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Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf With Marinara

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Make the dinner table more inviting with a cheese stuffed meatloaf. It is loaded with pesto and cheese and topped with marinara, so it almost tastes like a meatball but better!

Plate with two slices of meatloaf with melted cheese and pesto inside, topped with marinara sauce and more melted mozzarella cheese.

If your family loves meat, cheese and Italian inspired food they are going to live this meatloaf. It is loaded with melty gooey cheese and tastes like a giant meatball.

One of the fun things about meatloaf is there are unlimited ways to make it. There are so many fun flavor combinations and mix ins you can add.

We love making a meal of it with mini sheet pan meatloaves. The sides cook right with the meat, so it is a great dinner option.

But I think one of our favorite meatloaf recipes of all time is stuffed chicken Parmesan meatloaf. MiMi introduced us to it quite a few years ago and it has been a hit ever since.

A couple of years ago she made a ground beef version that reminded me of the best kind of meatball, just super sized. It was really good and I was anxious to share it with you.

I am not sure why it took me so long to get around to it, but it is better late than never. So I am finally sharing the recipe with you!

Make a little spaghetti or other pasta as a side dish and add a salad or broccoli or something and the meal is ready. It makes a great family meal or can even be a special occasion menu item.

whole meatloaf topped with marinara sauce and melted cheese.

Tips and Tricks

Feel free to assemble the meatloaf ahead of time and refrigerate it until you are ready to bake it. Just take it out of yhe fridge while you preheat the oven to take some of the chill off.

You can also make two meatloaves at once to save one for later. Meatloaf can be frozen raw or cooked for an easy meal later.

Plate of cheese stuffed meatloaf slices with remaining meatloaf in background.

To cook a frozen raw meatloaf, put it in the refrigerator the night before to defrost then bake. To cook a frozen cooked meatloaf, defrost it overnight then cover with foil and gently reheat until the cheese is melty.

Your hands are the perfect tool for mixing the meat mixture. They get the flavors mixed in well without overworking the meat.

Patting the meat mixture on a layer of plastic wrap will help you to roll the mixture around the cheese center. It will help to keep it from cracking and falling apart as you go.

More great Italian inspired ground beef recipes

My Maw-Maw’s Velveeta lasagna has a few surprising ingredients that likely make it a bit different from the one you grew up with, but it is so delicious. You have to make some for dinner soon!

No boil baked ziti has all of the flavor you love in a good ziti, but with less prep work. You don’t have to boil the noodles or brown the meat.

Plate of cheesy Italian meatloaf slices next to platter of meatloaf.

Quick and easy pizza burgers are a nostalgic meal that will remind you of childhood. They are also a delicious way to get dinner on the table in a hurry.

Make a dinnertime favorite even quick and easier! The instant pot is a great way to make creamy spaghetti and meatballs with minimal dishes and effort. Or whip up a no boil rigatoni and meatballs bake, it’s a low prep big flavor meal.

Ground beef penne pasta bake is an easy meal to make for the entire family. It’ll fill everyone up and you’ll have plenty leftover. 

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card.

Slices of meatloaf topped with marinara and melted cheese and stuffed with more melted cheese on plate ready to eat.

Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf

Servings: 12 Servings
Author: Carlee
How do you make meatloaf even better? Stuff it with melted cheese and top it with marinara sauce, of course! It is kind of like eating a giant meatball, only better.
4.95 from 20 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 1 cup pesto
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups marinara sauce


  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Mix ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, parmesan cheese.
    2 pounds ground beef, 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs, 2 eggs, ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Place a piece of plastic wrap on the counter. Dump meatloaf mixture onto wrap and pat into a 9" x 13" rectangle.
  • Spread the pesto over the meatloaf mixture. Leave an inch on the long side farthest from you and the two ends. Top with 2 cups of mozzarella.
    1 cup pesto
  • Using the plastic wrap to help, roll the meatloaf into a log. Lightly press on the ends and along the seam to seal in the yummy goodness,
  • Place on parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet, seam side down.
  • Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and top with marinara and remaining cup of mozzarella. Bake until cheese is melty.
    2 cups marinara sauce



Serving: 1ServingCalories: 468kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 32gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 734mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating

Andrea Nine

Friday 20th of August 2021

Such a great idea and fabulous comfort food at it’s best! I cannot wait to try it. Have a sweet weekend.


Friday 20th of August 2021

Thank you!