What a weird concept. I don't know why I was even thinking it. But I was taking my mom on her weekly grocery shopping trip and I was thinking of making meatloaf for dinner. Then I just started thinking to myself, "self, what would pepperoni pizza meatloaf be like?" I decided that adding some tomato sauce, pepperoni, Italian seasonings and mozzarella cheese would make a meatloaf kind of pepperoni pizzay.
I started off with two pounds of ground turkey. My logic being that if I'm making a meatloaf with cheese and pepperoni in it, I should probably try and save some calories and fat somewhere. I don't know how much I succeeded with this, but it makes me feel a little better about it.
From there, I took half a large sweet onion, chopped and three cloves of garlic, chopped, and sauteed them in a little olive oil. I do this for all my meatloaf. I like the sauteed vegetables more than adding them to the meat raw. It's just another level of flavor.
While the onions and garlic are getting all nice and soft and sweet, I chopped up some pepperoni in bite size chunks. Using the same twisted logic as the reason for ground turkey, I decided that if I saute the pepperoni, it will release some of the oil and I won't have all that oil in the meatloaf. As it turns out, that wasn't so twisted after all!
I also chopped the mozzarella into bite size chunks.
Now that everything is chopped, sauteed or ready to go, I mixed it all with the meat... the onions/garlic, the pepperoni (about a cup or so), the cheese (same amount), 3/4 cup of seasoned bread crumbs with a hearty pinch of salt, about 10 grinds of pepper, two tablespoons dried parsley, one tablespoon dried basil, one teaspoon dried oregano, and about half a cup of crushed tomatoes. Form the meatloaf and then pour about another half cup of crushed tomatoes over the top. And then top with thinly sliced pepperoni.
Bake at 350 for at least an hour. I suggest that you not use a loaf pan because even though you cooked some of the oil out of the pepperoni, there will still be some and if you bake it in a baking dish instead, you can drain it out.
This is a BIG meatloaf. It will take time to cook. And for a first try at something I just made up in my head on the way to the grocery store, it was pretty damn good! Sure, I now know that there are lots of recipes online for Pepperoni Pizza Meatloaf, but I had never looked one up until after I made it. I wasn't really surprised. Not much is original anymore.
You definitely want the pepperoni on top to be crispy, the cheese to be oozy and in general the whole thing to be a big mound of yummy deliciousness.
I served it with some orzo with asparagus. I think if I make it again, I might add an egg to the mixture. It didn't fall completely apart, but it was a little messy. It was even better the next day.