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.


meatloaf in an air fryer

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.

  • Garlic Butter Smashed Potatoes
  • Cornbread Muffins
  • Creamed Spinach
  • Caesar Roasted Broccoli
  • Slow Cooker Creamed Corn



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

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