Grilled Meat Loaf Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 10 min. Grill: 50 min. + standing
Skip the oven and head to the grill! This grilled meat loaf recipe is a spin on everyone's favorite nostalgic comfort food. Brush ketchup over the meat loaf for an extra bit of tangy sweetness.

Updated: Nov. 21, 2023

Grilled Meat Loaf served in plate with corn and sauceTMB Studio
We all know and love the classic oven-baked, ketchup-smothered meat loaf, but it’s time to try grilled meat loaf. This warm and hearty recipe comes together in just a few quick steps, and it’s perfect for a summertime cookout or when a chill hits the air and you’re craving comfort food.

Ingredients for Grilled Meat Loaf

  • Ketchup: Ketchup is the not-so-secret ingredient in meat loaf, assuring a sweet and moist inside with a caramelized outside. Use your favorite ketchup brand.
  • Quick-cooking oats: Make sure to use quick-cooking or rolled oats! If not, they’ll take much longer to cook and won’t work with this meat loaf recipe.
  • Worcestershire sauce: If you’ve ever cooked with Worcestershire sauce, you know it’s got that special something that gives the dish just the right kick.
  • Ground beef: We use lean ground beef in this recipe, but your meat loaf will also turn out well if you use meat with a higher fat content.

Directions

Step 1: Combine ingredients and shape the meat loaf

In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the beef. Then, crumble the ground beef into the bowl, and mix well to incorporate the beef into the ketchup mixture.
Divide the mixture into two pieces, and shape each piece into a loaf.
Editor’s Tip: You can shape the meat loaves by hand, or use a loaf pan, lining it with plastic wrap first so the meat loaf can be removed from the pan easily.

Step 2: Grill the meat loaf

Heat the grill, keeping in mind you want to grill the meat loaf over indirect heat. Put a piece of heavy-duty foil over the grill (do not wrap the meat loaves in foil).
Put the loaves on the foil, and close the grill cover. Cook over indirect medium heat for 50 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink and a thermometer reads 160°F. For even more flavor, brush the tops of the loaves with additional ketchup.
Let the meat loaves stand for 10 minutes before slicing into them.

Grilled Meat Loaf Variations

  • Add a glaze: Take your grilled meat loaf the extra mile with a honey barbecue glaze.
  • Make stuffed meat loaf: Try an ooey gooey meat loaf by stuffing the loaf with shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese. Or, stuff it with sauteed mushrooms. Here are more stuffed meat loaf ideas for a delicious twist on the classic recipe.
  • Use turkey instead: Looking for something lighter? Substitute ground turkey in place of the ground beef.

How to Freeze Meat Loaf

Meat loaf is a great dish to freeze, and you can freeze it before or after cooking.
To freeze meat loaf before it’s cooked, shape the loaf, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to three months. Let it thaw completely before cooking it.
To freeze meat loaf after it’s cooked, let the meat loaf cool completely, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag. It will last up to six months in the freezer.

Grilled Meat Loaf Tips

Grilled Meat Loaf sliced and servedTMB Studio

What else can you add to grilled meat loaf?

Meat loaf is a great blank slate for experimenting with seasonings or toppings. Try a sage-rubbed meat loaf, or add Italian spices and fresh mozzarella. Make it spicy with chili flakes or black pepper, or top it with strips of bacon, like in our bacon-topped meat loaf recipe.

Can you bake this meat loaf instead?

You can definitely bake this meat loaf instead of grilling it. Follow the instructions in our classic meat loaf recipe.

What do you serve with grilled meat loaf?

Any type of vegetable or potato pairs well with meat loaf. We love to serve grilled meat loaf with mashed potatoes, corn or green beans. A macaroni salad is another delicious option.

Grilled Meat Loaf

Prep Time 10 min
Cook Time 50 min
Yield 2 loaves (4 servings each).

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the first 9 ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 2 loaves.
  2. Prepare grill for indirect heat. Grill loaves on a piece of heavy-duty foil (do not seal foil around loaves), covered, over indirect medium heat for 50 minutes or until meat is no longer pink and a thermometer reads 160°. If desired, brush tops with additional ketchup. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 223 calories, 10g fat (4g saturated fat), 94mg cholesterol, 266mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 1g fiber), 23g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1/2 starch.

Grilled Meat Loaf is the perfect summertime twist on a comforting family favorite. Shape the meat into loaves and bake them on a grill. Ketchup brushed over the meat lends a little sweetness to each slice. —Catherine Carpenter, Barnesville, Ohio