make sure to mix it well. 
  • Apple cider vinegar.  An acidic element that balances the sweet and tangy flavors.

How to make air fryer meatloaf?

Cooking meatloaf in the air fryer is so simple. You’ll love how hands-off it is for such an impressive dish.

Make the meatloaf mix: Start by adding the ingredients for the meatloaf in a bowl and mix well. Using your hands, prepare meatloaf from the mixture. 

meatloaf mixture.

Cook in the air fryer: Next, add the meatloaf to a preheated air fryer diagonally so it fits easily

shaped meatloaf.

Add the glaze: Now, prepare the ketchup glaze, and spread it over the cooking meatloaf in the air fryer.

meatloaf glaze.

Cook again: Let it cook for 5 minutes before moving it to the serving plate. 

meatloaf in air fryer.

Can I bake this in the oven?

Yes, you can bake meatloaf in the oven. To bake this particular recipe, add it to a preheated oven (180C/350F) and bake it for 40-45 minutes.

You may also like a keto meatloaf or a ground turkey meatloaf

Recipe tips and variations

  • Line the air fryer basket with aluminum foil to avoid potential over-spill. Contrary to popular belief, you CAN add tin foil to the air fryer. I also recently tried using disposable air fryer liners, which were okay, but the meatloaf was a little soggy at the bottom.
  • Don’t over-mix the ingredients after adding meat; otherwise, your meatloaf will become tough and gummy.
  • To know when the meatloaf is fully cooked, use an instant-read thermometer. Oven makes and models differ, so this is your surefire way to know it’s done. In my Phillips XXL air fryer, this recipe took exactly 20 minutes to cook.
  • If you aren’t a fan of ground beef, use something else. Ground turkey, ground pork, or a mixture of beef and pork are all good options for this recipe. 

Storage instructions 

To store: Place leftovers in a shallow container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

To freeze: Place the cooked and cooled meatloaf in a ziplock bag and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Reheating: Easily reheat portions of the meatloaf in the microwave, oven, or air fryer.

meatloaf air fryer.

More air fryer dinners to try

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I cook meatloaf without drying it out? 

Using ground beef with a higher fat percentage will prevent the drying of the meatloaf. Alternatively, you can add more glaze, too. 

What temperature do you cook meatloaf at?

The temperature of the air fryer for cooking meatloaf should be 200C/400F for the best texture. The higher heat cooks the meat quickly on the outside while keeping the middle juicy.

air fryer meatloaf recipe.

Air Fryer Meatloaf

5 from 26 votes
This air fryer meatloaf is perfectly juicy and moist and cooks in just 20 minutes! The sweet and tangy glaze takes it to another level.
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 19 minutes
Total: 20 minutes

Ingredients  

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 small onion finely chopped or grated
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup parsley finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

For the glaze

Instructions 

  • Preheat the air fryer to 200C/400F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef and onion and mix well. Add the remaining ingredients until completely incorporated.
  • Using your hands, shape the meat mixture into a thick loaf. Transfer it into the air fryer basket diagonally.
  • Air fry the meatloaf for 18-22 minutes, or until the internal temperature 160F.
  • Whisk the glaze ingredients and brush on top of the meatloaf. Place it back in the air fryer for 1-2 minutes, or until warm.
  • Remove the meatloaf from the air fryer and let it sit for 5 minutes, before slicing and serving.

Notes

TO STORE: Place leftovers in a shallow container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
TO FREEZE: Place the cooked and cooled meatloaf in a ziplock bag and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.
TO REHEAT: Easily reheat portions of the meatloaf in the microwave, oven, or air fryer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 197kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 21gFat: 6gSodium: 292mgPotassium: 428mgFiber: 0.5gVitamin A: 336IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 70mgIron: 3mgNET CARBS: 13g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this last night , we LOVED IT !!!
    Thank you for you healthy alternatives, we have made so many of your recipies over the years. Take care and stay well. Cindi

  2. 5 stars
    Okay, I almost passed this one by–after all another meat loaf recipe. But, it was for my air fryer, so I gave it a try. I’m so glad I made it! So easy and tasty and the easy glaze absolutely makes it special!

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve been wondering how to do meatloaf in the air fryer. This looks really good. Thanks for sharing. Sincerely Debora Atkins

  4. 5 stars
    Wow this looks great and like something I can actually do (I’m a beginner in the kitchen)! I don’t like cooking that much but since I got the air fryer I’ve enjoyed it a lot more. I can’t wait to try this!

  5. 5 stars
    This meatloaf is the greatest! I’m very picky about my meatloaf and I love this one! So very moist and very flavorful! You did this one proud! ☺️

  6. 5 stars
    i had the ingredients and made it today. It turned out great.
    I added a 1/2 lb of sausage and decreased the ground beef

    i will make it again