This easy Air Fryer Meatloaf recipe is just as delicious as the classic baked version, but so much quicker. This recipe makes two tender meatloaves with crisp, caramelized edges and juicy centers. Making homemade meatloaf has never been easier!
Meatloaf is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods! It’s juicy, savory, and easy to make. I could seriously eat it once a week, if not more.
Just when I didn’t think it could get any better, Air Fryer Meatloaf comes along. It cooks so quickly and even requires less clean up than baked meatloaf. The fat also seeps out of the meat, meaning air fried meatloaf never turns out overly greasy. How great is that?
No need to worry about the air fryer drying out the meat either. This recipe makes 2 delicious loaves of melt-in-your-mouth beefy goodness with the perfect caramelized outside and juicy, flavorful centers. Pair them with crispy skin baked potatoes and fork-tender vegetables for the best (and easiest) dinner ever!
Ingredients you’ll need
This traditional meatloaf recipe is reminiscent of a childhood classic. It features a homemade tangy tomato BBQ sauce that’s easy to make with 3 ingredients:
- Tomato sauce
- Barbecue sauce (homemade or store-bought)
The beefy meatloaf mixture is flavorful, juicy, and never falls apart. This is what you need:
- Ground beef
- Onion and garlic powder
How to make meatloaf in the air fryer
To make the tomato barbecue sauce, combine the tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture begins to bubble. Remove from the heat.
Assemble the meatloaf mixture by mixing the ground beef, 2 tablespoons of tomato-BBQ sauce, breadcrumbs, egg, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and ground pepper together in a large bowl.
Mold the mixture into 2 loaves on the foil-lined air fryer tray. Air fry the loaves for 25 minutes.
To finish, spread the rest of the BBQ sauce on top of the loaves. Continue cooking until the internal temperature reads 165ºF on an instant read meat thermometer. Let the meatloaf rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Tips for making the best air fryer meatloaf
- Try not to overwork the meat mixture. The less you fuss with the meat mixture, the better. Overmixed meatloaf can be dry and chewy.
- Line the air fryer basket with a layer of aluminum foil to make cleaning up a breeze.
- Fattier foods, like meatloaf made from ground beef, tend to cause smoke in the air fryer. To keep this from happening, you can add a small amount of water underneath the basket (in the bottom of your air fryer).
- If the top layer of tomato BBQ sauce seems to be browning too fast, loosely cover the meatloaf with foil.
- Instead of ground beef – Use any type of ground meat instead, like ground chicken, ground turkey, ground pork, ground veal, or a mix of each.
- Meatloaf with veggies – Dice some vegetables to include in your meatloaf mixture. Onion, celery, carrots, and bell peppers would all be delicious. Gently sauteeing the veggies first brings out the best of their flavors.
- Cheesy meatloaf – Top the meatloaf with freshly grated parmesan and mozzarella cheese 5 minutes before it’s done in the air fryer. Return to the air fryer to finish cooking and to melt the cheese.
- Gluten free air fryer meatloaf – This recipe was only tested with regular breadcrumbs. However, you should be able to replace them with gluten free breadcrumbs or almond flour without a problem.
Frequently asked questions
No air fryer? No problem. Cook the loaves on a parchment or foil-lined baking tray in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes at 350ºF. Make sure the internal temperature reaches 165ºF and let them rest before slicing.
If you happen to have any leftovers, keep them stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Yes, you can freeze the individual slices or freeze the entire loaf for up to 6 months. Once cooled, wrap the cooked meatloaf tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer-safe container or bag. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.
To reheat leftover meatloaf in the air fryer, line the basket with parchment paper, foil, or spray with cooking spray. Place the meatloaf in the basket and reheat at 350ºF for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Mashed potatoes
- Corn on the cob
- Roasted broccoli
- Glazed carrots
- Duchess potatoes
- Sauteed spinach
- More → 35+ BEST sides for meatloaf
Wine pairings for meatloaf
- When beef is the focus of a dish, fruity to medium-bodied red wines are fantastic. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are great options.
- If you prefer white wine, aim for a crisp, dry white like an unoaked Chardonnay.
More air fryer recipes
- Air Fryer Chicken Breasts
- Toasted Ravioli
- Air Fried Shrimp
- Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan
- Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
- Air Fryer Falafel
- Air Fryer Frozen Fries
- Air Fryer Chicken Thighs
More → 35+ Ground Beef Recipes
Did you try this air fryer meatloaf recipe?
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Air Fryer Meatloaf Recipe
- Combine tomato sauce, barbecue sauce and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until bubbling, stirring constantly, and remove from heat.
- Add 2 TBSP of this mixture to the ground beef in a large mixing bowl, along with the bread crumbs, egg, salt, onion powder, garlic powder and ground pepper. Mix until well combined.
- Shape the mixture into two meatloaves, about 5” x 2”.
- Preheat the air fryer to 350-degrees.
- Place meatloaves in the air fryer and cook for 25 minutes.
- Drizzle the remaining tomato-BBQ sauce over the top of the meatloaves. Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes or until the meatloaf reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- Allow to rest 5-10 minutes before serving.
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