The Best Italian Meatloaf

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Italian sausage and ground beef are combined with Italian herbs, parmesan & ricotta cheese  in the best Italian meatloaf ever! This recipe is made in under an hour 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 the 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 ever eat and you’ll want to make it again and again!

Italian meatloaf covered in marinara sauce on top of spaghetti in a white bowl

How to make Italian Meatloaf

Heat olive oil in a large skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Saute onion, bell pepper and garlic in the olive oil. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add ground beef, Italian sausage and Italian seasoning. Add ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.

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.

Remove the meatloaf from the oven and top with marinara sauce. Place back in the oven to bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from loaf pan and serving.

What goes with Italian meatloaf?

Serve Italian meatloaf with a side of cooked pasta and extra marinara sauce. Or instead of pasta, serve this meatloaf with Rosemary Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes. Substitute shredded mozzarella cheese for the blue cheese.

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 Gluten Free Meatloaf

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 meatloaf 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

For more delicious Italian recipes, check out these blog favorites!

Italian Meatloaf sitting on large bowl of spaghetti noodles with fresh parsley on top
4.72 from 7 votes
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Italian Meatloaf

Italian sausage, ground beef, herbs & ricotta cheese are combined in the best Italian meatloaf ever! This recipe is made in under an hour for an easy meal!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 832 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb Italian pork sausage mild or spicy
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup marinara sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

  2. Add the olive oil to a large skillet on the stove over medium high heat.

  3. Add the onion and bell pepper, saute 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for an additional minute.

  4. 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.

  5. Press the mixture into a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan.

  6. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.

  7. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and spread the marinara sauce over the meatloaf.

  8. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Recipe Notes

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.