Meatloaf has to be one of my favorite childhood meals. Add a vegetable side, some butter noodles (with the meatloaf drippings splashed over the noodles) and it’s an instant flashback to my 1980’s dinners at home. What I didn’t realize in my younger years was how long it actually took to make – well over an hour in the oven. This page may contain affiliate links. Please read our Disclosure Policy for details.
My pre-planning skills for dinner really don’t accommodate long meal preps/cook time so meatloaf rarely makes it into the rotation. I’ve read a handful of meatloaf recipes in the Instant Pot – so I took a few tips from them all, plus our family favorite ingredients and took a chance at making meatloaf for dinner.
- 1.5 lbs of ground beef
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 large eggs
- sprinkle (maybe 1.5 teaspoon?) mccormick hamburger seasoning
I happened to have a few potatoes sitting on the counter. One large baking potato and two smaller red potatoes. I chopped them up and placed them on the bottom of the instant pot. Then I placed the wire trivet atop the potatoes. Sprinkled the potatoes with about one cup water. Then came the meatloaf. I purchased a small springform pan from Aldi a few days prior (whopping $3.99 investment) that paid off instantly. It fit the meatloaf perfectly and had room to spare. Now I only had to pray this all worked.
I place the pan atop the trivet (which was on top of the potatoes). Lid locked in place, vent was sealed & we set the manual timer for 35 minutes on high pressure. Since I only had two kids home tonight, I didn’t plan additional side dishes (grab a piece of fruit, boys) so we would be ready to eat once the timer ran out. We were able to set the table, finish homework, straight-up rooms plus I ran to drop dinner off for the oldest at his after-school activity. (I broke down and brought him some fast-food for dinner – I really had no idea how this would turn out!). It really didn’t feel like it took a long time – we started preparing everything just after 5 pm and the timer went off right at 6:00pm.
After a quick release of the steam & the big reveal – our first impressions were not positive. It just didn’t look pretty. The one thing instant pot lacks is the “toasty brown” appearance of baking food in the oven. Quick temperature check with a meat thermometer showed the meat at over 160 degrees – so it was considered done. We quickly learned it doesn’t need that “toasty brown” look to taste amazing. Even the picky, rarely-eats-anything boy came back for seconds. The flavor was perfect but the meatloaf was not dry. At all. Probably one of the best tasting meatloaf dishes I have had in a long time!
The potatoes were even better, I served them as chopped but could have easily mashed them up with some milk (maybe next time!). I did add a bit of butter & salt/pepper to mine but they really didn’t need it! Overall a quick meal – start to finish was 55 minutes. Not too bad and even MORE of a reason to grab yourself an Instant Pot if you haven’t added this to your kitchen basics yet!
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