What could be better than Grandma’s meatloaf? It must be a recipe that goes back generations. Like her mother’s mother’s mother’s meatloaf recipe. Right?

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Hopefully, for you, that is the case. Recently, I discovered my Grandma’s meatloaf is a lie!

I had only seen the recipe card my mother had copied from hers before and I recently got my hands on my grandma’s recipe box… Her meatloaf comes from the back of a Lipton Onion Soup Mix Recipe! It is actually cut right off the box and taped to a recipe card. I get it, she had 2 kids and worked full time. Say what you want about her meatloaf, but my Grandma got things done.

Anyway, I simply couldn’t follow that recipe. This recipe is my adaptation, that pays respect to my grandma while elevating her meatloaf from 1938 to something more appropriate for today’s home kitchen.


  • Ground Chuck
  • Instant Onion Soup Mix
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Eggs
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Soy Sauce
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Grated parmesan Cheese

Don’t get me wrong. My Grandma’s meatloaf is ok. It just tastes like freeze-dried onions… like a lot! It lacks any real depth. Which is no surprise. Those recipes printed on the box of products are designed to sell more products, not taste delicious.

People add so much to their meatloaf sometimes. It’s weird like they don’t actually like beef. I happen to like beef and I want to enhance its flavor. The Soy and Worchestershire sauce adds a big umami boost without masking the flavor. In fact, practically everything I add to the ground beef is an umami booster. Parmesan, tomato, etc…

I know there are literally 1000’s of meatloaf recipes out there. This one is special only in that it pays homage to my grandmother’s recipe.

I must admit it was quite tasty and juicy. The tomato sauce on top was an afterthought. I was just trying to make the plate look nice. It really completed the dish though. Using the same sauce in the meatloaf, then a bit more on top.

I served it with my classic garlic green beans, and a simple mashed potato to complete a perfect plate of comfort food.

It is my hope you enjoy this recipe and add it to your recipe box. This will be made on a regular basis by me. At least till summer and it gets too hot to crank up the oven.

Happy Cooking – Chef Eric

Grandma’s Meatloaf (Air Fryer Recipe)

Chef Eric
Literally the definition of comfort food. This recipe is my homage to my grandmother's meatloaf. Savory juicy, and tender. This dish is sure to please.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Comfort
Servings 3 people


  • Air Fryer
  • Loaf Pan
  • Spatula
  • Large Mixing Bowl


  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1/2 packet instant onion soup mix
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese


  • Excluding the ground chuck, combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add ground chuck to the mixture, gently breaking it up as you go.
  • Combine beef and wet mixture well.
  • Spray the inside of a small loaf pan with cooking spray and add meatloaf mix. Pack meat loaf into pan tightly.
  • Cover pan with aluminum foil and poke several holes to vent.
  • Place pan in air fryer preheated to 350 F or 176 C
  • Cook for 15 minutes
  • Remove foil from pan and raise the temperature of air fryer to 400. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Allow meatloaf to rest for 5-10 minutes before removing from pan and slicing.


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More Using the Loafpan

Check out our Instant Pot Italian Meatloaf or our Instant Pot Homemade Banana Bread.

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