Easy Italian Meatloaf Recipe: Quick Dinner For A Crowd

By La Cuisinière | Veal

Why Use Bacon? Diced or Sliced, Use Pancetta Instead

Sep 10
easy-italian-meatloaf-recipe (1)

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. Merci!

I’m making my easy Italian meatloaf recipe!   It was the first recipe that came to mind last week when I found a special on ground veal.

One of Mom’s signature “entertainment” menus featured veal Marinara as the main dish.

Not veal cutlets, but a thick, fork tender patties the size of a small saucer drenched in a tangy Marinara sauce she made from scratch.

Guests For Dinner? Prepare This Easy Italian Meatloaf Recipe


Salsa al Pomodoro: No need to look any further than this great recipe.

Those were the days when she bucked tradition and brought out the large rectangular electric frying pan.   When that pan came out from her pantry it meant company was coming or she had to prepare large quantities of food.

easy italian meatloaf recipe

Those were the days when she bucked tradition and brought out the large rectangular electric frying pan.   When that pan came out from her pantry it meant company was coming or she had to prepare large quantities of food.

I must admit that it was the only pan capable of holding the entire recipe – veal patties and sauce.  The pan still sits in the pantry, and the recipe is still fresh in Mom’s mind.

Rao's® Homemade Marinara - easy italian meatloaf recipe

Rao’s® Homemade Marinara

That is a good reason to prepare it again so I can take a mouth watering photo!

Those were the days before ready-made sauces came in jars, and available in a long list of flavors many of us do not even think of buying.

Rao’s® Sauce is a keeper .  Who does not want to make a copycat version of their popular meatball dish?

The 32 oz. jar of sauce costs just under ten dollars at Whole Foods® but it is the original marinara in case you plan on making meatballs.

There is a smaller 24 oz. Jar costs $7.99 at Wegman’s® that comes in an assortment of flavors:

> Vodka

> Artichoke

> Roasted Garlic

> 4 Cheese

> Tomato Basil

> Arrabbiata Fra Diavolo (this one is spicy hot!)

> Sensitive Formula Marinara and

> Regular Marinara

Listed above is the selection I found at Wegman’s® . The sauce is available in additional flavors.  I would love to find a jar of the Puttanesca!

Did you know that Rao shares the recipeIt includes veal.

For those of us cooking for a special diet, Amy’s® offers fantastic organic pasta sauces and marinara.

Old Fashioned Veal Meatloaf


Veal Meatloaf

  • Author: De Ashton
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 meat loaves 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


This veal meatloaf is just as good cold in a sandwich as it is drenched in rich gravy with a side of mashed potatoes or topped with Marinara and a side of fresh pasta.



  • 2 lbs. of ground veal
  • 3/4 of a pound of lean ground beef
  • 3/4 of a pound of lean ground pork
  • 3 oz. sliced Italian Pancetta
  • 2 medium onions, chopped fine
  • 1 1/2 cups of celery, sliced thin
  • To taste – Fresh parsley, thyme and rosemary leaves (I found sprigs of young rosemary leaves which were easy to cut into a fine mince along with the parsley)
  • 2 Extra large farm fresh eggs (well beaten)
  • 1.2 cup to 3/4 of a cup of rich chicken broth.
  • Progresso® Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs
  • Montreal Steak® seasoning or sea salt and freshly cracked pepper if you prefer. I find that the combination of spices works well with a wide variety of meats.
  • 23 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 23 tablespoons of butter


  1. Heat the olive and butter over medium heat.
  2. Sauté the celery and the chopped onions until soft. You do not want them to take on any color.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Add the ground meats to a large bowl. Break up the meat into the smallest pieces possible. This will help to blend them together more evenly.
  5. I toss the meat several times to combine the layers of veal, pork and beef without handling the meat itself.
  6. Sprinkle the spices and herbs evenly over the meat.
  7. Spread the onions and celery mixture evenly over the spices.
  8. Pour the eggs over the meat followed by the broth.
  9. Time now to blend the contents of the bowl into a well combined mixture – all this while handling it as little as possible!
  10. Spray two large loaf pans with olive oil.
  11. Fill with meat leaving a good inch of space at the top. With you fingers, push down along the edges of the pan to form a dome shape on the loaf.
  12. Top each loaf with 3 slices of Pancetta.
  13. Bake at 350 degress for about an hour or until done.
  14. Remove from the pan to drain.
  15. Allow to stand for about 15 minutes before cutting into thick slices and topping with gravy, barbecue sauce or Marinara sauce.
  16. I use rich beef gravy on a regular meatloaf, barbecue sauce on a pork meatloaf and Marinara on the veal version!


  • When making regular hamburgers, I always add about 1/2 cup or more of water to keep the meat moistened during grilling. It can be beef broth instead of water. The same holds true when I prepare meat loaf. It also helps not to pack and toughen the meat. Handle lightly and as little as possible.
  • Other uses for Pancetta: pan fry and crumble over pasta or add to soups. I also use the diced Pancetta in stews and various recipes instead of regular bacon.
Recipe Card powered by

 Chicago Metallic Pro Non-Stick
2-Piece Healthy Meatloaf Set,

Why do I add ground beef and ground pork to the meatloaf mix?

Veal is very lean and it needs some fat in order to stay moist during the 1 hour or more it cooks.

To keep the top of the meatloaf from drying out, I added the thin slices of pancetta which will melt away and get crispy much like center cut bacon.

When I prepare beef meatloaf, the proportions are more or less reversed and I use 80% lean to 20% fat ratio ground beef.

You can opt for an even leaner grind but expect the meatloaf to be on the dry side.

Bottom line is that all that fat cannot escape the loaf pan during the cooking process so I use this type of loaf pan for regular meatloaf mixtures.

Not only does the fat drain away from the meat but the meat loaf is super easy to remove from the pan!   Instead of digging into the loaf pan – and ruining the pan 🙁 – you can make perfect slices. So much nicer to plate than a mound of ground meat!

More home-style recipes In The “Veal” Category

(Visited 1,062 times, 7 visits today)

Perfectly Sautéed With: Wegman's Pan Searing Flour


About the Author

1 Cook, 2 Countries & A Taste For World Cuisines: Cooking A La Mode De Chez Nous - Cuisine d'Hier Et d'Aujourd'hui! For the love of home style cooking and great food. Memories are made of this!

Leave a Comment:

Leave a Comment:

error: Content is © protected !!