Recipe courtesy of Once Upon a Thyme

Meatloaf Panini Sandwich

Getting reviews...
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 15 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 12 to 14 sandwiches


Mini Meatloaves:

Caramelized Onions:

Joy’s Basil Kale Pesto (see Cook's Note):



  1. For the mini meatloaves: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment or silicone pads.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the beef, sausage, parsley, onions, garlic, eggs, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, ketchup and breadcrumbs with your hands. Yep, they are the best utensils for the job!
  3. Form the meat mixture into approximately 12 to 14 mini loaves (6 to 8 ounces each) on the baking sheets. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes until they reach 165 degrees F. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before slicing.
  4. For the caramelized onions: Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Pour in the olive oil, add the onions and then reduce the heat to low. Cook the onions until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the balsamic and sugar and continue cooking until soft, approximately 2 hours low and slow.
  5. For Joy's basil kale pesto: In a food processor, add the garlic, cheese, and salt. Process until almost smooth. Add the basil, kale and olive oil and process until combined. Taste and make any adjustment you may like. Ah, yum! Set aside if you can until ready to use.
  6. For the sandwiches: Spread some mayo on each slice of bread. On half of the slices, spread on marinara or meat sauce of your choice. On the other slices, spread on the pesto. Slice the mini meatloaves and layer on the pesto slices. Top with the caramelized onions. Finish with the cheese slices. Close the sandwiches and place on a panini grill until browned and toasty! Slice in half on an angle and enjoy!

Cook’s Note

This pesto recipe is easily multiplied and frozen. Adding kale is an easy way to get more greens into your diet. Being Italian, I like to use pesto in a multitude of dishes, from soups to quesadillas.