subscribe to new posts: via email via rss

Italian Meatloaf with Marinara Parmesan Crust (gluten-free, paleo)

I’m loving this Italian Meatloaf with Marinara Parmesan Crust. There’s no fillers in this recipe, just high quality ingredients.

Italian Meatloaf with Marinara Parmesan Crust |

After freezing my tushy off last week in New York, I decided that I needed to make some good comfort food this week. Can you believe we’re getting into winter already? And while it may not be nearly as cold in Cali as New York, anything below 70 degrees is too cold for me!

So this week I did a spin on an old classic – Italian meatloaf. And I think you’re gonna love this version. With all the herbs baked into the meatloaf it’s more traditional Italian style, but the marinara parmesan crust is the piece de resistance!

I was even tempted to pick the top off everyone else’s slices of meatloaf, because that crust is so darn good! But then the little voice inside my head reminded me that my guests would probably notice picked-at meatloaf slices. Ya think? 

As the meatloaf cooks, the marinara sauce drip down the sides, acting as a marinade in addition to a flavorful topping. Of course you can use store-bought marinara, but the homemade marinara sauce is really quite simple.

The great thing about this Italian meatloaf is that it doesn’t have “fillers” like oatmeal, bread crumbs or flour, so you’ll really taste the herbs and sauce. Then, the crusty parmegiano reggiano (and please, splurge on the good stuff) adds a zing of rich, Italian goodness.

Gosh, now I’m craving a trip back to Italy. Maybe that’ll be my next trip after I get back from my Sydney-Chiang Mai-Bali adventures. Whose with me?


Italian Meatloaf with Marinara Parmesan Crust |

Italian Meatloaf with Marinara Parmesan Crust |

Italian Meatloaf with Marinara Parmesan Crust |


5 from 5 votes

Italian Meatloaf with Marinara Parmesan Crust

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 8
Author: Lisa Bryan
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
I’m loving this Italian Meatloaf with Marinara Parmesan Crust. There’s no fillers in this recipe, just high quality ingredients.


  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tbsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup parmegiano reggiano, finely grated
  • 1 cup marinara sauce


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place all ingredients (except the marinara sauce and parmegiano reggiano cheese) into a large bowl. Mix thoroughly with your hands until all of the ingredients are well combined.
  • Place the meatloaf mixture into a loaf pan, gently pushing down until the top is flat.
  • Spread one cup of the marinara sauce evenly on the top of the meatloaf. Sprinkle the cheese on top.
  • Place in the oven and cook for one hour. When done, remove the meatloaf. You'll notice juice has pooled along the sides of the pan. Simply tilt the meatloaf while still in the loaf pan to drain the juice before serving.


Calories: 336kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 103mg, Sodium: 508mg, Potassium: 345mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 70IU, Vitamin C: 1.5mg, Calcium: 234mg, Iron: 2.8mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Gluten Free Meatloaf, Italian Meatloaf, Keto Meatloaf, paleo meatloaf
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag @downshiftology and hashtag it #downshiftology.

Other recipes you might like:

Roasted Balsamic Chicken with Brussels Sprouts

Grilled Chicken Souvlaki with Dairy-Free Tzatziki

Irish Lamb Stew

Leave a Comment

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you for sharing your feedback!
Recipe Rating

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

18 comments on “Italian Meatloaf with Marinara Parmesan Crust (gluten-free, paleo)”

  1. Outstanding like all other Lisa’s recipes I’ve followed thus far (I lost count now ;). I served this with a side of Lisa’s mashed potatoes and a fresh tomato/cucumber/herb salad and my entire family asked for seconds.  Oh and I used vegan parmesan.
    Thank you for another easy, delicious recipe!

  2. I tried the recipe with ground turkey instead of beef. It was amazing ! I have slowly been trying all of your recipes and they are always so tasty. 

  3. This recipe is great! I am so not a meatloaf fan but my hubby is, so I keep trying different recipes in the hope that this would be the one I like. Thankfully, I finally found it! I will most definitely be fixing this meatloaf time and again.

    • Hi Lisa – So glad you loved this meatloaf! This is a recipe I hope to update soon in the future as well :)

  4. My husband requested Meatloaf for dinner one night. It was my first time making it and he really enjoyed this dish!!!

  5. I love this meatloaf. I look forward to nutritional information. I eat a keto diet and want this as part of my food menu. 

    Rating: 5
  6. How would I adapt this to use a crockpot instead of the oven?

  7. I don’t see the nutritional info, how many carbs per serving?

  8. Surprisingly tasty considering how simple! My family loved the tomato/parmesan topping and I used your recipe for the quick tomato sauce…great substitute for ketchup!

  9. Pingback: 30+ Delicious Paleo Italian Recipes! | Oh Snap! Let's Eat!