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Simply Divine Italian Meat Loaf

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Craving some Italian comfort food? Check out our delicious Simply Divine Italian Meat Loaf. This savory dish, packed with herbs and cheese, will transport you straight to Italy. So, why wait? Roll up your sleeves, get cooking and you will have a masterpiece.

Here’s some background on the general concept of meatloaf and its relation to Italian cuisine:

Meatloaf, including variations of Italian Meat Loaf, is a dish that has been enjoyed across cultures for centuries. While the exact origin of meatloaf is challenging to pinpoint, it is a dish that likely evolved to make the most of available ingredients.

Ancient Roots:

The concept of combining ground meat with other ingredients and forming it into a loaf shape has ancient origins. Variations of minced or ground meat dishes can be found in numerous cultures throughout history.

European Influences:

In Europe, dishes resembling meatloaf have been present for centuries. These dishes often featured a combination of ground meat, breadcrumbs, and other ingredients. The Italian meatloaf, known as “polpettone,” is a notable example.

Polpettone – Italian Meat Loaf:

In Italy, “polpettone” refers to a large meatloaf typically made with ground beef or a mixture of meats, breadcrumbs, eggs, herbs, and sometimes cheese. It can be flavored with garlic, parsley, and other traditional Italian seasonings.

Polpettone is often baked or roasted until golden brown and is a popular dish served during family meals and festive occasions.

American Meatloaf:

The American adaptation of meatloaf likely has roots in European immigrant traditions. As Italian immigrants settled in the United States, they brought with them their culinary practices, influencing American cuisine.

American meatloaf recipes often include a mixture of ground meat (commonly beef or a blend of meats), breadcrumbs, eggs, onions, and various seasonings. Ketchup or a tomato-based sauce is frequently used as a topping.

Post-WWII Popularity:

Meatloaf gained popularity in the United States during the post-World War II era. It became a staple in American households due to its affordability, versatility, and the ability to stretch ingredients.

Variations and Regional Influences:

Meatloaf recipes can vary widely based on regional and cultural influences. Italian Meat Loaf may incorporate ingredients like Italian herbs, garlic, and cheeses to enhance its flavor profile.

Comfort Food Status:

Meatloaf, including Italian variations, has become a classic comfort food enjoyed in many households. Its appeal lies in its simplicity, adaptability, and the ability to feed a family with relatively basic ingredients.

While there may not be a single “Italian Meat Loaf” with a specific historical account, the general concept is deeply connected to the culinary traditions of Italy and the adaptation of those traditions in different parts of the world. The versatility of meatloaf has allowed it to become a beloved dish with variations in numerous cultures.

Your dinner table needs this Italian Meatloaf recipe
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an image of an Italian Meatloaf with cucumber slices on the side

Simply Divine Italian Meat Loaf

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  • Author: EsmeSalon
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings depending on size 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Italian


Craving for some authentic Italian cuisine? Try our mouthwatering Italian Meatloaf recipe that is sure to hit the spot. Indulge in the flavors of Italy right from your kitchen. Buon appetito. ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น


Units Scale
  • 500 gr ground beef
  • 250 gr ground mild Italian sausage. ***
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley.
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian spice
  • 1 egg, beaten.
  • 3/4 cup (Italian) breadcrumbs
  • 2 slices white bread, crumbled.
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, reserve 3/4 cup for topping
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup marinara sauce, plus 1/2 – 3/4 cup more for topping


  1. Add onion, garlic, pepper, parsley, and olive oil in a processor.
  2. In a large bowl, add the meats, onion with the processed mixture, and all remaining ingredients reserving 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese for topping.
  3. Using your hands combine everything well and once it has all come together, place and mold the mixture in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper.
  4. Spoon ยฝ to ยพ cup of the marinara sauce on top spread it around and place it in a 200C oven for 50 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven top with the remaining cheese and sprinkle a little dry basil over the top.
  6. Return to the oven for 10 more minutes.

Cook’s Note:

I mixed the marinara topping sauce with 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp BBQ sauce, and 1 tsp brown sugar).

And in these trying times, I used all beef *** and did not go hunting down Italian sausage


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 310
  • Sugar: 4.6 g
  • Sodium: 822.3 mg
  • Fat: 14.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13 g
  • Fiber: 2.3 g
  • Protein: 29.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 91.9 mg
Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

What is a Meatloaf?

Meatloaf is a dish of ground meat that has been combined with other ingredients and formed into the shape of a loaf, then baked or smoked. The final shape is either hand-formed on a baking tray or pan-formed by cooking it in a loaf pan. It is usually made with ground beef, although ground lamb, pork, veal, venison, poultry, and seafood are also used, sometimes in combination. Vegetarian adaptations of meatloaf may use imitation meat or pulses.

The cooked meatloaf can be sliced like a loaf of bread to make individual portions. It can easily become dry; therefore, various techniques exist to keep the dish moist, like mixing in bread crumbs and egg, covering it with sauce, wrapping it, or using moisture-enhancing ingredients in the mixture, such as filling it with fatty meats, rich cheeses, or vegetables.

an image of an Italian Meatloaf with cucumber slices on the side
Bring the taste of Italy to your home with this Meatloaf recipe

Another Meatloaf recipe to try out: Mini Mustard Meatloaf with Apple Chips

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