Recipe for Italian Meatloaf with Mozzarella

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Our family loves Italian Meatloaf with Mozzarella so much it’s requested on a regular basis and ranks right up there with grilled steaks. It’s much more than your average meatloaf–loaded with herbs and cheese and topped with a homemade marinara sauce. It’s Sunday meatloaf on steroids. Diamonds compared to cubic zirconia. 

Serving Italian Meatloaf with Homemade Marinara Sauce

(Post modified on 3/4/24.)

Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s a time and a place for Sunday Meatloaf. I actually love Sunday Meatloaf. But then there’s Italian Meatloaf. Mama Mia. It’s so good, you could call it Holiday Meatloaf. You get the picture. Right? See my recipe for Sunday Meatloaf Here.

 

More Italian Main Dishes to Enjoy

 

Ingredients for Italian Meatloaf with Mozzarella

(See the full recipe at the bottom of this post.)

  • lean ground beef (80/20)
  • Italian-style bread crumbs
  • ricotta cheese
  • whole milk
  • Parmesan cheese
  • large eggs
  • minced dried onion
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • dried parsley
  • basil
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • fresh mozzarella
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • your favorite marinara sauce (See my Homemade Recipe Below)

Homemade Marinara Sauce

  • crushed tomatoes
  • minced garlic
  • red wine vinegar
  • Italian seasoning
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

 

Instructions for Making This Recipe

Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

Drizzle Olive Oil in Pan Before Baking

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a glass baking pan (9×13) with a nonstick cooking spray. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil on the pan and spread with a spoon.

 

Prepare the Ingredients

Using a fine-edged zester, grate the Parmesan cheese.

With a knife and cutting board, slice fresh mozzarella into small chunks.

 

Mix and Assemble the Meatloaf

Mix Meatloaf Ingredients with Spoon or Hands

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, Italian-style bread crumbs, whole ricotta cheese, whole milk, grated Parmesan cheese, eggs, dried minced onion, dried parsley, basil, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

Using a fine-edged zester, sprinkle in freshly grated nutmeg.

Mix Mozzarella Cubes in with the Meatloaf

Mix everything together using a long-handled spoon or your hands until thoroughly combined. Add the chunks of fresh mozzarella, folding in to incorporate.

I try to bury most of the mozzarella inside the meat, but it’s okay if some chunks peak through. It’s actually sort of enticing that way.

Form Meatloaf into a Loaf

Form the meat into a large oval loaf, using your hands to shape it along the top and sides. Place in the middle of the prepared baking pan. Drizzle with remaining olive oil.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil, and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 45-50 minutes until done.

 

Prepare Homemade Marinara Sauce

During the last 30 minutes of baking, prepare the marinara sauce. In a medium saucepan combine crushed tomatoes, minced garlic, red wine vinegar, Italian seasoning, Worcestershire sauce.

Season with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and if desired, red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer, uncovered for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will make approximately 3 1/3 cups of sauce.

Place Cooked Meatloaf on a Platter to Serve

When the meat is cooked through, (to at least 160 degrees) remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Transfer the loaf to a platter for serving and garnish with fresh parsley, if desired. Serve with marinara sauce.

This recipe will serve  6-8 people.

Serve Italian Meatloaf with Gnocchi and Brussels Sprouts

I like to serve this dish with a fresh salad or a side of green beans and Refrigerated Mashed Potatoes, or with Fettuccine with Pesto, or with Skillet Gnocchi with Brussels Sprouts.

For wine recommendations, pick a favorite Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Bordeaux Red Blend.

See more Italian Dishes Here. See more Main Dish Recipes Here.

 

Recipe for Italian Meatloaf with Mozzarella

Italian Meatloaf with Mozzarella

Our family loves Italian Meatloaf with Mozzarella so much, it's requested on a regular basis and ranks right up there with grilled steaks. It's much more than your average meatloaf, loaded with herbs and cheese and topped with a homemade marinara sauce. 
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Serving Size 8

(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Ingredients 

  • 2.5 pounds ground beef (80/20)
  • 1 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 1 cup whole ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon minced dried onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly ground)
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella (cubed)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (for pan and drizzling over the top)
  • 24 oz. favorite marinara sauce (See Homemade Recipe Below)

Homemade Marinara Sauce

  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes (like Red Gold or Cento)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375℉. Spray a glass baking pan (9x13) with a nonstick cooking spray. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the bottom of the pan. Spread with a spoon.

Prepare the Ingredients

  • Using a fine-edged zester, grate the Parmesan cheese.
  • With a knife and cutting board, slice fresh mozzarella into small chunks.

Mix and Assemble the Meatloaf

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the lean ground beef, Italian-style bread crumbs, whole ricotta cheese, whole milk, grated Parmesan cheese, large eggs, dried minced onion, dried parsley, basil, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Using a fine-edged zester, sprinkle in freshly grated nutmeg.
  • Mix everything together using a long-handled spoon or your hands until thoroughly combined. Add the chunks of fresh mozzarella, folding in to incorporate.
  • Form the meat into a large oval loaf, using your hands to shape it along the top and sides. Place in the middle of the prepared baking pan. Drizzle with remaining olive oil.
  • Cover with aluminum foil, and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 45-50 minutes until done. Inner temperature should reach 160 degrees.

Prepare Homemade Marinara Sauce

  • During the last 30 minutes of baking, prepare the marinara sauce. In a medium saucepan combine crushed tomatoes, minced garlic, red wine vinegar, Italian seasoning, and Worcesershire sauce.
  • Season with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and if desired, red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer, uncovered for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will make approximately 3 1/3 cups of sauce.
  • Remove meatloaf from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Place on a large tray to serve. Serve with marinara sauce. Serves 6-8.

Nutrition

Calories: 729kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 193mg | Sodium: 1467mg | Potassium: 1101mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1097IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 403mg | Iron: 7mg

 

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