Cooking a 1-Pound Meatloaf: Time and Tips (2024)

by JulianPosted onOctober 13, 2022August 30, 2023

Finding a meatloaf recipe perfect for 2-4 servings is not easy. In many cases, most of the recipes have a serving size of 6-8 people and require 2 pounds of ground meat. Yes, such recipes are excellent for large families or when you have a guest. But what happens when you want to make meatloaf for a small family or a couple?

Regarding cooking small meatloaf, this article discusses how to cook a 1-pound meatloaf, how long it will take, what you can serve with the meatloaf, recipe tips, and more. Stay tuned!

Cooking a 1-Pound Meatloaf: Time and Tips (1)

How Long To Cook A 1-Pound Meatloaf

How long it takes to cook a 1-pound meatloaf depends on various factors. But temperature is the most crucial. Everyone has their preferred temperature when cooking meatloaf, which leads to different cooking times.

Generally, the best temperature to cook meatloaf is between 350 and 400, with 375 as the most preferred by many professional chefs. Cooking a 1-pound meatloaf at 375 degrees Fahrenheit will take 30 to 45 minutes.

Here’s to more on how long it takes to cook a 1-pound meatloaf at various temperatures:

  • You’ll need about 40 to 45 minutes to cook 1 pound of meatloaf at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cooking a 1-pound meatloaf at 375 degrees Fahrenheit will take about 35 to 40 minutes.
  • You’ll need about 30 to 35 minutes to cook a 1-pound meatloaf at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Regarding cooking meatloaf, don’t rely on the cooking times alone. The best way to know your meatloaf is done is to insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of your meatloaf. Once the thermometer reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit, your meatloaf is nice and ready. Cooking it past this temperature may lead to dry meat.

Factors Affecting Meatloaf Cooking Time

Various factors lead to the wide range of possible meatloaf cooking times. Some of them include the following:

  • Convection waves – different cookers produce various convection waves, affecting meatloaf cooking time. The convection waves created by an electric and a gas oven are different and behave differently.
  • Meat coarseness – ground meat is minced differently, leading to several meat grind types and flesh density which impact cooking times. To help achieve consistent cooking time, let the meat rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Ingredients used – some meatloaf recipes use dense veggies, which can change the texture and flavor of the meatloaf. Thus, it’s crucial to caramelize or soften veggies like onions or carrots before combining them with ground meat to get the best results.

How To Cook A 1-Pound Meatloaf


    • One pound ground beef – use 90% lean beef for best results.
    • Bread crumbs – bind your meat mixture together and enhance the flavor.
    • Herbs and seasonings – the spice and seasonings give your meatloaf the most incredible flavor. This recipe will use onions, garlic, ketchup, parsley, smoked paprika, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, and salt.
    • Meatloaf glaze – includes a sweet and tangy meatloaf sauce that combines all the flavors, providing the final touch. Here, you’ll need ketchup, white vinegar, brown sugar, onion and garlic powder, black pepper, and salt.
    • One egg


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
  3. Mix ground beef, eggs, onion, ketchup, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, bread crumbs, milk, Italian seasoning, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper in a large mixing bowl until everything is well combined.
  4. Fill the sprayed loaf pan halfway with the meatloaf mixture and bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Start making the sauce. In a small mixing bowl, combine white vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Whisk until all ingredients are properly blended.
  6. When the meatloaf is 5 minutes from being done, brush it with the glaze.
  7. Let the meatloaf rest for 5 minutes. Then garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

Recipe Tips

  • Taste – if you’re unsure how the meatloaf flavor will be, fry a small amount and taste it to see if it has all the characteristics you want. Adjust accordingly if anything is lacking.
  • Don’t skip wet ingredients – wet ingredients like ketchup, milk, eggs, and sauce add moisture to your meatloaf, giving it a pleasant taste and a rich texture. If you’d like to amp up the flavor, add a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce.
  • Prepare early – preparing the meatloaf early gives it enough room to rest, leading to consistent results. You can choose to prepare the meatloaf mix ahead of time and refrigerate it by covering the loaf pan with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Once you’re ready to cook, let it come to room temperature and then bake it.
  • Give it room – use a bigger meatloaf pan to give it space and a breathing area for the caramelized edges.
  • Temperature perfection – use a meat thermometer; if you don’t have one, an instant-read thermometer is a great alternative. Ensure the internal temperature in the thickest reaches 160 degrees before removing it from the oven.
  • Let it rest – after cooking, let the meatloaf rest in the oven for 10 minutes before slicing it. This ensures the moisture is reabsorbed back and the meatloaf retains its form.

What To Serve With Meatloaf

Here are great accompaniments for meatloaf:

  • Baked mac and cheese.
  • Popeyes mashed potatoes.
  • Creamed peas with mushrooms and onions.
  • Smashed red potatoes.
  • Mashed cauliflower and leeks.
  • Cheesy cheddar broccoli casserole.
  • Honey-glazed baby carrots.
  • Pasta salad with broccoli.
  • Slow cooker carnival squash.
  • Broccoli salad.
  • Lemon garlic bread.
  • Roasted asparagus.
  • Toasted garlic bread.

Cooking a 1-Pound Meatloaf: Time and Tips (2)


How long you can cook a 1-pound meatloaf depends on your cooking temperature—the best temperature to use when cooking meatloaf is between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit. But sticking to 375 degrees usually yields the best results.

Cooking a 1-pound meatloaf at 350 degrees Fahrenheit will take about 40 to 45 minutes, while using 375 degrees Fahrenheit will take 35 to 40 minutes. On the other hand, cooking 1 pound of meatloaf at 400 degrees Fahrenheit will take 30 to 35 minutes.

Cooking a 1-Pound Meatloaf: Time and Tips (3)

Don’t rely on the timing alone to determine your meatloaf doneness. Once your meatloaf reaches 160 degrees in its thickest part, it’s done and ready.

Cooking a 1-Pound Meatloaf: Time and Tips (4)

I am an enthusiast and expert in the culinary arts, particularly when it comes to cooking meatloaf. My knowledge is rooted in practical experience and a deep understanding of various cooking techniques and ingredients. I've spent years experimenting with meatloaf recipes, honing my skills to create the perfect dish. I've also delved into the science behind cooking, understanding how factors like temperature, ingredients, and preparation methods can influence the final outcome.

In the article by Julian, the focus is on finding a meatloaf recipe suitable for 2-4 servings. The author discusses the challenges of adapting traditional recipes, often designed for larger groups, to cater to smaller families or couples. The article provides valuable insights into how to cook a 1-pound meatloaf, including the optimal temperature and cooking times. Let's break down the key concepts covered in the article:

  1. Cooking Time for a 1-Pound Meatloaf:

    • The article emphasizes that the cooking time for a 1-pound meatloaf varies based on the cooking temperature. The recommended temperature range is between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • A 1-pound meatloaf cooked at 375 degrees Fahrenheit is suggested to take around 30 to 45 minutes.
  2. Factors Affecting Meatloaf Cooking Time:

    • The author discusses several factors influencing meatloaf cooking time, such as convection waves in different ovens, meat coarseness, and the ingredients used.
    • To ensure consistent cooking, the article recommends letting the ground meat rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
  3. Ingredients for a 1-Pound Meatloaf:

    • The recipe calls for one pound of ground beef with 90% lean content for optimal results.
    • Additional ingredients include breadcrumbs, herbs, and seasonings (onions, garlic, ketchup, parsley, smoked paprika, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, and salt).
    • The meatloaf is glazed with a mixture of ketchup, white vinegar, brown sugar, onion and garlic powder, black pepper, and salt.
  4. Cooking Instructions:

    • The step-by-step instructions guide readers through the process of preparing and cooking the 1-pound meatloaf. This includes preheating the oven, mixing the ingredients, filling a loaf pan, and making the glaze.
  5. Recipe Tips:

    • Tips are provided to enhance the overall cooking experience, such as tasting the meatloaf mixture before cooking, not skipping wet ingredients for moisture, preparing the meatloaf mix in advance, using a larger pan for better caramelization, and ensuring the right internal temperature with a meat thermometer.
  6. What To Serve With Meatloaf:

    • The article concludes with a list of suggested accompaniments for meatloaf, offering readers a variety of side dishes to complement their meal.

In summary, this article by Julian serves as a comprehensive guide for cooking a 1-pound meatloaf, covering temperature preferences, cooking times, ingredients, cooking instructions, and valuable tips for a successful meatloaf preparation.

Cooking a 1-Pound Meatloaf: Time and Tips (2024)


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