Balsamic Glazed Meatloaf is amazing comfort food! Moist and delicious, this meatloaf glaze recipe comes together quickly. You can even make balsamic brown sugar glaze ahead of time, or freeze our best glazed meatloaf for later!
At long last, Chad finally gets his favorite meal. Yes, I know how shocking it is that out of all the fabulous Italian food and flavors that I provide him, he is still a Midwest meat and potatoes man.
No matter how many fabulous recipes I make, my husband is a Midwest meat and potatoes man. Add a side of corn on the cob, and he is surely in heaven!!!
I can’t always judge his taste, though. This really is the best meatloaf with glaze I’ve ever made!
Even better, it’s freezer-friendly — and balsamic glazed meatloaf makes for the best sandwiches!
I usually bake one and portion it out, then freeze it and pull it out as we want to eat it… Which is pretty often.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Ground Beef – You’ll want a lean blend — 80/20 or 80/15 is usually the sweet spot for the best glazed meatloaf with all beef.
Too much fat will make it too greasy, but extra lean blends will make the loaf too dry.
- Italian Breadcrumbs – If you only have plain on hand, there’s an easy fix! Simply mix 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning into 1 cup plain breadcrumbs.
You can do the same thing with panko breadcrumbs as well.
- Balsamic Vinegar – Use this in both the loaf and the glaze. Quality makes a big difference in flavor, so use the nicest bottle you can get!
- Spices – I live to use a combination of onion powder, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in this recipe.
Feel free to leave out the nutmeg if you’re not a fan, or replace it with garlic powder instead.
Meatloaf Glaze Recipe Tips
I have been making this meatloaf glaze recipe for well over 10 years now. I love that it has a little Italian flair!
- Don’t skip the balsamic brown sugar glaze!
The magic ingredient: balsamic vinegar! It adds just the right amount of acidity to balance the sweetness of the ketchup and brown sugar.
Plus, this simple combination is so much better than plain ketchup. You can even make extra for dipping!
- Spread evenly.
Don’t just pour the balsamic mixture over the top! Take the extra time to spread it evenly over the loaf, as close to the edges as you can get.
A small silicone spatula is usually the best tool for the job, and you won’t lose any of that precious sauce.
- Uncover for better flavor.
Remove the cover from the loaf pan during the final 15 minutes of cook time.
The direct heat creates a caramelization effect for the best meatloaf with glaze ever!
You can’t have glazed meatloaf without mashed potatoes. In fact, Munchkin preferred them mixed together when she was younger!
Then, slice up leftovers and serve them cold on some Amish White Bread as sandwiches!
Best Glazed Meatloaf FAQ
Aside from following the baking directions, the easiest method is with a digital meat thermometer.
Insert the probe into the very center for best results. Remove glazed meatloaf when the internal temperature reaches 155°F.
Then, let it rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing. It will continue to cook to a perfect 160°F as it sits, and the juices will settle evenly throughout the loaf.
The milk! It soaks into the breadcrumbs, which are then distributed throughout the loaf. Such an easy way to add moisture without too much extra fat.
If you only have extra lean ground beef (think a 93/7 blend), then you may want to add some ground pork or veal to make up the difference.
Storing and Reheating Best Meatloaf with Glaze
Allow glazed meatloaf to cool, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days.
To freeze, remove from the pan and wrap portions tightly in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 6 months and thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Microwave individual slices, or warm larger pieces of loaf in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 350°F
You can also whip up a little extra balsamic brown sugar glaze to spread over the top when reheating.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Simple Comfort Foods to Make
Best Ever Balsamic Glazed Meatloaf + Video
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 4 tablespoons ketchup, divided
- 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, add beef and breadcrumbs. Pour the milk directly over the bread crumbs. Add 2 tablespoons ketchup, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, nutmeg, pepper, salt and onion powder. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, crack egg and whisk it slightly. Add egg to the meat mixture. (This helps to prevent overworking the meat while combining.) Use your hands to combine ingredients well, being careful not to overwork the meat mixture.
- Form meatloaf mixture into a loaf shape and then transfer to a roasting pan (I use glass). Free form into a loaf shape. You may notice cracks in the loaf. Run your hands under warm water and then across the meatloaf to smooth the cracks out. Set meatloaf aside.
- In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons ketchup, 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar. Mix well with a fork. Apply glaze evenly to the top of your meatloaf.
- Cover pan with aluminum foil. Place meatloaf in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. The sides of loaf should be lightly browned before removing foil.
- Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, then remove from oven and allow the meatloaf to rest, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes. Slice, serve and enjoy!
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published August 2011. Updated and republished August 2023
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