Say goodbye to boring meatloaf and say hello to the best meatloaf you have EVER had! This Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf is a flavorful meatloaf recipe that is made with a combination of Italian sausage, ground beef, and pizza sauce to create an insanely delicious pizza-flavored meatloaf.
This recipe for Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf was a childhood favorite of mine. My mom made what we as a family referred to as Pizza Meatloaf at least once a month when I was growing up. And after one bite, it is easy to see why this pizza meatloaf was on repeat!
Made with a combination of ground beef, Italian sausage, pizza sauce, and pizza seasonings, and then stuffed with gooey, melty cheese, this cheese-stuffed meatloaf is reminiscent of pizza not only in flavor but also in the way even the pickiest eaters devour it, and beg for second servings.
And even though it may sound complicated to stuff your meatloaf with cheese, this recipe for Pizza Meatloaf is quite easy to make. Add a side of parsley potatoes and roasted broccoli, and you will have one easy dinner recipe that YOUR family will beg you to make again and again!
Notes on Ingredients
- Ground Beef: I recommend using lean ground beef or ground turkey for this meatloaf.
- Italian Sausage: Use store-bought or homemade turkey, pork, or chicken ground Italian sausage. I recommend using mild, not hot Italian sausage so that the spice level won't overwhelm the meatloaf.
- Pizza Sauce: If you don't have pizza sauce on hand, feel free to use a good quality jarred spaghetti sauce or homemade spaghetti sauce.
- Breadcrumbs: Use unseasoned bread crumbs to help bind the meatloaf together. I prefer the texture of panko breadcrumbs, but traditional breadcrumbs work as well.
- Cheese: Shredded Mozzarella is the best cheese to stuff the meatloaf with as it melts really well and the flavor lends itself perfectly to the seasonings in the meatloaf. If you don't have Mozzarella cheese on hand, use sliced provolone cheese or a blend of shredded Italian cheese.
- Gluten-Free Meatloaf: I have made a gluten-free version with success many times using gluten-free breadcrumbs or rolled oats in place of regular breadcrumbs. Be sure to check that your sausage is gluten-free as well, or use my recipe for Homemade Italian Sausage.
- No Sausage? Using both ground beef (or turkey or chicken) and ground sausage adds the best flavor to your meatloaf. That said, feel free to omit the sausage and use additional ground beef (or turkey or chicken) in its place.
- Skip the Cheese Filling. While I highly recommend stuffing this pizza meatloaf with cheese for the ultimate meatloaf recipe, you can skip this addition. Simply shape the meat mixture into a log, top it with pizza sauce, and cheese, and bake for 5 minutes LESS than the recipe states.
Tips for Making Meatloaf
- Don't overmix. The order in which you combine the ingredients is KEY in determining how tender and flavorful the resulting meatloaf will be. It is essential to mix the seasonings and binding ingredients together BEFORE adding the meat, so all the flavors are evenly distributed without having to overmix the meat.
- I highly recommend baking your meatloaf on a broiler pan to let the fat drain away as it is rendered while the meatloaf cooks.
- Let the meatloaf rest before serving. This will help
How to Stuff Meatloaf with Cheese
It may sound complicated to stuff meatloaf with cheese, but I promise you it is so easy to do!
- On wax or parchment paper, flatten out the meat into a rectangular shape
- Sprinkle the cheese over the center of the meat mixture.
- Roll the meatloaf into the shape of a loaf, with the cheese in the center of the loaf.
I love to pair this pizza meatloaf with a side of Parsley Potatoes and Green Beans Almondine because that is how I grew up enjoying this meatloaf. However, it also pairs well with No-Peel Mashed Red Potatoes, Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Red Potatoes, or Grits.
Storing Leftover Meatloaf
- Refrigerate: Leftover meatloaf can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Freeze: Wrap the cooled meatloaf in foil and then place it into a freezer-safe bag and freeze it for up to 3 months.
- Reheat: Defrost in the refrigerator if needed, unwrap the meatloaf, and warm through in a 350-degree F oven or microwave individual slices on a heat-safe plate.
More Family-Favorite Comfort-Food Recipes
- Creamy Parmesan Chicken and Noodles
- Chicken Pot Pie
- Vegetable Beef Soup
- Instant Pot Beef Stew
- Cheesy Ham and Scalloped Potatoes
Need more inspiration for planning meals that your family will love? Sign up for my FREE Meal Plans and each week you will get a meal plan with a shopping list.
If you tried this Cheese-Stuffed Pizza Meatloaf, I would love for you to leave a comment below. I love hearing how your family enjoys these recipes!
Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ½ pound ground Italian sausage
- 1 cup pizza sauce divided
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 eggs whisked
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- 8 ounces shredded or sliced Mozzarella or Provolone cheese divided
- Preheat the oven to 375℉.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the eggs, bread crumbs, salt, oregano, parsley, parmesan, and ⅓ cup pizza sauce together until well combined.
- Add the ground beef and sausage to the breadcrumb mixture and gently combine, being careful to not overmix your meatloaf mixture.
- On wax or parchment paper, flatten the meat mixture into a rectangular shape (about 6 by 10 inches.) In the center of the meat mixture, top with ⅔ cup mozzarella or provolone cheese.
- Roll the meat around cheese and shape it into a loaf shape and then place the meatloaf onto a broiler pan. Top with the remaining pizza sauce and cheese.
- Bake for 1 hour, or until the center reaches 165℉.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then slice and serve.