Italian Meatloaf

An Italian meatloaf
Bill Huber/flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
  • 95 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 75 mins
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Ratings (6)

Nothing hits the spot on a cold winter's night better than meatloaf, and a cold meatloaf sandwich on a warm spring day has its place as well. This is an Italian meatloaf version of the famed classic. It uses both ground beef and ground pork flavored with sweet onion, garlic, sweet bell peppers, herbs and Parmesan cheese.

What You'll Need

  • 1 pound ground chuck beef 
  • 1 pound ground pork 
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup minced sweet onion 
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper (sweet capsicum)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces (about 1/4 cup) tomato paste

How to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Place the ground beef and the pork in a large bowl. Top with the eggs, breadcrumbs, sweet onions, Parmesan cheese, bell peppers, garlic, parsley, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. 
  3. Use a large carving fork to mix the meatloaf, folding the ingredients together. Pull the fork tines through the mixture as you turn the bowl. Take care not to overmix, or the meatloaf will become tough.
  1. Scrape the mixture into a loaf pan and smooth the top. Don't pack it too tightly. '
  2. Spread the tomato paste over the top of the meatloaf.
  3. Place the loaf pan on a baking tray to catch any drips that may bubble over. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let meatloaf rest for 15 minutes before cutting to serve.

Tips and Variations:

  • You can add vegetables for a variation, such as bits of celery or carrot. Sauté them with a little olive oil first to soften them and ensure that they cook through in the baking process. 
  • I recommend using chuck beef for this recipe because the beef should have sufficient fat content to prevent the loaf from drying out while cooking. The addition of the ground pork should balance a leaner cut of beef if you prefer to use that instead. 
  • I like to use tomato paste rather than ketchup as a topper because it has a more intense tomato flavor. It's sweeter even though it contains no added sugar.
  • If you're following a low-carb diet, you can omit the breadcrumbs, but the loaf won't hold together quite as well. You can also skip the tomato paste,
  • Although it's not technically "Italian," some cooks like to add a little Tabasco or Worcestershire sauce to the meatloaf mixture for an added zing. 
  • Resting the loaf before serving prevents all those delicious juices from draining out when you cut into it.