We all have our comfort food weaknesses. Mine includes red sauced, Italian-American classics and American homestyle dishes. This recipe is all of those things and more. It combines two family favorites: meatloaf and chicken parmesan, and mashes them together into a meatloaf with a molten, cheesy center.
The flavor features hints of meatloaf, meatballs and chicken parm, topped with toasty garlic-and-parmesan-laced bread crumbs for texture. Bonus: the leftovers make a killer sandwich—especially nestled between two pieces of toasted garlic bread!
This meatloaf packs a ton of flavor with minimal ingredients and prep. Heat the oven to 400? and spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Since we’re using poultry, the structure of an actual loaf pan is essential. Plus, it helps to hold the cheese in place.
In a skillet, cook onions, garlic cloves and dash of salt in oil until thoroughly cooked. To make the meatloaf mixture, combine olive oil, the ground chicken, bread crumbs, milk, egg, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Add the onion and garlic mixture and mix well.
Take half of the meatloaf mixture and press it into the pan. Cut the cheese into pieces, stacking them into a double layer so there’s plenty of cheese in the middle. Be sure to leave a ½- to 1-inch border around the edge for sealing.
Cover the cheese with the remaining meatloaf mixture and press to seal. Spoon half of the sauce over the top and bake for 1 hour.
While the meatloaf cooks, toast a ½ cup of bread crumbs, one garlic clove and two tablespoons of butter in a six-inch skillet until the crumbs are golden. Allow the mixture to cool in a small dish before mixing in grated Parmesan and parsley.
Let the meatloaf rest for 15 minutes after baking so the cheese doesn’t run out. Once meatloaf has cooled, serve with a generous sprinkling of the bread crumb topping and extra sauce.