Italian sausage and ground beef are combined with Italian herbs, parmesan and ricotta cheese in the best Italian meatloaf ever! This recipe is made in one hour, with only 10 minutes of prep time, for an easy meal!

Italian meatloaf sitting on top of a bowl of spaghetti noodles, topped with fresh chopped parsley

I used to think that meatloaf was boring. That is until I started putting my own spins on the classic dish! I mean, who can deny a Buffalo Cheesy Meatloaf? It’s meat, cheese and buffalo sauce, and it’s so delicious!

And there’s 100% chance you’ll fall in love with this Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf. It’s meat wrapped in meat, what’s not to love?

With so many delicious meatloaf recipes to choose from, it’s hard to pick a favorite. Though this Italian Meatloaf definitely ranks up at the top!

Since originally making this recipe 6 years ago, I’ve tweaked it and updated it to create THE BEST Italian Meatloaf ever. Seriously, ask my friends! I make this all the time when I want to impress my guests. As described by one friend, “It’s like the most giant, delicious meatball ever!

The key to any great recipe for meatloaf, or meatballs, is a combination of meats. In this recipe I used Italian pork sausage and ground beef. The Italian sausage can be mild or spicy, your choice!

I then add ricotta cheese to the meatloaf to give it an extra creamy texture. I guarantee, this will be the best meatloaf you’ll ever eat and you’ll want to make it again and again!

ingredients for Italian meatloaf on wood board


  • Olive oil
  • Onion –  I prefer a yellow onion in this recipe for it’s nice, neutral flavor.
  • Bell pepper – I like to use red bell peppers, as they are naturally sweeter than green, but feel free to use either, or a combination of both.
  • Garlic – I always recommend fresh minced cloves for the best flavor!
  • Ground beef – I recommend a ground beef that’s 80/20, meaning 80% lean and 20% fat. This will give you the perfect amount of fat to make a tender, juicy meatloaf!
  • Italian pork sausage – If you can’t find Italian sausage, not in the casing, you can always use Italian link sausage, and simply remove the sausage from the casing before adding it to this meatloaf recipe. Feel free to use mild, or hot Italian sausage, based on your taste preference.
  • Italian seasoning – I highly recommend my homemade seasoning, linked here. It’s so flavorful and easy to mix up in less than 5 minutes! Of course, you can always purchase pre-made seasoning on the spice aisle at the grocery store.
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Marinara sauce – use this homemade marinara sauce recipe, or purchase a jar of your favorite sauce. We’re big fans of Raos marinara sauce at our house, when I’m not making a homemade sauce.
Italian meatloaf covered in marinara sauce on top of spaghetti in a white bowl


For the full detailed recipe instructions, ingredient quantities and a step-by-step video of how this recipe is made, scroll to the bottom of the post.

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Cook diced onion, bell pepper and garlic in the olive oil. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Add ground beef, Italian sausage and Italian seasoning. Add ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.
  3. Combine all of the ingredients, then press the meat mixture into a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan. Place the meatloaf in the oven preheated to 375°F for 25 minutes.
  4. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and top with marinara sauce. Place back in the oven to bake for an additional 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the meatloaf reaches 160°F.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from loaf pan and serving.

What to serve with it

Serve Italian meatloaf with a side of cooked pasta and extra marinara sauce. Or instead of pasta, serve the meatloaf with Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes.

I’ve served this before with the meatloaf and it’s seriously the most delicious meat and potatoes meal ever!

For a bread side to go with the meatloaf, try these Cheesy Garlic Bread Nachos or Tomato Basil Bruschetta.

For a side salad, try this Crispy Eggplant Caprese Salad or Quinoa Caprese Salad.

How to make it gluten free

Simply substitute gluten free bread crumbs for traditional breadcrumbs to make this meatloaf recipe gluten free.

For an entirely gluten free meal, serve the meatloaf with gluten free spaghetti. Zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash or mashed potatoes are also great gluten free sides for this dish!

How to make it without a loaf pan

Don’t have a loaf pan? No worries! Just free form the meatloaf into a loaf shape, then place it on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet.

Two slices of Italian meatloaf on top of cooked spaghetti noodles on a white plate
Italian Meatloaf sitting on large bowl of spaghetti noodles with fresh parsley on top
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Italian Meatloaf

Italian sausage, ground beef, herbs and ricotta cheese are combined in the best Italian meatloaf ever! This recipe is made in just one hour, with only 10 minutes of prep time, for an easy meal!



  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Add the olive oil to a large skillet on the stove over medium high heat.
  • Add the onion and bell pepper, cook for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add the cooked onion, bell pepper and garlic to a large bowl with the ground beef, Italian sausage, Italian seasoning, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs, combine well.
  • Press the mixture into a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
  • Remove the meatloaf from the oven and spread the marinara sauce over the meatloaf.
  • Return to the oven and bake for an additional 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.



  • To make this recipe gluten free, simply substitute gluten free breadcrumbs for the traditional breadcrumbs.
  • I like to place the loaf pan on a baking sheet in the oven, just in case any grease or sauce bubbles over the loaf pan while baking.
  • Don’t have a loaf pan? No worries, you can free form the meatloaf into a loaf shape and cook it on a foil lined baking sheet.
  • If serving the meatloaf with pasta on the side, be sure to boil the water and cook the pasta during the last 15 minutes of baking the meatloaf.

Nutrition Facts

Serving 4servingCalories 832kcal (42%)Carbohydrates 19g (6%)Protein 45g (90%)Fat 62g (95%)Saturated Fat 22g (110%)Cholesterol 182mg (61%)Sodium 1345mg (56%)Potassium 948mg (27%)Fiber 3g (12%)Sugar 5g (6%)Vitamin A 1160mg (23%)Vitamin C 30.9mg (37%)Calcium 248mg (25%)Iron 5.9mg (33%)
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