Beef and Sausage Italian Meatloaf
Beef and Sausage Italian Meatloaf is a grain-free meatloaf that’s loaded with flavor, and this recipe makes enough to freeze some! Or if you don’t want that much meatloaf, we designed the recipe so it’s easy to cut in half.
Years ago I came up with a beef and sausage meatloaf that didn’t have breadcrumbs and used flax seed meal to bind it together. And then as I so often do, every time I made the meatloaf myself I changed up the recipe just a little. And for the last few years I’ve been making this into Beef and Sausage Italian Meatloaf, so I decided it was time to update this recipe to my preferred version.
Of course I know that whenever I update and improve an older recipe, there will be people who were fans of the original version! So if anyone is looking for that recipe, you can see the printer friendly version of the original Beef and Sausage Meatloaf by following that link.
But I do encourage you to try the new version that’s an Italian Meatloaf with Rao’s Tomato Basil Sauce and Parmesan Cheese added! We tested the recipe three times to get just the Italian flavors we wanted! And this is a recipe that makes two meatloaves so you can freeze one for later, or if that’s too much meatloaf for you we designed the recipe so it’s easy to cut in half.
If your family likes Italian sausage I’m betting this delicious meatloaf will probably get gobbled up pretty quickly at your house! And meatloaf is definitely a challenge for food photographers, but I hope you agree that this updated recipe looks delicious in these new photos.
What ingredients do you need?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- ground beef
- Italian Sausage
- Rao’s Pasta Sauce (affiliate link), we used Tomato Basil Sauce
- Dried Onion (affiliate link), we used dried minced onion
- Garlic Powder (affiliate link)
- Dried Basil (affiliate link)
- Dried Parsley (affiliate link)
- Ground Fennel (affiliate link)
- Flaxseed Meal (affiliate link)
- coarsely-grated Parmesan cheese
- fresh chopped parsley, optional
What gives this meatloaf recipe the Italian flavor?
This Italian Meatloaf is loaded with Italian flavors from spicy (or mild) Italian Sausage, pasta sauce, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, dried basil, and ground fennel.
What pasta sauce did we use to add flavor to the Italian Meatloaf?
We used Rao’s Tomato Basil Sauce (affiliate link) to mix into the meat mixture to add flavor and also to brush on to the top of the meatloaf at the end of the cooking time. I love Rao’s pasta sauces because they don’t have added sugar, but use any low-sugar sauce you prefer for this recipe.
Why is Flaxseed Meal so great for low-carb and gluten-free meatloaf?
I love that this grain-free meatloaf uses Flaxseed Meal (affiliate link) to bind the ingredients together! Flax seeds are very rich in nutrients, and the oil is popular as a nutritional supplement. But flax seeds are more nutritious than just the oil because besides omega-3 fatty acids, the seeds are rich in both kinds of fiber and they also contain a phytoestrogen called lignans. And of special interest to carb-conscious eaters, flax seed meal has almost as much fiber as it does carbs, which means it’s very low in net carbs.
Is this Italian Meatloaf gluten-free?
Flaxseed Meal is naturally gluten-free, so using that instead of breadcrumbs to bind the meatloaf together also makes this a gluten-free meatloaf recipe.
More low-carb meatloaf to try:
If you like the idea of low-carb meatloaf or meatballs without breadcrumbs you might also like Horseradish Meatloaf with Sour Cream Horseradish Sauce or Turkey Pesto Meatloaf.
How to make Beef and Sausage Italian Meatloaf:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Preheat oven to 375F/190C.
- We used Hot Italian Sausage, but use mild sausage if you prefer. I would use Turkey Italian Sausage if I found it, but sadly it has disappeared from my stores.
- Take Italian Sausage and ground beef out of the packages and put them in a bowl.
- We used Rao’s Tomato Basil Sauce (affiliate link), but use any low-sugar pasta sauce you prefer.
- I use a Broiler Pan (affiliate link) to cook meatloaf so the fat drips out and away from the meat, and you probably have one that came with your oven. Spray the pan with non-stick spray or oil.
- Beat the eggs and then mix in Dried Onion (affiliate link), Garlic Powder (affiliate link), Dried Basil (affiliate link), Dried Parsley (affiliate link), ground fennel (affiliate link), and salt.
- Then measure out Flaxseed Meal (affiliate link), pasta sauce, and coarsely grated Parmesan Cheese. Add those ingredients and the egg mixture to the ground beef and sausage.
- Use clean hands to gently combine the mixture, but don’t overmix.
- Divide the meat mixture and form into two meatloaves. I like to make diagonal scores with a butter knife, which looks nice and gives a guide for cutting slices.
- Bake meatloaf about 50 minutes, or until it starting to look done.
- While meatloaf was cooking I buzzed the other cup of Tomato Basil Sauce in my Magic Bullet (affiliate link) so it was smooth to brush on to the meatloaf. (Definitely you can skip that step if you like!)
- After 50 minutes, brush the meatloaf with the second cup of Tomato Basil sauce and put back in the oven.
- Cook 10-15 minutes more, or until meatloaf reaches 165F/75C on an Instant Read Meat Thermometer (affiliate link). If you use turkey Italian Sausage, it’s especially important that it reaches that temperature.
- If you don’t have an Instant-Read Thermometer, cut one meatloaf open to see if it’s done.
- Let meatloaf cool a few minutes, then sprinkle with chopped parsley if desired, cut into slices and serve hot.
- See the complete recipe below for information about how I freeze this meatloaf.
Make it a Low-Carb Meal:
This Beef and Sausage Italian Meatloaf would be great with Instant Pot Green Beans, Zucchini with Pesto, Spinach with Garlic and Parmesan, Low-Carb Italian Pasta Salad, or Cauliflower Rice with Basil, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts for a delicious low-carb meal.
More Dinners with Italian Sausage:
Check out 40 Low-Carb and Keto Italian Sausage Recipes to find more dinner ideas using spicy or mild Italian Sausage!
Weekend Food Prep:
This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep where you’ll find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!
- 2 lbs. ground beef (see notes)
- 19 oz. pkg. hot or mild Italian Sausage links (see notes)
- 2 cups Rao's Tomato Basil Sauce, divided (see notes)
- 2 T dried minced onion
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- 1 T dried parsley
- 2 tsp. ground fennel
- 1 tsp. Salt (more or less to taste)
- 3/4 cup Flax Seed Meal
- 1 cup coarsely-grated Parmesan Cheese
- 3 eggs, slightly beaten
- 3 T chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375F/190C.
- Spray roasting racks or loaf pan with non-stick spray.
- Take ground beef and sausage out of the package, squeeze the sausage out of casings and put in mixing bowl with the ground beef so the meat can start to come to room temperature.
- Spray Broiler Pan or baking sheet with non-stick spray.
- Beat the eggs in a small bowl and then stir in the Dried Onion, Garlic Powder, Dried Basil, Dried Parsley, Ground Fennel, and salt.
- Then measure out the Flaxseed Meal (affiliate link), Rao's Tomato Basil Sauce, and coarsely grated Parmesan Cheese. Add the egg mixture and those ingredients to the ground beef and sausage in the bowl
- Wash your hands before you mix the meatloaf. Try to mix the meat enough to get spices and eggs evenly distributed without over-mixing.
- Shape meat into two loaves and put on Broiler Pan. I like to make diagonal scores with a butter knife, which looks nice and gives a guide for cutting slices, but that's completely optional.
- Bake about 50 minutes, or until the meatloaf is starting to look done.
- While meatloaf cooks I like to buzz the other cup of Rao's Tomato Basil Sauce in the magic bullet or a food processor so it's more smooth; you can skip that step if you don't mind a sauce that looks a bit chunky when you brush it on.
- When it looks nearly done, remove meatloaf from the oven and brush with the other cup of pasta sauce.
- Put it back in the oven and cook 10-15 minutes more, or until it shows 165F/75C on an Instant Read Meat Thermometer (affiliate link) If you don't have a meat thermometer cut one open and make sure the inside is completely done
- Let meatloaf cool a few minutes, then sprinkle with cut into slices, sprinkle with chopped parsley if desired and serve hot.
- Leftover meatloaf freezes very well and it will last in the freezer at least six months. I like to cut it into slices, wrap enough for one dinner in foil, and then reheat it in the toaster ofen for a quick and easy dinner.
- If you want to freeze one of the whole meatloaves, I haven't tried freezing it raw and then thawing and baking later, but I'm guessing it will work fine if the beef and sausage were not frozen when you bought them. You can also cook the meatloaf you're going to freeze for about 40 minutes, let it cool, and wrap in foil to freeze. Then when you want to eat it later, thaw, bake in the foil until it's nearly done, then unwrap, brush with sauce, and finish cooking.
Use ground beef with the amount of fat that fits your personal dietary preferences. You can use pork or turkey Italian Sausage and hot or mild sausage, whichever you prefer.
I love Rao's Tomato Basil Sauce that doesn't have added sugar, but use any pasta sauce you prefer.
Flaxseed Meal (affiliate link) is naturally gluten-free and very low in net carbs; check the package for information when you're buying it.
We cut each meatloaf into 9 pieces, but the end were quite small so I used 8 servings per meatloaf to calculate nutritional information.
Recipe created by Kalyn and Kara.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 347Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 613mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 26g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Beef and Sausage Italian Meatloaf with the Flax Seed Meal as a binder would be great for low-carb or Keto diet plans; low-carb diets might prefer higher-fat ground beef and sausage. The recipe is also gluten-free. This recipe would be approved for any phase of the original South Beach Diet if you use lean ground beef and low-fat turkey Italian sausage.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Oven Dinners to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for This Recipe:
The original version of this grain-free meatloaf was first posted in 2013. It was updated with new photos in 2020 and updated to the Beef and Sausage Italian Meatloaf you see here in 2023. (Use this link to find the original recipe.)