Meatloaf rocks! I love making endless meatloaf combinations with various ground meats. It’s fast, fun and (usually) delicious. It’s also a hearty, cheap meal that you can sneak all kinds of leftovers into. My family, well, let’s say they don’t always share my enthusiasm. Except for this meatloaf. Perhaps because it’s Italian inspired or maybe because it’s kind of a giant meatball loaded with ham and cheese. Whatever the reason – this Stuffed Italian Meatloaf is a family favorite.
Here’s the thing. As much as I love meatloaf – this one involves a little more effort. I don’t make it often. It’s not that it’s difficult – it just involves a few minutes of patience while rolling it and putting it together. In other words, it involves more than just plopping a ball of meat into a loaf pan. I’m running low on extra patience these days. I’m working on that.
I’ll jump to the chase and give you the secret to making any stuffed meatloaf successful. It’s simple. You take a BIG handful of the meatloaf mixture and set it aside. What I am stashing raw meatloaf mixture for? Here’s why. After you roll and press together you’re meatloaf, you’ll notice there are areas that are a bit thin or lacking meat from forming. These areas will be around the seam and at the ends. Guess what happens if you attempt to bake it like this. You’ll find your “stuffed” meatloaf is now swimming in 1 1/2 cups of gooey melted cheese that’s supposed to be inside of it. (It’s happened to me more then once) Simple fix – patch up all those areas with the reserved meatloaf mixture.
That being said, this should now be a no fail for everyone. Throw down a sheet of wax paper and pat out the meatloaf mixture into a 12″ x 10″ rectangle. Lay down the ham and cheese, leaving a 1″ margin around the edges. To “roll” lift wax paper to bring edges of loaf together. Press together edges and ends. You should now have a cigar type roll. Fill in any thin areas with reserved meat mixture, paying attention to ends and around the seams.
Not too bad, right. After it’s finished baking, I pour a ladle of tomato sauce that’s been simmering away on top of the meatloaf. I sprinkle more shredded cheese on top of the meatloaf and throw it back in the oven until the cheese is melted. Yum. I serve this with pasta and tomato sauce, lots of fresh bread and a salad. It’s a wonderful dinner and a change of pace from your average, everyday meatloaf.
You can easily fill and top this meatloaf with various veggies, meats and cheeses. Like spinach, tomato and mozzarella – delicious. Hope this inspires a stuffed meatloaf dinner sometime soon! Thanks for reading!
- ¾ cup bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
- 1 tablespoon parsley
- 1 tablespoon basil
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon sage
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ¼ cup dry red wine
- 1½ pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- ¼ pound of deli ham slices (I usually use a bit more)
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, DIVIDED
- ¾ cup tomato sauce
- wax paper
- Preheat oven to 350°
- In a large mixing bowl, combine breadcrumbs, grated parmesan, parsley, basil, oregano, sage, salt , pepper, garlic and onions.
- Add in ground beef, ground pork, eggs and wine. Mix until well combined.
- Lay out a 15" piece of wax paper.
- Set aside a LARGE handful of meatloaf mixture.
- Pat out meatloaf mixture onto waxpaper into a 12" x 10" rectangle.
- Leaving a 1" margin around edges, lay out ham slices on top of meat. Sprinkle 1½ cups of shredded cheese on top of ham.
- To "roll" lift wax paper to bring edges of loaf together. Press/pat/pinch together edges and ends. You should now have a cigar type roll.
- Fill in any thin areas with reserved meat mixture, paying attention to ends and around the seams.
- Carefully place meat roll onto a baking pan, seam side down.
- Bake for 70 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Pour on tomato sauce (I usually have a pot going) and sprinkle remaining ½ cup shredded cheese on top.
- Pop meatlaf back in oven for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- Let meatloaf rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
- Serve and enjoy : )