Italian Meatloaf Recipe

Italian Meatloaf Recipe

This is a classic Italian-style meatloaf recipe. It is also free form style, which means it is shaped into a loaf by hand and baked on a sheet rather than baked in a bread loaf pan. We recommend using chuck beef to keep the loaf moist.

“This is an exceptionally delicious meatloaf that doesn’t taste too ‘porky’ even though it includes pork and bacon. The tangy glaze makes it irresistible, and sauteed vegetables and mushrooms add an extra savory dimension. I used my food processor to pulse the vegetables until they were finely chopped, which really made the prep easy.” —Danielle Centoni

Itailan Meatloaf Recipe Tester Image A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 2 slices white bread, crusts removed

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 1 carrot, finely chopped

  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped

  • 6 ounces button mushrooms, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

  • 4 slices bacon, chopped

  • 1 pound ground beef, preferably chuck

  • 1/2 pound ground pork

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper

For the Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup ketchup

  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Steps to Make It

Make the meatloaf

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Italian Meatloaf ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  2. Heat the oven to 350 F. Finely chop the bread in a food processor. Set the breadcrumbs aside.

    Breadcrumbs in a food processor

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  3. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, mushrooms, and Italian seasoning and cook, stirring until soft and the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Set aside and let cool slightly.

    Onion, carrot, celery, mushrooms, and Italian seasoning in a pan with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  4. Add the cooled vegetable mixture to the food processor along with the bacon, beef, and pork, and pulse until finely chopped—not puréed.

    Bacon, beef, and pork with vegetables in a food processor

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  5. Add the mixture to a large bowl with the breadcrumbs, cream, soy sauce, Worcestershire, eggs, salt, and pepper. Using your hands, gently mix everything together until well combined.

    Meat mixture in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  6. Mold the meat mixture into a 9-inch-by-5-inch-sized loaf shape on a buttered, parchment-lined baking sheet.

    Meat loaf on a parchment paper lined baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  7. Bake until a meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 135 F, 40 to 45 minutes.

    Baked meatloaf on a parchment paper lined baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

Make and Add the Glaze

  1. Raise the heat to 500 F. In a small bowl, mix together the glaze ingredients.

    Meatloaf glaze in a bowl with a spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  2. Brush the meatloaf with the glaze and bake until well browned, about 12 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

    Italian Meatloaf with glaze on a parchment paper lined baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

Tips

  • We recommend using chuck beef for this recipe because the beef should have sufficient fat content to prevent the loaf from drying out while cooking. Ground beef that's 80% lean/20% fat works great too.
  • Resting the loaf before serving prevents all those delicious juices from draining out when you cut into it.
  • Try using your food processor to speed up the process of finely chopping the raw vegetables. Cut them into chunks first and pulse until finely chopped, not pureed.
  • Use a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan to help mold the meatloaf. Just pack the mixture into the loaf pan, then invert onto the baking sheet and lift the pan off. By cooking the meatloaf on a baking sheet instead of a loaf pan, it cooks much faster and the extra fat can drain off, keeping it from turning out greasy.

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