Italian Meatloaf

Italian MeatloafIt’s true that I post a lot of Mexican recipes, as well as other things some consider pretty fancy. But it’s only two sides of me, and I have many! (smile) I love all sorts of food – from filet mignon and pomme frittes to a greasy burger and fries. Make no mistake; I love Comfort Food as much as the next person. And for me, meatloaf is a major comfort.

I still remember – and make! – meatloaf sandwiches with the left overs. In fact, I love them so much I always make a really big loaf to make certain I’ll have leftovers. Over the years, I’ve had fun coming up with variations on the theme so that I could enjoy it more often without getting bored with it. This version is for lovers of all things Italian. Think of it as a really, really big meatball.


1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves chopped garlic
2 medium onions, diced
2 red peppers, seeded, and diced small – about the same size as the onions
Italian Meatloaf1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
4 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
3 pounds ground beef
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup (or more) marinara sauce or spaghetti sauce.
Shredded or sliced Mozzarella  cheese (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°.

Italian MeatloafHeat medium saute pan or skillet over medium heat. When hot, add 1/4 cup olive oil. Heat oil until it shimmers.

Add the garlic to the pan and saute 1 minute.

Add the peppers and onions and saute until just soft. Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth.

Add parsley, basil, salt and red pepper flakes to eggs and stir to combine.

In a second small bowl, combine the Parmesan and breadcrumbs.

In a very large bowl, combine the meat, herbs and eggs. Use your hands and make darn sure it’s all well combined.

Add Parmesan/breadcrumb mixture, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil – again using your hands. This time around, though, don’t over mix.

Transfer the meat mixture into an oiled loaf pan.

Top with the marinara sauce, making sure to spread evenly over the top.

Italian MeatloafBake at 350°  on center oven rack for approximately 50 to 60 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160°  in the middle of the meatloaf.

If topping with cheese, do so now, and bake for another 5-10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.

Slice and serve.


If you don’t have a loaf pan, don’t worry. You can line a baking dish or cookie sheet, then hand-form the meat mixture into a loaf. Another neat alternative is to create single portions, either by forming them by hand, using small oven-proof dishes or a muffin pan. Remember to keep an eye on your loaves to make sure you don’t over-bake them.

Check out the top photo for a great idea for adding sliced Mozzarella cheese. Another way to serve is to omit the Mozzarella, then top slices with grated Parmesan cheese as in the last photo. Also, notice the fresh basil leaves, which make a great visual accompaniment, as well as a flavor blast – especially if you like basil.

Try this one out for a fun take on a classic Comfort Food. And make sure to leave me a comment, OK? Until next time,

Play with your food!


Related Recipes:

Horseradish Meatloaf

Plain Meatloaf

Penne with Olive Oil

Did you like this recipe? What recipes would you like to learn? Leave me a comment and tell me your thoughts! (And don’t forget to LIKE this post!) Share it using the tiles below.

Follow me on Twitter | LIKE Manly Kitchen on Facebook


About Lane

Lane Baldwin is a an internationally-acclaimed singer, songwriter, author and food lover. He wasn't trained in France, and he doesn't have his own TV show. He just loves to cook, and loves sharing what he's learned over the years. In his "real life," Lane has toured the world, bringing his special brand of Blues-infused Americana to millions of fans. At home he leads a quiet life filled with good books, good food and good friends.