Meatloaf Surprise!

1 small onion minced
2 eggs
2 pounds very lean ground beef
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered
10 oz frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
3 cups of tomato puree or crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup parsley
1/4 grated Parmesan
1/4 cup green onions
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 teaspoons horseradish
salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 350. In a large saucepan, bring water and potatoes to boil. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash together with milk, sour cream, butter, salt, pepper, green onion, horseradish. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, onion Parmesan, salt, pepper, parsley 1/3 cup tomatoes and olive oil. On a large (at least 14×12 inch) sheet of waxed paper, pat meat into a 11×9 inch rectangle. On top, spread the mashed potatoes, leaving a 1 inch border. Repeat with the spinach. It should look something like this:

Then, starting at the smaller end, gently roll the meat away from you, while slowly removing the waxed paper at the same time. This is very similar to the way one would make a sushi roll or a jelly roll. Use a spatula if needed to help loosen the meat from the waxed paper. Place the rolled meat, seam side down in a 13×8 inch baking dish. Pour the tomato mixture over the meatloaf and bake uncovered for 1 hour 15 minutes. Allow to stand at least 5 minutes after removing it from the oven before slicing and serving.

My thoughts:

After a few weeks of pretty much nonstop Asian cookery, we decided to go in the absolute opposite direction and try something more kitschy retro Americana. Let me tell you, it is so good! The horseradish gives it a kick and beyond the novelty factor, it is basically a whole meal in one. I love the tomato sauce on top. I read a book once where the author talks about eating meatloaf with “tomato gravy” and while I am not sure if this is quite it, the tomatoes really do take on the flavor of the meat and seasonings and is so tasty. I do recommend using very lean ground beef for this recipe because there is no place for the grease to go except into the potatoes or pooled on the bottom of the pan. We used 90% lean and the meatloaf was virtually grease free.


  1. Oh my gosh, what a unique way to prepare meatloaf, I love it! I have to try this one, I love how you added the potatoes into it.

  2. I’m not usually a fan of meatloaf, but this looks absolutely delish! Do you think ground turkey would work?

    As far as tomato gravy is concerned, my (very Italian) grandfather used to call marinara, gravy. Maybe it’s an older reference.

  3. uber mer-I think that ground turkey or chicken would work fine, they are both low in fat.

    Good idea about the tomato “gravy”. I was thinking along those lines too.

  4. I’m not that much farther north than you – Philly – but as a transplanted southerner I have to be careful when I order “gravy”. Half the time I get tomato sauce!

  5. I’m normally very leery of any food which includes surprise as part of its name — the surprise is not always a good one — but this looks delicious. Plus, four of my husband’s favorite foods are in this: meat, tomato sauce, spinach, and potatoes. He’d be in heaven.

  6. I just made your Cuba Libre cupcakes and they are terrific.
    Thank you!

  7. What an intriguing recipe!

  8. Snap. One thing I love about food blogging is how much our minds all seem to get in sync. To celebrate cooking in a fine dining kitchen this week, I went British-retro last night and cooked a 1970s classic fish pie. Your meatloaf looks good, but that colour!

  9. Surprise indeed! I’ve never tried making meatloaf before, but this sounds quite good!

  10. This is a great idea from the normal Meatloaf! My husband will love this!
    But can you have in sandwiches the next day??

  11. I absolutely love meatloaf. It’s on my top 10 list of comfort foods. I have never come up with anything creative to do besides mini-meatloafs. Thanks for the recipe… it looks wonderful!

  12. We eat meatloaf all the time – it’s Brad’s favorite – this would be a nice change! (Brad likes them on the sweet side, but I’d rather have this, I think.)

  13. Your recipe doesn’t say where you used the onion, and what goes into the “tomato mixture”! 🙁

  14. Anonymous: I am a little confused by your comment. As the recipe states, the onion is in the meat, and the tomatoes are just that, tomatoes.

  15. I’m so excited to make this on Saturday!! I’ll tell you how it goes (wonderfully, I’m sure).

    Have a great weekend : )

  16. Oh my!! I just made this it is soooo good & my husband loved it. Thanks for sharing this recipe! I used ground turkey instead of beef :))