Thoughts of Meatloaf Sandwich should immediately elicit feelings of gooey, cheesy, old-fashioned goodness; if they don’t, then you must give this version a try! With buttery toasted bread, melted cheese, and hearty meatloaf slices, it’s happiness in sandwich form.
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Why You’ll Love This Vintage Sandwich
- Pure Comfort. While you may not think of a meatloaf sandwich as your comfort food of choice, it makes a pretty compelling argument. When you sink your teeth into toasty, buttery bread holding together juicy meat with melted provolone, you’ll feel like you’re being pulled into a warm, comforting embrace.
- Hot or Cold. A traditional meatloaf sandwich can be enjoyed hot or cold (served cold and topped with mayo is considered classic). I’m partial to it warmed as per this recipe for the melty cheese and toasted bread factor. However, both options have their place, and it makes this sandwich super versatile.
- Great Use for Leftovers. If leftover meatloaf isn’t a hot commodity in your refrigerator, this recipe will definitely change that! It’s not so dissimilar to a Steak Sandwich or BLT, both classic, comforting meaty sandwiches. A meatloaf sandwich is the answer to leftover meatloaf.
- That Was Easy. This sandwich is as easy peasy as a grilled cheese sandwich (like this Air Fryer Grilled Cheese). Just five minutes of prep time, and it’s ready to serve in less than 20 minutes total time.
How to Make a Traditional Meatloaf Sandwich
- Meatloaf. This Turkey Meatloaf is the tried-and-true perfect meatloaf recipe, which can be made with ground turkey or beef. If using a freshly-baked meatloaf for meatloaf sandwiches instead of leftover meatloaf, let the meatloaf rest before slicing.
- Bread. You can use your favorite sandwich bread for making your easy leftover meatloaf sandwich recipe. Choose something sturdier like sourdough or multigrain to keep the sandwich from falling apart.
Best Bread for Meatloaf Sandwich
- Sourdough is great because its oval shape matches the shape of the meatloaf, making for a tidy sandwich with every ingredient in each bite.
- English Muffin Bread would be delightful with this meatloaf sandwich recipe because the little pockets of bread would get filled with your mayo (or other meatloaf sandwich condiments of choice) and cheese.
- Butter. For coating the bread slices to toast the sandwich. You may also use buttery spread.
- Cheese. I like the mild flavor and optimum melt factor of provolone with the meatloaf, but you can use your cheese of choice.
- Mayo. Or Greek yogurt, my favorite creamy condiment for meatloaf sandwiches. It melds with the melted cheese to deliver the ooey-gooey sandwich of your dreams.
- Sear the Meatloaf. If you prefer it cold, skip this step.
- Add the Bread. Top it with mayo, cheese, meatloaf, and toppings.
- Toast the Sandwich. Grill on each side until toasty and melty, about 2 to 4 minutes per side. DIG IN!
How to Serve a Meatloaf Sandwich
While a meatloaf sandwich is not a burger, it can be enjoyed with similar toppings.
As with any sandwich, toppings can be king, or you can go as Plain Jane as you please. Here are few of our favorites:
- Ketchup or mustard
- Hot sauce
- Homemade Refrigerator Pickles or Quick Pickled Onions
- Roasted Red Peppers
- Sliced tomato
- Arugula, lettuce, or other similar greens
- Air Fryer Bacon
- Sautéed Mushrooms
- A sprinkle of salt
- To Store. Refrigerate leftover meatloaf sandwich in an airtight storage container for up to 1 day.
- To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or with a panini press, or enjoy sandwich cold.
- To Freeze. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and then foil. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tips
This recipe yields 8 sandwiches, but you can adapt it to any amount of leftover meatloaf. You can prep the sandwiches the day before up to the grilling step. If grilling a single sandwich, you can do so in a small skillet.
What to Serve with a Meatloaf Sandwich
- Fries. Fries are the perfect side for this sandwich! Try my classic Homemade Fries, Sweet Potato Fries, Air Fryer French Fries, or Parsnip Fries.
- Chips. You can’t go wrong with a side of crispy Air Fryer Potato Chips.
- Salad. Try Healthy Potato Salad or Arugula Salad.
- Veggies. Roasted Green Beans, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic, or Air Fryer Cauliflower would be delicious.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Non-Stick Frying Pan. This pan comes in multiple sizes and is oven and dishwasher-safe.
- Bread Knife. Proper knives for each type of cutting and slicing job are a game-changer.
- Cooking Oil Sprayer. This is a nifty tool for turning your cooking oil of choice into a spray.
Recipe Tips & Tricks
- Patience. Be patient! Low-and-slow guarantees melted cheese and crisp, but not burned bread. Don’t be tempted to speed it along on medium-high or even medium heat.
- Bread Too Big? If your bread is larger than the meatloaf slices, you can grill a few extra slices of meatloaf, then piece a few together for each sandwich (the cheese will hold the pieces together).
- Preheat the Skillet. A preheated, hot skillet will create the best sear on your meatloaf and the perfect toasted bread. Make sure you give it time to warm up before you begin cooking.
For the Meatloaf Sandwiches:
- 4 slices leftover meatloaf see Turkey Meatloaf for a great recipe
- Nonstick spray canola oil, or additional butter
- 8 slices sourdough or similar bread I like an oval-ish loaf to match the meatloaf slice shape
- 2 to 3 tablespoons mayo or plain Greek yogurt, optional
- 1/4 cup buttery spread or softened butter
- 4 slices provolone cheese cheddar cheese, or your cheese of choice
- Coat a large, nonstick skillet with nonstick spray, or brush with oil or butter so that you have a light coating. Heat the skillet over medium low. Place two slices of meatloaf on the skillet. Cook on each side until the meatloaf is lightly browned in places and warmed through, about 3 minutes per side. If your bread is larger than the meatloaf slices, you can grill a few extra slices, then piece a few together for each sandwich (the cheese will hold the pieces together).
- Meanwhile, spread one side of each slice of bread with a thin layer of mayo (or Greek yogurt) and the other with a thin layer of buttery spread, spreading the butter all the way to the edges. Remove the meatloaf slices from the skillet. Lay 2 slices of bread in the skillet, buttered-sides down. Top each with a slice of cheese, a slice of warmed meatloaf, and any other desired toppings. Lay another slice of bread on top, buttered-sides up.
- Grill the meatloaf sandwiches on each side until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted, about 2 to 4 minutes per side (be patient! Low-and-slow guarantees melted cheese and crisp, but not burned bread). Repeat with the remaining two sandwiches. Let sandwiches cool for a few minutes before serving.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate leftover meatloaf sandwich in an airtight storage container for up to 1 day.
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or with a panini press, or enjoy sandwich cold.
- TO FREEZE: Wrap individually in plastic wrap and then foil. Let thaw overnight in refrigerator before reheating.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Obviously, you are going to want to try this leftover meatloaf sandwich recipe first. If still looking for more ideas, think of using leftover meatloaf as you would meatballs (meatloaf is akin to one giant meatball, after all). Try it crumbled on top of a pizza (Whole What Pizza Dough is so easy), or crumbled in a vegetable soup, such as Minestrone Soup, to add some protein.
Meatloaf can be made gluten free by swapping the breadcrumbs for certified gluten free bread crumbs, and then convert your gluten-free meatloaf into a sandwich with your favorite gluten-free bread. Easy!
A meatloaf sandwich can be enjoyed hot or cold! If you have the time to toast it in a pan, I recommend it.