Parmesan Meatloaf

Benefits of Parmesan Meatloaf:

  1. Easy to Make: Parmesan Meatloaf is a simple dish that’s perfect for beginners and experienced cooks alike. The recipe requires basic ingredients and minimal preparation, making it an accessible option for busy weeknights or family gatherings.
  2. Versatile: This meatloaf recipe is highly customizable. You can adjust the seasonings to suit your taste preferences, add additional ingredients like vegetables or herbs, or even substitute different types of cheese for the Parmesan and Italian cheese blend.
  3. Family-Friendly: Parmesan Meatloaf is a crowd-pleaser, loved by both adults and children alike. Its comforting flavors and familiar texture make it a hit with picky eaters, making it an excellent option for family dinners or potluck gatherings.
  4. Nutritious: While meatloaf is often perceived as a comfort food, it can also be a nutritious meal option. Lean ground beef provides protein, while the addition of onions, garlic, and herbs adds flavor and essential nutrients. Plus, serving the meatloaf with sides like mashed potatoes and vegetables adds additional vitamins and minerals to the meal.
  5. Make-Ahead Option: Parmesan Meatloaf can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to bake. This makes it a convenient option for meal prep or busy days when you want a homemade dinner without a lot of fuss.

History of Meatloaf:

  • Early Origins: Meatloaf has roots that can be traced back to ancient Roman cuisine. The Romans would mix various meats, grains, and spices together to create a dish similar to modern-day meatloaf.
  • American Adaptation: Meatloaf as it’s known in the United States likely originated in the 19th century. It gained popularity during the Great Depression when families were looking for economical ways to stretch ground meat. Meatloaf became a staple in American households during this time, as it was affordable, filling, and could be made with simple ingredients.
  • Evolution and Variations: Over the years, meatloaf has evolved to include a wide range of variations and regional specialties. Different cultures and cuisines have put their own spin on the dish, incorporating unique ingredients and flavors. From classic American meatloaf with ketchup glaze to Italian-inspired versions like Parmesan Meatloaf, there’s a meatloaf recipe to suit every palate.
  • Popularity Today: Despite its humble origins, meatloaf remains a beloved comfort food in many parts of the world. It continues to be a favorite dish for home cooks and chefs alike, with countless recipes and variations available to suit every taste and dietary preference.


  • 1 pound ground beef (ideally 80/20 for flavor and juiciness)
  • 2 large eggs (helps bind the meatloaf together)
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (acts as a binder and helps retain moisture)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (adds a sweet, slightly minty flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (adds earthy and slightly floral notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (adds a robust, slightly bitter flavor)
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (enhances the savory flavor)
  • 1 small yellow onion, grated (adds sweetness and moisture)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (enhances flavor and helps bind ingredients)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (adds a hint of heat and depth)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (adds richness and umami flavor)
  • 1/2 cup pasta sauce (marinara sauce), homemade without meat (adds moisture and flavor)
  • 1/2 cup grated Italian cheese blend (adds gooey, melty goodness on top)


  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). This ensures that the oven is ready to bake your meatloaf as soon as it’s prepared.
  2. Prepare the Loaf Pan: Lightly grease a loaf pan with cooking spray or a small amount of oil. You can use a glass or metal loaf pan, whichever you prefer. Greasing the pan prevents the meatloaf from sticking and makes it easier to remove after baking.
  3. Mix the Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, dried basil, dried thyme, dried oregano, chopped garlic, grated onion, salt, pepper, and grated Parmesan cheese. Use your hands or a spoon to gently mix the ingredients until they are evenly distributed. Avoid overmixing, as this can result in a dense, tough meatloaf.
  4. Shape the Meatloaf: Transfer the meat mixture to the prepared loaf pan. Use your hands to shape it into a loaf shape, ensuring it fits snugly into the pan and is evenly distributed. You can smooth the top with the back of a spoon or your hands to create an even surface.
  5. Add Pasta Sauce: Spoon the pasta sauce evenly over the top of the meatloaf. You can use homemade marinara sauce or store-bought sauce without meat. The sauce adds moisture and flavor to the meatloaf as it bakes, creating a delicious glaze on top.
  6. Bake the Meatloaf: Place the filled loaf pan on a baking sheet to catch any drips during baking. Transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven and bake the meatloaf for approximately 1 hour, or until it is cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius).
  7. Add Cheese Topping: Once the meatloaf is fully cooked, remove it from the oven and sprinkle the grated Italian cheese blend evenly over the top. Return the meatloaf to the oven and bake for an additional few minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  8. Rest and Serve: Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it rest in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute and makes it easier to slice without falling apart. Serve slices of the meatloaf with your favorite sides, such as mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, or warm rolls.

Enjoy your flavorful and tender Parmesan Meatloaf with your family and friends!


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