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Palpettoni Meatloaf Recipe

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1-1/2 cups frozen brown rice
4 slices bacon
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 (8 ounce) package onion garlic cream cheese dip
1 cup pasta sauce
1-1/3 cups shredded Havarti cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves

Palpettoni Meatloaf Recipe

These individual meatloaves are filled with a creamy and savory rice mixture. They are delectable!

  • Serves 4
  • Medium

About This Recipe

This recipe for Palpettoni Meatloaf, which is a mini stuffed meatloaf, is the perfect choice for any fall or winter dinner. I especially love to make it at Halloween, since you can make it ahead of time and bake it just before serving.

The ground beef and bacon mixture is wrapped around cooked brown rice smothered in a garlic, onion and cream cheese dip, then covered in tomato sauce and cheese and baked until tender. It’s hard to describe how sublime this recipe is.

It’s a little tricky to form the little meatloaves, but you can do it. Just work slowly and carefully. Using waxed paper to roll the meat mixture around the cauliflower mixture is pretty easy. Just make sure you don’t roll the waxed paper into the Palpettoni!

Tips for the best Palpettoni Meatloaf:

  • Don’t overwork the ground beef mixture or it will be tough. Mix it just until combined.
  • You do have to let the rice cool a bit before you add it to the dip. Put it in the freezer for 10 minutes, stirring once, until it’s cooler. Otherwise the dip will melt all over the place.
  • To make this recipe ahead, form the Palpettoni completely. Don’t add the pasta sauce, cheeses, or marjoram. Cover and refrigerate up to 8 hours. When you’re ready to eat, add the sauce, both cheeses, and the marjoram, and bake just before serving, adding 5-10 minutes to the cooking time to adjust to everything being cold.

Why this recipe works:

  • The meat mixture has two egg yolks to make it a bit more cohesive and add moisture. The bacon adds fabulous flavor.
  • If you are counting carbs, use yellow onions in this recipe; they have about 8 grams of net carbohydrates in the cooked product per 1/2 cup, fewer than red or sweet onions.
  • It’s a little bit tricky to use a food thermometer to test the meat for doneness. Insert the probe into the edge of the little meatloaves. If you. hit the sour cream mixture, that’s okay; it should be 160°F too.


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Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a cookie sheet with sides with parchment paper and set aside.


Heat the rice as directed on the package. Pour the rice into a bowl and set in the fridge or freezer to cool. Stir once or twice while you're preparing the rest of the recipe.


Cook the bacon until crisp. I like to use the bacon that's made to cook in the microwave oven; I think it's wonderfully crisp and flavorful and so easy to make with no mess. Crumble the bacon.


Heat the butter in a medium saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion starts to brown. Remove to a bowl to cool.


In a large bowl, place the ground beef, crumbled bacon, egg yolks, and 1/2 teaspoon marjoram; mix gently but thoroughly. Wash your hands.


Spread a sheet of waxed paper onto the work surface. Divide the meat mixture into four balls. Pat the meat into four 4x6" rectangles on the waxed paper. Wash your hands.


Now beat together the dip and the reserved onion mixture. Stir in the rice. Then dollop and spread evenly over the hamburger rectangles.


Roll up the rectangles, starting with the 4" side, to enclose the rice mixture. Use the waxed paper to help you roll them up. The meat will just barely meet; there will be no overlap.


Use a wide spatula to carefully move the Palpettoni onto the prepared cookie sheet.


Pour the pasta sauce over each Palpettoni, then sprinkle evenly with the cheeses and 1 teaspoon marjoram.


Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the meat registers 160°F as tested with a food thermometer. Let the rolls stand for 5 minutes, then serve.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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