If you’re in search of the ultimate comfort food that’s easy to make, tastes fantastic, and brings back fond memories of family dinners, then you’ve come to the right place. I’m about to share the secrets of an old-fashioned skillet meatloaf recipe – a timeless classic that’s bound to become a favorite in your household. This recipe will remind you of your grandma’s meatloaf!

Old Fashioned Skillet Meatloaf - This classic meatloaf recipe cooks to perfection in a cast iron skillet. It always makes me think about Sunday dinners at Grandma's house as a child. You're going to love it!

The Best Old-Fashioned Skillet Meatloaf Recipe

This is a family recipe that I make at least once a month. It’s one of our favorites, because it’s both incredibly easy to make, while also delivering that home-cooked, special-dinner vibe.

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Old-Fashioned Meatloaf Ingredients

Before we dive into the cooking process, let’s get acquainted with the star players in this old-fashioned meatloaf recipe. To make a hearty 2-pound meatloaf, you’ll need:

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For the Meatloaf:

  • 2 lbs. ground beef (80/20 or 85/15)
  • 1 1/2 cups old Fashioned Oats
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce

For the Topping:

  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Now, let’s get ready to make the best meatloaf ever!

Old Fashioned Skillet Meatloaf - This classic meatloaf recipe cooks to perfection in a cast iron skillet. It always makes me think about Sunday dinners at Grandma's house as a child. You're going to love it!

Preparing Your Oven

Preheat Your Oven: Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). This step ensures that your meatloaf cooks evenly and to perfection.

Mixing Up the Meatloaf

Whisk the Eggs: In a large bowl, whisk the eggs to get them nicely beaten and ready to bind all the ingredients together.

Add the Flavors: Now, it’s time to infuse your meatloaf recipe with those wonderful old-fashioned flavors. Add the finely chopped onion, salt, pepper, 1 cup of ketchup, and the Worcestershire sauce to the beaten eggs. Stir this mixture until everything is well blended.

Incorporate the Ground Beef and Oats: Once your flavorful base is ready, add the star of the show – the 2 pounds of ground beef. Along with the beef, add the 1 1/2 cups of old-fashioned oats. Using a wooden spoon or your clean hands (yes, it’s a bit messy but oh-so-effective!), thoroughly mix everything together. You want all the ingredients to blend seamlessly for the best meatloaf experience.

Into the Skillet: Here comes the fun part! Dump your old-fashioned skillet meatloaf mixture into a 10-inch cast iron skillet. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, don’t worry; you can use a regular bread pan and follow the same instructions.

Baking the Old-Fashioned Skillet Meatloaf

The First Bake: Pop your skillet or bread pan into the preheated oven. Let it bake for about one hour. This initial bake sets the foundation for a juicy and flavorful meatloaf.

Creating the Topping: As your meatloaf is nearing perfection in the oven, it’s time to prepare the delicious topping. In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup of ketchup and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Mix them well until you have a sweet and tangy glaze that will add an irresistible finish to your meatloaf.

Topping Time: When the first hour of baking is almost up, take your meatloaf out of the oven. Now, generously spread the prepared topping over the meatloaf, making sure it’s evenly coated.

Final Bake: Put your topped meatloaf back in the oven and let it bake for an additional 25 minutes or until the center reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius). This last bit of baking caramelizes the topping, adding a delightful layer of flavor.

Rest Before You Slice: As tempting as it may be to dive right in, let your meatloaf rest a few minutes to rest. This allows the juices to redistribute within the meatloaf, ensuring that each slice is as succulent as the last.

Serving Up the Best Meatloaf

Now that your cast iron old-fashioned skillet meatloaf has rested, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Slice it up and serve it alongside your favorite sides. Whether it’s creamy mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, or buttery cornbread, this classic dish pairs wonderfully with many options.

Old Fashioned Skillet Meatloaf - This classic meatloaf recipe cooks to perfection in a cast iron skillet. It always makes me think about Sunday dinners at Grandma's house as a child. You're going to love it!

Why Choose a Cast Iron Skillet?

You might be wondering why we recommend using a cast iron skillet for this old-fashioned meatloaf recipe. Well, there are a few excellent reasons:

  1. Even Heating: Cast iron skillets are known for their exceptional heat retention and even distribution. This ensures that your meatloaf cooks uniformly, preventing any hot spots or unevenly cooked portions.
  2. Versatility: Cast iron skillets are incredibly versatile and can go from stovetop to oven without any issues. This means you can sear your meatloaf before baking it, giving it a lovely browned crust.
  3. Enhanced Flavor: Cooking in a cast iron skillet can also enhance the flavor of your dishes. It imparts a subtle, smoky depth that adds character to your meatloaf.
Old Fashioned Skillet Meatloaf - This classic meatloaf recipe cooks to perfection in a cast iron skillet. It always makes me think about Sunday dinners at Grandma's house as a child. You're going to love it!

Tips for the Perfect Old-Fashioned Skillet Meatloaf

Making a fantastic old-fashioned meatloaf is a breeze with our recipe, but a few extra tips can make it even better:

Quality Meat: Start with good quality ground beef. Aim for 80/20 or 85/15 meat-to-fat ratio. This ensures a juicy and flavorful meatloaf.

Don’t Overmix: While it’s essential to combine the ingredients thoroughly, overmixing can lead to a dense meatloaf. Mix until everything is just incorporated.

Customize: Feel free to add your favorite ingredients to the mix. Some folks love adding garlic, bell peppers, or even a bit of hot sauce for an extra kick.

Use a Meat Thermometer: To ensure your meatloaf is perfectly cooked, invest in a meat thermometer. The center should reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius) for safe consumption.

Leftovers are Delicious: Old-fashioned skillet meatloaf makes fantastic leftovers. Slice it up for sandwiches, or reheat it alongside some fresh vegetables for a quick and satisfying meal.

Old Fashioned Skillet Meatloaf - This classic meatloaf recipe cooks to perfection in a cast iron skillet. It always makes me think about Sunday dinners at Grandma's house as a child. You're going to love it!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef?

Absolutely! You can substitute ground turkey or chicken for beef if you prefer a leaner option. Just make sure to choose ground poultry with a similar fat content to maintain flavor and moisture.

2. Can I make this meatloaf recipe in advance?

Certainly! You can prepare the meatloaf mixture and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking. This allows the flavors to meld even more, making it a great make-ahead dish.

3. What sides go well with old-fashioned skillet meatloaf?

Meatloaf on a plate

The possibilities are endless, but classics like mashed potatoes, green beans, or a simple salad are always winners. You can also serve it with macaroni and cheese, cornbread, or roasted vegetables.

4. How long should I let the meatloaf rest before slicing?

Give your meatloaf about 5-10 minutes to rest after taking it out of the oven. This helps retain its juiciness by allowing the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.

5. Can I freeze leftover old-fashioned skillet meatloaf?

Yes, you can freeze leftover meatloaf. Slice it into portions, wrap each slice in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and place them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Label and date it, and it will keep well for up to three months. To reheat, simply thaw and warm in the oven or microwave.

Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Skillet Meatloaf

My kids call this recipe grandma’s meatloaf, because it’s a recipe that my mom always makes!

With this recipe, you’ll have a delicious, home-cooked meal that’s sure to become a family favorite. The combination of flavorful ground beef, oats, and that sweet ketchup and brown sugar topping creates a mouthwatering experience that you’ll want to savor again and again.

More Old-Fashioned Recipes

4.39 from 80 ratings

Old Fashioned Skillet Meatloaf

Author: Crissy Page
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total: 1 hour 40 minutes
This delicious old-fashioned meatloaf is made in a cast iron skillet and tastes like heaven.


  • 2 lbs. Ground Beef 80/20 or 85/15
  • 1 1/2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce


  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl whisk the eggs. Add the onion, salt, pepper, 1 cup ketchup and the Worcestershire sauce to the eggs stir until blended. Add the ground beef and the oats mix well using a wooden spoon or your hands ( I used my hands).
  • Dump mixture into a 10in. cast iron skillet, press to shape. If you don't have a cast iron skillet, you can follow the same instructions for a bread pan.
  • Bake for one hour. Toward the end of baking, mix the ingredients for the topping. Remove from oven, spread on the topping and bake for 25 more minutes or until the center reaches 160 degrees.
  • Let the meatloaf rest about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Nutrition values are estimates, sourced from an online nutrition calculator. This information should never be considered a substitute for medical advice. Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cast iron skillet, dinner, meatloaf

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4.39 from 80 votes (76 ratings without comment)

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  1. M. Jackson says:

    My favorite thing to make in a cast iron skillet is Apple Pie!! Have an awesome recipe and my husband loves it! Have your meatloaf in the oven right now! Can’t wait for it to come out!

    1. Jamie Spencer says:

      This 2 years after your comment LOL so I hope you get this!! Is there a way I find the recipe for this cast iron skillet apple pie you speak of? Sounds so yummy!!!

    2. Can I use quick oats 

  2. I have a 12” skillet. How do I adjust the recipe?

  3. My family loved this recipe! Super easy for a weeknight dinner too! Thanks!! 

  4. Steve Haynes says:

    5 stars
    Fabulous meatloaf recipe! It is a family favorite. I have even made them into meatballs, baked in a cast iron skillet, put the slightly undercooked meatballs in a crock pot and added the topping (which I modified slightly by adding a tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce and 1/2 cup water). The church families loved them!

  5. Hi Crissy,

    Do you think I could use ground turkey instead of beef? Thanks in advance!

    1. Crissy Page says:

      absolutely! of course, I’d go for the 85% lean vs. the 99% fat free, just so you have some more fat and flavor, but either would work depending on your taste preference :)

  6. Rose Arthur says:

    Hi Chrissy. This meatloaf looks yummy. I intend to make it soon! Cornbread is something I have baked in an iron skillet.( Never had an iron skillet meatloaf.) I used to cook with it on the stovetop. However, last year I got a new porcelain stove that has flat burners. (I’m not sure if I can use cast iron skillets on this type of stovetop.)

    1. Leslie Skelton says:

      BE CAREFUL using cast iron on porcelain stovetops. Just make a habit of lifting/placing(NEVER drag!) to avoid scratches…

  7. My family does not like “sweet.” We use Hunts Tomato Sauce instead of Ketchup. Never add sugar to any recipe. Be aware that Hunts Tomato Sauce has its own flavor. And a trace of ‘hot.’

    We make our own Spaghetti Sauce with (1 jar) Ragu Traditional and (1 can) Hunts Tomato Sauce mixed together for a not-sweet sauce that is quick and unique. With browned lean hamburger to taste. This will not work with any other tomato sauce.

  8. Made this tonight! I added green peppers and a little bit of cheddar cheese to it. So yummy! Even the kids approved (which is saying A LOT lol) We will definitely be having this again! 

    1. Hi LeAnna, thank you so much for commenting. I’m glad that your kiddos loved this meatloaf. Green peppers and cheese sound amazing, I’m going to have to try that! :)

  9. will this still turn out good if you don’t have Worchestershire sauce?

  10. 4 stars
    I love this recipe like it is but l als like it with cubes of cheddar cheese. (or any cheese you like)

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