Easy Meatloaf Glaze (Just 3-Ingredients!)

This sticky Meatloaf Glaze recipe is so tasty and needs only 3 simple ingredients. Such a quick and easy way to make your meatloaf more moist and flavorful!

Meatloaf with Glaze on a plate with mashed potatoes.

This Meatloaf glaze is a sauce made from just 3 basic ingredients, but the combination of sweet, savory and umami flavors makes a super tasty sauce for your favorite meatloaf recipe.

Brush the glaze on top of a meatloaf during the final stages of baking to add flavor and to give the meatloaf a glossy, appetizing finish. It also helps prevent the outer part of the meatloaf from drying out, ensuring a moist, wonderful meatloaf every time.

The glaze often caramelizes during the baking process, adding browned flavor and providing a sweet, tangy counterpoint to the savory loaves. Total comfort food.

Meatloaf glaze ingredients in small bowls on the counter.

Here’s What You Need for this Meatloaf Glaze Recipe

Elevate your meatloaf game with this simple yet delectable glaze. Below are the sections detailing the ingredients you’ll need, some variations for personalizing your glaze, and the tools that will make this recipe a breeze.

Meatloaf Glaze Ingredients

Making this glaze is as simple as gathering a few pantry staples. Let’s go through each ingredient’s role:

  • Ketchup: The base of the glaze, adding a tomato-y sweetness.
  • Brown Sugar: Enhances the sweetness while giving the glaze a rich, caramelized flavor.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Adds complexity and depth, offering a bit of umami and tanginess to balance out the sweetness. It’s salty enough that you don’t need to add additional salt.
Worcestershire sauce.

Variations and Substitutions

Feeling creative or facing some pantry limitations? Here are some ways to switch it up:

  • Honey or Maple Syrup: For a different type of sweetness, you can replace the brown sugar.
  • Soy Sauce: If you’re out of Worcestershire, a bit of soy sauce can bring in some umami flavors.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: To add a bit more tanginess, a splash of apple cider vinegar works well.
  • Spices: Feel free to add a bit of garlic powder, or pinch of cayenne pepper for some heat (see: What’s the difference between cayenne and chili powder?).
  • Mustard: A teaspoon of yellow or dijon mustard is nice if you like the flavor.
Whisking meatloaf glaze in a small bowl.

Grab These Tools

Cooking up this glaze is easy, especially if you have the right tools on hand:

  • Small Mixing Bowl: To mix all the ingredients together.
  • Whisk or Fork: For blending the ingredients into a smooth consistency.
  • Pastry Brush: For applying the glaze evenly over your meatloaf.
  • Meat Thermometer: To ensure the meatloaf reaches the safe internal temperature of 165ºF.
  • Parchment Paper: Whenever you’re using a sticky glaze, parchment paper (or aluminum foil with cooking spray) helps to make cleanup a breeze.

And there you have it—everything you need to make a glaze that will make your meatloaf unforgettable!

Glazed meatloaf on a baking sheet, sliced.

How to Make the Best Meatloaf Glaze: An Easy Guide

Taking your meatloaf from good to great is as simple as adding this flavorful glaze. Here’s a straightforward guide to help you craft the perfect topper for your next meatloaf dish.

Step 1: Mix Ingredients

Begin by combining the ketchup, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce in a small mixing bowl. Whisk them together until you achieve a smooth consistency.

Adding the glaze to the meatloaf.

Step 2: Apply to Meatloaf

When your meatloaf has been baking for about 25 minutes, pull the baking sheet (or loaf pan) out of the oven and use a pastry brush to evenly spread your glaze over the top. Make sure to coat it generously for maximum flavor.

Step 3: Finish Baking

Put the glazed meatloaf back into the oven and continue baking for another 20 to 35 minutes, depending on the thickness of your meatloaf and your oven’s particularities. You’ll know it’s done with a meat thermometer (here’s my Meatloaf Temp Guide for best cooking and doneness temperatures).

Rest and Serve

Before slicing, let your meatloaf rest for at least 10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute, ensuring a moist and flavorful experience.

And there you have it—a simple guide to making a meatloaf glaze that will impress anyone lucky enough to get a slice!

Glazed meatloaf resting on baking sheet.

Make Ahead and Storage

When it comes to convenience, this meatloaf glaze recipe has you covered. Here’s what you need to know about making it ahead and storing it for later:

Make Ahead: You can prepare this glaze up to 3 days in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Freezing: Although freezing isn’t recommended for the glaze alone, you can freeze a fully glazed meatloaf. Just make sure it’s wrapped tightly to prevent freezer burn.

Refrigerating Leftovers: If you end up with leftover glaze, keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. Use it as a topping for other dishes, like grilled chicken or burgers.

Meatloaf Storage: After cooking and glazing your meatloaf, store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.

Slices of glazed meatloaf on a plate.

How to Serve This Meatloaf Glaze Recipe

This versatile glaze pairs beautifully with a variety of meatloaf recipes, elevating a classic loaf to a whole new level of deliciousness. It works with ground turkey, ground beef or ground pork. Here are a couple of my go-to recipes

  • The Meatloaf Recipe That’ll Turn You Into a Meatloaf Lover: This is one of the top recipes on the site, for good reason! It’s a classic meatloaf recipe, but is so moist and so packed with flavor. It uses a classic mixture of ground beef and pork, eggs, bread crumbs and milk in perfect proportion and with secret tricks to add moisture. This glaze adds a tangy sweetness that makes each bite even better.
  • Lipton Meatloaf Recipe: A quick and easy version that’s still super tasty (and I was a skeptic before I tried it!). Known for its rich, savory onion flavor, the Lipton Meatloaf gets an extra kick of sweetness and tanginess with this glaze, making it utterly irresistible.

Feel free to experiment and find your perfect match, as this glaze is adaptable and can be the cherry on top for many different styles of meatloaf. Garnish with a bit of fresh parsley and serve your meatloaf with a side of the best fluffy mashed potatoes and green beans.

For more ideas, don’t miss my cozy collection of best meatloaf side dishes and 35+ healthy sides for meatloaf.

Leftovers taste delicious in meatloaf sandwiches!

Mashed potatoes in a bowl with butter.

FAQ: All Your Meatloaf Glaze Questions Answered

Just skimming through? Here are some quick answers to the commonly-asked questions.

Can I make the glaze ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the glaze ahead of time. Simply mix the ingredients and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

How long does leftover glaze last?

Leftover glaze can last for up to one week in the fridge. Just be sure it wasn’t contaminated with a brush or spoon that touched undercooked or raw meat. Store it in an airtight container to maintain its freshness.

Can I freeze the glaze?

Freezing the glaze alone is not recommended, but you can freeze a fully glazed meatloaf. Freeze the meatloaf unwrapped first to firm up the glaze, then wrap it tightly to avoid freezer burn.

What can I do with leftover glaze?

With leftover glaze, you should discard it. You were brushing it on a meatloaf that was not fully cooked and therefore can carry bacteria.

Is this glaze suitable for other meats?

Absolutely, this glaze is versatile and can be used on other meats like chicken or pork.

Can I use a sugar substitute for brown sugar?

Yes, you can use a sugar alternative like maple syrup or honey. However, keep in mind that this might slightly alter the taste and texture of the glaze.

What is meatloaf glaze made of?

Meatloaf glaze is usually made of ketchup, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. The ketchup provides the base, the brown sugar adds sweetness, and the Worcestershire sauce gives it a tangy kick.

What can I put on top of meatloaf instead of ketchup?

You can use barbecue sauce, salsa, or a mix of mustard and brown sugar as alternatives to ketchup for your meatloaf glaze.

Should I cover meatloaf in the oven?

Covering the meatloaf is optional. If you prefer a softer crust, you can loosely cover it with foil during part of the baking time. Leaving it uncovered allows the edges to crisp up.

What can be used instead of ketchup?

Barbecue sauce, tomato sauce with a dash of vinegar, or even a mixture of mustard and honey can be used as ketchup substitutes.

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Meatloaf with Glaze on a plate with mashed potatoes.

Easy Meatloaf Glaze Recipe (Just 3-Ingredients!)

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Servings 8
Keyword Meatloaf Glaze, Meatloaf Glaze Recipe, Meatloaf Sauce


  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


Mix Ingredients

  • In a small bowl, mix together the ketchup, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce.

Apply to Meatloaf

  • About 25 minutes into baking your meatloaf, remove it from the oven and spread the glaze evenly and thickly over the top.

Finish Baking

  • Return the meatloaf to the oven and continue baking until it’s fully cooked (20-35 minutes more, depending on the recipe, meatloaf thickness and your oven). Meatloaf should reach 165ºF internal temperature.
  • Rest the meatloaf for 10 minutes before slicing.



If you like a little bit of heat, add 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper.
For a smokier flavor, swap barbecue sauce for the ketchup.
Add a tablespoon of yellow mustard for a tangier taste.


Calories: 21kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 0.1gFat: 0.01gSaturated Fat: 0.001gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.003gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.001gSodium: 97mgPotassium: 42mgFiber: 0.02gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 41IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 0.2mg
Keyword Meatloaf Glaze, Meatloaf Glaze Recipe, Meatloaf Sauce

Last Updated on February 23, 2024 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD

5 1 vote
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5 days ago

5 stars
My whole fam LOVED this!

5 days ago

5 stars
This glaze recipe seems versatile. Do you think it would work well on other meat like chicken?

5 days ago

5 stars
This glaze caramelized beautifully in the oven. Can’t wait to make it again!

5 days ago

5 stars
I love any recipe with only 3 ingredients. It was perfect.

5 days ago

5 stars
This glaze was perfect on meatloaf.

2 months ago

5 stars
Super easy and tasty. I turned on the broiler because I really love the meatloaf glaze to be caramelized.

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