Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf…or just really good meatloaf that doesn’t get hung up on labels.

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When my four year old niece starting showing signs of jellyness at all the attention that the oh so adorable, yet evil arch nemesis one year old sis was getting… I knew that only one thing could make the universe right. A fun filled day centered on her and I only, and her first cooking lesson: Lasagna 101. It was fabulous. But it left me with a plethora of ground meats that were practically begging to be mixed and formed into a delicious loaf of awesomeness.

Our lasagna used ground beef and Italian sausage, but I was also stocked up on some ground chicken. I really wanted to do something off the wall, so I pondered… could I throw all this together with some cheese and sauce and call it chicken parmesan meatloaf? The answer my friends, is no. No, you can not call this ingenious loaf of awesomeness chicken parm meatloaf, because no one will understand. They just “wont get it”. They will laugh in your face, thinking your making a joke. They’ll think you were trying to say something weird that just doesn’t exist. Or they will think you literally ground up chicken parm and mixed into a loaf, and well that just sounds disgusting

So whatever you do, DO NOT call it chicken parm meatloaf, because the world is just not ready. Only you and I will know how cute and clever this play on words is, because it has chicken, sauce and cheesy goodness. Just call it really good meatloaf. Or… you know, meatloaf of awesomeness does have a nice ring…
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Chicken Parm Meatloaf
Olive oil for sauteing
1 small bell pepper
1 small onion
1/2 lb ground Italian sausage
1/2 lb ground beef
1 lb ground chicken
2 tbsp oregano
2 tsp basil
salt and pepper
2 eggs
1 cup Italian blend panko or bread crumbs
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 cup Italian cheese blend
Around 24 oz marinara sauce

Sautee onion and bell pepper until translucent. Allow mixture to cool slightly. In a medium bowl, mix with ground meats, seasonings, ricotta, eggs, bread crumbs, 1 CUP of the marinara, and 1 CUP of the Italian cheese until well incorporated. Pour mixture into 9x13x2 inch pan and press with fingers to form “loaf”. Cover with foil and bake n 350 for 30-45 minutes. When internal temp reaches 165, remove from oven, remove foil and drain any grease. Spoon enough marinara to cover top and sprinkle remaining cheese.Return to oven for about 2-5 minutes, until cheese is melted to a golden brown.

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