This meatloaf is basically one big giant meatball, or at least that’s what I tell my kids so that they’ll eat it. But, seriously, it is similar to meatballs, only it has a lot more flavor and is easier to make. I like to serve it with my Big Italian Salad — a firm family favorite — and Parmesan Smashed Potatoes, but it’s delicious with pasta too. Leftovers are even better the next day, sliced and topped with melted cheese in a warm sandwich.
As you can see, I use a good quality store-bought marinara sauce. Feel free to make your own, but I don’t think it’s worth it since the recipe only calls for 3/4 cup.
Begin by chopping the vegetables. I use a food processor, which makes it quick and easy. You want to pulse until the vegetables are finely chopped but not puréed — this makes for a nicely textured meatloaf. (And always rough chop the veggies before putting them in the machine, otherwise they won’t chop evenly.)
Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and add the vegetables.
Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Then let cool.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the Worcestershire sauce, basil, salt and pepper.
Add the meat, bread crumbs, cheese and vegetables.
And mix with your hands until well combined.
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.
Top with marinara sauce, letting a bit drip down the sides.
Bake for 65-70 minutes, then transfer to a cutting board or serving platter. Enjoy!
My Recipe Videos
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 pounds meatloaf mix (or use 1-1/2 pounds 85% lean ground beef plus 1/2 pound ground pork)
- 2/3 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
- 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 3/4 cup marinara sauce
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 5-7 minutes. Do not brown. Let cool until just warm.
- In a bowl large enough to hold all of the ingredients, whisk the eggs with the basil, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.
- Add the meat, breadcrumbs, cheese and cooked vegetables to the egg mixture and mix with your hands until just evenly combined.
- Form the meat mixture into a 9x5-inch loaf shape directly on the prepared baking sheet. Spread the marinara sauce evenly over top, letting it drip a bit down the sides.
- Bake for 65-70 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F in the middle of the meatloaf. Let the meatloaf rest for about 10 minutes. Scrape any fat away from the edges of the meatloaf (it will ooze out and brown while baking), then use a wide spatula to transfer the meatloaf to a cutting board or serving platter. Slice and serve.
- Note: If serving with mashed potatoes, you might warm up some additional marinara sauce for serving.
- Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The cooked meatloaf can be frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, defrost it in the refrigerator for 24 hours and then reheat it in a 300°F oven until hot in the middle.
- Per serving (6 servings)
- Calories: 585
- Fat: 42g
- Saturated fat: 15g
- Carbohydrates: 15g
- Sugar: 4g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 35g
- Sodium: 966mg
- Cholesterol: 180mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.