Ricotta Meatloaf

This really could be called a three cheese meatloaf having ricotta, mozzarella and Parmigiano, however, the ricotta is such a key ingredient to this meatloaf’s texture and flavor that it deserves the starring role in the title.

It is important to use fresh ricotta for this recipe.  Thanks to John, From the Bartolini Kitchen, for his homemade ricotta recipe, I am now making my own ricotta!  I will be honest though, I did make a slight change in that I….gasp!…. microwave the mixture!  Less chance of scorching, bubbling over and it’s pretty much done in a matter of minutes with no saucepan to scrub clean.  Either way, stove top or microwave, freshly made ricotta tops any store-bought variety.

Of course, pre John, I bought my ricotta from my Italian market or a quality grocer, so you do not need to make your own.  Just make sure it says fresh ricotta on the label.   If the ricotta has a lot of moisture, drain it for about 1 hour in a paper lined strainer.

If I’m not serving to guests, I like to make two instead of one large.  I still have leftovers and everyone loves leftover meatloaf!  Just how I like my meatballs with a dab of ricotta, this is exactly how I love to serve this Italian style meatloaf.   I also enjoy fresh ricotta with just a sprinkling of sea salt, herbs and a drizzle of good olive oil!!

Ricotta Meatloaf
adapted from Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipes

1 lb. ground sirloin

1 lb. ground pork

1/2 cup dried bread crumbs

3 large eggs, beaten well

1 cup fresh ricotta

2-3 scallions, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded

1/2 tablespoon Kosher Salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Marinara Sauce and Ricotta Cheese for serving

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.   Prepare a large baking sheet with slipat or parchment paper.   In a large bowl combine the ground sirloin and ground pork.  In a medium bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Add the ricotta mixture to the sirloin/pork and gently mix together until well combined.

Shape into one large meatloaf or divide into two.   Bake for about 50 minutes if divided into two  or 1 hr 15 minutes for one large meatloaf.   Remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.  Serve with marinara sauce and ricotta cheese on the side.  Makes 6-8 servings.

53 thoughts on “Ricotta Meatloaf

  1. Isn’t John’s Ricotta the best? Easy and so good! I like the idea of mixing the ground meat and cheese. Seem like this recipe would be very mild.

  2. I just made meatloaf tonight and never even thought of adding the ricotta, AND i had whey yesterday which i fed to the pigs! Oh my.. bad miss c.. I will remember this recipe.. hope all is well with you and that you and the dogs are having some good wintery (not) walks!! take care darling.. c

    1. lol… my dogs are getting FAT with not going out for walks this winter!! And how horrible since it’s not a fraction of cold as what you put up with. Whey to the pigs…lucky little pigs you have!!

  3. That’s a beautiful looking meatloaf and I’m so impressed that you are making your own ricotta. I have been admiring John’s cheese series but we have agreed that he makes and cheese and I bake the cakes! xx

    1. Well, I honestly didn’t think I’d be one for making cheese and haven’t tried the others. But this really is simple and since I don’t have my Italian market around, the store bought variety here has not impressed me!

  4. What an exciting version of meatloaf! Like most readers I imagine I am not in the habit of putting ricotta, beautifully homemade or [otherwise] into my mixture: can’t wait to try!! Think this would be beautifully moist 🙂 !

  5. This sounds fantastic, Linda! I’ll be passing the recipe to Zia. At one time, she made the best meatloaf but has since lost the recipe. She will love this one, especially with its ricotta component. She makes ricotta now all of the time.
    Isn’t that recipe great? Thanks for the shout-out. Great idea using the microwave. Ricotta isn’t reliant upon any live cultures for flavor so the microwave not only works but, as you said, cuts down on the clean-up. Yay!

    1. Thanks John. I do hope Zia will try it out, love to get her opinion 🙂 Yes, I did do the stove top method once and cleaned my pot forever 🙂 tho I rarely ever complain about cleaning up dishes from cooking or baking. It’s all a part of what I love!

  6. Two things that are hard for me to pass up, fresh ricotta and good meatloaf … both can be hard to come by unless you make them yourself, which you have done here! I have that same cookbook by Lidia and it is a great one. I like the idea of replace milk with ricotta in the meatloaf, it is officially on my list of things to try now.
    Happy New Year, Linda, I hope it is off to a fabulous start!

  7. I’ve never heard of putting ricotta in meatloaf, but it sounds and looks amazing. I love how you plated this, very nice! I’m going to have to try cheese in meatloaf…how could it not be great?

  8. Ha! Adapting for practical reasons… the best reason to adapt! It is so much better when we have the time to sit and savor without too many looming dirty dishes in the kitchen. Looks absolutely delicious.

  9. WOW. Now that’s some gourmet meatloaf! I’m always too nervous to make John’s homemade cheeses, though they always look absolutely incredible. So impressed that you made the ricotta–it looks perfect atop the meatloaf!

  10. I absolutely must make this Linda! I am drooling at my desk which is really quite a “no no” at work. 😉 Anyhow, it’s your fault and I am sticking to that story. This meatloaf looks so unique and so delicious. I hope this new year brings you some new great adventures and much good luck.

  11. You and John are so good with the homemade ricotta! This is positively the most delicious meatloaf I have seen in a long time. Beautiful presentation. I love the edge of difference having the meatloaf, the cheese and the marinara sauce each as a layer. Love it! Delicious!

  12. Now this is a meatloaf I can get behind. I love the sound of this. And you’ve reminded me I never got around to making my cheese this summer. This was on my list of things to do. Better late than never though right?!

  13. I made John’s ricotta this summer as well. It’s fantastic and is hands-down better than anything I’ve ever purchased.. grocery or specialty shop. I love that you’ve combined it in your recipe, this would be just the moistest meatloaf I’m certain!

  14. Your three cheese meatloaf surrounded in marinara looks absolutely delicious Linda and it’s making me smile too because I’ve recently re-discovered meatloaf myself and am having so much fun with it… it’s amazing all the delicious (moist & tasty) combinations you can come up with. Looks like you’ve found a winner here. Love the additional dollop of ricotta for serving – it looks so fresh too.

  15. Oooh, I’ve never added ricotta to my meatloaf! Actually, I’ve only ever made one meatloaf recipe- my moms 😉 Maybe I should expand my repertoire. I bet the cheese makes it totally rich and delicious!

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