Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatloaf

This Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatloaf is packed with comfort food flavor…and melty cheese!  This ain’t your grandma’s meatloaf recipe!

This Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatloaf is packed with comfort food flavor...and melty cheese!  This ain't your grandma's meatloaf recipe!We are heading into my favorite season here in upstate New York!  Fall is absolutely gorgeous in this part of the country.  In fact, “leaf peepers” come from all over the country to tour through upstate New York and New England.  For the next month or so, we’ll be greeted with leaves turning all shades of beautiful reds, oranges and yellows.  Add in the crisp “light jacket weather” and apple season, and you’ve pretty much described my perfect time of the year!  (Of course, it won’t be long before I have to wrestle the snow blower out of its summer hibernation…but let’s not speak of such things yet.)

This Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatloaf is packed with comfort food flavor...and melty cheese!  This ain't your grandma's meatloaf recipe!I was watching the local news recently, and a garden expert was talking about where the beautiful colors in the leaves come from.  It turns out the reds, oranges and yellows are there all summer long.  The difference is the green chlorophyll that turns sunlight into food for the plants outweighs the brighter colors.  As the nights turn cold, the trees stop producing chlorophyll, and the brighter colors finally get a chance to shine through.

Hickory, ash and birch trees are responsible for the yellows and oranges that we see each Autumn.  The pigments that creates these colors are called carotenoids…the exact same pigment that we find in carrots, bell peppers and oranges.  Kinda cool, huh?  And the varying shades of reds that we see in oaks, maples and dogwoods?  Those are caused by other pigments called anthocyanins.  Blackberries, cherries, cranberries, grapes, apples and red cabbage are all high in anthocyanins, too.  So next time a friend comments about how pretty the leaves are, you can bust out these facts!

This Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatloaf is packed with comfort food flavor...and melty cheese!  This ain't your grandma's meatloaf recipe!Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatloaf

Another reason why I love Autumn is the return of cold weather comfort food.  During the summer, you can find us by the grill almost every night.  (Truthfully, I will stubbornly continue to grill at least a couple nights a week until it’s downright frigid outside!)  That’s when we turn indoors.  The end of grilling season doesn’t mean the end of tasty food, though.  Take this Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatloaf for instance.  Surprisingly easy to make and downright delicious!

This Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatloaf is packed with comfort food flavor...and melty cheese!  This ain't your grandma's meatloaf recipe!This Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatloaf ain’t your grandma’s meatloaf!  Well, it starts with a similar base of flavors, but then you stuff mozzarella cheese into the middle.  Adding melty, cheesy goodness is pretty much the only way to make a good meatloaf even better!  I used our go-to meatloaf recipe here, but feel free to substitute whatever version you like the most.  (Laura particularly likes the recipe from the back of the box of onion soup mix.)

Heck, you could even mix up the cheeses that you use.  I used mozzarella as it melts easily, and you definitely want to make sure you use a good melting cheese.  Other cheeses like provolone, Swiss or pepper jack would be great options.  Recipe hack: Mozzarella is particularly easy because you can just use sticks of mozzarella string cheese.  Each stick is already the right amount, and I just cut each one into 3 of 4 pieces before wrapping the meatloaf mixture around it.  Nice and easy!  Next time, I’m going to try a combo of mozzarella and pepper jack.

This Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatloaf is packed with comfort food flavor...and melty cheese!  This ain't your grandma's meatloaf recipe!As we turn our attention back to busy school nights and homework, I hope this recipe for Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatloaf makes it onto the dinner menu.  It’s a good one!  Oh, and make sure to stop and enjoy those carotenoids and anthocyanins, too.  Cheers!

Did you make this Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatloaf?  Leave a comment.  Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog)!

Looking for other Autumn comfort food recipes?  Check out these other favorites, too:

Southern Meatloaf Sandwiches
Cast Iron Buttermilk Biscuits
Creamy Tomato Orzo Soup
Baked Parmesan Stuffed Chicken
Cinnamon Rolls Without Yeast

This Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatloaf is packed with comfort food flavor...and melty cheese!  This ain't your grandma's meatloaf recipe!

Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatloaf

This Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatloaf is packed with comfort food flavor...and melty cheese!  This ain't your grandma's meatloaf recipe!
5 from 13 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 7 servings
Calories: 561kcal

Ingredients

For the Meatloaf

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup diced yellow onions
  • 3 celery stalks diced
  • 1 green bell pepper finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 pounds ground beef I used Certified Angus Beef ® brand 85/15
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
  • cup ketchup
  • 2 tsp Italian seasonings
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • 7 small squares mozzarella cheese ~1 oz. each (see note below)
  • {optional} Italian parsley chopped
  • {optional} marinara sauce for serving

For Glaze

  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Line a standard rimmed sheet pan with foil. Spray with nonstick baking spray; set pan aside.
  • Using a large skillet, add olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add onion, celery and bell pepper; cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring often. Add minced garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
  • Using a large bowl, add onion mixture, ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, breadcrumbs, ketchup, Italian seasonings and egg; stir until just combined.
  • Place a 4” round cookie cutter on the prepared pan. (Note: If you don’t have a 4” round cutter, you can also use a tuna can with the top and bottom removed.)
  • Divide the meatloaf mixture into 7 equal parts. Working with one portion at a time, wrap meatloaf around one of the squares of mozzarella. Note: Take care to wrap the cheese entirely so it doesn’t melt out while baking! Gently press mixture into the cookie cutter on the tray. Remove the cookie cutter and repeat process with the remaining portions of meatloaf.
  • Using a small mixing bowl, combine all Glaze ingredients (ketchup, mustard, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce). Spread mixture evenly on top of meatloaves.
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 425°F. Reduce temperature to 325°F and continue baking for 15-20 more minutes, or until internal temperature of meatloaf reaches 160°F.
  • {Optional} Garnish with chopped Italian parsley and serve over hot marinara sauce.

Notes

Mozzarella string cheese is actually a great option here as most brands are already divided into 1 oz. pieces. Just cut each piece into smaller pieces before wrapping the meatloaf mixture around it.

This Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatloaf is packed with comfort food flavor...and melty cheese!  This ain't your grandma's meatloaf recipe!

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34 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    David, autumn is a special time everywhere, but especially in those areas with large deciduous forrest yeilding magnificent fall colors. I’ve enjoyed driving through upstate NY during the changing colors more than once and it is something to see.
    Your Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatloaf qualifies as major comfort food to me indeed. I’d tuck right into that loaf. You’ve given me an idea. I’m going to make bocconcini stuffed Swedish meatballs.

    1. Hey Ron! You’re totally right about Autumn in upstate NY. I like to say this is the reason we moved up here. (Truthfully, it was Laura’s job that brought us up here, but Autumn is such a nice time!) As far as comfort food goes, I love your idea of bocconcini stuffed Swedish meatballs. You might have to cut the bocconcini in half? Either way, that’s certainly going to be a delicious recipe!!

  2. 5 stars
    Autumn really is a beautiful time of the year, I agree!
    We are enjoying the start of Spring in Australia, but I am off to Europe at the end of next week – so I will be heading back to Autumn soon! 😀

    This meatloaf looks divine – just about everything is better mozzarella stuffed! 🙂

    1. Oh my gosh, you are going to get so confused when you leave Spring and head into Autumn! But I do hope you have a ton of fun on your European trip, Alexandra! 🙂

  3. Hi David,
    I don’t eat red meat, but do you think this would work with ground turkey?
    Thanks,
    Viktoria
    PS: I am ELATED that fall is here!

    1. Hey Viktoria! First off, cheers to fall! 🙂 Second, I do think this would work with ground turkey. However, I’d avoid using a super lean ground turkey here as I’m afraid it might fall apart. I used 85/15 ground beef, so try to aim for something in that range. Let me know how it turns out!!

  4. 5 stars
    Wish bay area could show some Autumn colors. It’s just orange and yellow we see. That’s a fun fact you shared but my mind is blown away seeing the dish.. mozzarella stuffed meatloaf!! This will make my kid so happy LOL

    1. I didn’t realize you are in the bay area, Kankana! We just got back from a long weekend up in Napa. It was amazing! But holy cow it was hot. We hit 100°F on Friday…talk about just a little different than the weather out here in New York. Either way, comfort food season is coming…just sooner than later for some of us. Cheers!

  5. Hi David! Meatloaf is definitely high on my comfort food list and your addition of cheese makes it even better! Give me this, some mashed potatoes and corn and I am one happy person! Fall hasn’t started here yet, it’s still in the 90’s UGH. Your posts are always so interesting, you are full of so many facts! Reminds me of the way Gary used to be. 🙂

    1. Umph. We were out on the West Coast this past weekend, and it was so hot! We actually hit 100°F on the first day out there. Such a difference from the 70’s that we’ve got here in New York right now. If you get too hot down there, come on up here. I’ll save you some meatloaf! 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    I hear you on the Autumn front, bring on the comfort food! That being said, what a great idea for the meatloaf. I bet my boys would get a kick of tucking into one of these to find the cheese ‘surprise’!

    1. Yes! That would be a fun idea to serve this mozzarella-stuffed meatloaf and not tell the boys about the cheese hiding inside. Can you imagine the reaction? I love it! 🙂 Thanks, Matt!

    1. Hey Gerlinde! We were actually out there in California this past weekend, and you’re right…it’s hot. But the evenings are definitely cooler, and this meatloaf would be great for one of those cool nights. 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    Lol….I do love the colour of fall leaves and to have a good factoid to break out 😉 Fall is my fave season too with the crisp in the air and all the comfort food….speaking of which cheese stuffed meatloaf??? If this is not comfort food, I don’t know what is. Love the little serving size too. This would be perfect for Sunday supper or entertaining family, alike! Hope you have a lovely weekend ahead, David 🙂

    1. Yes! We had a lovely weekend indeed, Dawn. (We took a long weekend out to Napa!) But now we’re back on the East Coast, and it’s certainly getting chilly here. Comfort food season has most definitely arrived! Bring on some more cheesy meatloaf, please! 🙂

    1. I’m with ya, Dawn. Comfort food, crisp Fall evenings and the reds/yellows/oranges of the leaves is what makes this season so special! Thanks so much, my friend!

    1. No way! I love that your grandma used to stuff her meatloaf with mozzarella. I’ve gotta say that this is my new favorite way to make meatloaf! Thanks, Frank!

    1. Yes! You make an excellent point about the smells of Fall – both inside and out. Between the smoker and the firepit (we use it to burn up sticks that fell in the yard over the summer), the outside smells amazing. And of course all of the comfort food cooking in the kitchen makes inside smell great, too. Thanks so much, Kathy!

  8. 5 stars
    David, talk about sharing taste buds! I’ve been getting my meatloaf recipe ready to post as well! (I was anyway!) You knocked it way out of the park with the melty cheese inside! So awesome! My kids would love this! So perfect served with marinara sauce!

  9. 5 stars
    I’m all about comfort foods and this recipe is over the top. Seriously, it looks amazing! The flavors, the textures — that melting cheese!
    I love this time of year, too. I bet it’s beautiful there. Maybe you’ll post a pic or two of those pretty leaves. 🙂 ~Valentina

    1. Thank you so much, Valentina! I mean meatloaf by itself is delicious, but then you stuff some cheese in there? Oh yeah, that’s my kind of meal! 🙂 And, yes, I do need to post some pretty pics of leaves. I just have to get that pic before they all end up in my yard. Haha!

  10. 5 stars
    Autumn is definitely the time for comfort food. I’m back to cooking us lots of casseroles here. Love this Mozzarella-stuffed meatloaf David. I’ve been watching that tree in our front garden gradually change colour and shed it’s leaves. It’s kind of mesmerising.

    1. Casseroles are definitely a classic Autumn meal, Neil. You should put this mozzarella-stuffed meatloaf on the dinner menu, too, though. It’s delicious! And I hear ya about Fall…I love the leaves. That is until they start falling and I have to clean them up. Haha!

    1. You’ve got to stop everything and make meatloaf ASAP then, Marissa…and stuff it with cheese! This is such a delicious comfort food. 🙂 Thanks so much, my friend!

  11. Ah, autumn. The science behind the leaf colors and change is really fascinating. My husband took a bus tour once when he was staying in Boston. I was home with the kids, of course… Anyway, i really love what you did here. It’s certainly prettier than a big ole loaf of meat loaf, and with the cheese? Spectacular goodness.

    1. You know, I hadn’t thought much about the science behind the leaf colors until I stumbled across that article. So interesting! Anyways, I’m all in on the comfort food, and cheese-stuffed meatloaf is most definitely comfort food central! 🙂 Thanks, Mimi!

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