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Mom’s classic meatloaf recipe gets even more cozy once you stuff it with cheese! Double this 7-ingredient comfort food dinner and transform leftovers into meatloaf sandwiches.

A slice of cheesy meatloaf with mashed potatoes in a low gray bowl.

Confession: When I was initially testing this homemade meatloaf recipe, I made it several more times than I needed to. Nothing changed in the final few tests, I just needed an excuse to try it again and again. The cheese-stuffed meatloaf is just that good.

Think of this like mom’s classic meatloaf with an irresistible, melty cheese filling. Each bite is the epitome of comfort food.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step by step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Cheesy Meatloaf Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for cheesy meatloaf.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Ground beef: No need to seek out a special meatloaf mix; regular 80% lean, 20% fat ground beef tastes terrific.
  • Eggs: The yolks lend moisture and flavor, while the whites add structure and help the meatloaf maintain its shape.
  • Old-fashioned rolled oats: I prefer this no-prep-required ingredient as the binder in meatloaf, but you could certainly substitute crushed crackers or bread crumbs, if desired.
  • Shredded havarti cheese: Or any other semi-hard, easy melting cheese such as gouda, cheddar, Swiss, Colby, or Monterey Jack.

Step by step instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl by hand, combine beef, onion, eggs, oats, ½ cup ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Mix on low until combined.
Meatloaf mixture in a silver bowl.
  1. Rinse a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with water (to help the meatloaf release). Pack the meat mixture tightly in to the pan.
Meatloaf mixture in a baking pan.
  1. Leaving a 1/2-inch wall on each side, carve out a well about 5 inches long and 1 inch wide and set the excess meat mixture aside. 
Meatloaf mixture in baking pan with a well for cheese dug out.
  1. Fill the well with shredded Havarti cheese.
Meatloaf mixture in baking pan with a well of cheese in the middle.
  1. Using the reserved meat mixture, cover and seal the shredded cheese carefully.
Cheesy meatloaf in a baking pan before being baked.
  1. Flip the pan over the prepared baking sheet and jiggle carefully until the meatloaf slides out. Bake 60 minutes.
Cheesy meatloaf on a baking sheet before being baked.
  1. Remove from oven. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Brush remaining ¼ cup ketchup on all sides of the meatloaf. Return to oven and bake 10 minutes longer.
Someone brushing sauce on cheesy meatloaf.
  1. Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes before serving. 
Cheesy meatloaf on a wooden cutting board.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This Cheesy Meatloaf recipe makes six thick slices, ideal as an entree-sized portion. Double the batch to ensure plenty of leftovers for sandwiches!
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: The meat mixture can be made, filled with cheese, and packed in to a loaf pan a day in advance. Turn out on to a baking sheet right before baking.
Cheesy meatloaf on a wooden cutting board.

Recipe FAQs

Why do you suggest letting the meatloaf rest for 15 minutes before serving?

This allows the meat to rest, just like we do for Roast Turkey or Prime Rib, so the juices (and ooey-gooey cheese!) don’t all run out once you slice it. Don’t worry; the Cheesy Meatloaf will stay plenty warm, it just won’t be mouth-burningly hot!

Why do we reserve ¼ cup of the ketchup mixture to add at the end?

If you cook the sugary sauce for the entire bake time, it may burn. Brushing on the final coat for the last 10 minutes of cook time ensures the topping is caramelized just enough.

Okay, I’m hooked on the meatloaf concept now. What should I try next?

Don’t miss my Turkey Meatloaf, Mini Meatloaves with Balsamic Glaze, and Slow Cooker Meatloaf Meatballs.

A slice of cheesy meatloaf with mashed potatoes in a low gray bowl.

The Best Mashed Potatoes

The Best Mashed Potatoes in the world are just 3 ingredients (plus salt and pepper) and so simple, they barely even need a recipe. You’ll want these at your table for all the major holidays…

30 minutes
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Keep the comfort food coming

A slice of cheesy meatloaf with mashed potatoes in a low gray bowl.

Cheesy Meatloaf

Mom's classic meatloaf recipe gets even more cozy once you stuff it with cheese! Double this 7-ingredient comfort food dinner and transform leftovers into meatloaf sandwiches.
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Servings 6 servings
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 583

Ingredients 

  • 2 pounds ground beef 80% lean (see note 1)
  • 1 small onion minced
  • 2 eggs (see note 2)
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (see note 3)
  • 3/4 cup ketchup divided
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces Havarti cheese shredded (see note 4)

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup.
  • In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl by hand, combine beef, onion, eggs, oats, ½ cup ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Mix on low until combined.
  • Rinse a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with water (to help the meatloaf release). Pack the meat mixture tightly in to the pan.
  • Leaving a 1/2-inch wall on each side, carve out a well about 5 inches long and 1 inch wide and set the excess meat mixture aside. 
  • Fill the well with shredded Havarti cheese. Using the reserved meat mixture, cover and seal the shredded cheese carefully.
  • Flip the pan over the prepared baking sheet and jiggle carefully until the meatloaf slides out. Bake 60 minutes.
  • Remove from oven. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Brush remaining ¼ cup ketchup on all sides of the meatloaf. Return to oven and bake 10 minutes longer.
  • Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes before serving. 

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Ground beef: No need to seek out a special meatloaf mix; regular 80% lean, 20% fat ground beef tastes terrific.
  2. Eggs: The yolks lend moisture and flavor, while the whites add structure and help the meatloaf maintain its shape.
  3. Old-fashioned rolled oats: I prefer this no-prep-required ingredient as the binder in meatloaf, but you could certainly substitute crushed crackers or bread crumbs, if desired.
  4. Shredded havarti cheese: Or any other semi-hard, easy melting cheese such as gouda, cheddar, Swiss, Colby, or Monterey Jack.
  5. Yield: This Cheesy Meatloaf recipe makes six thick slices, ideal as an entree-sized portion. Double the batch to ensure plenty of leftovers for sandwiches!
  6. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  7. Make ahead: The meat mixture can be made, filled with cheese, and packed in to a loaf pan a day in advance. Turn out on to a baking sheet right before baking.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 583kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 37gFat: 40gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 187mgSodium: 665mgPotassium: 641mgFiber: 1gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 463IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 226mgIron: 4mg
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Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  1. Great recipe! I had cheese that I needed to use up so I searched for a cheesy meatloaf recipe and this one was perfect. I followed the recipe exactly, I did skip putting it in a loaf pan first and then dumping it out because I don’t have a dishwasher and didn’t want an extra dish to wash. I just formed it into a loaf in a cast iron fry pan, made the well, added the cheese and sealed with the rest of the meat mixture. Thank you so much for a quick, easy and delicious dinner!5 stars

  2. What remaining 1/4 ketchup? There is no stipulation in the recipe telling me to divide the 3/4 cup. It says add ketchup. Then at end says use remaining ketchup? Could you please review.

    1. Hi Natalie, thanks for finding this and sorry for the typo. Step 2 should have said “1/2 cup ketchup” and then the remaining 1/4 cup ketchup goes on top of the meatloaf in Step 7. So sorry about that! I’m guessing if you used 3/4 cup ketchup in Step 2 the results would not vary dramatically.. it would probably still work fine and taste awesome. But yes, there wouldn’t be any leftover to brush on the outside. Sorry again. I’m fixing it right now!

    1. Hi Tami! Yes, sure. I haven’t tested it so I don’t know what will happen, exactly, but it should just work fine. Worst-case scenario it would melt everywhere, but even if that happened it would still taste good, might just look messy. But considering regular cheese stays put (because it’s sealed in the meat) I *think* cream cheese would behave the same way. If you try it, and if you feel like reporting back, I’d love to hear how it goes for you! Thanks for the question. And I’m adding this to my recipe testing list, because the world needs to know!!

  3. This looks really cool! I like to grate my onion into my meatloaf or other things I’m adding raw onions to! Always makes me cry though.5 stars

    1. Thank you Patrick! Yes I cry all the time too with the onions. Especially grating them.. that seems to bring out the worst in them! But yeah that would improve the texture of the meatloaf. I’m just too lazy. :)

  4. I don’t eat red meat. Can ground turkey or chicken be a replacement. I make a killer turkey meat loaf but this one sounds interesting.

    1. Yes!!! Turkey would be great, I’m sure chicken would be fine too. What’s nice is neither of those are too greasy; that’s what you want to avoid. I want to make (and post) a turkey meatloaf myself. Sounds yummy! Thanks June. :)