One of the best comfort foods is one that is delicious but also brings back great memories. It comforts the belly and the soul! This easy Instant Pot meatloaf is just like mama would make but faster and probably even juicer. Let me show you how to make meatloaf in your Instant Pot!
Growing up, I learned to make some of the best meatloaf from my mom. When you have kids, you can’t always afford to go all gourmet for every meal, but meat loaf is super cheap, easy to make, and something everyone will devour.
I always hated how long it would take to make in the oven, though. With this easy Instant Pot Meatloaf recipe, you can have dinner on the table in about 30-minutes.
Why is Instant Pot Meatloaf Different?
Have you ever cooked a nice meatloaf in the oven and bite into it and its so dry that you have to slather it with a ton of ketchup? Not much else ruins a meal as quickly as it does drying it out in the oven.
Ovens are great, but they tend to dry food out. This is because the high heat during baking causes water to seep out of the muscle fibers of your hamburger. The water then moves to the surface and evaporates, leaving your meatloaf dry and tough. Additionally, you must cook meatloaf quite a while in the oven to make sure it is thoroughly cooked. The longer the meat’s in the oven, the drier it becomes.
A pressure cooker works kind of like a slow cooker only faster! It cooks your meat faster while melting the collagen in your meat into gelatin (like a slow cooker).
The major reason Instant Pot Meatloaf is different is that your Instant Pot will not dry out your meat. Thus, your meatloaf comes out tender and juicier than if you cooked it in the oven.
Instant Pot Meatloaf Ingredients
- onion, diced
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- bread crumbs
Hamburger – I use regular ground beef for my meatloaf. You can use ground beef, turkey, pork or even a combination of them. Just be aware that the higher the fat content in your ground meat, the more fat will come out while it cooks. Go for about a 85/15 ground beef ratio.
Onion – I love onion in, well, everything. Feel free to omit onion if you or your kiddos don’t like it.
Spices – I keep my spices pretty mild by using garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Use your favorite spices and make this easy Instant Pot meatloaf your own!
Bread crumbs – I use just plain bread crumbs or sometimes even panko in my meatloaf. You can use whatever bread crumbs you prefer, or try making your own breadcrumbs!
Ketchup – The ketchup in this recipe helps keep the meat juicy and tender throughout cooking. Without it, the meat drys out a bit. Use your favorite ketchup here.
How to Make Meatloaf in the Instant Pot
This is where the easy part comes in…
Step 1 Combine all the ingredients: Combine everything together in a bowl and mix it up.
Step 2 Make a pan for your meatloaf: Obviously, you can’t put the meat right in your inner pot. So, use two pieces of tin foil to make a tin pan for your meatloaf that will fit in your inner pot.
Make a cross shape out of them, one piece of foil going vertical and one going horizontal. Fold over the edges.
Step 3 Shape your meatloaf: Add your meatloaf to the tinfoil pan and shape it the meat.
Step 4 Finish it up: Drizzle your meatloaf with ketchup. Add the trivet to your inner pot. Put 1 cup of water in the bottom. Place meatloaf on trivet. Then, set to manual pressure for 20-minutes.
Step 5 Natural Release: Allow your Instant Pot to naturally release the pressure. This may take about 20-minutes.
How to make meatloaf with ketchup in the oven
How to make meatloaf in the crock pot
Side Ideas to Make with Your Meatloaf
Meatloaf is one of those main dishes that goes perfectly with just about any side. You can pretty much pair it with anything, but here are some of my favorite choices to choose from:
- Mac & Cheese in the Instant Pot
- Baked Potatoes
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Corn on the Cob
- Steamed Carrots
- Southern Green Beans
How to Store Leftovers
You can store meatloaf cooked or raw in your refrigerator. If you don’t plan on eating it until tomorrow, you can mix all the ingredients and keep it in the fridge overnight. In fact, this can improve the flavor of the meatloaf! Be sure to put it in a ziplock bag or a sealed container.
If you made your meatloaf and wish to store it, you want to let it cool completely first. Once it is cool, wrap your meatloaf in plastic wrap and place it in a storage container. The plastic wrap will help prevent it from drying out. You could also place it in a ziplock bag, but be sure to let all the air out.
Can I Freeze Meatloaf?
In my personal opinion, you do not want to freeze cooked meatloaf. Once it is cooked, placing it in the freezer is going to make it really dry when you reheat it. However, you can mix all your ingredients and freeze your meatloaf raw.
To freeze raw meatloaf, you will wrap it very well with plastic wrap then place it in an airtight freezer bag. It can last up to 6-months in the freezer.
Keep in mind, however that in order to freeze raw meatloaf, your hamburger has to have already been thawed or thawed in the refrigerator. If it was frozen then thawed out of the refrigerator, it is not safe to refreeze it.
- 2 pounds hamburger
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup ketchup plus more for topping
- 1 cup water
- Combine all your ingredients in a large box and mix together. Do not over mix.
- Use two pieces of foil to make a "pan" for your meatloaf. Make a cross shape out of them, one piece of foil going vertical and one going horizontal. Fold over the edges.
- Add the meatloaf and mold it to your desired shape. I made a football shaped meatloaf but a circle works too.
- Secure the foil around the shaped meatloaf by pulling it up and pressing the edges.
- Drizzle the top with ketchup.
- Place the trivet in the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Add in your water and close the lid.
- Set the valve to sealing and do manual high pressure for 20 minutes.
- Allow the meatloaf to come to natural pressure for 10 minutes and then release and remaining pressure.
- Carefully remove the meatloaf by either pulling it up by the foil or by the trivet underneath.
- Drain off any excess grease.
- Cut, serve and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 359Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 584mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 21g
Other Ground Beef Recipes to Try
If you took out too much ground beef for your meatloaf recipe, don’t fret. There are plenty of great Instant Pot recipes you can make with that extra meat. Here are some ideas:
- Instant Pot Chili Mac
- Stuffed Pepper Soup in the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Shipwreck Stew
- Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
For other easy recipes, check out our Instant Pot Pantry Meals post!
What do you think; is meatloaf better in the Instant Pot or in the oven? Share your opinion in the comments below!