September 04, 2013



Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf with a cheese tunnel in the center, bread crumb coating on the outside, and topped with marinara and more cheese! 
  Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf with oozy mozzarella cheese center
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Meatloaf is a topic of controversy in my household. I like mine moist and with a slather of tomato based sauce. My husband likes it firm and naked (no sauce). It’s not that his version is awful—it is delicious, but not what I grew up with.

In fact, at the beginning of our marriage, we had a meatloaf cook-off one night for dinner. We both made our own and after tasting each other’s creation, I tossed mine aside and ate his. Mine was a bit too wet and had too much tomato sauce. In my humble defense, I was a novice meatloaf maker.  But then, so was he…regretfully, his meatloaf won fair and square.

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf, uncut

One meatloaf I now make that my husband really likes is the one pictured here. A fan of cheese, he loves the gooey mozzarella tunnel. Additionally, the texture of the meat and the marinara sauce work for him as well. Not only does he like it, he REALLY likes it. Vindication for me!

Here are a few visuals to help you out…

This recipe requires a one pound block of mozzarella cheese. One third is lopped off and cut into 1/8 inch slices. It dresses up the outside of the loaf while the larger piece is the filler.

The loaf is formed on a greased plastic wrap because the filling is extremely sticky. I work with greased hands to press and shape the chicken mixture into a rectangle. The large block of cheese goes smack dab in the center.

The whole kit and caboodle is wrapped up snug as a bug in a rug. (Sorry, I work with kids almost 10 hours a day!)

Here it is, breaded and all.

Bake it and when it looks like this…

Buon appetito!



1 lb. ground chicken
1 (16 oz). mozzarella block
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/8 cup milk
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Meatloaf Topping:
1 1/2 cups jarred marinara sauce, divided
1/3 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp butter, melted


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Slicing lengthwise, cut off a third of the mozzarella block. If using fresh mozzarella, I recommend that you wrap both pieces in a couple layers of paper towel then weigh them down with a heavy object to extract liquid. Refrigerate the weighed cheese for one hour. There is no need to press the cheese if using low moisture mozzarella.    

In a large mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Blend. Add chicken, garlic, onion, egg, and milk. Combine.  Mixture will be sticky. Transfer mixture onto a large, greased plastic wrap. With greased hands, flatten and shape mixture into a 7 x 9 inch rectangle. It just needs to be slightly longer and wider in circumference than the larger block of cheese. Place the block crosswise in the center of the meat mixture. Lift the plastic wrap on one end and fold the meat over the mozzarella. Press gently to adhere. Repeat on the other side. Keeping the plastic wrap on, gently press and roll to form a log. Seal ends. It is important that there are no holes in the meat mixture and that the cheese is completely encapsulated to prevent oozing during baking.  

On a platter, combine 1/2 cup bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Drizzle in melted butter. Use a fork to work the butter into the crumbs to obtain wet sand consistency. Unwrap and slide the loaf onto the platter and completely coat with crumb mixture. Use spatulas to transfer onto greased baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes on middle rack. Loosely cover the upper rack with aluminum foil if top browns quickly during this time period.

Remove loaf from oven. Spoon a 1/2 cup marinara over the top. Cut the small block of mozzarella into 1/8 inch slices. Place on top of marinara. Bake, unfoiled, for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. Serve immediately with the remaining heated marinara sauce.

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  1. I made the chicken parmesan meatloaf for dinner tonight and it was delicious. Really nice flavors blended together and the oozing cheese was just yummy!! All your tips were very helpful too. It was very sticky, so having greasy hands and the greased plastic wrap made it much easier to fold over the cheese.
    I can hardly wait to try another recipe from In Good Flavor!

    1. Thank you very much for your kind feedback. I'm glad the meatloaf turned out well for you, In terms of another recipe, I'd like to recommend the Rosemary Garlic Wings; they smell amazing!

  2. I love this idea! We're always up to try a new meatloaf recipe!

  3. Thanks Michelle! The oozy cheese interior is a nice surprise.