Italian Meatloaf (Revisited)

Wow! Take meatloaf to a whole new level, by adding Italian flavors to traditional home style meatloaf, by making this tender and delicious Italian Meatloaf. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Tired of boring dried up meatloaf? I have two words that will change everything you ever thought about meatloaf: Italian Meatloaf

If you love Italian meatballs, then you will love this Italian Meatloaf, because this meatloaf recipe was inspired by meatballsI first made this Italian Meatloaf almost 4 years ago. This was back when His Royal Highness could see a lot better than he can now. It smelled so good to him he actually grabbed a chair at the table, sat down and had a whiff or two maybe even three. That kitty liked what he smelled, but didn’t like the tomato sauce and soon left the table, while David and I continued to devour our plates of Italian Meatloaf.

Wow! Take meatloaf to a whole new level, by adding Italian flavors to traditional home style meatloaf, by making this tender and delicious Italian Meatloaf. | TheMountainKitchen.com

I have wanted to revisit this recipe for quite some time. I finally got the opportunity a few weeks ago. I decided to take away the ricotta cheese that was in the original recipe. As good as homemade ricotta is, the consistency of the original Italian Meatloaf recipe was a little too soupy and it was hard to get the meatloaf to hold shape due to the excess moisture of the ricotta cheese.

This time I also wanted to create hidden cheese pockets within the meatloaf, by adding balls of mozzarella cheese throughout the loaf. To do this I rolled the meatloaf mixture out flat, topped with cheese and rolled the meat around itself, creating hidden pockets of cheese throughout the meatloaf. 

Wow! Take meatloaf to a whole new level, by adding Italian flavors to traditional home style meatloaf, by making this tender and delicious Italian Meatloaf. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Take meatloaf to a whole new level, by adding Italian flavors to traditional home style meatloaf. This tender and delicious Italian Meatloaf is made with fresh ground veal, pork and beef mixed with shallots and Italian herbs, then stuffed with mozzarella cheese, topped with a parmesan crust and served smothered in a tasty simple basic tomato sauce on a bed of pasta.

Here’s how I made it:

Wow! Take meatloaf to a whole new level, by adding Italian flavors to traditional home style meatloaf, by making this tender and delicious Italian Meatloaf. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Italian Meatloaf | Servings: 6 | Time: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ – 2 pounds ground meat – I used 1 pound of ground chuck and 1 pound meatloaf mixture of Veal/Pork/Beef, but all ground chuck is fine to use.
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 slices of loaf bread
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup basil leaves, chopped
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, divided + extra for topping
  • ¼ cup cubed + ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese + extra for topping
  • 4 cups of basic tomato sauce or favorite jarred sauce
  • ½ cooked pasta, optional
  • fresh basil for garnish, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Before chopping the herbs, garlic and shallots, put the bread slices into a bowl.  Pour the milk over the slices of bread; turning the bread to coat with milk. Allow the bread to sit and absorb the milk.
Use whatever bread you have already in your pantry, even the end pieces will do

Wow! Take meatloaf to a whole new level, by adding Italian flavors to traditional home style meatloaf, by making this tender and delicious Italian Meatloaf. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Once the herbs are chopped squeeze out excess milk from the slices of bread with your hand like you would a wash rag.

Wow! Take meatloaf to a whole new level, by adding Italian flavors to traditional home style meatloaf, by making this tender and delicious Italian Meatloaf. | TheMountainKitchen.com

In a very large bowl, add the first 9 ingredients + ¼ cup of the parmesan cheese, reserving ¼ cup of the parmesan. Mix well, ensuring that the mixture is thoroughly mixed.

I always use my hands. They are your best kitchen tool for this task.

Wow! Take meatloaf to a whole new level, by adding Italian flavors to traditional home style meatloaf, by making this tender and delicious Italian Meatloaf. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Once the meatloaf mixture is mixed evenly, dump the mixture out onto a clean work surface. Using your hands or a rolling-pin, press the meatloaf mixture into a ½–inch thick square shape on the clean work surface. 

Tip: I found that freezer paper is my new best friend for keeping my counter tops clean while doing things like this! You could also use parchment or wax paper.

Wow! Take meatloaf to a whole new level, by adding Italian flavors to traditional home style meatloaf, by making this tender and delicious Italian Meatloaf. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Sprinkle the meatloaf mixture with the remaining parmesan cheese, the cubed and shredded mozzarella cheese.

Wow! Take meatloaf to a whole new level, by adding Italian flavors to traditional home style meatloaf, by making this tender and delicious Italian Meatloaf. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Begin rolling the flattened meatloaf over, tucking the cheese inside, to form a loaf. Placing a hand on each end, gently squeeze and shape the meatloaf mixture to shorten the loaf as needed.

This is where the freezer paper came in handy, to help me roll the meatloaf mixture over.

Wow! Take meatloaf to a whole new level, by adding Italian flavors to traditional home style meatloaf, by making this tender and delicious Italian Meatloaf. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Place the meatloaf on a baking rack over a foil lined sheet pain or put the loaf into a loaf pan, pressing as needed to fit the pan. Top with extra parmesan and mozzarella, if desired.

I used my brand new sheet pan. I adore that thing and highly recommend getting one!!

Wow! Take meatloaf to a whole new level, by adding Italian flavors to traditional home style meatloaf, by making this tender and delicious Italian Meatloaf. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Place in the preheated oven for 1 to 1.5 hours or until juices run clear. 

Wow! Take meatloaf to a whole new level, by adding Italian flavors to traditional home style meatloaf, by making this tender and delicious Italian Meatloaf. | TheMountainKitchen.com

If you are making the basic tomato sauce, begin as soon as you get the meatloaf in the oven and allow to simmer while the meatloaf cooks. Boil the pasta and warm jarred sauce during the final minutes the meatloaf is in the oven, if desired.

Wow! Take meatloaf to a whole new level, by adding Italian flavors to traditional home style meatloaf, by making this tender and delicious Italian Meatloaf. | TheMountainKitchen.com

During baking, the cheeses start to brown and crisp up on the outside and the cheese may also start to ooze out. That meatloaf becomes pretty luscious!

Wow! Take meatloaf to a whole new level, by adding Italian flavors to traditional home style meatloaf, by making this tender and delicious Italian Meatloaf. | TheMountainKitchen.com

Remove the meatloaf and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Slice and place over a bed of pasta and smothered in tomato sauce.

Wow! Take meatloaf to a whole new level, by adding Italian flavors to traditional home style meatloaf, by making this tender and delicious Italian Meatloaf. | TheMountainKitchen.com

David and I always plan to have leftovers to take to work for lunch the next day. Often times people don’t like leftovers unless they are reinvented in some way. 

Wow! Take meatloaf to a whole new level, by adding Italian flavors to traditional home style meatloaf, by making this tender and delicious Italian Meatloaf. | TheMountainKitchen.com

If by chance you do not devour this meatloaf in one sitting and you have leftovers, nix the pasta and serve the meatloaf topped with sauce on a bun. It’s amazingly delicious! 

Enjoy this Italian Meatloaf!

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Wow! Take meatloaf to a whole new level, by adding Italian flavors to traditional home style meatloaf, by making this tender and delicious Italian Meatloaf. | TheMountainKitchen.com
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Italian Meatloaf

Wow! Take meatloaf to a whole new level, by adding Italian flavors to traditional home style meatloaf, by making this tender and delicious Italian Meatloaf.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6
Author Debbie Spivey

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ - 2 pounds ground meat - I used 1 pound of ground chuck and 1 pound meatloaf mixture of Veal/Pork/Beef but all ground chuck is fine to use.
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 3 slices of loaf bread
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup basil leaves chopped
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley chopped
  • salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated, divided + extra for topping
  • ¼ cup cubed + ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese + extra for topping
  • 4 cups of basic tomato sauce or favorite jarred sauce
  • ½ cooked pasta optional
  • fresh basil for garnish optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Before chopping the herbs, garlic and shallots, put the bread slices into a bowl. Pour the milk over the slices of bread; turning the bread to coat with milk. Allow the bread to sit and absorb the milk.
  3. Once the herbs are chopped squeeze out excess milk from the slices of bread.
  4. In a very large bowl, add the first 9 ingredients + ¼ cup of the parmesan cheese, reserving ¼ cup of the parmesan. Mix well, ensuring that the mixture is thoroughly mixed.
  5. Once the meatloaf mixture is mixed evenly, dump the mixture out onto a clean work surface. Using your hands or a rolling pin, press the meatloaf mixture into a ½–inch thick square shape on the clean work surface.
  6. Sprinkle the meatloaf mixture with the remaining parmesan cheese, the cubed and shredded mozzarella cheese.
  7. Begin rolling the flattened meatloaf over, tucking the cheese inside, to form a loaf. Placing a hand on each end, gently squeeze and shape the meatloaf mixture to shorten the loaf as needed.
  8. Place the meatloaf on a baking rack over a foil lined sheet pain or put the loaf into a loaf pan. Top with extra parmesan and mozzarella, if desired.
  9. Place in the preheated oven for 1 to 1.5 hours or until juices run clear.
  10. If you are making the basic tomato sauce, begin as soon as you get the meatloaf in the oven and allow to simmer while the meatloaf cooks. Boil the pasta and warm jarred sauce during the final minutes the meatloaf is in the oven, if desired.
  11. During baking, the cheeses start to brown and crisp up on the outside and the cheese may also start to ooze out. That meatloaf becomes pretty luscious!
  12. Remove the meatloaf and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  13. Slice and place over a bed of pasta and smothered in tomato sauce.

 

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15 thoughts on “Italian Meatloaf (Revisited)

  1. Whose meatloaf are you calling dry!!?!? Lol. 😀 This looks amazing, especially with all of that cheese and fresh basil! YUMMMMM! Happy almost Friday!

  2. Pingback: Italian Meatloaf (Revisited) | The Mountain Kitchen | My Meals are on Wheels

  3. I love meatloaf and could use a good Italian version. I heard you can add a couple tbsp. of dried breadcrumbs to the ricotta and of course you can drain it over a sieve overnight – I do both!

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