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Meat Loaves with Pesto Sauce

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Cook: 25 min.


4 servings

The pesto sauce adds herb and cheese flavor that makes this recipe unique. If you're a family of two, prepare the whole recipe and use the leftovers for sandwiches.—Lou Ganser, Grafton, Wisconsin


  • 2 cups fresh spinach or parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce,divided
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. In a blender, combine pesto ingredients. Cover and process until a paste forms. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine bread crumbs, onion, 2 tablespoons tomato sauce, egg, salt, pepper and 3 tablespoons pesto sauce. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into four loaves.
  3. In a skillet, heat oil. Brown meat loaves on all sides. Combine 1 tablespoon pesto sauce, water and remaining tomato sauce; pour over meat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Serve the loaves topped with tomato-pesto sauce. Refrigerate or freeze remaining pesto sauce for later use.

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