This meatloaf was born after many hours of banging my head on the table, searching Pinterest for ground chicken recipes, wondering what to do with the two pounds of ground chicken I had thawed in the fridge. I had some bread to use. I had green beans thawed. Sliders? Meatballs? Chicken chili? Ugh. What can I do with this meat?
But a different kind of meatloaf. What can I do that’s different from my ground beef meatloaf recipe?
Italian flavors! Oregano, basil, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes… CHEESE!… Pizza sauce on top! Yes! It’s all coming together now.
So here it is. You’re welcome.
Chicken Meatloaf – stuffed with cheese and sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 egg
- 1 T Worcestershire sauce (always shake the bottle – did you know that you are supposed to do that?)
- 2 T chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 scant T crushed hot cherry peppers (the kind of crushed hots ‘relish’ you can get at sub shops) - This is OPTIONAL. I like the spice it gives to the meatloaf.
- 1 large clove of garlic – crushed
- 1/4 C Parmesan cheese – grated
- 5 cranks of cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp salt, I used sea salt but you can use table salt
- 1 tsp thyme or rosemary – dried – whichever you like better
- 1 tsp basil – dried
- 1 tsp oregano – dried
MIX THE ABOVE ITEMS IN A LARGE MIXING BOWL. TAKE A BIG WHIFF OF IT. YEP. YOU’RE GONNA’ LOVE THIS MEATLOAF.
Okay, now add the following:
- add 2 pounds ground chicken to the mixture in the bowl
- add 2 tsp sun-dried tomato OIL – yes, use the oil from the bottle the sun-dried tomatoes come in. YUM! (If you don’t have this oil, just add two tsp olive oil. You need some oil because the chicken has no fat!)
- add 1/2 Cup Italian style breadcrumbs
At this point pre-heat the oven to 375F and prepare a half sheet pan* with a sheet of parchment paper. I know… this is weird because you always make meatloaf in a loaf pan. Just trust me. (*Make sure it has a lip the whole way around to catch the juices from the meatloaf as it cooks.)
Gently combine the chicken, bread crumbs and oil with the spice mixture until JUST combined. Don’t overmix or the chicken will get tough.
Score the mixture down the middle creating two equal portions.
Place half the mixture on the parchment paper-lined sheet pan and smoosh it down a bit. (Smoosh is a technical culinary term.)
Line three slices of provolone on the meat mixture.
Now take the other half and dollop it on top of the cheese
and then with clean hands pull the chicken mixture from the bottom and smoosh the top chicken mixture down to meet each other and press it together.
Your goal is to keep the cheese from melting out. So squish and pinch the meat together until it looks like a big chicken meat football. Or Easter egg.
Top with 1/2 C of pizza sauce.
I have this very special technique to spread the sauce over the meatloaf. Check it out.
Bake for 20 minutes and turn the pan just in case the back of your oven is too hot. Bake another 20 minutes and check the temperature. You want the center of a CHICKEN meatloaf to be 155F at least and then you can let it rest under a foil tent until it reaches 160F
and then make your sides. If you aren’t making any sides, wait at least ten minutes before slicing with a serrated knife.
ENJOY! Again. You’re welcome.