Italian Meatloaf is an easy meatloaf recipe made with Italian sausage and ground beef and topped with marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese. This is basically one giant meatball!
My family requested Italian food, so I made this flavorful meatloaf using the same ingredients from my grandma's Italian meatball recipe.
Unlike classic meatloaf, I used a combination of ground beef and sausage and swapped marinara sauce for the ketchup or tomato sauce. I also used milk-soaked bread instead of the usual breadcrumbs.
The result is a delicious, tender meatloaf that really does taste like Italian meatballs, only without all of the work! It's a great recipe for weeknights or Sunday dinner and definitely comfort food!
You should be able to find these simple ingredients in your local grocery store.
- Lean ground beef -- A mix of 80/20 ground beef is best for meatloaf.
- Italian sausage -- casings removed. You can use ground pork if you can't get sausage.
- Eggs -- large eggs to help bind the meat mixture
- White bread -- Sandwich bread soaked in milk keeps the meat tender.
- Milk -- to mix with the bread
- Grated Parmesan cheese -- adds wonderful flavor
- Seasonings -- sea salt, black pepper, dried minced onions, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. You can use chopped onion if you prefer.
How to Make Italian Meatloaf
First, preheat oven and line a baking pan with aluminum foil. You can add cooking spray or olive oil to the bottom of the pan as well, as this is a messy meatloaf!
Tear the sliced bread into smaller pieces, and place in a small bowl. Pour milk over the bread, and allow it to soak while you prepare the meat.
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Then, add the beef and sausage, and remaining ingredients. Squeeze the milk from the breadcrumbs, and add to the bowl.
Using clean hands, gently mix the meatloaf mixture together until it starts to come together.
You don't want to over mix the meat. When you can form it into a ball, it is mixed enough!
Place the meat mixture into the prepared baking pan, and form into a loaf shape. You want the loaf to be about 1 ½-2 inches tall.
When the loaf is formed, brush marinara sauce on top of the meatloaf. You can add more sauce before serving.
Bake the meatloaf for 1 hour or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees f, according to a meat thermometer.
About 15 minutes before it is done, brush a little more marinara sauce on top.
Always bake meatloaf uncovered, unless the top starts to get too brown. You can tent it lightly with foil if needed.
What to Serve with Italian Meatloaf
I like to add more shredded Parm or mozzarella cheese on top of the meatloaf along with fresh basil or parsley.
Check out more of the best sides for meatloaf for more inspiration.
How to Store Leftovers
Refrigerate leftover meatloaf in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat individual slices in the microwave. Meatloaf tastes better the next day!
Or, use the sliced meat to make the best leftover meatloaf sandwich!
Meatloaf freezes well for up to 3 months. Just store in freezer bags or a freezer safe container.
Beat the eggs first to cut down on mixing time.
Gently mix the meat -- don't over mix it. This will ensure tender meatloaf that isn't tough.
You can sub ½ cup dried breadcrumbs or Italian breadcrumbs for the sliced bread and tomato sauce for the marinara sauce.
Allow the meatloaf to rest for about 5-10 minutes before slicing. You will get cleaner slices this way.
More Meatloaf Recipes
If you love meatloaf as much as we do, try my meatloaf with stuffing recipe or my mom's Lipton onion soup meatloaf. My meatloaf with tomato sauce is a traditional meatloaf recipe. Cheesy BBQ meatloaf is a kid favorite and you can make mini meatloaf muffins or Italian meatloaf muffins in a muffin tin. Have a pressure cooker? Make this Instant Pot meatloaf recipe.
Italian Meatloaf Recipe
- 3 slices white bread sandwich bread
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 pound mild Italian sausage casings removed
- ¾ cup marinara sauce divided
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon dried minced onions
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder optional
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350℉ and line a baking dish with foil or spray with non stick spray
- Tear bread into smaller pieces, and place in a small bowl. Pour milk over bread and allow to soak
- Add the eggs to a large mixing bowl, and mix slightly
- Add the ground beef, sausage, ¼ cup marinara sauce and remaining ingredients.
- Squeeze milk from breadcrumbs and add to the bowl
- Mix all ingredients together with your hands just until mixture starts to stick together
- Place meat in prepared baking pan, form into loaf shape about 2 inches thick, spread another ¼ cup marinara sauce in a thin layer on top,
- Bake uncovered for 1 hour or until internal temperature is 160 degrees, according to meat thermometer. Add remaining marinara sauce on top of the meatloaf right before done
- Top with additional shredded Parmesan cheese and chopped basil or parsley, if desired. Allow meatloaf to rest for about 5 to 10 minutes before slicing
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
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