Italian Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf

This recipe came to me in church cookbook from a small town in western Oklahoma. I’ve adapted the recipe over the years but the original is from Rita from Fairview. I don’t know Rita but I am grateful to her for this recipe. Church cookbooks are the best, aren’t they? I’m always looking for new ones to add to my collection. They are always full of tried and true family recipes and time tested pot-luck favorites. I go through them page by page, flagging recipes I want to try with sticky-notes. This is one of those recipes I’ve had flagged for a long time. I keep coming back to it, making notes in the margins when I make it. It’s a good one, this meatloaf. Picture a giant stuffed Italian meatball. I serve it over spaghetti because, of course you have to have spaghetti with a giant cheesy meatball. Italian dinner perfection! ~Erin

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Making this Italian Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf is so much faster and easier than making a million little meatballs, but you get similar results (only cheesier). Start by preheating the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl combine ground beef, onion, egg, 1 T. Italian seasoning, garlic, ¼ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper, and 1/3 cup of tomato sauce (reserve the remainder); mix until well combined.

Mix breadcrumbs into meat mixture until just combined. Do not overmix.

Turn the meat mixture out onto plastic wrap or wax paper. Pat into a large rectangle. (Please excuse the blurry photo… my 11-year-old took it. 🙂 )

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Sprinkle the meat evenly with both cheeses. (Keeping it real with my cooking mess in the background.)

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Begin to roll the meat by pulling the plastic wrap up and toward you. Continue forming into a roll and tuck the ends under.

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Transfer the roll to a large baking dish; set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together 1 can plus what’s left of the other can of tomato sauce, ½ T. garlic powder, ½ T. Italian seasoning, 1 tsp. onion powder, ¼ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper.

Pour tomato sauce mixture over meatloaf.

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Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 1 hour.

Serve over spaghetti, if desired.

Italian Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf
    Ingredients:
  • ~ 1 ½ lb. 96% lean ground beef
  • ~ 1 small onion or ½ a large onion, finely diced
  • ~ 1 egg, beaten
  • ~ 1 ½ T. Italian seasoning, divided
  • ~ 1 T. minced fresh garlic
  • ~ ½ tsp. salt, divided
  • ~ ½ tsp. black pepper, divided
  • ~ 2 cans (15 oz. each) tomato sauce, divided
  • ~ 1 c. garlic & herb seasoned bread crumbs (I use Progresso.)
  • ~ ½ T. garlic powder
  • ~ 1 tsp. onion powder
  • ~ 1 ½ c. low-moisture part-skim shredded Mozzarella
  • ~ ½ c. shredded (not grated) parmesan cheese
  • ~ fresh chopped basil, for garnish (optional)
  • ~ cooked spaghetti noodles, for serving (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl combine ground beef, onion, egg, 1 T. Italian seasoning, garlic, ¼ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper, and 1/3 cup of tomato sauce (reserve the remainder); mix until well combined.
  3. Mix breadcrumbs into meat mixture until just combined. Do not overmix.
  4. Turn the meat mixture out onto plastic wrap or wax paper. Pat into a large rectangle.
  5. Sprinkle the meat evenly with both cheeses.
  6. Begin to roll the meat by pulling the plastic wrap up and toward you. Continue forming into a roll and tuck the ends under.
  7. Transfer the roll to a large baking dish; set aside.
  8. In a medium bowl, mix together 1 can plus what’s left of the other can of tomato sauce, ½ T. garlic powder, ½ T. Italian seasoning, 1 tsp. onion powder, ¼ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper.
  9. Pour tomato sauce mixture over meatloaf.
  10. Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 1 hour.
  11. Serve over spaghetti, if desired.

Weight Watchers info.: This recipe makes 8 slices at 6 Freestyle SmartPoints each. Don’t forget to add extra points if you serve over spaghetti.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/05/01/italian-cheese-stuffed-meatloaf/

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Southwest Chicken Spaghetti

I had tried several recipes for this over several years and was starting to think I just didn’t like chicken spaghetti. Some were too soupy, others were swimming in cheese, and many were just flavorless.

I finally just scrapped every recipe I had ever tried and started over with my own.  This has a touch of a kick from the Ro-Tel that you can customize to your own taste (substitute some petite diced tomatoes instead!) but also just a really nice flavor from the Ro-Tel, green onion, garlic, and cilantro…It’s cheesy but not just a giant blob of Velveeta.  This is finally, finally, finally, it!  Hope it’s just right for you too.  One more note:  This makes a LOT of food (14 one-cup servings) but you could easily cut the recipe in half if you have a smaller crowd to feed.  ~Robin

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Ingredients:

16 oz. Barilla whole grain pasta spaghetti

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded

16 oz. Velveeta cheese, chopped into 1” cubes

4 cans (10 oz. each) of Ro-Tel tomatoes & green chilies, drained (I use original but if you aren’t into spice, you could use mild too)

1 ½ c. green onions, chopped (reserve ½ c. to garnish the individual servings)

2 to 3 tsp. garlic salt to taste

¼ c. cilantro, finely chopped

2 oz. of Kraft 2% mild cheddar cheese (for topping)

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Instructions: 

Cook the spaghetti according to package directions; drain.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

While noodles are still hot, add Velveeta and stir until melted.

Add shredded chicken, 1 c. chopped onions, drained Ro-Tel, garlic salt, and cilantro; stir until combined.

Spread the mixture in a 9×13 baking dish and sprinkle cheddar across the top.

Bake at 350°F until bubbly and hot throughout (25-30 minutes).

Sprinkle servings with additional green onion if desired.

 

Weight Watchers Info.:  Makes 14 one-cup servings, 7 FreeStyle points each. 

 

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

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We live near a town known for its Italian food, Krebs —  also known as “Oklahoma’s Little Italy.”  It was settled by Italian immigrants years ago, who soon opened several restaurants, cafés, and shops.  In fact, two of my favorite foodie establishments are there.  Lovera’s Italian Market makes their own award winning cheeses, sauces, sausages, marinades, dressings, etc.  When I go into their shop, I want one of everything.  It’s a foodie’s dream.  My other favorite Little Italy stop is Rosanna’s Italian Food.  Their Chicken Parmesan is to die for.  Rosanna’s also makes cheesecakes from scratch.  Again, a foodie’s paradise…however this Weight Watcher has to enjoy these things in moderation.  When I’m craving Chicken Parmesan but don’t want to spend the calories or cash, I make this easy, healthy spin-off.  It’s baked instead of fried and has all the best parts of Chicken Parm, complete with that crunchy crust which makes it worthwhile.  Plus, it’s much faster and easier for busy cooks!  Serve it with spaghetti or all by itself.

͂ Erin

 

Ingredients for chicken layer:

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast – cut into small pieces

1 (29 oz.) can tomato sauce

1 packet McCormick Thick & Zesty Spaghetti Sauce Mix

1 T. garlic salt

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

¼ to ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (I use ½ tsp. – plus I add more on my plated serving.)

Non-stick cooking spray

 

Ingredients for topping:

2 c. low moisture, part skim shredded mozzarella

2 c. panko breadcrumbs

½ c. shredded parmesan

1 ½ T. extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp. garlic salt

Basil, for garnish (optional) – I buy the chopped, lightly dried kind in the produce section

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Spread chicken pieces evenly on the bottom of the pan.  Sprinkle the chicken with 1 T. garlic salt, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk McCormick seasoning packet into tomato sauce until well combined.  Pour the tomato sauce mixture over the chicken.

Sprinkle shredded mozzarella evenly over sauce; set pan aside.

In a small mixing bowl, combine panko, shredded parmesan, olive oil, and ½ tsp. garlic salt.  Spread this topping evenly on top of mozzarella layer.

I usually spray a quick spritz of non-stick cooking spray over the top, to ensure even browning, but that is optional.

Bake on the center oven rack for 45-60 minutes until very bubbly and browned on the top (most importantly, until chicken is 165°F in the center).  If it starts to get too brown before fully cooked, cover loosely with foil.

Sprinkle with chopped basil before serving, if desired.

 

Weight Watchers info:  This recipe makes 8 servings.

Old Smartpoints plan:  8 SmartPoints per serving

Freestyle plan:  6 SmartPoints  per serving

*Many have asked why spaghetti is not included in the SmartPoints calculation.  This is so you can customize it to your needs.  You can eat it with a big serving of spaghetti or a small serving, zoodles (zucchini noodles), spaghetti squash, or no spaghetti at all.