I love a great slice of Air Fryer Italian Meatloaf; it’s so tender and delicious. It’s a take on a traditional meatloaf, but this one is much better and tender.

Air Fryer Italian Meatloaf
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If you have been looking for an Easy Air Fryer Meatloaf recipe, this is the one. Perfectly seasoned and baked up in the air fryer.

Air frying results in a tender, flavorful, and delicious meatloaf dinner. Today, I added some shredded mozzarella on top for a great and easy way to add even more flavor.

If you are looking for more Air Fryer Easy Dinner Recipes, some of my favorites are AIR FRYER NAKED CHICKEN TENDERS, AIR FRYER PESTO CHICKEN TENDERS, AIR FRYER MINI TACO BOWLS, and AIR FRYER STEAK FAJITAS.

What Is Italian Style Meatloaf?

Traditional meatloaf is made with a layer of ketchup. In an Italian meatloaf, you use a simple marinara sauce. You often add a layer of shredded cheese, either mozzarella or Parmesan cheese.

Another main difference is that while traditional meatloaf uses ground beef, Italian meatloaf is made with ground beef and ground Italian sausage. Which really adds a lot of flavor to the dish.

Why You Will Love Italian Meatloaf

Move over, boring, bland meatloaf! Step aside, classic comfort food! A new sheriff in town is packed with Italian flair and flavor that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more. Here’s why you’ll fall head over heels for Italian Meatloaf:

  • Flavor Fiesta: Forget ketchup and breadcrumbs. This isn’t your grandma’s meatloaf. Think juicy ground beef or chicken infused with aromatic herbs like oregano and basil, kissed with savory garlic and parmesan cheese and glazed with a sweet and tangy tomato sauce. Each bite is an explosion of Italian goodness!
  • Texture Tango: This meatloaf isn’t dry or crumbly. It’s moist, tender, and bursting with texture thanks to secret ingredients like ricotta cheese or grated zucchini. Plus, some recipes even incorporate mozzarella cheese pockets for a melty flavor.
  • Versatility Vaudeville: Don’t be fooled by the “meatloaf” name. This dish is a chameleon! Serve it sliced on a bed of creamy polenta, nestled in fluffy Italian bread for a meatball sub, or even dice it up for a flavorful pasta twist. The possibilities are endless!
  • Leftover Love: Worried about leftovers? Not with this recipe! Italian Meatloaf reheats beautifully in the air fryer or oven, becoming even more flavorful and delicious the next day. Plus, it’s perfect for meal prepping – portion it out for lunches or quick dinners later in the week.
  • Family-Friendly Fun: Italian Meatloaf is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser whether you’re feeding a picky eater or a crowd of hungry mouths. The familiar comfort food vibe and the exciting Italian twist make it a dish everyone will enjoy.
  • Ready to ditch the ordinary and embrace the extraordinary? Italian Meatloaf is waiting to be your new go-to recipe. So grab your ingredients, preheat your oven, and prepare to be amazed!

How To Make Air Fryer Italian Meatloaf

Ditch the oven, and embrace the air fryer! This Italian Meatloaf recipe delivers juicy, flavorful results in a fraction of the time. Packed with classic Italian herbs, melty cheese, and a tangy tomato glaze, it’s a delicious twist on a classic comfort food. Plus, it’s perfect for busy weeknights and reheats beautifully. Let’s get cookin’!

How To Make Air Fryer Italian Meatloaf

Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below, in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.

  • Lean ground beef or turkey: The base for our savory masterpiece. Choose 90/10 or 93/7 for optimal flavor and moisture.
  • Ground Italian Sausage (Hot or Mild): For a true Italian-style meatloaf.
  • Olive Oil: Adds flavor to the dish.
  • Garlic and onion: Aromatic duo for savory undertones.
  • Egg: Binds everything together for a cohesive and sliceable loaf.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Adds depth of flavor.
  • Panko breadcrumbs: Add texture and help bind the ingredients without getting dense.
  • Marinara Sauce or Tomato sauce: The base for our sweet and tangy glaze, adding depth and flavor.
  • Parmesan cheese: Grated goodness for sharp, umami flavor and a crispy topping.
  • Mozzarella cheese (optional): Pockets of melty goodness for an extra layer of deliciousness.
  • Fresh herbs: Oregano and basil infuse the meatloaf with aromatic Italian essence.

How To Make Italian Meatloaf In Air Fryer

Here are the step-by-step directions for making Italian Meatloaf In Air Fyrer.

Onions in Skillet Preparing for Air Fryer Meatloaf

In a small skillet, add the olive oil, and over medium-high heat, simmer for about 30 seconds, and then add the diced onions. Cook until softened, then add the garlic in for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat.

Mix Ingredients For Meatloaf

In a large mixing bowl, add the ground beef, sausage, bread crumbs, cheese, sauteed onions, garlic, eggs, 1/2 of the marina sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings, and mix well.

Air Fryer Meatloaf in Loaf Pan

Spray your loaf pan with cooking spray, then add your meatloaf mixture into the pan, pushing it tight. Spread 1/2 of the marinara sauce over the meatloaf and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.

Set into the air fryer basket or on the air fryer tray (lowest shelf) for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees F, air fryer setting.

Note: The exact time will depend on what size pan you are using and what air fryer you own. Check about 1/2 through the cooking process to ensure it’s not overcooked. If the top starts to get browned but the middle is raw, securely place a piece of foil over the meatloaf.

Italian Meatloaf in Air Fryer Basket

Recipe Variations For Italian Meatloaf Recipe

  • Mexican Fiesta: Infuse your meatloaf with chili powder, cumin, chipotle peppers, and corn for a Tex-Mex explosion. Top with salsa, avocado, and cilantro for a fiesta in your mouth!
  • Mediterranean Delight: Add ricotta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, and oregano for a Greek-inspired journey. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and top with crumbled feta cheese.
  • Asian Fusion: Gochujang, ginger, sesame oil, and green onions bring an Asian flair. Serve with a drizzle of sriracha mayo and chopped peanuts for a flavor punch.
  • Cheeseburger Craving: Mix in shredded cheddar cheese, chopped pickles, and Worcestershire sauce for a burger-inspired delight. Serve on hamburger buns with ketchup, mustard, and your favorite toppings.
  • Stuffed & Savory: Make a pocket in the center with a mixture of cooked spinach, ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese for a hidden veggie surprise.
  • Bacon Bomb: Wrap the meatloaf in bacon strips before air frying for a smoky, crispy, and irresistible indulgence. Don’t forget the BBQ sauce glaze!
  • Greek Mezze: Infuse your meatloaf with lemon zest, fresh dill, and crumbled feta cheese for a light and summery taste. Top with sliced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and a dollop of tzatziki sauce.
  • Turkey Twist: Use ground turkey for a leaner option. Add chopped zucchini, carrots, and bell peppers for added moisture and freshness. Top with a light tomato sauce or salsa.
  • Veggie Bonanza: Add a cup of grated zucchini, sweet potato, or carrots for a hidden veggie boost. Experiment with different spices and herbs to complement the chosen vegetable.
Piece of Meatloaf on Plate

Pro Tips

  • Don’t Overmix: Gently combine ingredients just until incorporated. Overmixing leads to a dense, dry loaf.
  • Moisturize Wisely: Milk, broth, or grated zucchini add moisture without affecting texture. Avoid overdoing it, as a soggy loaf won’t cook evenly.
  • Cheese Pockets for Juicy Surprise: Tuck some mozzarella cheese in the center for pockets of melty goodness that keeps the interior moist.
  • Spice Up Your Life: Explore beyond classic herbs. Smoked paprika, cumin, or even a touch of curry powder can add unexpected depth.
  • Garlic & Onion Love: Don’t skimp on these aromatics! Sautéing them beforehand intensifies their flavor and infuses the entire loaf.
  • Fresh Herb Finish: Chopped fresh herbs like parsley or basil sprinkled before serving adds a vibrant final touch.
  • Temperature Trick: Adjust based on your air fryer and desired doneness. Start with 20 minutes per side, checking internal temperature (165°F) to ensure safety.
  • Flip & Glaze Strategically: Flip halfway through for even browning. Apply glaze in the last few minutes to prevent burning and for maximum flavor impact.
  • Rest is Best: Resist the urge to slice immediately! Letting the meatloaf rest for 5-10 minutes redistributes juices for a more tender and flavorful experience.
  • Topping Magic: Go beyond ketchup! Get creative with fresh herbs, chopped nuts, a drizzle of balsamic glaze, or even a dollop of sour cream.
  • Reheat Like a Pro: Use the air fryer for reheating to retain crispness and juicy texture. Avoid microwaving, which can dry out the meatloaf.
  • Leftover Love: Repurpose leftover slices in sandwiches, wraps, or salads for delicious and creative meals.

Leftover Meatloaf

There is nothing better than a plate of leftover meatloaf, some I often make an Air Fryer Meatloaf Sandwich, They are so good.

Air Fryer Meatloaf Sandwich



Can I use ground turkey instead of beef? Absolutely! The recipe works with ground turkey or chicken for a leaner option. Depending on the fat content, you might need to adjust the cooking time slightly.

Do I need to use breadcrumbs? Breadcrumbs help bind the ingredients and add texture, but you can substitute with rolled oats, crushed crackers, or even cooked quinoa. Adjust the moisture content accordingly.

What if I don’t have an air fryer? You can bake the meatloaf in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for 30-35 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

How do I know when the meatloaf is done? Use an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meatloaf. It should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.

Can I precook any ingredients? Pre-sautéing onions, peppers, or other vegetables can enhance flavor and shorten cooking time.

Can I add glaze throughout cooking? Adding glaze in the last few minutes is best to prevent burning and achieve a caramelized finish.

What are some good topping ideas? The possibilities are endless! Consider ketchup, BBQ sauce, teriyaki glaze, mustard, salsa, fresh herbs, chopped nuts, crumbled cheese, or a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

Can I add vegetables to the meatloaf mix? Absolutely! Grated zucchini, carrots, or chopped spinach add moisture and nutrients. Adjust seasonings and moisture content as needed.

What spices can I use? Get creative! Explore options like paprika, smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, Italian seasoning, thyme, oregano, or curry powder.

How long does leftover meatloaf keep? Store leftover meatloaf in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Can I freeze meatloaf? Yes! Cool the meatloaf completely, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

How do I reheat leftover meatloaf? Reheat slices in the air fryer for a crispy exterior and warmed-through center. You can also use the oven or microwave.

Air Fryer Italian Meatloaf

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Air Fryer Italian Meatloaf

Air Fryer Italian Meatloaf

5 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings


There is nothing better than a homemade meatloaf for lunch or dinner. Today, I made a great Italian Inspired Meatloaf, full of flavor and absolutely delicious.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 pound ground beef, lean
  • 1 pound ground sausage, either hot or mild
  • 1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup marinara sauce , (divided)
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded


  • In a small skillet, add the olive oil, and over medium-high heat, simmer for about 30 seconds, and then add the diced onions. Cook until softened, then add the garlic in for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the ground beef, ground sausage, bread crumbs, cheese, sauteed onions, garlic, eggs, 1/2 of the marina sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, and seasonings, and mix well.
  • Spray your loaf pan with cooking spray, and then add your meatloaf mixture into the pan, pushing it tight in there. Spread the other 1/2 of the marinara sauce over the meatloaf, and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.
  • Set into the air fryer basket or on the air fryer tray (lowest shelf) for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees F, air fryer setting.
  • Plate, serve, and enjoy!


  • Air Fryer
  • Mini Loaf Pan
  • Cooking Spray
  • Parchment Paper, optional


Note: The exact time will depend on what size pan you are using and what air fryer you own. Check about 1/2 way through the cooking process to make sure that it’s not overcooked. If you find that the top starts to get browned, but the middle is raw, securely place a piece of foil over the meatloaf.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 591kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 33gFat: 45gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 179mgSodium: 1410mgPotassium: 613mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 459IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 185mgIron: 4mg

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