Italian-Style Meatloaf Sandwich Recipe

Italian-style meatloaf sandwich spread
Italian-style meatloaf sandwich spread - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Whereas some people grumble at the idea of leftovers for dinners, others enthusiastically experiment with new dishes. Mashed recipe developer Patterson Watkins is definitely in the latter camp. "Gotta love remixed leftovers," she says. "I am constantly guilty of making way too much food, so I'm always eating leftovers and always finding ways to craft a new meal out of the old." Her Italian-style meatloaf sandwich recipe is an excellent example of easy, at-home culinary innovation. "Not only is it a creative use of leftovers, it's pretty freaking tasty, too," she says.

The sandwich features leftover meatloaf, roasted vegetables, marinara sauce, melted cheese, and greens, making it the ultimate feast that uses up excess ingredients. "I am an OG when it comes to my meatloaf," Watkins says. "I like the combo of ground pork, ground beef, and ground veal." If this sandwich recipe is more inspiring to you than making a traditional meatloaf dinner, she recommends simply picking up a premade loaf at your supermarket.

This is a pretty hearty sandwich that provides something from all of the food groups to satisfy your appetite. That said, Watkins comments, "If you happen to have other leftovers from your original meatloaf meal (green beans, corn, mashed potatoes ...), feel free to let those sides join in on the fun." As for her personal favorite sides, she says, "I am partial to some crunchies alongside my sandos, so I like potato chips, french fries, or tater tots."

Read more: 41 Must Try Hot Sandwich Recipes

Gather The Ingredients For This Italian-Style Meatloaf Sandwich

meatloaf sandwich ingredients
meatloaf sandwich ingredients - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

For this meatloaf sandwich recipe, start by slicing a red and green bell pepper, a long hot pepper, and half of a yellow onion. Next, mince some garlic cloves and slice the leftover meatloaf. You'll need olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and dried oregano to season the meatloaf and veggies. Pick up some hoagies or Italian rolls and split them into halves. Then, grab some marinara sauce, slice fresh mozzarella, and grate Parmesan cheese. Finally, finish the sandwich off with baby arugula and chopped fresh basil.

Step 1: Preheat The Oven

oven preheat setting display
oven preheat setting display - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Preheat the oven to 450 F.

Step 2: Prep A Baking Sheet

tin-foil lined baking sheet
tin-foil lined baking sheet - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Step 3: Add The Vegetables To The Baking Sheet

raw vegetables on baking sheet
raw vegetables on baking sheet - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Place the bell peppers, hot pepper, onion, and garlic on one half of the prepared baking sheet.

Step 4: Add The Meatloaf To The Baking Sheet

meatloaf and vegetables on sheet
meatloaf and vegetables on sheet - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Place the meatloaf slices on the other side of the baking sheet.

Step 5: Season The Meatloaf And Vegetables

seasoned meat and vegetables
seasoned meat and vegetables - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Drizzle the meatloaf and veggies with olive oil and vinegar, then season just the veggies with the salt, oregano, and black pepper.

Step 6: Roast The Meatloaf And Vegetables

roasted meatloaf and vegetables
roasted meatloaf and vegetables - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast for 15–20 minutes, or until the veggies are tender. Reserve any pan drippings for later use.

Step 7: Place The Hoagie Rolls On A Baking Sheet

hoagie rolls on baking sheet
hoagie rolls on baking sheet - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Meanwhile, place the split hoagie rolls on another aluminum-lined baking sheet with the bottom halves facing up and the top halves facing down.

Step 8: Start Assembling The Rolls

hoagies with meatloaf and vegeteables
hoagies with meatloaf and vegeteables - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Once cooked, divide the meatloaf and veggies between the bottom halves of the rolls.

Step 9: Top With Marinara

meatloaf sandwich with marinara
meatloaf sandwich with marinara - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Spoon marinara over the meatloaf and veggies.

Step 10: Add The Cheese

cheese topped meatloaf vegetable sandwich
cheese topped meatloaf vegetable sandwich - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Top the sauce with mozzarella and Parmesan.

Step 11: Toast The Sandwiches

melted cheese meatloaf vegetable sandwich
melted cheese meatloaf vegetable sandwich - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Return to the oven and bake until the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes.

Step 12: Garnish And Serve

meatloaf vegetable sandwich on plate
meatloaf vegetable sandwich on plate - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Remove from the oven and top the sandwiches with arugula and basil. Drizzle each with a little of the reserved pan drippings before serving.

Italian-Style Meatloaf Sandwich Recipe

meatloaf sandwich spread on table
meatloaf sandwich spread on table - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

How Can I Change Up The Ingredients In This Meatloaf Sandwich?

meatloaf sandwich spread on table
meatloaf sandwich spread on table - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

Part of the beauty of making a meal out of leftovers is that you can get creative and switch it up based on what else you have on hand, and repurposing loose ingredients from your refrigerator can lead to several variations on this Italian-style meatloaf sandwiches. For example, Watkins suggests, "Pizza sauce is [an] excellent swap for marinara, as is grated mozzarella for the fresh." If you're into bolder cheeses, consider adding a slice of fontina or Taleggio for a richer take.

Due to their spiciness, some might want to avoid long hot peppers "Feel free to omit these from this recipe for a milder version," Watkins says, recommending that "You could also swap the long hots for something like mushrooms or asparagus, keeping it super veggie-focused." On the flip side, if you're all about the heat, garnish the sandwich with sliced banana peppers.

What Can I Use As A Replacement For Pan Drippings If I Didn't Get Any While Cooking?

meatloaf sandwich on plate
meatloaf sandwich on plate - Patterson Watkins/Mashed

The final step of this meatloaf sandwich assembly entails drizzling pan drippings over the surface before adding the top piece of bread. The drippings come from the roasted vegetables and meatloaf and add complexity to every bite, ensuring that your sandwich is anything but dry. However, you might find your baking sheet to be lacking in those juicy drippings after the vegetables are done.

"If you have some thirsty veggies that end up soaking up much of your pan drippings, add a little more olive oil and balsamic to the pan after you remove the ingredients," Watkins recommends. It's a pretty close second to the real deal, and she notes that "There's still some good, tasty bits left that will be picked up by the additional EVOO and vinegar." Use a rubber spatula to make sure that you don't leave any flavoring behind.

Read the original article on Mashed.