Italian Meatloaf

One of my family’s favorite dinners, this Italian meatloaf is essentially one big giant meatball. I serve it with a big Italian salad and Parmesan smashed potatoes, but it is also delicious with pasta. The leftovers are even better the next day, sliced and topped with melted cheese in a warm sandwich. To make the recipe quick and easy, I use a food processor to quickly chop the vegetables. I also cheat and use a good-quality store-bought marinara sauce; the recipe only calls for 3/4 cup, so there is no need to make it from scratch.

What you’ll need to make italian meatloaf

ingredients for italian meatloaf

Step-by-Step Instructions

Begin by chopping the vegetables. I use a food processor, which makes it quick and easy. Always rough chop the veggies before putting them in the machine, otherwise they won’t chop evenly.

roughly chopped vegetables in food processorYou want to pulse until the vegetables are finely chopped but not puréed — this makes for a nicely textured meatloaf.

minced vegetables in food processor

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet and cook the vegetables until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.

sautéed vegetables in skillet

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the eggs with the Worcestershire sauce, basil, salt and pepper.

eggs, basil, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper in bowl

Whisk to combine.

whisked egg mixture in bowl

Add the meat, bread crumbs, cheese, and cooked vegetables.

adding the meat, vegetables, bread crumbs and cheese to the egg mixture

Mix with your hands until well combined.

italian meatloaf mixture in bowl

Shape the meat into a 9×5-inch loaf on a greased, foil-lined baking sheet. I prefer to “free-form” it rather than cook it in a loaf pan — that way, the fat cooks out and there’s always enough well-browned crust to go around.

free-form italian meatloaf on baking sheet

Top with marinara sauce, letting a bit drip down the sides.

topping italian meatloaf with marinara sauce

Bake for 65 to 70 minutes, until cooked through, then scrape away any fat that accumulates around the meatloaf.

cooked Italian meatlaof

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