Italian Meatloaf

Homemade Italian Meatloaf

Meatloaf can conjure up some pretty strong feelings. Some loathe it. Some love it.

I’m of the latter. I am constantly dreaming up new versions, sometimes they work out and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes when they don’t work I make them over and over trying to get it right. And sometimes they still don’t work.

Thankfully, this one works! Moist, juicy and so tender it melts in your mouth. It may just be my new favorite of all-time.

Packed full of flavor beginning with sauteed aromatic vegetables including onion, garlic, fire roasted red peppers and fresh tomatoes followed by tomato sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan, and Italian seasoned bread crumbs. All of these flavors are tied together with an Italian seasoning blend that includes basil, rosemary, oregano and thyme.

I see many meatloaf recipes calling for the meat to be cooked in loaf pans. I can’t help but wonder who was the genius to come up with this idea?

First issue: where does all the grease go? Back in the meatloaf to make it soggy and greasy?! No thank-you.

Second issue: it doesn’t allow the outside to get browned. The absolute best part of eating meatloaf for me is that outer, browned crusty part. I lust after the end pieces!

No wonder there are so many meat loaf haters in the world.

Italian Meatloaf

I always cook my meatloaf in a large roasting pan so the grease can easily drain off, just the way my Mom did does. I never had a meatloaf turn out dry. The worst culprit is overcooking or using a cut of beef with no fat in it. I recommend an 85% ground beef or ground sirloin. You can also use ground turkey if you prefer.

Italian Meatloaf

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 5 servings

Italian Meatloaf

A tender and delicious Italian-seasoned meatloaf with mozzarella and tomato sauce.


1 yellow onion, diced
1 fire roasted red pepper, diced
olive oil, for sauteing
5 cloves garlic
1 vine-ripened tomato, diced
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
1 egg
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 + 1/4 pounds ground beef or turkey
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
1 + 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded


  1. Heat a skillet with enough oil to cover bottom of pan over medium-low heat, add onion and pepper, saute until tender. Add garlic, saute until fragrant; add tomato and Italian seasoning, saute 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl whisk together egg, 1/3 cup tomato sauce and Worcestershire. Add ground meat, bread crumbs, black pepper, Parmesan and sauteed vegetables. Combine with a fork; mix in 1 cup of mozzarella.
  3. In a large, greased roasting pan form the meat into a loaf. Spread the remaining 1/2 cup sauce over top and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella. Bake about 45 minutes or until no longer pink in the middle. Let set five minutes before serving.


Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved.


  1. Alycia Nichols says

    I’m an old gal, but I’ve learned something new this evening! I was roaming around Pinterest trying to find ideas for tomorrow night’s dinner, and came upon this recipe that someone had pinned. For years I have been using a loaf pan (like my Mother did, and her Mother did, and probably her Mother did if meatloaf was even invented back then!), but I see your point and am going to try this tomorrow night using a roasting pan instead!!! I also like the jumble of interesting and flavorful herbs included in the recipe. And never, ever, ever would I have dreamed of putting mozzarella in/on it, so that’s going to be fun to try, too!

    Have a great weekend!

    • Reeni says

      Hi Alycia! Thanks for your comment! I hope you like the meatloaf! I think they’ve been around forever! :-) You’ll have to let me know how the roasting pan works out for you! Did you know they make special meatloaf pans now with holes at the bottom for the grease to drain off? Meatloaf pan link. Kind of cool. Have a great day!

  2. Jenny Lynn says

    We have been making meatloaf for years…. never quite like this. So good!! My boyfriend and I are both so happy and full. And surprised that these ingredients make the best meatloaf, perhaps the BEST meatloaf ever?

    How did you create this masterpiece? So happy I found you on Pinterest.

    Thank you!

    • Reeni says

      Thanks a lot Jenny! I love hearing that! :-) I’m working on a new meatloaf post right now! I think it rivals this one for the best. ;-) I’m glad you found me too!

  3. Shon says

    I made this the other day and it was by far the best meatloaf I’ve ever had! There is so much flavor! I even forgot the cheese on top, but it didn’t matter a bit. I made mine in the crockpot and the meat turned out melt-in-your-mouth tender. This will be the only recipe I use for meatloaf from now on!

  4. Mary Knowles says

    I love meatloaf and hadn’t made one in a while……Tried your recipe last night. Thank you :) it was a great hit !! We all loved it. This one is a keeper, that I’m sure I will be making again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>