Pasta and Meatballs Meat Loaf

Talk about a mash-up meal! Pasta, meat loaf, and an open-faced sandwich join forces in this family-friendly Italian dinner recipe.

Pasta and Meatballs Meat Loaf
Photo: Andy Lyons
Prep Time:
30 mins
Bake Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
30 mins


  • ½ cup dried mini penne pasta (2 ounces)

  • 3 long individual ciabatta rolls or hoagie rolls

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • ½ cup chopped yellow or red sweet pepper

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

  • ¾ cup milk

  • 1 recipe Toasted Bread Crumbs

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, crushed

  • 1 ½ pound ground beef

  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 recipe Garlic Butter

  • 1 cup bottled pasta sauce, warmed

  • Shaved Parmesan cheese

  • Fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

Toasted Bread Crumbs

  • 1 long individual ciabatta roll or hoagie roll

  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

Garlic Butter

  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • ½ teaspoon dried basil

  • 3 tablespoon butter


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Rinse and cool completely. Halve rolls lengthwise; set aside.

  2. In a large skillet cook onion, sweet pepper, and garlic in hot oil over medium heat for 5 minutes or until tender.

  3. In a large bowl combine eggs, milk, 2/3 cup of the Toasted Bread Crumbs, the salt, and Italian seasoning. Using your hands, fold in ground beef, cooked pasta, the 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and cooked vegetables. Form into six 6x3-inch oblong loaves (loaves will appear bumpy rather than smooth). Place in a shallow baking pan.* Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of loaves reads 160 degrees F.

  4. Spread split rolls with Garlic Butter. Bake about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Top each toasted roll half with warm pasta sauce and a mini loaf. Sprinkle with shaved Parmesan cheese, remaining Toasted Bread Crumbs, and snipped fresh parsley.

Toasted Bread Crumbs

  1. Tear individual-size ciabatta roll or hoagie roll in pieces and add to food processor or blender. Process or blend until coarse crumbs form.

  2. In 8-inch skillet, toast bread crumbs in melted butter over medium heat until lightly browned. Remove 2/3 cup to add to the meat loaf mix. Use remaining crumbs for topping the meat loaves.

Garlic Butter

  1. In a small skillet cook garlic and dried basil in butter until garlic is tender.


If necessary, place loaves in two shallow baking pans and rotate pans on oven racks halfway through baking time.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

705 Calories
40g Fat
53g Carbs
33g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 705
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 40g 51%
Saturated Fat 17g 85%
Cholesterol 180mg 60%
Sodium 986mg 43%
Total Carbohydrate 53g 19%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 33g
Vitamin C 28.3mg 142%
Calcium 343.3mg 26%
Iron 5.8mg 32%
Potassium 493mg 10%
Fatty acids, total trans 1g
Folate, total 125mcg
Vitamin B-12 3mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.5mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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