3-Cheese Italian Meatloaf Recipe
I think just about every cook I know appreciates good meatloaf recipes – for several reasons. One is that meatloaf is an economical dish. They’re usually made with ground beef, which is inexpensive, as far as meat goes. It’s also easy to stretch the ground beef in meatloaf recipes by adding eggs, breadcrumbs, or oatmeal. Of course, you can also add veggies to meatloaf recipes, which stretches the meat even further and adds some vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
I think another reason meatloaf recipes are so popular is because they’re so adaptable. You can use practically any type of ground meat, including beef, chicken, turkey, or pork. Ground venison and other wild game meats are also good in meatloaf. I used to know a guy who made meatloaf from ground rabbit. Sometimes I also like to use spicy pork sausage in meatloaf, especially if I’m making Cajun meatloaf. Of course, many cooks like to use a mixture of different types of meats and poultry in their meatloaf recipes.
My husband loves Italian dishes. In fact, I think he’d eat just about anything with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese on it. Of course, Italian dishes aren’t just about these two ingredients, although they do have prominent roles. You might also find sweet peppers, garlic, onions, oregano, basil, parsley, and diced tomatoes, along with cheeses like Romano, parmesan, Asiago, Caciotta, Provolone, Ziger, Gorgonzola, Mascarpone, ricotta, or Pastorino.
This meatloaf reminds me of my favorite Italian dishes. It’s sort of like spaghetti, without the pasta. It’s like pizza without the crust. It’s like lasagna without the noodles or the ricotta cheese. Okay, I think you get the picture.
For this Italian meatloaf recipe, I combine several of the flavors of our favorite Italian dishes, along with three different cheeses. I often serve this meatloaf with simple Italian dishes like ziti or other types of pasta, along with grilled zucchini, Italian green beans, or eggplant. If we have leftover meatloaf, we use it in sandwiches, soups, or spaghetti sauce.
This meatloaf recipe also goes well with typical side dishes like rice, baked potatoes, and mashed potatoes. Hubby likes to spoon the juice over yellow rice or mashed potatoes. Throw a couple of potatoes in the microwave and toss a quick salad to serve with my meatloaf recipe, and you have an easy meal that covers all the major food groups.
How to Make a Meatloaf
How to make a meatloaf? It seems almost foolproof, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, everything’s not as easy as it appears to be. And yes, I’ve had bad meatloaf before. Some were too dry, some were overcooked, and some were too greasy. Some meatloaf recipes provide very little taste. I’ve even bitten down into a slice of meatloaf and wound up with a mouthful of dry breadcrumbs, which isn’t at all appetizing.
To avoid these pitfalls, learn how to make a meatloaf that’s moist and flavorful by adding the right amount of seasonings, along with eggs. To avoid the dry-breadcrumbs catastrophe, I always soak my breadcrumbs in eggs before mixing them with my ground beef.
How to Make a Meatloaf - Suggestions
- Prep time: 15 min
- Cook time: 50 min
- Ready in: 1 hour 5 min
- Yields: 8 servings
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- 1 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
- Combine breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and eggs in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix together tomato sauce, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, basil, oregano, and salt. Divide sauce in half and add half to breadcrumb mixture. Allow crumbs to soften while you sauté the vegetables.
- In the olive oil, sauté onion and red bell pepper until almost soft. Add garlic and cook for one minute longer. Allow to cool.
- When veggies are cool, add to breadcrumbs.
- Combine ground beef with breadcrumbs. Form into a loaf.
- Make a trench in the top of meatloaf and drizzle with remaining sauce. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Remove meatloaf from oven and drain off fat. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and Asiago cheese on top. Bake for 10 minutes longer, until cheeses are melted.
- Allow meatloaf to stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.