Cheesy Stuffed Meatloaf

published Aug 5, 2022
Stuffed Meatloaf Recipe

Oozing with mozzarella or your favorite cheese, this stuffed meatloaf is a fun and cheesy twist on a classic.

Serves4 to 6

Prep35 seconds

Cook1 minute

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Photograph of stuffed meatloaf on a sheet tray.
Credit: Maria Do

Stuffed meatloaf is an easy and delicious way to switch up your dinner routine. The gooey mozzarella center works really well with all the classic flavors of the beloved ground beef dish, ketchup glaze included. 

Making stuffed meatloaf is easier than you’d think. Fill your loaf pan with half of the meat mixture, create a well in the center, fill with cheese, then top with the rest of the meat and bake. A little extra effort goes a long way.

Tips for Making Stuffed Meatloaf

  • Use lean meat. Lean ground beef is ideal for meatloaf because of the included wet ingredients. For an even juicier meatloaf, go for a 50/50 split of ground pork and lean beef. 
  • Use your favorite kind of cheese. Mozzarella and cheddar are the most popular cheeses to use, but feel free to mix it up! I use mozzarella in this recipe for its stretch, but any good melting cheese will do.
  • Use binders. To prevent the meatloaf from breaking, add egg and breadcrumbs to the ground beef mixture. (They also help make the meatloaf lighter in texture.)
  • Check the temperature. For a moist, delicious meatloaf, use an instant-read thermometer. If you wait for all the pink to go away, it will result in a dry meatloaf. You’re looking for a temperature around 160ºF.
  • Don’t skip the post-bake rest time! Those final resting minutes allow the meat juices to finish settling before you cut into it. 

Stuffed Meatloaf Recipe

Oozing with mozzarella or your favorite cheese, this stuffed meatloaf is a fun and cheesy twist on a classic.

Prep time 35 seconds

Cook time 1 minute

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the meatloaf:

  • 1

    small yellow onion

  • 1

    medium carrot

  • 2 medium stalks

    celery

  • 3 cloves

    garlic

  • 1/2 medium bunch

    fresh parsley

  • 1 cup

    dry, plain breadcrumbs

  • 1

    large egg

  • 1/4 cup

    whole or 2% milk

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon

    dried Italian seasoning

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    red pepper flakes

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    93% lean ground beef

  • 8 ounces

    fresh mozzarella or white sharp cheddar cheese (not shredded)

For the glaze:

  • 1/3 cup

    ketchup

  • 3 tablespoons

    packed light or dark brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon

    prepared yellow mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 375ºF. Line a 9x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang off the two long sides.

  2. Prepare the following, adding each to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment as you complete it: Coarsely chop 1 small yellow onion (1 1/2 cups), 1 medium carrot (no need to peel), 2 medium celery stalks, and 3 peeled garlic cloves. Pick the leaves from 1/2 medium bunch fresh parsley until you have 1/2 packed cup.

  3. Pulse until finely chopped, about 12 (1-second) pulses. Transfer to a large bowl.

  4. Add 1 cup dry, plain breadcrumbs, 1 large egg, 1/4 cup whole or 2% milk, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Stir until evenly combined; set aside to hydrate.

  5. Cut 8 ounces fresh mozzarella or sharp cheddar cheese into rough 1-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups).

  6. Place 1/3 cup ketchup, 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar, 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt in a small bowl and stir to combine.

  7. Add 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef to the breadcrumb mixture. Mix with your hands until just combined, being careful not to overmix. Transfer half into the loaf pan and press firmly into the bottom of the pan with the back of a spoon. Press a deep trench lengthwise down the center of the loaf. Place the cheese into the trench.

  8. Transfer the remaining meatloaf mixture into the loaf pan and press into an even layer. Spoon 1/4 cup of the glaze evenly on top of the loaf. Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet.

  9. Bake until cooked through and the center registers at least 160ºF on an instant-read thermometer, about 1 hour. Let the meatloaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Spread the remaining glaze on top (if you have extra, serve at the table). Grasping the overhanging parchment, lift the meatloaf out of the pan onto a clean cutting board and cut crosswise into slices.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The meatloaf can be shaped, placed in the loaf pan, covered, and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead. Let the meatloaf sit at room temperature while the oven heats. Bake as directed.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.