Sheet Pan Meatloaf

Sunday dinner was often Mom’s favorite meal of the week. She would prepare meatloaf before church and preset the oven to cook while we were gone. As soon as the car door opened, I can remember the smell of the meal baking.

Meatloaf can often be the brunt of jokes. It can be dry, tasteless, boring, and usually the bottom of a family’s list of favorite foods. My mom’s meatloaf is different: full of hearty flavor and somehow surprisingly light with a melt-away texture.

Let’s face it: meat can be tricky. You would think just mixing together some ground beef with salt and pepper would be pretty easy. But that’s not the case. Ground beef pressed together can become tough and lack flavor.

Meatloaf covered with red ketchup on top with slices laying on sheet pan with orange colored sweet potatoes all around

Mom’s trick for a delicious meatloaf is quick-cooking oats. The difference between quick-cooking oats and old-fashioned oats is simple. Quick-cooking oats are rolled and become smaller than old-fashioned oats. This helps them cook faster and absorb liquid easily. Adding the oats helps bind the meat together and absorb the liquid the meats release during baking. While baking, the oats disappear, leaving a tender and perfectly textured loaf.

To add flavor, I switched up Mom’s method in a few ways:

  • Onions. Mom often added raw onion to the mixture. I find sautéing the onion until softened boosts the flavor and is just better than raw onion.
  • Tomato juice. Mom always added tomato juice to the meatloaf and I couldn’t agree more. Instead of imparting tomato flavor, the tomato juice balances out the meat and provides a slightly sweet flavor.
Close up top down view of slices of meatloaf laying on sides of sheet pan with one slice or orange colored sweet potato

At its core, this is a meatloaf with no hidden agenda. And to make it even better, it’s a sheet pan dinner, making it a for-sure winner that couldn’t be easier. Rather than making an entirely separate side dish, I added thickly sliced sweet potatoes around the meatloaf that cook at the same time. During the cooking time, a golden crust forms on the bottom of the sweet potatoes, while retaining a perfectly creamy interior.

Slices of orange colored sweet potato sitting on stainless steel sheet pan sprinkled with bits of herbs

Altogether, this sheet pan meatloaf is simple and straightforward with a well-balanced flavor that creates a perfect dinner. Never dry, never tasteless… and definitely not boring!

Watch how to make this sheet pan meatloaf:

Top down view of meatloaf topped with red ketchup sitting on sheet pan with slices of orange sweet potato freshly baked from the oven
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4 from 7 votes

Sheet Pan Meatloaf

Made from super simple ingredients that's far from rocket science, this meatloaf is a classic. Smothered with a ketchup sauce and made all on one sheet pan, it's dinner in a snap!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beef, dinner, ketchup, pork
Difficulty: Easy
Method: Baking
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Kaleb

Ingredients

For the meatloaf

  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef (92% lean preferable)
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 large eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1 ½ cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 2 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 lb sweet potatoes, cut in 1" slices
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

For the ketchup sauce

  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent, adding garlic in the last minute, 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • On a large sheet pan, arrange the sweet potatoes in an even layer leaving space for the meatloaf. Drizzle with olive oil, rubbing to coat potatoes on all sides. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt, dried thyme, garlic granules, and 1 tsp black pepper.
  • In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork, quick oats, eggs, tomato juice, sautéed onion, salt, and pepper. Mix until combined and all the ingredients are well mixed together, showing no individual streaks.
  • Place the prepared meatloaf on the large sheet pan, shaping it into a large loaf. Place in the preheated oven and prepare the ketchup topping.
  • In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, honey, and mustard. Whisk to combine.
  • Once the meatloaf is browned and reaches 150°F, about 40-50 minutes, spread the ketchup mixture over the top and return to oven to caramelize, 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes before cutting.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 servingCalories: 351 kcal (18%)Carbohydrates: 35.9 g (12%)Protein: 18.7 g (37%)Fat: 13.9 g (21%)Saturated Fat: 4.8 g (30%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.3 gMonounsaturated Fat: 6.6 gTrans Fat: 0.1 gCholesterol: 82 mg (27%)Sodium: 1037.3 mg (45%)Potassium: 824.8 mg (24%)Fiber: 4.8 g (20%)Sugar: 9.2 g (10%)Vitamin A: 844.6 IU (17%)Vitamin C: 18.6 mg (23%)Calcium: 61.6 mg (6%)Iron: 2.7 mg (15%)

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  • This was delish! I made a couple of subs using onion and garlic powder (so my kids would eat it up and they did 😍). Can’t wait for lunch today 👏

  • 5 stars
    Look so good and the sweet potatoes omg you are one in a million love watching you cook and decorate plus your flowers keep up the great work tell Kipp i said hello he’s so cute 😍

  • I made this tonight and it is amazing. Mom loved it. My hubby is not a sweet potato fan and he tried them.
    It was hit with him.
    The meat loaf was so good and the sweet potatoes are amazing.
    This maybe will become our Sunday dinner.
    Who would have thought of putting the garlic on them.
    Loved the crunchy ness of the garlic.
    I just can’t say enough about this meal.

  • 5 stars
    I made this tonight for my family. Absolutely delicious. Especially love the ketchup sauce on top.
    I live in Dubuque iowa so it’s nice to see a great cook who lives so close.

  • 5 stars
    This has now been my go to meatloaf recipe 😋. My husband says its even better than my moms! Just made it today for Sunday dinner. As I was making it I couldn’t help but laugh and say to myself..if Kaleb does it this way then that’s how I’ll do it to 🙂 😃 Thanks, youre a treasure 💖

  • I’m going to try making the sheet pan meatloaf. I’m surprised that you didn’t get a lot of meatloaf juices all over the pan. When I make meatloaf (all beef—half 85% and half 93%), in a meatloaf pan I have to pour the juices out of the pan before I can take the meatloaf out of the pan and let it rest before cutting. Why doesn’t your meatloaf create a lot of juices. Good that it didn’t because of potatoes but wondering what the trick is.