Best Italian Meatloaf

Best Italian Meatloaf: A Flavorful Twist on a Classic Dish

Elevate Your Meatloaf Game with Italian Flair

Italian Meatloaf is a mouthwatering twist on the classic comfort food we all know and love. By infusing traditional meatloaf with aromatic Italian herbs and rich marinara sauce, this dish becomes a flavorful fusion of Italian and American cuisine. Prepare to embark on a culinary journey as we guide you through crafting the best Italian Meatloaf you’ve ever tasted.


For the Meatloaf:

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (or a mixture of beef and pork)
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/4 cup finely diced bell pepper (red or green)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce (plus extra for topping)

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish


1. Preheat and Prepare:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and milk. Let them sit for a few minutes to absorb the liquid.

2. Mix the Meatloaf:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, soaked breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, diced onion, diced bell pepper, minced garlic, chopped parsley, chopped basil, dried oregano, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper.
  • Crack the eggs into the mixture and gently combine all the ingredients. Be careful not to overmix, as this can make the meatloaf tough.

3. Form the Meatloaf:

  • Shape the meat mixture into a loaf shape and place it in a greased or parchment-lined baking dish.

4. Top with Marinara:

  • Pour 1/2 cup of marinara sauce evenly over the meatloaf.

5. Bake:

  • Place the meatloaf in the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes.

6. Add Topping:

  • After 45 minutes, remove the meatloaf from the oven and spread the remaining marinara sauce over the top.
  • Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese evenly over the sauce.

7. Finish Baking:

  • Return the meatloaf to the oven and continue baking for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C) and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

8. Garnish and Serve:

  • Remove the Italian Meatloaf from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh basil leaves before slicing and serving.

Tips and Variations:


  • For a juicy meatloaf, use ground beef with a higher fat content, like 80/20.
  • Allow the meatloaf to rest for about 10 minutes after baking. This helps the juices redistribute, ensuring a moist and flavorful result.


  • Experiment with different ground meats. Ground pork or a mixture of beef and pork can add extra depth of flavor.
  • Spice it up with crushed red pepper flakes or diced hot peppers if you like a little heat.


  • Serve your Italian Meatloaf alongside garlic mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables for a classic comfort food meal.


  • Leftover meatloaf can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days. Reheat slices in the microwave or in the oven for a quick and satisfying meal.

Cook’s Note:

  • Italian Meatloaf is a delightful fusion of American and Italian flavors that takes a beloved classic to new heights. The blend of herbs, cheese, and marinara sauce creates a savory masterpiece that’s perfect for family dinners or special occasions. With its fragrant aroma and delicious taste, this Italian Meatloaf is sure to become a favorite in your kitchen.

One Comment

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  1. Recipe looks great and not too complicated; I like all the ingredients so am anxious to try it!! Thanks so much for sharing, looks like something I’ll be able to make w/o the recipe in a couple of weeks!!

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