Full disclosure, when I was a kid I hated meatloaf. Hated. I may have even asked what was for dinner, learned that it was meatloaf, and subsequently called every friend I knew to get “invited” to dinner at their house. My mom is an amazing cook. I loved almost everything that she served. Meatloaf was not one of them. I hated the dryness and lack of flavor. I really hated the thick goopy ketchup on top.
You may be wondering why I decided to give meatloaf another go after a history like that. Jonathan and I recently had dinner at a friends house where they served stuffed meatloaf. It was delicious! It gave me a whole new vision about what meatloaf could be. I searched today for a recipe similar to what she created but came up empty. So, I made up my own version. We just finished eating and it didn’t even last long enough for me to take pictures. Maybe next time 🙂
I stuffed my meatloaf with diced carrots, onion, garlic, mushrooms and parmesan. Other than that, the meatloaf is pretty “normal” with the addition of balsamic vinegar. I think that you could use any veggies that you have on hand (squash, zucchini, etc.) and the result would be equally yummy.
The following is my version of stuffed meatloaf for 2.
- 1.5 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 diced carrot
- 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1/4 cup diced baby bella mushrooms
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (divided)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg
- 1 lb of ground chuck
- 1/4 tsp tarragon
- 1/2 tsp parsley
- 1/2 cup panko crumbs (Japanese bread crumbs)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup ketchup (divided)
- 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (divided)
- Preheat oven to 425*
- Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add carrots, onion, garlic, mushrooms, 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper, salt, pepper and cook until almost soft (5- 8 min). Set aside to cool.
- Whisk together herbs and egg in a large bowl. Add meat, panko crumbs, 1/2 of cheese, 1/2 of ketchup, 1/2 of balsamic vinegar and mix until just combined.
- On a lined baking sheet, mold meat into a “boat” shape with the center hollow. Mix remaining cheese and vegetable mix together. Put this mixture in the center of the hollow boat. Shape the meat up, over the vegetable mixture so that the mixture is enclosed and mold into a meat loaf “roll” shape. Bake the meat loaf for 1 hour.
- Whisk together remaining ketchup, crushed red pepper and balsamic vinegar. Brush over meatloaf and bake 15 more minutes. Slice and serve!
Jonathan is a big fan of gravy so I added some prepared beef gravy to the table for him. This is so not the meatloaf of my childhood. It is cheesy, flavorful and delicious.
This is meatloaf happiness.