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Pizza-Stuffed Meatloaf


Chef notes

Sometimes you don’t know you need a dish in your life until you try it. For us, that was true about this pizza meatloaf. 

This comfort food mashup is reminiscent of a Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. If you love the idea of combining all the flavors of a cheesy, saucy pepperoni pizza with the homestyle goodness of meatloaf, this comfort food dinner is for you. 

Cookbook author Jocelyn Delk Adams was inspired to make this recipe because her son was pizza-obsessed — so she found a smart way to turn everything into pizza. To make this meatloaf, she combines chopped pepperoni with ground beef, giving it that signature pizza flavor right from the get go. After mixing the proteins, she adds eggs, herbs, seasonings and Italian breadcrumbs to help bind all the ingredients and give the meatloaf plenty of flavor. As the final touch, she creates a well for mozzarella cheese before sealing it up with more ground beef to bake. 

Topping off the finished meatloaf with a doctored-up jarred tomato sauce and cutting into the surprise of melty mozzarella cheese in the middle take this easy weeknight dish to a whole new level of deliciousness.

Swap Option: You can use ground turkey (or your preferred meatloaf protein) in place of ground beef. Don’t drink dairy milk or cheese? Swap for your favorite milk and dairy-free cheese alternative. 


For the Meatloaf
  • 2 pounds ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup chopped pepperoni
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon seasoned salt
  • teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
For the Sauce
  • 1 (32-ounce) jar pizza sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped plus more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
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For the meatloaf:


Preheat the oven to 375 F.


Combine all of the meatloaf ingredients together in a mixing bowl, with the exception of the shredded mozzarella cheese. 


Form the meat mixture into the shape of the 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and place in the pan.


Make a horizontal well down the center of the meatloaf with your hand, wide enough to add the shredded cheese. Place the cheese in the middle of the meatloaf and seal the opening with the meat mixture so that no cheese is exposed.


Place loaf in the oven and bake for 50 minutes.

For the sauce:


While the meatloaf is baking, add sauce and seasonings and stir together in a medium saucepan or pot over medium heat. Continue to cook until it begins to bubble.


Turn down the heat to low and occasionally stir while the meatloaf is baking, about 20 more minutes. 

To serve:

Remove the meatloaf from the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Ladle sauce on top of the meatloaf or slice it and ladle sauce on individual slices, if desired.