Can You Freeze Meatloaf? (Secrets to Keeping it Moist + Juicy!)

If you follow a few simple to freezing meatloaf properly, frozen meatloaf can stay moist and tasty for months! Get the secrets here!


Meatloaf with Glaze.


If you are new to meatloaf – try my favorite life-changing meatloaf recipe or this world’s easiest Lipton Meatloaf  made with onion soup mix.

Both recipes yield a juicy, savory meatloaf, perfect for freezing.

Can You Freeze Meatloaf? The Quick Answer.

Yes, you can! You can freeze leftover (already-cooked) as well as uncooked, raw meatloaf. This makes meatloaf a super convenient recipe for meal prep, of course.

What is important is how to prepare the loaf for freezing, how long to freeze it for, and what temperature to ensure for freezer storage.

Read on for  the lowdown on how I freeze my meatloaf!

Glazed meatloaf resting on baking sheet.

How To Freeze Cooked Meatloaf

In line with USDA safety guidelines, here is how I freeze my cooked meatloaf plus, how I then thaw it out and reheat it again (safely):

  • Freezing: To freeze cooked meatloaf that has a glaze or sauce (favorite meatloaf glaze here), I first freeze it without wrapping it on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
    • Once solid, I wrap it tightly in a freezer-safe wrap or aluminum foil or place it in a freezer-safe container. This prevents the glaze from transfering to the wrapping.
    • Label the baked meatloaf with the date and store it in the freezer at 0°F (-18°C) or below, according to USDA guidelines.
    • Cooked meatloaf can be frozen indefinitely, but is best used within 4 months for best flavor and freshness.
  • Thawing: When ready to use frozen meatloaf, I thaw it safely overnight in the refrigerator, or put it straight in the oven from frozen.  USDA does not recommend thawing ground beef dishes at room temperature as this can encourage the growth of harmful bacteria.
  • Reheating: It’s important to reheat cooked meatloaf in the oven, microwave, or air fryer until you read at least 165°F (74°C)  as the internal temperature of the meatloaf. This ensures it is thoroughly heated and safe to eat. Take a look through my full article on the best methods for reheating meatloaf.

Tip: Consider freezing leftover meatloaf in slices, frozen first in a single layer, then wrapped once solid. This makes it easier to thaw. Freezing it in individual portions is also a convenient option for a single-serving meatloaf sandwich, wrap or pita.

Another idea is to cook the meatloaf in muffin tins and freeze them in individual portions rather than a whole loaf. This is great for meal prep, you guys!

Raw meatloaf.

How To Freeze Uncooked Meatloaf

To freeze unbaked meatloaf, prepare it (as per the recipe) and shape it into a loaf.

Wrap the unbaked meatloaf tightly in a freezer-safe plastic wrap or aluminum foil. You can also place it in a freezer bag. The most important thing is to pack it well (don’t leave any gaps for air to creep in) and prevent freezer burn in the process.

Label your package with the date and store in the freezer at 0°F (-18°C) or below, as per USDA safety guidelines for ground meat, ground turkey etc.  Unbaked meatloaf typically has a freezer shelf life of up to 3 months.

You can also freeze the meat mixture before shaping it. Then, once you have thawed the mixture, shape, and bake it in its loaf pan.

Meatloaf glaze ingredients in small bowls on the counter.

How To Maintain Flavor When Freezing Meatloaf

Preserving the delicious taste of meatloaf when freezing and reheating is a top priority for me.

Here’s what I recommend:

  1. Seasoning and sauces: Before freezing, add a little extra seasonings or sauces to enhance the flavor of the meatloaf. Try ingredients like Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, barbecue sauce, herbs, garlic, onions, or spices. These deepen the flavor infusion of your meatloaf with a richness that will stand up to the freezing process.
  2. Proper sealing: Ensure the meatloaf is tightly wrapped or sealed to prevent exposure to air, which can lead to flavor loss and freezer burn. Use airtight containers, aluminum foil, or freezer-safe plastic wrap to seal the meatloaf securely.
  3. Flash-freezing method: If you’re making multiple meatloaves or portioning them for later use, consider flash-freezing individual slices or as mini meatloaves. This method helps preserve the freshness and flavor of the meatloaf while allowing you to thaw only what you need.
  4. Reheating carefully: When reheating frozen meatloaf, do it gently to prevent flavor loss. Avoid overheating, which can dry out the meatloaf and diminish its taste. Here’s how to reheat meatloaf to maximize moisture and flavor.

Meatloaf with Brown Gravy Ingredients


Just skimming through? Here are the key takeouts from this post about “can you freeze meatloaf”.

Can you freeze a cooked meatloaf?

Yup! You can freeze a cooked meatloaf. Properly stored, cooked meatloaf can be frozen for up to 3 months, making it meal prep friendly.

Can I wrap cooked meatloaf in foil to freeze?

Yes, wrapping cooked meatloaf in foil is the best method for freezing it. Make sure the meatloaf is tightly wrapped to prevent exposure to air and freezer burn. Alternatively, you can also use plastic wrap or place the meatloaf in an airtight container before storage.

Can you vacuum seal cooked meatloaf?

Yup! You can vacuum seal cooked meatloaf for freezing. Vacuum sealing helps remove as much air from the packaging as possible. This reduces the risk of freezer burn and preserving the meatloaf’s quality. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for vacuum sealing cooked foods. If glazed, freeze the meatloaf on a tray first before wrapping it.

Is it better to freeze meatloaf cooked or uncooked?

It is generally safe to freeze both cooked and uncooked meatloaf. However, some prefer to freeze the uncooked meatloaf mixture for convenience. Uncooked meatloaf can be shaped into portions and frozen individually. This allows for easier meal preparation later. Cooked meatloaf can be frozen as a whole or in slices.

Can you freeze meatloaf mix?

Yes, you can freeze meatloaf mix, which typically consists of ground meat, breadcrumbs, seasonings, and other ingredients. Shape the meatloaf mix into portions or loaves before wrapping them tightly in plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or placing them in airtight containers. Freeze for up to 3 months.

How do I reheat meatloaf without drying it out?

To reheat meatloaf without drying it out, consider using methods such as reheating in the oven at a low temperature (around 275°F or 135°C) and covering it with foil to retain moisture. Here’s my guide to reheating meatloaf in the oven, air fryer or microwave.

How long can uncooked meatloaf stay in the fridge?

Uncooked meatloaf can stay in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days before cooking. Ensure it is stored properly in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap to prevent contamination and maintain freshness.


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