Meatloaf is one of those savory comfort foods that just seems to hit the spot when you want food to make you feel good. We’ve been craving it lately. This post contains affiliate links. 

Close up view of three slices of meatloaf topped in meatloaf sauce next to a pile of mashed potatoes with melted butter on a white plate with fork. In the background is the baking dish full of more meatloaf.

Usually I bake meatloaf in the oven.  In fact, my kids love “meatloaf muffins” where I portion it out into muffin tins and bake it into little cupcake-sized meatloaves.

Making Meatloaf in the Microwave

I do not like heating up the kitchen as the days get hotter, so I’ve switched to making meatloaf in the microwave.  In fact, you can even make my meatloaf muffins in the microwave, too with a silicone baking pan

My secret to making a meatloaf that everyone devours is starting with Ritz crackers. I don’t know what it is, but Ritz crackers do something amazing to meatloaf that bread crumbs or other crackers can’t do.  I think it’s the buttery-ness of them.  

If you look at my recipe for Microwave Meatballs, you’ll see that these recipes are very similar.  They are almost identical. I like a more savory flavor in my meatloaf, so I tend to use more Worcestershire sauce.  Plus, my family loves meatloaf sauce over the top.  

How do you keep Meatloaf moist while it’s cooking?

This comes down to the fat content in the ground beef. The higher the fat content, the better the  moisture. I like to use 85/15 ground beef.  I will also use 80/20 or 90/10, but I find the 93/7 or 96/4 just makes it too dry.  

How do you know when Meatloaf is done?

Ground beef needs to reach an internal temperature of 160 F degrees to be safe and kill bacteria. Unlike steak, which is sterile inside, ground beef is all mixed together so that bacteria can literally be anywhere on it.  This is why the inside needs to reach a safe temperature. 

I live by my meat thermometer.  I always take the temperature of any meat I cook, whether it’s in the oven or the microwave.  This is the type of meat thermometer I use.  It’s easy to use and you just wipe it clean. 

How do you make Microwave Meatloaf Muffins?

Meatloaf muffins are simple to make.  You’re just making “mini” meatloaves using a silicone muffin pan.  The cooking time will be much shorter.  I would check after three minutes to see how done they are.  Most likely, they will need to go another 1 1/2 to 2 minutes before adding the sauce. 

When there is no pink on top, that’s when you should add the meatloaf sauce.  Then, add an additional minute to thicken the sauce on top of the meatloaves before checking the internal temperature. 

Three slices of meatloaf and a scoop of mashed potatoes with melted butter on a white plate.

How do you make Meatloaf Sauce?

When I was growing up meatloaf sauce was ketchup on the table.  I had never even heard of meatloaf sauce until I met my husband.  He loved my meatloaf, but he wanted meatloaf sauce — which I learned was basically equal parts ketchup and brown sugar.  

It sounds pretty much like ketchup since ketchup also contains brown sugar.  But, the magic happens by putting it on top of the meatloaf while it’s still cooking it thickens it and almost crystallizes it on top of the meatloaf.  

I usually make enough to slather over the top of the meatloaf while it’s cooking and then have enough for dipping at the table, too.  

How can you double or triple this Microwave Meatloaf recipe? 

Yes you absolutely can!  To make a 2-lb meatloaf, I double all the ingredients in the recipe.  However, when I make a 3-lb meatloaf, I use the same amount of all the other ingredients (except the ground beef) as I do for a 2-lb meatloaf. 

Make sure the dish you use for cooking in the  microwave is microwave-safe and that it can turn with the turn table easily. If you don’t have a turn table, make sure to rotate the meatloaf every 3 minutes.  

When cooking a larger meatloaf, I start with six minutes of cooking time, and then check from there.  Usually at that point, there is still quite a bit of pink on top, so I cook for an additional 4-5 minutes before checking again.  I do not slather the meatloaf with sauce until the top of the meatloaf is completely brown.  Then, I cook for an additional 3-4 minutes to thicken up that sauce before checking the internal temperature. 

What side dishes go well with Meatloaf?

Meatloaf goes well with so many side dishes like veggies or potatoes or noodles.  I tend to serve steamed broccoli and/or corn (both made in the microwave) along with a fresh salad

Meatloaf is really good as a sandwich – a slice of meatloaf between two thick slices of toasted sourdough bread with some melted cheese is just heavenly.  This is a great way to use up leftover meatloaf — though with this recipe, there is rarely any leftovers. 

Here is a few more ideas: 

 

Microwave Meatloaf
Yield: 4 servings

Microwave Meatloaf

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes

Ingredients

Meatloaf

  • 1 lb ground beef (prefer 85/15)
  • 1 egg
  • 15 Ritz Crackers, crushed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt

Meatloaf Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Crush the Ritz Crackers in a large bowl and pour the milk over them. Let it sit for a couple minutes to soften the crackers.
  3. Add the garlic, seasoning salt, Parmesan cheese, and Worcestshire sauce.
  4. Add the ground beef and the egg.
  5. Mix it all up thoroughly until it's completely combined.
  6. Transfer meat mixture to the baking dish and spread evenly.
  7. Top with a few more splashes of Worcestershire sauce.
  8. Cook for 6 minutes on high.
  9. Remove from microwave to check internal temperature.
  10. Cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  11. While cooking, mix up the ketchup and brown sugar.
  12. When the microwave stops, remove the dish and spread the meatloaf sauce all over the top of the meatloaf.
  13. Cook for an additional 1-3 minutes, until the internal temperature is over 160 F degrees.
  14. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving when ready.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 438Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 150mgSodium: 570mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 34g

Any nutritional information on justmicrowaveit.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate.

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