Move over classic meatloaf; this incredibly tender Italian Meatloaf recipe will soon become your family’s favorite weeknight meal!
This timeless dinner recipe is easy, tested, and the BEST EVER.
Why you will love Italian-Style Meatloaf Recipe
Perfect recipe for a budget – With food prices soaring, many families are looking for “struggle meals” or cheap dinner meals to keep everyone full with the less financial burden.
Meatloaf is one of those meals as ground beef tends to be the less expensive of many protein cuts, and recipes like meatloaf go far in feeding a large family.
Like a delicious meatball – With Italian breadcrumbs, melty cheese, and pasta sauce, this meatloaf recipe will remind you (and your kids) of an Italian meatball!
Essentially that is what meatloaf is, just a different density but still with all the incredibly rich flavor.
- Extra lean ground beef –
- I use extra lean ground beef, so there is less fat. This is because I use a meatloaf pan and it doesn’t carry much room for the build-up of fats on the side.
- pasta sauce
- Italian-style bread crumbs
- shredded mozzarella cheese
- fresh parsley
How to make Italian Meatloaf
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- In a mixing bowl, combine ground beef, 1/3 cup pasta sauce, egg, and dry bread crumbs. Mix well to evenly combine. Sometimes it’s easiest to use your hands to do this.
- Cover a baking sheet with a sheet of wax paper. Place the ground beef mixture onto the wax paper and shape it into a 9″x12″ rectangle, ensuring the short side will fit into your loaf pan. Flatten to about 1″ thickness.
- Spread 1-1/2 cups cheese on top of the ground beef, keeping about 1/2″ from the edges. Sprinkle with one tablespoon of parsley.
- Starting with the short end and using the wax paper, gently roll the rectangle meat mixture into a loaf shape, removing the wax paper and placing it into a loaf pan. Do not press down too hard.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove meat loaf from oven and top with remaining sauce and cheese.
- Return to the oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is hot. Add an additional one tablespoon of fresh parsley for the top. Let meatloaf rest (IMPORTANT) for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Serving Up Leftovers
Serve leftovers as meatloaf sandwiches or cut up and put over spaghetti.
Expert Tips for the Best Meatloaf Ever
- This is my husband’s favorite meatloaf recipe. It’s a little more Italian style with the pasta sauce, but it’s always flavorful and moist and super easy to whip together. If you want to double this recipe, make two loaves. One time my sister used 4lbs in one meatloaf, and it took forever to cook all the way through!
- I also always use a turkey baster to remove the fats from the meatloaf pan (reserve juices in case you want some extra at the end) before adding the remaining sauce and cheese. You’ll also get some fats from the cheese, so do not worry so much about it being lean.
- Do not overmix the meat.
- Serve with Parmesan Cheese, reserved pan drippings, and extra sauce.
- Meatloaf can be cooked at any doneness but is most commonly medium, so you may have some pink (but not raw) meat.
Side Dishes for Meatloaf Recipes
- Meatloaf is commonly served with Mashed Potatoes and a side of veggies like oven roasted broccoli, crinkle-cut carrots, or a garlic-roasted asparagus recipe.
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