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Two small meat loaves on a wooden cutting board with red sauce on top
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4.84 from 6 votes

Best Air Fryer Meatloaf with Tangy Sauce | Makes Two

This easy recipe for Best AirFryer Meatloaf is topped with a tangy sauce and makes two small free-formloaves with secret ingredient to prevent them from being dry. It is easily halved if you just need one. If you don't have an air fryer, no worries. I giveyou oven directions, too! Bonus-it's gluten free!
Prep Time9 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Resting time5 mins
Total Time34 mins
Servings: 6
Author: Kathleen Phillips | GritsAndGouda.com
Cost: 10



  • 1 large egg
  • 2 pounds ground chuck or a combination of ground beef and venison or ground sirloin
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt or garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Tangy Sauce

  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce or liquid aminos Liquid aminos are gluten-free


  • To save washing another bowl, start by beating the egg in a large bowl with a fork.
  • Breakup the ground meat in the bowl. There's no getting around using your hands here. I usually use a pair of nylon/rubber gloves simply for easily clean up.Gloves may be a luxury these day, though.
  • Add quick-cooking oats, salt and pepper.
  • Preheat air fryer 3 minutes at 375 degrees.
  • With your hands, gently mix in the egg, oats, salt and pepper with the ground meat. Overworking the meat will make it tough. Under mixing may leave patches of oats or egg not evenly incorporated.
  • Shape the mixture into 2 free-form loaves, roughly 3 x 5.5 inches. The size will depend on what will fit into your air fryer. (For conventional oven method, see size in recipe notes) Carefully place the loaves side by side in the preheated air fryer basket or tray.
    If your air fryer rack is not nonstick, then spray it with an oil spray, first.
  • Air fry at 375 degrees for about 19 minutes or until meatloaves are done in the middle-firm when pressed in the middle or temperature on an instant read thermometer reads 155°.
     It's a good idea to check at 17 minutes to make sure they aren't getting too brown. All air fryers are not alike.

Prepare Tangy Sauce and Spread on Meatloaf

  • Stir or whisk together ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce.
  • When meat loaves are 155° or no pink shows in the center, evenly spread the Tangy Sauce over both meat loaves. Cook an additional 1 minute on Air Fry to set the sauce.
  • Remove the meatloaves with silicone coated tongs if the air fryer basket is coated with a nonstick surface. Let the meat loaf stand on a cutting board or plate 5 minutes before slicing.


  • Tip: If not using gloves, to clean your hands, start with wiping your hands off with a paper towel, then move to the sink and use dish soap instead of hand soap.
Conventional Oven Method
  • Shape the same meat mixture into one free-form loaf or keep them shaped in two smaller loaves.
  • Place the free-form loaf/loaves on a cooling rack in a rimmed baking sheet. (I like to line the pan with foil for easy cleanup.)
  • Bake the one larger loaf uncovered in the middle rack of the oven for 40 minutes on 375F. Spread the Tangy Sauce over the loaf and bake an additional 5 minutes or until center of loaf shows no pink.
  • Bake the two smaller loaves in the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes on 375F. Spread the Tangy Sauce over the 2 loaves and bake an additional 5 minutes or until the center of loaves show no pink.