If you don't like cheese, this is not the recipe for you. If you don't like meatloaf, this IS the recipe for you!
I realize meatloaf is in the title, but this is the antimeatloaf meatloaf. It doesn't have vinegary ketchup, which my hubby hates, and it is anything but dry. Instead, it is an Italian version with spaghetti sauce in place of the ketchup. Rosemary, Italian seasoned bread crumbs, garlic and parmesan cheese mix in with the meat--ground turkey and reduced fat sausage. Best of all, though, is the pocket of mozzarella hiding in every individual serving. Yes, gooey, hot, stringy mozzarella is melted into the center pocket of every mini serving.
If that wasn't enough cheese for you, it is topped with spaghetti sauce and shredded mozzarella until it is brown and bubbly. Delish.
Here are the ingredients
First mix the binding ingredients before you add any of the meat.
Add your ground turkey and reduced fat sausage. Not pretty, I know. Hang in there, though. There's payoff for your patience.
I used a muffin tin for the first time to get prettier loaves. You can use any shape.
Make a little bowl and press down half of the meat in each muffin holder.
Now comes the ooey and gooey part--add your sticks of mozzarella. I know--it looks like butter. Trust me, it's cheese.
Now cover it all with the caps of your meatloaf
Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Look at that cheesy deliciousness oozing out to say hello.
I took my loaves out and put them on a cookie sheet to top with the spaghetti sauce and mozzarella. Bake about 5 minutes more. I realized later I could have just put the muffin tin ON a cookie sheet to catch any runoff or drips. You learn as you go . . .
Ummm . . . the best meatloaf EVER! In fact, it shouldn't be called meatloaf. That doesn't give it the credit it deserves. Enjoy--your family is going to love you! Even my picky 4 year old ate it up--that is success!
Italian mozzarella stuffed mini "meatloaves"
1 beaten egg
1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried, crushed rosemary
1 lb. ground turkey
8 ounces reduced fat ground sausage
6 sticks of mozzarella chopped up for the middle section of each loaf--1 stick per loaf
spaghetti sauce for tops
shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese for tops
Combine egg, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce, garlic and rosemary in a bowl.
Add meat mixture and mix well.
Divide meat mixture into 6 equal servings OR about 7 if you use a muffin tin.
Press half the mixture for each mini loaf down, leave an indent where you put the cheese sticks, and then cover the rest of the mini loaf with meat--essentially a large meatball with a bunch of cheese in the center.
Bake uncovered at 350 for 35 minutes.
Cover cooked meat with spaghetti sauce and shredded cheese. Bake 5 minutes more or until the meat thermometer reads about 160.
Trip to Italy
All this talk of Italian made me think of my trip to Italy. Before our kids were born, my husband and I traveled a lot--Italy, Ireland, England, Switzerland, Greece, Germany, Austria, Hawaii, Costa Rica, and some other places. I cherish every second we were able to do that. In 2004, we traveled around Italy for a couple of weeks--I felt at home with my Italian name (Chiara is pronounced Key-r-uh). Here are a few pics to make you feel that Italian vibe before you cook this Italian inspired recipe.
Rome. There is St. Peter's Cathedral behind us.
Pisa. We literally hopped off the bus, took a couple pictures and headed out of town.
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