This Cheesy Italian Meatloaf Recipe is my family’s FAVORITE dinner recipe! Passed down from my Italian grandma, it really is the BEST meatloaf ever, and it is incredibly easy to make. So much cheesy goodness packed inside and the most wonderful flavor with every bite!

I teamed up with Kroger to share this family favorite recipe for Cheesy Italian Meatloaf. As always, all opinions are my own.

closeup overhead image of slices of Cheesy Italian Meatloaf Recipe on a white plate with a side salad

Every mom needs a good meatloaf recipe up her sleeve because, who doesn’t like meatloaf? My kids absolutely love when I make this and serve it with warm mashed potatoes or comforting macaroni and cheese. Everyone leaves the table full and happy, and nobody would ever know that it’s lightened up. Comfort food can be made healthy! WIN!

overhead image of Cheesy Italian Meatloaf Recipe sliced on a white serving platter

HOW TO MAKE CHEESY ITALIAN MEATLOAF RECIPE LIGHTER:

  • Choose a lean ground beef, bison, turkey or chicken. I recommend bison or beef for the best flavor. I used 90/10 Simple Truth Organic Bison from Kroger.
  • Cut down on the cheese and use a lower calorie/fat version. My grandma’s original recipe calls for 2 cups of mozzarella. In my opinion, 1 cup is plenty of cheesiness.
  • Feel free to substitute the egg, in this recipe, with 2 egg whites.
  • To find a healthier cracker for the crumble, look for a variety lower in fat or even whole grain. Kroger offers a Simple Truth organic wheat snack cracker that would work perfectly.
collage image showing the steps to make a Cheesy Italian Meatloaf Recipe

TIPS FOR AN EASY, PERFECT CHEESY ITALIAN MEATLOAF RECIPE:

  • Add your ground beef (or other ground meat, or combination thereof) into a large bowl along with the rest of the ingredients, except for 1/2 of the tomato sauce and the mozzarella cheese.
  • Using your hands, gently-yet-thoroughly mix everything together until it is well-combined; don’t over mix, as this will make the meatloaf tough.
  • Turn your mixture out onto your prepared, parchment or wax paper-lined flat surface, and shape, by hand, into an oval shape.
  • Sprinkle over half of the mozzarella down the center of the meatloaf mixture. Fold all of the sides up and shape into a loaf. Then transfer the meatloaf into the prepared loaf pan.
  • Pour the reserved tomato sauce over the top and use the back of a spoon or cooking brush to spread the sauce evenly over the meatloaf. Bake at 350°F for an 1 hour. Remove from oven and add the reserved mozzarella to the top; bake for another 10-15 mins.
  • Once cooked, allow the meatloaf to rest for about 10-15 minutes very loosely tented with foil before slicing and serving.
  • Make ahead option: You can certainly prepare the meatloaf mixture, and even transfer it to the loaf pan, a day ahead of when you plan to bake it. Simply wrap everything with plastic wrap (don’t add the tomato sauce topping yet), and keep it in the fridge. Then, allow it to come to room temp for about an hour or two before baking. At that point, add the tomato sauce topping, then bake.

Enjoy this delicious family favorite Cheesy Italian Meatloaf Recipe anytime your comfort food cravings call! It’s definitely the best meatloaf I’ve ever eaten! Tender and flavorful with Italian seasonings, mozzarella and tomato sauce; it promises to be a favorite!

If you love my grandma’s cheesy Italian meatloaf recipe, you’ll love her irresistible spaghetti and meatballs recipe!

Be sure to head over to your local Kroger or Kroger family store to find every ingredient needed to create this deliciousness. Click this link for more recipe ideas and great deals!

I’d love to know if you make this (or any) recipe! Tag @kimscravings on Instagram and be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.

closeup overhead image of slices of Cheesy Italian Meatloaf Recipe on a white plate with a side salad
closeup overhead image of slices of Cheesy Italian Meatloaf Recipe on a white plate with a side salad
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4.86 from 7 votes
Nutrition Facts
Cheesy Italian Meatloaf Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 212 Calories from Fat 93
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10.3g 16%
Saturated Fat 3.6g 18%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3g
Cholesterol 61.2mg 20%
Sodium 677.6mg 28%
Potassium 84.6mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 11.5g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0.5g 2%
Sugars 4.6g
Protein 19g 38%
Vitamin A 4.5%
Vitamin C 1.8%
Calcium 12.3%
Iron 8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Servings:8 servings
Cheesy Italian Meatloaf Recipe
Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
1 hr 10 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 25 mins
 

A family favorite meatloaf recipe, that's easy to make and tastes absolutely delicious!

Ingredients
  • 1.50 pounds ground beef, bison, turkey or chicken*
  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • 20 saltine crackers, crushed
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce, divided
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup lite mozzarella cheese, divided**
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil + fresh chopped basil or parsley as garnish if desired
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. and prepare 9x5 loaf pan by lining it with foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, except 1/2 of the tomato sauce and the mozzarella.
  3. After ingredients are combined, transfer the meatloaf mixture to a flat surface, covered with parchment or wax paper. Shape the meatloaf into an oval or square and sprinkle most of the mozzarella over the middle of the meatloaf. Save about 1/4 cup of the mozzarella for the topping. Next, roll the meatloaf up and place it in the loaf pan. Use your fingers or the back of a spoon to press the meatloaf down so that it is all even at the top. Pour the reserved 1/2 of tomato sauce over the top and spread out evenly.

  4. Bake for 1 hour. Once cooked, remove from oven and sprinkle additional mozzarella cheese over the top. Bake for about 10-15 minutes more.

  5. Allow meatloaf to cool for about 10 minutes and then cut loaf into 8 even slices. Enjoy with a side salad or another favorite side dish!
Recipe Notes

* The original recipe calls for ground beef, I used lean ground bison (90/10) and have successfully used lean ground turkey too.

** The original recipe calls for 2 cups mozzarella. I always use lite cheese and I reduced this to 1 cup. Use as much or as little as you would like. You can also opt to not add additional cheese to the top. I just think it makes for more enticing photos. 🙂

*** For almost every ingredient I used high quality Simple Truth Organic products from Kroger and I really do think this will make the best tasting meatloaf!

TO MAKE GLUTEN FREE: Use gluten free crackers.

TO MAKE DAIRY FREE: Use dairy free cheese.

Author: Kim
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: best Italian meatloaf, Cheesy Italian Meatloaf, easy Italian meatloaf

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This Cheesy Italian Meatloaf Recipe is my family’s FAVORITE dinner recipe! Passed down from my Italian grandma, it really is the BEST meatloaf ever, and it is incredibly easy to make. So much cheesy goodness packed inside and the most wonderful flavor with every bite!