Easy to prepare with pantry ingredients, Italian Meatloaf is super moist and flavorful – and the leftovers make great sandwiches the next day!
Why is it that sometimes the best recipes are the result of creating a new dish only using ingredients you have on hand – and that you need to use up? The other night, Robert was hungry for hamburgers or meatloaf, so I opened the fridge and started pulling out various ingredients that I thought might be good to spice up the ground beef. When I started to mix the herbs and vegetables together, I realized that I had the basics of many Italian dishes – basil, tomatoes, garlic, roasted red pepper, Parmesan cheese. This recipe was going be to perfect for Robert, since he loves anything Italian!
So, a new recipe for Italian Meatloaf was born – and we both loved it. Super moist and flavorful, the cold leftovers made great sandwiches the next day. Definitely going to become a regular dish in our household.
Update: I have made this Italian Meatloaf several times now, and substituted chopped carrot for the bell pepper, which was a delicious variation!
Pin it now to save for later –
Easy to prepare with pantry ingredients, Italian Meatloaf is super moist and flavorful and the leftovers make great sandwiches the next day. The basics of many Italian dishes – basil, tomatoes, garlic, roasted red pepper, Parmesan cheese – are added to basic meatloaf ingredients and the result is comfort food at its best!
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large leek, cleaned and chopped (white and light green parts only)
- 1/2 large orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped (can also use green or yellow pepper)
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 2 teaspoons dried basil (or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil)
- 1 cup diced canned tomatoes, drained
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers (from a jar)
- 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup whole milk (if using ground bison)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds ground beef or bison
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leek, bell pepper, garlic and basil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft.
- Remove from heat and stir in diced tomatoes and roasted red peppers.
- Place mixture in a large mixing bowl and stir in breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, milk (if using) and eggs. Add ground beef (or bison) and mix well, using your hands. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Place in a 5 by 8-inch loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes.
- Spoon tomato sauce over the top and continue baking for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Make ahead: Meatloaf can be prepared but not baked earlier in the day, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before baking.