Italian-Style Meat Loaf

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Comfort food, the Italian way.

Meatloaf is a classic comfort food dish. Whether your mother made it for you when you were a kid, or whether you make it for your family today, it’s a crowd pleaser and a reminder that home cooking is often the best cooking. And no one knows more about the delights of home cooking like the Italians. Polpettone is an Italian-style meatloaf with flavors that will put it on par with the beef-based, tomato ketchup-flavored meatloaf of your childhood. Made with two different kinds of cheese, parsley, onion, and white wine, this is truly comfort food with a European flair.

We make our meatloaf with ground chicken or turkey instead of the ground beef, veal, or pork used in many traditional meatloaf recipes. Chicken and turkey are excellent sources of lean protein, and using these substitutes brings the fat and calorie count of your meal way down. We also use 1% milk instead of whole, and extra virgin olive oil. Substituting these two ingredients is much healthier than using heavy dairy products or products containing high amounts of saturated fat.

Serve this delicious meatloaf with a small side of whole wheat pasta tossed with parsley, olive oil and garlic. Or add a vegetable that complements your main course, such as broccoli, green beans, or zucchini sauteed with onion and garlic and fresh herbs. With just a small side, you’ll have a complete meal that will have friend and family asking for the recipe!

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Italian-Style Meatloaf

With a few changes, this meatloaf recipe is now a healthy family meal that you can feel guilt-free serving.
Yield 6 people
Serving Size 1 slice
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian


  • 3 slices whole-wheat sandwich bread
  • 1/3 cup milk 1%
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground chicken or turkey
  • 1 tablespoon parsley fresh, finely chopped
  • 1 onion small, grated or finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup parmesan grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 cheese slices Gruyere, Emmental, Swiss Cheese, or any other cheese
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white wine or chicken broth


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a small bowl, soak the bread in the milk then leave for a few minutes.
  • In a large bowl, mix the ground poultry, parsley, onions, Parmesan, the bread soaked in milk, eggs, salt, and pepper. Mix them very well with your hands until the mixture becomes compact.
  • Divide the mixture in two to make two loaves if you don't have a big cast iron pan to cook them in. Spread the mixture on a piece of parchment paper or strong aluminum foil. At the center, layer the cheese.
  • Roll to close with the help of the parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  • Over medium-high heat, prepare a large cast iron pan with extra virgin olive oil until hot then roll out the polpettone (or meatloaf) from the paper to the pan carefully. Brown all sides.
  • Transfer the saucepan in the oven. After cooking for 15 minutes, pour the wine then cook for another 15 minutes or until the sauce is reduced by half.
  • Let it rest for about 10 minutes, slice then serve.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 324kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 185mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 11
Keywords Low-Carb

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Rowena Dumlao-Giardina

Rowena is a recipe developer and food & travel writer/photographer from Italy with Asian roots. Creating healthy dishes in her own kitchen is priority. She believes there is nothing more satisfying than knowing that her family is eating natural & nutritious meals.

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