Italian Meatloaf – and How To Be Important

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Italian Meatloaf is a different spin on traditional meatloaf!Italian Meatloaf - and how to be Important

My mother and I are the type of people who cook with what we have on hand. So last week she had leftover spaghetti sauce and a husband with a hankering for meatloaf. This recipe for Italian Meatloaf was born and she was shocked when it turned out tasting so incredibly good, and more different from regular meatloaf than she had expected. It even got a compliment from someone who is notorious for complaining!

So she said I just had to make it for y’all. And I listen to my Mama (most of the time). So here it is.


Italian Meatloaf - and how to be Important

Now on to the meatloaf 🙂 You’ll need: spaghetti sauce, oats, egg, bell pepper (or sweet peppers), onion, and 1+1/2 to 2 pounds ground chuck.

Note: The peppers and onion are optional in this. Just go with whatever you want to use or have on hand. Also, you can use ground beef in place of ground chuck, you’ll just have a little grease to strain off. You can also use ground turkey if you like. I’ve made plenty of turkey meatloaves in my life for others, I just prefer beef.

Italian Meatloaf - and how to be Important

Chop your onions and bell pepper if you are using those.

I should have chopped mine finer, sure, but I just chop until I’m tired of fooling with it.

Italian Meatloaf - and how to be Important

Add your oats, spaghetti sauce, beef, and egg to the onion/pepper mixture.

You can use more oats if you have less meat in order to stretch it. You’d be amazed at how far you can stretch your meat in a meatloaf!

Did you see my tutorial where I used leftover shredded chicken and stretched it with crushed saltine crackers and such to make chicken patties? Oh they are so good and they freeze so well, click here for that.

Okay, back on point, Christy. Back on point!

Italian Meatloaf - and how to be Important

Mix that all up with your hands.

I know, some people shudder at the thought of digging their hands into raw ground beef  (believe me, I’ve received emails about it!) but there are so many worse things that we could have to do so just buck up, dive in, and know that this will better prepare you for the storms of life.

And really, if this is the worst thing you have to do all day, you have a pretty awesome life!

Italian Meatloaf - and how to be Important

Press your meatloaf into a lightly greased baking dish.

I ended up with a little extra so I used one loaf pan and one mini loaf pan. Use a knife to cut a slice down the center. This will help it cook more evenly.

Italian Meatloaf - and how to be Important

Take the rest of your  spaghetti sauce (or however much you want) to the top of the meatloaf.

If you don’t have enough leftover spaghetti sauce for this, you can use ketchup.

I love ketchup on meatloaf!

Italian Meatloaf - and how to be Important

Bake at 350 for about an hour, until  juices run clear.

If you have a smaller one, it will be done in about thirty minutes.


Dive in and enjoy… and know that you are important. 🙂

Italian Meatloaf – and how to be Important

Use leftover spaghetti sauce for a deliciously different spin on your traditional meatloaf recipe! This is easy to customize as well.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: meatloaf
Servings: 4
Calories: 539kcal


  • 1 +1/2 -2 pounds ground chuck
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 bell pepper or 1/2 cup chopped sweet peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup oats quick or old fashioned
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups spaghetti sauce reserve 1 cup


  • Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix well with hands.
  • Press into greased baking dish. Pour reserved spaghetti sauce over top.
  • Bake at 350 for one hour, or until juices run clear.
  • Enjoy!


Calories: 539kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

Always do the right thing. It will satisfy most people and astonish the rest.

– Mark Twain

Submitted by Jim Ferguson. Click here to submit your own. (I always love new quotes!)

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  1. I had taken down a package of meat from the freezer thinking to make meatloaf for supper tonight. I saw this and I am going to try this version instead of the one I usually use. Looks wonderful, thanks for the new idea.

  2. If you love meatloaf, you would love frikadeller (

    My late mother was Danish and made these for me on my birthdays along with creamed peas and pearl onions. She couldn’t keep me out of the kitchen. Stick my hands in cold meat, NO problem! gr

    Think I know what I’m fixing for dinner tonight. Thanks.

    1. O M G !!! I have not had creamed peas and pearl onions since i was a yung yun at home …that would definitely complement this great meatloaf recipe , Thanks for the flash back John S .

  3. My Italian meatloaf is 50% Italian sausage and 50% ground beef. Perhaps next time I should add in the chopped green peppers (I already use a chopped onion). I don’t usually put any tomato sauce on the top because my next favorite thing is cold meatloaf sammiches and the sauce topping would make it a touch messy to eat. BTW, you are important to us. Your words of encouragement and wisdom are appreciated.

    1. Jane, added Italian sausage would add nice flavor I think. Is this the kind you buy in links? I assume if you buy in in the links, you remove the outside casing?
      My sister lived around many Italian families and they were all wonderful cooks but the one lady and man topped everybody’s cooking. She always added ground italian sausage to her spaghettti sauce that she made from scratch(starting off with canned sauce)Oh, her lasagna and spaghetti was to die for! She was a worry wort at time, nosey but a wonderful person and neighbor. We still miss she and her husband and her wonderful dishes. Her house she kept immaculate and she had good taste in just about everything in her home. She and DH dressed impecably. When anybody speaks of making spaghetti sauce or lasagna , memories of Mrs. G immediately comes to mind and is brought up.

  4. This recipes looks delicious! I cannot wait to try it. Grateful for your profound reflection on importance!

  5. I love meatloaf, hate getting it on my hands, and have tried using medical type gloves that work pretty well. I really like using leftover rice, or instant rice as my extender, it makes a lighter less dense loaf, but soo yummy. I bet it would be even better with this Italian style loaf. Yummy! dinner for tomorrow

  6. I use 2 lbs ground chuck + 1 lb ground pork, 2 eggs instead of one, ketchup, green pepper, onions and bread crumbs instead of oats which I never have. Put two slices of bacon on top. Then for the best meatloaf in the whole world cook it in the crockpot. You have never tasted anything so good.

    1. I don’t know if you can respond to me, but how do you cook it in a crock pot? How long? We LOVE meatloaf at my house, I use a meatloaf mix of chuck, pork and veal, but since you said it was great in the CP I’m interested!! Thanks Sheryle (in case you see this my email is elyrehsatyahoodotcom.)

      1. Sheryle..we have always used the mixture that you use but you know it’s getting harder to find in the grocery store meat dept. anymore. K was just going to post a message to Christy what type of ground meat she used and looked at her recipe again and she uses ground chuck. That gives it a good I’m going to try her recipe but add the chunky sausa that somebody else suggested. Not a lot of people like veal; I grew up on veal cutlets but back then Veal was only $1.39 a lb. certain isn’t that price now! When I go out to a good restaurant that serves veal cutlet, I will sometimes treat myself. It depends how it is cooked and what the added sauce or pasta is served with it. i’ll do without rather than eat frozen breaded veal cutlets..

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