Beef/ Popular/ Sheet Pan

Italian-Style Meatloaf

Italian-style meatloaf is a spin on the classic with Italian seasonings, sweet marinara sauce and lots of cheese!

Italian-Style Meatloaf

This Italian-style meatloaf is a spin on the classic for those who don’t like a traditional meatloaf but love the taste of meatballs. It takes its inspiration and flavor cues from my Parmesan meatballs with the marinara sauce heavily influenced by my sweet roasted red pepper marinara sauce.

We’ll be making a tender meatloaf out of ground beef, fresh onions, garlic and red bell peppers mixed with Italian seasoning, Italian breadcrumbs, Parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Then we’re coating the meatloaf with homemade marinara sauce and more mozzarella cheese sprinkled generously for a cheesy top layer.

This hearty, cheesy meatloaf will feed a crowd at 12 servings. Try a side of warm garlic bread or garlic knots and enjoy! Let’s start cooking.

Italian-Style Meatloaf


Ground beef – Try to go for lean ground beef so there’s less grease and fat in your meatloaf. You can also do a 50-50 mix of mild Italian ground sausage for even more Italian flavors.

Garlic – I used fresh garlic but you can substitute it with some garlic powder. If using fresh garlic, I find the fastest way to mince it is with a garlic press or mini grater.

Tomatoes – I used Roma tomatoes for the meatloaf because of their low water content but you should be able to get away with other kinds since we are cooking them down anyway.

Italian-Style Meatloaf

Parmesan cheese – We’re using the finely grated Parmesan cheese because it mixes well with the ground beef. You can grate it yourself, buy it freshly grated or use the Kraft green shaker Parmesan cheese.

Mozarella cheese – You can also substitute mozzarella cheese with an Italian cheese blend.

Marinara sauce – I made the marinara sauce from scratch but you can substitute it with your favorite brand of store-bought marinara sauce instead. One 15 oz. jar should be more than enough. I only made about a cup of homemade marinara sauce but you might like the option to double the sauce.

And that’s about it. Enjoy your twist on the classic meatloaf and happy eating!


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Italian-Style Meatloaf

Italian-Style Meatloaf

  • Author: The Cooking Jar
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x


Italian-style meatloaf is a spin on the classic dish with Italian seasonings, sweet marinara sauce and lots of cheese!


Units Scale
  • 2 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Marinara Sauce

  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Over medium-high heat, saute onions and garlic until fragrant.
  2. Add red bell pepper, tomatoes and Italian seasoning, sweating the vegetables until liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. In a separate pan over medium-high heat, start the sauce by sauteing garlic until fragrant then add in tomato sauce. Crumble in the beef bouillon cube and mix well.
  4. Season the sauce with Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Combine ground beef, eggs, Italian breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup marinara sauce, cooked vegetables, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper. Form into a loaf using your hands, mixing all the ingredients thoroughly.
  6. Coat the top of the loaf with the remaining marinara sauce and spread evenly using the back of a spoon. Finish by topping with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.
  7. Bake uncovered on a baking sheet at 350°F for 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160°F in the middle of the meatloaf. Let it stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
  8. Dish and serve hot.
  9. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins

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  • Reply
    March 8, 2016 at 9:14 AM

    Loved this recipe! Only made a few adjustments to accommodate what we had on hand. Used ground turkey & hamburger together. Instead of a tomato I used a can of Rotel. Super impressed. Thanks so much! Can’t wait to have a cold meatloaf sandwich today. Yum!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      March 20, 2016 at 4:56 PM

      That’s wonderful to hear, Sarah. Still haven’t tried it with a sandwich yet. Cold you say? I should try this one day!

  • Reply
    Maximillian Roemer
    February 1, 2016 at 7:11 PM

    I was preparing to make my special meatloaf and I get to gathering my ingredients and I didn’t have ketchup and wasn’t up for going to the store, but I had marinara sauce. I came across your recipe through a Google search and couldn’t be any more happy that I did! The only thing I did different was bake it with bacon on top.. My true meatloaf indulgence! 🙂 Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! Absolutely delicious! You made my night by all means!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      February 8, 2016 at 5:51 PM

      Love it! Thanks for coming back with all the details! I’m honored to have saved the day (in a way) 😉 Now I’m wondering how it’ll taste with bacon!

  • Reply
    January 3, 2016 at 9:06 PM

    Just made it thank u my family loves it

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      January 11, 2016 at 1:02 PM

      You’re most welcome, Moe! Glad your family enjoyed it and thanks for trying it out.

  • Reply
    July 24, 2015 at 10:22 PM

    This is delicious! My husband said it was the first meatloaf EVER that he didn’t need to put ketchup on. I don’t know what that says about his tastes….but anyhow, this meatloaf is awesome! I will be making many more of your recipes, this was just the first.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      July 25, 2015 at 2:54 PM

      If he doesn’t need ketchup then it’s a win! Thanks for chiming in and letting me know you guys liked it. I hope you’ll find other recipes here you’ll like!

  • Reply
    July 20, 2015 at 3:08 PM

    Hi, I tried the recipe and it turned out marvelous! I used ground turkey instead of beef. Really flavorful, so moist and soft- I couldn’t tell if it was cooked! I did leave it in for an extra 15 minutes because of this. Overall I really enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      July 20, 2015 at 4:07 PM

      I’m so glad to hear it, Vivian! Thanks for trying it out 🙂

  • Reply
    April 26, 2015 at 7:56 AM

    Yay it turned out just like yours and everyone was so impressed. Thank you for a great, quick and delicious meal.

  • Reply
    March 26, 2015 at 1:19 PM

    I agree, this turned out beautifully and the meatloaf sandwiches the next day were out of this world 🙂 as you can see from all my comments, I have made the Bolognese, the shrimp tempura (yum) and the meatloaf.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      March 27, 2015 at 12:09 AM

      It’s good to know some people enjoyed it! I never thought to use the meatloaf for sandwiches, that’s new! Loved all your comments too Josie, you’re hitting all my favorite recipes 🙂

  • Reply
    March 15, 2015 at 9:19 AM

    I don’t understand those who didn’t like this recipe. I think it is very delicious and healthy, true Italian style 🙂

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      March 16, 2015 at 5:25 PM

      I guess people just have different tastes! It’s one of those things where you just can’t make everyone happy!

  • Reply
    February 28, 2015 at 12:38 PM

    For the tomato are you talking about a salad tomato? for the dry parmesan are you talking about the Grated Parmesan in a jar?

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      February 28, 2015 at 3:01 PM

      Just regular roma tomatoes will do and yes, the dried Parmesan that often comes in a jar.

      • Reply
        February 28, 2015 at 5:02 PM

        Thank you!! Fixing this tomorrow for Sunday dinner !!!! Wil let let you know how it turns out!!!

  • Reply
    January 29, 2015 at 7:49 PM

    My loaf is in the oven now it should be ready in about 30 minutes. It took a while to prep but it looks like it’s going to be delicious. If substituting beef broth for bouillon cube one cube is equal to half a cube not one cup.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      February 1, 2015 at 11:47 PM

      How did it turn out? This seems to be a hit or miss for some people. They either love it or hate it!

  • Reply
    November 17, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    In the next couple of weeks, I’m trying another two or three of your recipes! And, Italian meatloaf is headed for the table again! Seriously, thanks so much for your quick responses, helpfulness, and fantastic recipes! I can’t wait!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      November 17, 2014 at 4:23 PM

      Thank you for being so sweet and coming back to leave a review, Abby. I really appreciate it! Feel free to ask me questions about anything else you plan to cook, anytime.

  • Reply
    November 15, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    As a person who normally detests meatloaf, with all of it’s overly sweet ketchupy sauce… I think my opinion is well worth listening to when I say that this recipe is phenomenal! It’s not a traditional meatloaf – much more of an Italian flavor with Parmesan, and it is delicious! It was the first meatloaf that I ever had the will to try. Thank you so much for restoring my faith in this common ground beef fallback! 🙂

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      November 15, 2014 at 1:16 PM

      Thanks, Abby!!! You are most welcome and thank you for making my day this weekend. I’ve just been smiling for the past five minutes 🙂 Enjoy the weekend!

  • Reply
    November 14, 2014 at 7:40 AM

    Not impressed with this recipe at all.
    Worst recipe that ive tried by far.

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      November 14, 2014 at 11:55 AM

      I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like it 🙁 But I’ll be realistic that everyone has different tastes. Do you have any suggestions for improvements?

    • Reply
      December 14, 2015 at 8:25 PM

      Not impressed with your “review”. At least try some constructive criticism or informational input. Otherwise your opinion is basically irrelevant.

      • Reply
        January 18, 2017 at 6:17 AM

        Let’$ keep it tasteful,
        John was referring 12/14/15 to Josee’s comment 11/14/14. While Josee is entitled to an opinion as well as a comment, presentation is always of revelance. I commend John for his “constructive criticism” with hopes it reached it’s target audience and can promote a “tasteful” platform this day fotrward. Great job Cooking Jar!

  • Reply
    September 29, 2014 at 7:43 PM

    This may be a silly question, but this will be my first meatloaf; do you use a loaf pan or do you put it on something flat like a baking stone? Thanks!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      September 29, 2014 at 9:28 PM

      Never a silly question! I used a lasagna pan, it was 14×11″ I think. The extra space made it easier to get it all out. Here’s a pic!

      • Reply
        October 13, 2014 at 1:48 PM

        Will it also work to use a basic 9X13? I hope so! I am trying your recipe out tonight.

        • Reply
          The Cooking Jar
          October 13, 2014 at 2:56 PM

          It should! If you look at the pic, I had plenty of space along the 11 inch part of it. If anything you can shape your meatloaf to fit your pan, that’s the beauty of meatloaf! Just make sure you can pry it out later!

          • Abby
            November 15, 2014 at 9:27 AM

            Thanks for your help. I’ve never made a meatloaf before, and it turned out beautifully!

  • Reply
    September 13, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    The only meatloaf I’ve eaten for over 20 years is mine, but this sounded so good I had to try it. Scored! I liked that it has marinara sauce, not ketchup (yew!) on the top. I covered it with foil and baked it on the barbecue (works like an oven and keeps the house cool in the summer). This is a definite repeat!

    • Reply
      The Cooking Jar
      September 14, 2014 at 12:11 AM

      This comment made my day. I’m so glad you liked it and have another meatloaf recipe for your kitchen, Katherine! I really do love hearing back from people who have made my stuff 🙂

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