Air Fryer Meatloaf

updated Mar 4, 2022
Air Fryer Meatloaf Recipe

This classic savory mix of onion, garlic, Worcestershire, and beef is air fried until juicy in the middle with delightfully crispy crust.

Serves4

Prep10 minutes

Cook23 minutes to 24 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
meatloaf on a plate with mashed potatoes and green beans
Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

Meatloaf is one of the few meals I can make at a moment’s notice that will please every eater at my table. Even if I never make the same recipe twice, the basic ingredients are items I always keep on hand. I’ve used the skillet and slow cooker to make meatloaf with great success, but I can’t stop tinkering. In this recipe for air fryer meatloaf, onions and Worcestershire sauce combine with the savory ground beef, and a mixture of ketchup and spicy brown mustard gets slathered on top. The result: a juicy interior, a sticky glaze, and crispy edges, all thanks to the fast, hot cooking of the air fryer.

How Do I Cook Meatloaf Without Drying It Out?

  1. Avoid extra-lean ground beef. The fat in ground beef gives the meatloaf its savory flavor with every juicy bite. Avoid extra-lean ground beef (less than 10% fat), which can cook up tough and dry.
  2. Mix the meat in last. Combine the seasonings, aromatics, egg, and breadcrumbs in a large bowl and mix well. Add the ground beef, then use your fingertips to gently combine.
  3. Split the loaf in two. When air frying meatloaf, I’ve found that two smaller loaves cook more evenly (and in less time!) than a single larger loaf.
  4. Take its temperature. Instead of relying on the timer, use an instant-read thermometer to determine when the meatloaves are done. Cook until the center reaches 165°F.

Do You Cook Meatloaf Covered or Uncovered?

You should air fry meatloaf uncovered, but because the appliance’s heating element hovers above the basket, keep in mind that the top of the loaf will cook more quickly than the underside. The solution? Flip the loaves partway through cooking to make sure the inside is cooked and the top doesn’t dry out.

How Long Do You Cook Meatloaf in The Air Fryer?

Traditional oven-baked meatloaf takes about an hour. Thanks to the circulating hot air, the air fryer will cut the cooking time to about 25 minutes.

Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

What Should You Serve with Air Fryer Meatloaf?

Hearty sides like mashed potatoes and green beans are classic accompaniments to meatloaf, but here are some other vegetable sides that pair well too.

Air Fryer Meatloaf Recipe

This classic savory mix of onion, garlic, Worcestershire, and beef is air fried until juicy in the middle with delightfully crispy crust.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 23 minutes to 24 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the meatloaf:

  • 1

    medium yellow onion

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 10 sprigs

    fresh parsley

  • 1

    large egg

  • 2 tablespoons

    Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup

    fine dry breadcrumbs

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    ground beef

For the glaze:

  • 1/4 cup

    ketchup

  • 2 tablespoons

    spicy brown mustard

Instructions

  1. Cut 1 medium yellow onion into 1-inch pieces. Place in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and add 2 garlic cloves and the leaves from 10 fresh parsley sprigs. Pulse until finely chopped, 5 to 6 (1-second) pulses. (Alternatively, use the large holes on a box grater to grate the onion and a chef’s knife to finely chop the garlic and parsley.) Transfer to a large bowl.

  2. Add 1 large egg, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to the bowl, and stir to combine. Add 1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs and stir to combine. Add 1 1/2 pounds ground beef and mix with your hands until combined. Shape the mixture into 2 (3-inch wide, 6-inch long, and 1 1/2-inch high) loaves.

  3. Heat an air fryer to 340°F to 350°F. Place the meatloaves in the air fryer side-by-side and air fry for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, make the glaze. Place 1/4 cup ketchup and 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard in a small bowl, and stir to combine.

  4. Flip the meatloaves over and air fry until the meatloaf darkens around the edges, about 8 minutes. Brush with half of the glaze. Air fry until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers at least 165°F and the glaze darkens slightly, 3 to 4 minutes more. Spoon the remaining glaze over the top of the meatloaves, slice, and serve.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.