A while back, my youngest requested “meatloaf” for supper. I was somewhat taken by surprise, as I was not aware that he preferred meatloaf as a meal. Just to make sure we were both talking about the same food item (he can a be rather creative in his wording at times), I described the dish that I thought he was requesting – ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, seasonings, all baked together in a loaf shape. As it turns out, it was a good thing I asked, because he had something entirely different in mind.
What he was looking for was meat in a loaf, that is, meat inside a loaf of bread. I had thrown together something like this together when I ended up serving a crowd unexpectedly and wanted to stretch some leftover spaghetti sauce into a meal. Here's what I did.
Duncan's “Meat in a Loaf” recipe
Enough raw bread dough to make one to two loaves of bread (you can use the recipe for homemade sandwich bread, or your own favorite recipe)
Leftover meat sauce, 1 to 1 1/2 cup per loaf
Shredded cheese, about one cup per loaf
I typically use beef or chicken, but feel free to experiment with other meats like BBQ pork. I combine the leftover beef spaghetti sauce with cheddar cheese, and leftover cooked chicken Alfredo sauce with mozzarella.
To form the loaves, roll the dough into a rectangle about 9″x13″. Spread your fillings down the center third of the dough, meat first, then cheese on top. Stay about one inch away from the narrow ends of the rectangle.
Fold both sides of the dough in towards the center, pinch to seal (think “closing a purse” not “rolling a jelly roll”). You want to end up with a long, narrow loaf. Place the loaf seam side down on a large baking sheet that has been greased or covered with reusable parchment paper.
Allow to rise until about double in size. When dough is almost ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F. Bake loaves 30-35 minutes, until evenly browned. Cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Best served warm.
Paired up with some garden veggies or a big old salad, this is a quick, economical way to stretch leftovers into a larger meal. Since I make my own spaghetti sauce and Alfredo sauce, I know exactly what's in it.
I hope you and your family enjoy Duncan's Meat in a Loaf, too.
I'd love to hear how you stretch leftovers.
Don't for get to check out out master list of bread recipes (with photos) in the post “Never Buy Bread Again – 13 Homemade Bread Recipes“.
You may also enjoy:
- Cream of Leftovers Pancakes
- Broccoli, Bacon and Cheese Salad
- Cheesy Broccoli Soup with a Surprise Ingredient
Originally written in 2011, updated in 2016.