Home » Cuisine » Italian » Italian Meatloaf

Italian Meatloaf

Italian Meatloaf is a tender, flavorful meatloaf made from a combination of ground beef and Italian sausage. Cooked in a rich tomato sauce and covered with a thick layer of Fontina cheese. So delicious!

Italian Meatloaf cooked in tomato sauce.


It’s like eating a giant meatball! This is one of my favorite meatloafs. Scroll down for more meatloaf recipes.

The leftovers make a fantastic Meatloaf Sandwich.

The binding agents in this meatloaf are eggs and crushed Saltine crackers and they do a fantastic job of holding it together. It can be cut into nice sturdy slices which is one of the reasons it makes such a great meatloaf sandwich.

Saltines add so much more flavor to meatloaf than breadcrumbs. There’s a full sleeve of Saltine crackers in this Italian Meatloaf which seems like a lot. But trust me, it is just the right amount.

Italian Meatloaf cooked in tomato sauce


This meatloaf feeds alot of people. A family of 4 should get two meals out of it.

In addition to the thick layer of Fontina cheese on top, there’s Parmesan cheese added to the meatloaf mixture. The meatloaf cooks in a rich tomato sauce that comes most of the way up the meatloaf. Cooking it in tomato sauce really keeps it moist.

There’s a few crushed red pepper flakes added to the sauce and the meatloaf for a little heat. If you want more heat, double the amount in either the sauce or the meatloaf. Doubling both might be overpowering.

What To Serve With Italian Meatloaf:


Italian Meatloaf with melted Fontina cheese on top.

Try These Other Meatloaf Recipes:

Watch the short video below to see how easy this recipe is to make.

Italian Meatloaf cooked in tomato sauce.

Italian Meatloaf

Italian Meatloaf is a tender, flavorful meatloaf made from a combination of ground beef and Italian sausage. Cooked in a rich tomato sauce and covered with a thick layer of Fontina cheese. So delicious!



  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 35 saltine squares, one full sleeve
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 pound 85% lean ground beef
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teapsoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teapsoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup shredded fontina cheese or mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


  • To make the sauce, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a broiler-safe 9x13-inch pan.
  • Place saltines in a large ziptop bag and crush with a rolling pin.
  • Stir together the saltines, milk, and eggs in a large bowl. Let sit 5 minutes.
    Stir again so that it forms a paste.
  • Add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT fontina cheese and basil. Mix thoroughly.
  • Transfer mixture to prepared dish and shape into a 9x5-inch oval. Pour sauce over meatloaf.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.
  • Uncover and sprinkle with fontina. Place under broiler until cheese is melted. Let rest 10 minutes. Spoon off any grease from tomato sauce. Slice meatloaf and sprinkle with basil.


Calories: 534kcal
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: ground beef recipes, meatloaf

Want to Save This Recipe?

Italian Meatloaf cooked in tomato sauce

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating

I accept the Privacy Policy

25 thoughts on “Italian Meatloaf”

  1. This meatloaf is SO GOOD! The whole family loved it. Served it with butter garlic noodles, garlic bread, and roasted broccoli and mushrooms. Will make great leftovers!

  2. By far, the BEST meatloaf recipe ever! The secret is using the saltines instead of breadcrumbs. You can change up the cheeses. You can use meatloaf mix instead of beef. The sauce that it cooks in is simple and delicious! I’ll make it again and again.

  3. I actually made this for dinner tonight and it’s very tasty 😋. We all enjoyed it very much. Of course I added a few things, like different kinds of 🫑🌶️, but I must say that it’s a Hit 🎯

  4. Mary Jo Lockett

    The best meatloaf or Italian meatloaf we have ever tasted. I would give it 10 stars if I could. You won’t be disappointed.

  5. What a great easy meal. I used ground up pork rinds as a binder to reduce carbs. I also used Rao’s pizza sauce, again to reduce the total carbs. Outstanding and much more moist then a standard meatloaf!

  6. Theresa McKone

    Not only do you get a fantastic meatloaf, you get the base for spaghetti sauce the next night. I served with the meatloaf with garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli spears and I never saw such clean plates in my life. Bravo!

  7. What is “italian seasoning” ????? I see a lot of US recipes mention stuff like this but I have no idea what it is.

    1. You can get it in the spices aisle. It eliminates the need to have to put in a bunch of different spices.

  8. Jessica M Kucsan

    Made this tonight and HOLY COW!!! AMAZING!! Definitely going into our regular rotation. Easy and fantastically delicious. I did cheat and use a jar of spaghetti sauce to take a shortcut but wowsers. So good!

  9. Yum! I want to try this recipe soon!! The video clip of making this recipe states refrigerate for 1 hour!? And the written recipe below says bake for 1 hour. Must be an oversight

    1. Hi, I just looked up similar recipes and saw that they used 1 C of bread crumbs. Hope this helps. Im going to try it tonight.

    2. Teresa Groover

      I didn’t have saltines but had breadcrumbs. I used 1 cup of breadcrumbs and it turned out awesome!

  10. Kristine Bolt

    I increase the meat by 1/2 pound and divide into two loaves. Makes wonderful meatloaf sandwiches !

  11. I need them nutrition information. Especially the carbs. My 4 year old granddaughter was n type 1 diabetic and I need th carbs. The recipe sounds deliciously. Thank you so much.

  12. Janet Bradley

    Can’t wait to try this, but we are a party of two. Can I make this divide it in two and freeze one for later?
    Thanks, Jan

Scroll to Top