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. Christy, you are important to all your Facebook friends, I’m sure. You are an encourager, encouraging us to look for the positive everyday. You are a good example and a leader showing women how they should live their lives.

    Yes, the spagetti sauce would give this meatloaf just the flavor I love, Cant wait to try it with this sauce.

    Safe traveling.

  2. Love to read your thoughts before the recipes. Always encouraging. Have never tried using left over spaghetti sauce. I always use chunky salsa (mild or hot depending on who is going to be eating it) along with chopped sweet peppers and panko bread crumbs, eggs and anything else I want to add. Don’t like anything on top as it makes it too moist when making cold sandwiches. Will have to try the spaghetti sauce in the mix though–Never know when you will have a new meal in the rotation.

    1. Winnie Mom..are you telling us you use the salsa in the meatloaf mixture? How much? I guess that chunky salsa would not only add flavor but texture, and help bind the meat and other ingredients. Panko bread crumbs are so fine, I’m surprized it binds with the meatloaf mixture. I use Progresso Italian bread crumbs but about 1968/1969 when I was pregnant with my daughter, I attended a fraternal order dinner with my in-laws and somebody had made meatloaf for the main course, using Lipton onion soup mix..way to omuch! I got sick from that meatloaf and to this day can’t stand it and it is one of my DH’s favorite meals but I have a mental block because of that time I got sick off that meatloaf and I don’t feel I can make a good one..crazy I know but that happened so long ago, you’d think I’d be over it now. Nope!
      My DH uses canned tomato sauce when he “use” to make the meatloaf.
      I will try the chunky salsa..the next time. Somebody mentioned adding some brown sugar in the sauce on top..that would counteract the acid in the sauce and help thicken, sweeten and probably help make a nice glaze on top.? Just my guess!

  3. Ahhh meatloaf. No matter how you make/eat/enjoy it, it’s mahvelous! Everytime my brother enjoyed my meatloaf he would pay me the compliment of “God put this in Jesus’ lunchbox”. 🙂

  4. I always have leftover meatloaf because I make large ones. I will make 2 pkgs. of Wallyworld’s brown gravy mix, throw in a drained can of mushroom pieces and gently reheat the meatloaf slice (turning them a few times) and serve it with mashed potatoes or rice. I call myself the recycling queen. I hate to waste food.

  5. Christy, I love your recipes! For a really good topping I use brown sugar, mustard, catsup, a dash of Worcester sauce and nutmeg! Made this for years and my family loves it. Adds a little spicy taste to it!

  6. Christy I use light bread in my meatloaf. I learned this from my mom. You wet bread and squeeze the water out. This will hold meat together and stretch your meat. I use (as the old sayings go) everything but the kitchen sink in mine. Never have tried spagetti sauce before. I will have to try it. My family loves garlic so I use garlic powder and black pepper, a little salt and ground ginger.. I love I have put chopped garlic in and mushrooms in. I have put ketchup in as well as on top. I cook meatloaf before I put it on top but cook for a few minutes just to take some moisture out of ketchup. Absolutely great seeing all the different ways meatloaf is so versatile. Thanks for the new ideas.

  7. Christy, I love your recipes. Simple and variable. No expensive herbs to buy. Use my bottled ones. BUT, I absolutely HATE ZIPLIST! I have a LOT of problems with signing in. I finally got in and all the recipes I thought were saved weren’t there.

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