This is a recipe I just sort of made up over the years, but it’s probably not much different than every other meatloaf recipe out there. I went with oatmeal a long time ago because I hated soggy bread, and now of course, I can’t eat wheat anyway. I didn’t stop using loaf pans until about 15 years ago, I wish I had thought of it sooner. The cheese just evolved because boys love cheese. And who doesn’t?
And yes, my kids loved this.
- 3 lbs ground meat –I like about 1/2 chuck and 1/2 round or sirloin with 1/4 lb or so of pork sausage mixed in to make approximately 3 lbs but you can use ground round and ground sirloin instead if you need to make it more lean.
- 1/2 cup oats (oatmeal) blended finely OR Stone Ground Scottish Oatmeal (this is the first time I’ve used that, and it worked like a charm).
- Enchilada sauce (canned is fine) or tomato paste
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped sundried tomatoes
- 1/2 cup green chilis (leave these out if you don’t like it hot, or use canned mild green chili, or substitute chopped bell peppers)
- 1 teaspoon canned (or fresh is fine) garlic –you can use more or less depending on how much you like it
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (I love this stuff!)
- cheese –I use 3 different cheeses and make 3 different kinds but you can use all the same kind of cheese. And I use whatever I have on hand, which is almost always Colby/Jack mixture and maybe some Cheddar, this time I had a nice Gouda and something with peppers in it as well. I like cheesePreheat oven to 350 (F). Mix the ground meat together in a large bowl. I like to use a big wooden spoon, but you can get right in there with your hands, just be sure you have everything you need ready first. And take off your wedding ring if you have one. Add everything but the cheese and mix after each addition (it’s not critical that you do it that way, but since it’s kind of hard to mix, I find it’s just easier to add something and mix, add something and mix, etc.).
When everything is all mixed up well, divide the mixture into 3 even amounts. Flatten one into a sort of large patty and arrange slices of one type of cheese down the middle. Then fold it into a roll, and press it into a loaf shape, being careful to completely close up any openings. If you don’t the cheese will leak out, and you don’t want to lose one drop of that cheese!
Then arrange more cheese along the top, pressing it into the loaf so that it doesn’t fall off during cooking.
Do this with the other two portions using the other types of cheese. By now your oven should be heated to 350 degrees (F) and your loaves are ready to cook!
I like to NOT cook them in a loaf pan. I did that for years and always hated that they were sitting in a loaf pan of fat when I pulled them out. Several years ago a light went on in my head and I started cooking them on a cookie sheet and it was amazing how much better it was! I recently let my husband buy me a nice roasting pan with a rack and guess what? 3 meatloaves will fit perfectly! And they came out the best ever. I am in love with that roasting pan! Just a quick hint. Foil in the bottom of the pan. Makes clean up take about 3 minutes vs…well, a lot longer.
So, put them on the rack of a roasting pan, OR baking sheet (I always used one with a lip so I didn’t get any fat dripping onto my oven–just in case). Bake about 50 minutes.
This is one of those recipes that lends itself to experimentation, btw. I used to do an Italian version using the same seasonings I put into my spaghetti sauce, and a Mexican version using my chili seasonings, etc. The variety is endless. And it hardly mattered, the kids would always eat it. Plus you can add diced onions as well. Be bold and daring when it comes to meatloaf!
I served it with a recipe for Spicy Roasted Golden Beets that I found online and they were wonderful!
I think technically one loaf could feed four people, especially if you had sides and a salad, but well, I’ll just leave it up to you to decide. And by the way, let me just say, “meatloaf sandwich”. If you can eat bread, add a little more cheese to a slice of this, pop it under the broiler on a roll and, well, never mind, I can’t eat it so I’m going to stop now.
I didn’t get a pretty photo of it plated up because we were hungry. So, here was dinner. And it was delicious! :)