Meatloaf, a timeless and cherished comfort food, is a quintessential part of many family meal traditions. Its heartiness and simplicity make it a staple on dinner tables across the world. Yet, there’s a delightful twist to this classic: Parmesan Meatloaf. This delectable variation infuses the traditional meatloaf recipe with the rich, nutty flavors of Parmesan cheese, elevating the dish to a new level of savory satisfaction.
The fundamental foundation of Parmesan Meatloaf remains true to the essence of meatloaf: a blend of ground meats, typically beef or a mixture of beef and pork, bound together with breadcrumbs, eggs, and various seasonings. However, what sets Parmesan Meatloaf apart is the addition of grated Parmesan cheese. This Italian cheese, known for its bold, savory taste and granular texture, introduces a delightful umami element that complements the meats perfectly. The cheese’s saltiness and depth of flavor infuse every slice of the meatloaf, creating a symphony of tastes that dance on the taste buds.
Parmesan Meatloaf offers a tender and moist interior, while the exterior forms a delectable crust that’s kissed with a golden-brown hue. The cheese’s presence enhances not only the flavor but also the texture, creating a harmonious balance between the meat’s richness and the cheese’s nuttiness. As the meatloaf bakes, the Parmesan melds with the other ingredients, creating a sumptuous and well-seasoned filling that’s sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate.
This variation of meatloaf is a testament to the culinary innovation that transforms a beloved classic into a contemporary delight. While traditional meatloaf holds a special place in our hearts, Parmesan Meatloaf showcases the evolution and adaptability of comfort foods. It’s a reminder that even the most time-honored dishes can be elevated to new heights through the addition of unique and complementary ingredients.
For the Meatloaf:
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
For the Topping:
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, milk, chopped onion, green bell pepper, celery, 1/4 cup ketchup, minced garlic, egg, salt, black pepper, dried oregano, and dried basil. Mix until all the ingredients are well combined.
- Shape the meat mixture into a loaf and place it in the greased loaf pan.
- In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup ketchup, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce to create the topping.
- Spread the ketchup topping evenly over the meatloaf.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until the meatloaf is cooked through and has an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C).
- Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.
- Slice and serve your Parmesan Meatloaf with your favorite side dishes.
This Parmesan Meatloaf is flavorful and cheesy, making it a comforting and satisfying dish for a family dinner. Enjoy!