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Cheddar Spinach Meatloaf

Meatloaf on it's own is quite tasty, but add in spinach and cheddar cheese...and it's a masterpiece.

Cheddar Spinach Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 2 (10 oz) packages of frozen chopped spinach
  • 1/2 tbsp of granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp of Italian seasoning blend
  • 2-3 lbs of ground beef
  • 1 large Spanish onion, diced
  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp of ground mustard
  • 1/2 tbsp of thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp of salt
  • 1 (8 oz) package of fat-free shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 jar (25 oz) of spaghetti sauce

Instructions

  1. Defrost the spinach and preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Place the defrosted spinach in a pot and turn on to medium heat. Cook the spinach for a few minutes.
  3. Stir in the granulated garlic and Italian seasoning blend.
  4. Continue cooking spinach until hot, then remove from heat and drain out any liquid.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef with onion, oats, egg, minced garlic, mustard, thyme, and salt. Mix thoroughly. Use your hands.
  6. In a loaf pan place the meat mixture in to form a bottom layer and sides.
  7. Place the spinach in the middle to form a nice layer.
  8. Sprinkle a layer of cheddar cheese on top of the spinach.
  9. Use the remainder of the meat mixture on top to seal the cheese and spinach inside.
  10. Add a nice layer of spaghetti sauce and then sprinkle more cheese on top.
  11. Place in the oven and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is done.

Quick Notes

I don’t use minced garlic in the spinach mixture because I wanted all seasonings to more or less dissolve into the spinach and not be noticeable. The seasonings are to keep the spinach from tasting bland.

If you want to use fresh spinach, go ahead. Just make sure it’s chopped well.

Like any meat dish, be sure to let it sit on top of the stove and finish on its own heat when you pull it out of the oven.

Variations

You don’t have to use a jarred spaghetti sauce if you want to be more homemade. I just think it’s a good shortcut. You can even go further and combine spaghetti sauce with ketchup and barbecue sauce for an interesting flavor. Even the variety of sauces on the shelf might give you some good topping ideas. I’d probably stick to garlic and herb sauces over others.

Healthy It Up

If you want to get even more light, then use ground turkey. I would perhaps combine it with some steak sauce or something to give it a beefy flavor. I personally like lean ground beef on this simply because it’s good to get some red meat in your diet.

Tags: American, cheddar, German, Italian, meatloaf, spinach

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