It’s hard to get breaded meats to cook evenly in a fryer. Meatloaf is no exception. Skip the oven because we’ve got the perfect meatloaf recipe that creates a beautiful crust on the outside while keeping it super moist on the inside.
How does the Air Fryer work?
One of the biggest concerns about the Air Fryer is how it actually works. That’s a valid question considering you can “fry” chicken, “bake” meatloaf, and even make bread in it.
The simplest way to explain this handy contraption is like this… The top section of the air fryer holds a fan and heating mechanism. When you place food in the air fryer basket, close it, and turn it on, hot air rushes down in a rapid circulation action.
The ability to keep the heat trapped in one specific location for a given amount of time is why cooking time is less and also why you will get juicy and crispy meals. In the case of this air fryer meatloaf, you’ll have a juicy dish that takes a fraction of the time to cook.
Benefits of Making Meatloaf in the Air Fryer
If meatloaf is one of your favorite meals to cook for your family, but you don’t care for the long cooking process, this is where the air fryer knocks the ball out of the park.
Not only does it cut back on cook time, but the air fryer basket has holes in the bottom, meaning your meatloaf won’t cook in the grease.
Also, using this recipe yields two loaves. This will ultimately make it easier to handle, on top of giving your finished loaves crispy edges.
Oh, and clean up is much easier too!
Similar to a classic meatloaf recipe, you’ll need lean ground beef, bread crumbs, onions, egg, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste, and a few other kitchen staples. Think minced garlic (or garlic powder) and brown sugar.
In addition to the traditional ingredients, this recipe also calls for shredded carrots, Dijon mustard, (small curd) cottage cheese, and a homemade sauce.
All of these ingredients come together to give your meatloaf an irresistible flavor that will wow your family.
How to Make Air Fryer Meatloaf
Air fryer meatloaf is super easy, quick, and only takes a few steps.
First, mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl either by hand or with a mixing spoon. Then, split the mixture in half and make each one into a loaf shape. Last but not least, place them in the tray and air fry at 375 for 20 minutes.
Once it’s finished cooking, spoon some of the homemade sauce over and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Remove the loaves from the basket and place them on a serving dish along with the remainder of the sauce.
Should I spray the inside of an air fryer with Pam? Short answer, no. While some people think they are protecting their nonstick surface, using a cooking spray can actually do more damage to it over time.
Should I use foil on the bottom of my air fryer? If you opt in to use foil, only put a layer of foil in the bottom of the air fryer basket where your food sits. Lining it with foil can constrict the airflow and your food won’t cook properly.
Can I use a different kind of meat? Although this recipe calls for ground beef, you can make it ground turkey, ground chicken, or even ground pork.
- You can use half the sauce on the meatloaf and cook in the air fryer, then spoon the remainder after it is finished, before serving.
- Frying fatty foods in an air fryer can cause smoking. To prevent this, you can put a piece of bread under the rack in the bottom of the basket. In case the grease spills, the bread will soak it up.
If you just so happen to have leftover meatloaf, there are a few ways you can store it:
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- You can freeze for up to 3 months.
What to pair with your meatloaf:
There are lots of side dishes to choose from but you’ll want to make sure they pair well with the flavor of your meatloaf.
If you’d like to add a bit of color to your plate, our “Not Your Mama’s” green beans have stood the test of time on this site. We even consider it one of the OGs. It’s a mix of fresh green beans, pecans, feta, and cranberries with a Dijon Mustard Balsamic glaze.
You can’t have meatloaf without mashed potatoes. If you’re a garlic lover, then these roasted garlic mashed potatoes might be more your thing!
If you have the time, I HIGHLY encourage you to make this honey wheat bread – it’s simply divine!!
Don’t forget to let me know if you give this air fryer meatloaf recipe a try! In the meantime, here are a few other air fryer recipes!Print
Air Fryer Meatloaf
- Total Time: 40 min
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- ¼ Cup Minced Onion
- ¼ Cup Shredded Carrot
- 2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic
- 3 Tablespoons Ketchup
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 Large Eggs, beaten
- ¼ Cup Small Curd Cottage cheese
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Lbs. Ground Beef
- ⅓ Cup Seasoned Bread crumbs
For the Sauce:
- ½ Cup Ketchup
- ¼ Cup Packed Brown Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Finely Minced Onion
- Preheat the air fryer at 375° F for 5 minutes.
- Line the air fryer basket with tin foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray (OPTIONAL).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the onion, carrot, garlic, ketchup, mustard, beaten eggs, cottage cheese, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Mix in the hamburger and bread crumbs by hand or with a large spoon until well combined.
- Form 2 large loaf shaped pieces, and place in the air fryer basket.
- Place the basket in the air fryer and set at 375° and set it for 20 minutes.
- Spoon some of the sauce over the meat loaves and place back in the air fryer. Cook for an additional 10 minutes.
- Remove the meat loaves and place on a serving tray. Spoon remaining sauce over the loaves and serve with your favorite side dishes.
For the Sauce:
- Combine the ingredients for the sauce together in a small saucepan.
- Cook over medium low heat for 4 minutes, stirring often.
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 30 min
- Category: Dinner
- Method: air fryer
- Cuisine: American
This came out perfect! My meatloaf is always overcooked on the ends and mushy in the middle. This was the best I’ve had!