This Italian meatloaf with ricotta cheese (Polpettone alla Ricotta) is juicy, tender and delicious. It is the ultimate comfort food that’s perfect for family dinner.
If you don’t know what to make for dinner tonight, try this ricotta meatloaf. You can’t go wrong with it. And it is so huge, that you can feed a crowd.
It is made with ground beef, ricotta cheese, onion, Parmesan and Italian seasoning.
Ricotta makes this meatloaf extra creamy and super tender. I am sure it will become one of your favourite ground beef recipes and you will make it again and again! Seriously, every time I make this meatloaf for our friends or family, they say that it is the most giant meatloaf they’ve ever seen.
Italian Meatloaf Recipe Ingredients
- Garlic cloves and onion: We like to chop onion, garlic and parsley in a food processor before adding to other ingredients. It is an effortless and very quick method to mince everything. It seriously takes not more than 1 minute. Use an S-blade attachment for food processor to do this job. Be sure to quarter onion.
- Fresh parsley: It is a go-to herb for this meatloaf, but basil leaves will work too.
- Ground beef: We recommend to use ground beef (77-80% lean). It is perfect for this meatloaf as it has enough moisture and holds its shape while baking.
- Whole milk Ricotta cheese: If you are not familiar with ricotta cheese, it is a creamy cheese made with cow’s milk. You can buy it at your local grocery shop or on amazon. We like Calabro or White Rose brands.
- Milk: It is an optional ingredient. Use it only if your ricotta is too dry.
- Parmesan: Please grate it yourself for the best results.
- Eggs: They work as a binder and help the meatloaf hold its shape while baking.
- Italian breadcrumbs: We prefer to use Italian breadcrumbs. Panko is another great option.
- Worcestershire sauce: It is not a typical ingredient for this Italian meatloaf, but we like to add 1 tablespoon as it helps to tenderize the meat and adds flavor.
- Italian seasoning: Any Italian seasoning will work well for this recipe.
- Dried oregano: You can substitute it with dried sage if desired.
- Salt and pepper: Adjust the amount to your liking.
How to Make Ricotta Meatloaf
- Chop onion, garlic and parsley in a food processor with an S-blade attachment.
- Combine all the ingredients for this meatloaf: the chopped onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, Italian seasoning, ground beef, eggs, ricotta cheese, Parmesan, Italian bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Don't over mix!
- Transfer the meat mixture into a loaf pan and form 7 x 9- inch loaf. Turn it out onto the prepared roasting tray with rack. Alternatively, you can form the loaf with your hands.
- Bake for 50 minutes in the preheated oven.
- Mix together the tomato sauce (marinara), onion powder and Italian seasoning in a medium bowl.
- Remove the meatloaf from the oven and spread the glaze over it. Bake further for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Once the internal temperature is 160 F ( 71 C), meatloaf is done. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.
Tips for making the Best Italian Meatloaf with Ricotta Cheese
- We like to use a food processor for chopping the veggies and herbs. It saves times and efforts. If you don’t have it, grate onion, chop parsley and mince garlic.
- Bake the meatloaf on the tray with rack. Doing this, you allow the drippings to fall through the rack and also provide even heating.
- Glaze the meatloaf. Pour the glaze over the meatloaf and spread with a spoon to cover completely. It will prevent it from drying out.
- Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. It is not necessary to do, but it ensures you won’t overbake the meatloaf. The meatloaf is done when the internal temperature is 160 F (71 C).
How Long To Cook It
The cooking time will depend on the size and shape of your meatloaf.
If you bake it on the tray with rack as I did, it will cook faster.
Baking meatloaf in a loaf pan, will increase the cooking time because the meatloaf is more compact.
The only way to check its doneness is to verify the internal temperature.
However, the total cooking time should be anywhere from an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes.
Side Dishes for Meatloaf
Here are some of our favorite side dishes.
If you make this Italian meatloaf with ricotta cheese be sure to leave a comment or give this recipe a rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐! I will be happy to hear from you!Print
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