Meat loaf is truly an American classic; it tastes great served hot or the next day in sandwiches. My family loves their meat loaf a little spicier, so I've taken a classic recipe and kicked it up a notch or two by adding the Rotel, Italian sausage and a few other ingredients. The Italian sausage gives it a wonderful flavor. It's yummy-licious!
1 pound ground chuck or ground round
1 pound ground Italian sausage, mild, sweet, or hot, your choice
1/2 to 1 cup dried bread crumbs or Panko bread crumbs
1 small onion, diced
1-10 ounce can Rotel tomatoes, original, mild, or hot, drained, reserve juice
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 Tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground sage
1-3 cloves garlic, minced
For The Topping:
1-14 1/2 ounce can petite diced tomatoes, drained
Or 1-10 ounce can Rotel tomatoes, original, mild, or hot, drained
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 small onion, sliced into strips
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients, except toppings, in a large bowl. If too wet, add more bread crumbs, one-fourth cup at a time. Place mixture in ungreased oblong baking dish or loaf pan. Shape meat loaf mixture into one large loaf or two smaller loaves. Add drained petite diced tomatoes, red bell pepper strips, onion strips on top and all around meat loaf.
-Mix ketchup and brown sugar with a small amount of reserved Rotel juice. Spread over the top of the meat loaf and veggies. Cook uncovered approximately 45 minutes. Serves 6.