Forget baking it in the oven. Air Fryer Meatloaf is the tastiest and most tender meatloaf you can make. No stovetop cooking required.
Growing up I always loved my Mom’s meatloaf. As I recall, she didn’t actually have a recipe for it. But rather used a certain seasoning mix. Just ground beef and seasoning, baked in a loaf pan and topped with a sweet and tangy glaze. The flavor was so good! But unfortunately I don’t remember the brand of seasoning she used.
Meatloaf remains one of my favorite comfort foods. But it took me a long while to find a really good, classic meatloaf recipe. As it happens, my recipe for air fryer meatloaf is as close as I’ve gotten to my memory of the meatloaf I was served growing up.
Why meatloaf works so well in the air fryer
I have had great success cooking hamburgers and meatballs in my air fryer. I mix in a panade of milk and Panko breadcrumbs with the ground beef to keep it tender. Meatloaf is the same. A mix of milk, Panko and a little mayo (no egg required) helps to keep the lean ground beef tender. But really, the constant hot air flow of the air fryer is the key to perfectly cooked ground beef. It develops a browned, crispy crust on the outside. But the inside is unbelievably juicy and delicious. Add a sweet and tangy glaze right at the end and you have a perfect, classic meatloaf recipe!
Air fryer meatloaf ingredients
- Ground Beef – I use lean ground beef (93% lean) for this air fryer meatloaf recipe.
- Panko Bread Crumbs – These are usually found in the baking aisle of the grocery store.
- Milk – 1% cow’s milk is what I use in this recipe.
- Mayonnaise – Helps to keep the lean ground beef tender and moist as it cooks.
- Worcestershire Sauce – Adds good umami flavor to the meatloaf.
- Onion Flakes – Saves time and adds a milder flavor instead of chopping raw onions.
- Parsley – Use dried or this brand of lightly dried parsley.
- Garlic Powder – One clove of fresh garlic can be substituted if you prefer.
- Paprika – You can use either sweet or smoked paprika, I used smoked in this recipe.
- Salt and Pepper – Use one teaspoon salt and half teaspoon black pepper to help season the beef.
- Ketchup – Used for the meatloaf glaze at the end.
- Lemon Juice – Helps to brighten the flavor of the glaze.
- Brown Sugar – Adds a nice sweetness to balance all the other savory/salty flavors.
Instructions for how to make air fryer meatloaf
For complete, detailed instructions, be sure to scroll down to the recipe card.
Whisk together all the dry seasonings together. And whisk together the milk, mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce. Combine the two in a large bowl. Then add the ground beef. Mix again and form it into a loaf shape. I always form the loaf on the parchment that I’m going to put into my air fryer basket – makes for easy transfer.
Line your air fryer basket with foil. Place the parchment paper and meatloaf on top of the foil. Cook the meatloaf at 350 degrees F for 30 – 35 minutes. While it’s cooking, whisk together the ketchup, lemon juice and brown sugar for the glaze. Brush the glaze on the meatloaf and air fryer at 400 degrees for an additional 5 minutes.
The meatloaf is done when the center of the loaf has reached at least 160 degrees F.
Change up your protein and try this meatloaf recipe with ground turkey, chicken or ground pork instead. Please share in the comments if you do so! I love to hear your experiences with my recipes in your own kitchens.
How do I know when the meatloaf is done?
Anytime you cook raw meat in the air fryer, always check it with an instant read digital meat thermometer before cooking. Food safety is very important!
The temperature of the center of your meatloaf needs to be a minimum of 160 degrees F before it is safe to serve to your family or guests.
Can I line my air fryer basket with foil?
I test all of my recipes in my Philips XXL Air Fryer. I have never had any problems using foil in my air fryer basket. That being said, air fryers vary quite a bit from brand to brand. So please always check the manufacturer instructions to see what they say about using foil.
Suggested side dishes
- Oven Baked Macaroni and Cheese
- Mashed Potatoes
- Homemade Dinner Rolls
- Party Potatoes
- Twice Baked Potatoes
- Corn Bread
- Baked Beans
- Green Bean Casserole
- Roasted Broccoli
- Glazed Carrots
Place leftover meatloaf in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for up to one month.
How do I reheat meatloaf in the air fryer?
Line your air fryer basket with parchment paper. Reheat refrigerated slices of cooked meatloaf at 350 degrees F for about 5 minutes. Be sure to thaw frozen slices of meatloaf in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
- I have used my Philips XXL Air Fryer for about three years and love it.
- This is my favorite (and inexpensive) instant read digital meat thermometer.
- Parchment paper that is already cut to the size of standard air fryer baskets is very convenient for recipes like this.
- Use a small, silicone pastry brush to help brush the glaze onto the meatloaf.
- My favorite measuring cups and tablespoons to use in my kitchen.
More Air Fryer Recipes
- Air Fried Pork Chops
- Air Fryer Apples
- Shrimp Tacos in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Sausage
- Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls
Air Fryer Meatloaf
- Air Fryer
- 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
- 1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp onion flakes (dried onion)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp light brown sugar
- Line your air fryer basket loosely with foil.
- In a large, clean bowl, mix together the Panko bread crumbs, milk, mayonnaise, Worcestershire, onion, parsley, salt, garlic powder, paprika and pepper.
- Break up the ground beef into small pieces over the breadcrumb mixture.
- Mix with your hands or a spatula until the Panko breadcrumb mixture is well blended into the beef.
- Form the mixture into a meatloaf shape, on the parchment paper.
- Transfer the meatloaf on the parchment paper to the air fryer basket lined with foil.
- Air fry at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the meatloaf. It should be at about 150 degrees F.
- While the meatloaf is cooking in the air fryer, stir together the ketchup, lemon juice and brown sugar until blended.
- Use a pastry brush or spoon to spread the ketchup glaze over the almost fully cooked meatloaf.
- Air fry the meatloaf with the glaze at 400 degrees F for 5 minutes.
- Check to make sure the internal temperature of the meatloaf is 160 degrees F.
- Allow the meatloaf to rest for about 5 minutes before slicing it to serve.
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