Sometimes the best dinners are the un-planned ones, the ones that come in times of “staring in the refrigerator panic”!
My plans to make dinner for my friend Evelyn and I on Monday night went awry when I realized the chicken I was going to use to make stuffed chicken had gone bad!
Never fear, the Little Leopard Book fridge was fully stocked so there had to be something in there I could make! I had a pound of extra ground beef left over from the Loaded Calzone I made the night before, extra homemade tomato basil marinara and plenty of Italian cheeses, so Italian Meatloaf it was!
- 1/2 red onion (diced)
- 1 red bell pepper (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 cup Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce
Preheat the oven to 375°.
Place the first 10 ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Mix to combine then press into a loaf pan.
Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the meatloaf from the oven, drain any juices and spread the marinara sauce onto the meatloaf.
Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Slice and serve! I gobbled this dish up with an extra side of homemade marinara for dipping… because it’s just that good!
♣ Vegetarian Option: Substitute a sleeve of veggie crumbles for the ground beef.
♦ Gluten Free Option: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs to make this dish gluten-free.