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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

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Italian Meatloaf cooked in tomato sauce

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15 thoughts on “Italian Meatloaf”

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. Kristine Bolt

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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