Easy Italian-Style Meatloaf: A Cozy Dinner Idea











This Italian-Style Meatloaf recipe transforms simple ingredients into a mouthwatering meal that's both gluten-free and paleo-friendly. With succulent ground beef and tangy tomatoes, it's a comforting classic with a Mediterranean twist.


Step 1: Prepare the Meatloaf Mixture

Start by draining the canned tomatoes and reserving the juice for later. Then, give the tomatoes a good chop until they're finely diced. Mix these chopped tomatoes with the ground beef round. To this, add a teaspoon each of garlic powder and dried oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Once all your ingredients are in, mix thoroughly. Now, it's time to get your hands in there and mix everything together until just combined. Remember, over-mixing can make the meatloaf tough. Once combined, shape the mixture into a loaf form, which will ensure even cooking. This mixture of ingredients, especially the tomatoes, will add a wonderful juiciness and a hint of sweetness to the meatloaf, making each bite a delightful experience.
Pro Tip: Use your hands for mixing to ensure ingredients are evenly distributed without overworking the meat.

Step 2: Bake the Meatloaf

Once your meatloaf is shaped and ready, it's time to bake. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Find a suitable rack and place it in your baking pan. This setup allows the fat to drip away from the meatloaf, ensuring it's not sitting in grease as it bakes, which can make the outside beautifully browned and crispy. The meatloaf goes right on the rack, ready for the oven. This crucial step ensures our Italian-style meatloaf cooks evenly, creating a crust that's simply irresistible while keeping the inside moist and tender.
Pro Tip: Placing the meatloaf on a rack in the baking pan helps in cooking it evenly.

Step 3: Final Touches

Into the oven it goes for about an hour. But here's the secret to a moist and flavorful meatloaf: basting. Every so often, baste your meatloaf with the reserved tomato juice. This not only adds flavor but keeps the meatloaf moist throughout the baking process. After about 60 minutes or once the meatloaf has cooked through (a meat thermometer should read 160°F), take it out of the oven. Let it rest for a few minutes before slicing. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring every slice is as moist and flavorful as can be. Serve with a side of roasted vegetables or a crisp salad for a complete meal.
Pro Tip: Basting with tomato juice adds flavor and prevents the meatloaf from drying out.