What Can You Do With Leftover Meatloaf?

Use leftover meatloaf in recipes that call for ground meat, like spaghetti with meat sauce, chili, or sloppy joes. The meatloaf’s existing seasoning and add-ins like onions and peppers enhance these dishes. Meatloaf can also be frozen for later use.

Try as I might I always make too much meatloaf. Then comes the dilemma of “What can I do with leftover meatloaf”? 

But really,  what is meatloaf? It is just seasoned meat made into a loaf and cooked. 

So any recipe that requires ground meat will work. It just makes it quicker because your meat is already seasoned with goodies and any add-ins such as onions, and green peppers. etc.

leftover meatloaf

What Can I Do With Leftover Meatloaf?

Any dish that has ground meat in the recipe is great for using leftover meatloaf. Spaghetti with meat sauce, sloppy joes, chili. 

And my favorite, meatloaf manhattans. The meatloaf is already seasoned so all you need to do is break up the meat, add the ingredients needed for whatever dish you are making, and there you have it. 

A completely different meal. I used to throw out my leftover meatloaf. 

After all, the cats need to eat too. But my husband started complaining about all the waste. 

So I put on my thinking cap, did a little research, and made some spaghetti with a meat sauce. I just made it the way I usually do, I just use the meatloaf instead of the ground beef.

And my husband loved it!

Can You Freeze Leftover Meatloaf?

Yes, you can. Did you know that you can freeze meatloaf cooked or uncooked? 

I have some leftover meatloaf in my freezer right now just waiting for me to make some spaghetti with meat sauce. I wrapped mine in some aluminum foil and then placed it into a freezer bag. 

I wouldn’t keep it in the freezer any longer than three months though. If you are planning on using the leftover meatloaf soon, don’t leave it in the fridge any longer than a couple of days.

Three days maximum. Be sure to defrost your meatloaf completely in the refrigerator before reheating.

Watch the video below for tips to safely freeze leftovers.

How to Reheat Meatloaf

Preheat your oven to 225-250 degrees. Place the meatloaf into a shallow oven-safe dish. 

Sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons broth or water. If you have broth use this in place of water for better flavor.

This will keep your meatloaf moist. Cover with foil and reheat for 25 to 30 minutes.

Remember to let your meatloaf rest for at least 10-15 minutes before slicing. When I reheat leftover sliced meatloaf, I just add a little water to a small saucepan, add the slices, and heat on low on the stovetop.   

Is It Safe to Refreeze Your Meatloaf?

You can refreeze your meatloaf as long as it is thawed completely in the fridge. If not and you thawed the meatloaf on your countertop then I wouldn’t attempt to refreeze it. 

Sitting at room temperature allows for bacteria to rear its nasty head. So it is always better to err on the safe side and throw it out. 

But if it was thawed in the fridge and did not sit out at room temperature longer than 2 hours, it can safely be refrozen within 3-4 days after being thawed. 

Tins of tomato soup and chili beans

Chili Made With Leftover Meatloaf

Break up your leftover meatloaf and place it in a saucepan. I usually use 1 pound of ground beef when making chili.

Kitchen scales come in handy in this situation, but honestly, I just eyeball it. Add 1 can of tomato soup and 3 cans of chili beans in a mild sauce. 

I also love celery in my chili because that was what my dad did! About 2-3 stalks of celery. 

You can saute the celery in a little butter or just throw it in raw. I prefer to soften mine just a little before adding it to the chili.

Add chili powder according to your taste. My husband and I prefer chili on the mild side. 

Depending on how thick you like your chili you may need to add a little tomato juice. I usually have to add about 4 cups.

And I know you are going to think I’m crazy but I add a little sugar as well. Anything I make that is tomato-based gets a little sugar love.

Just remember this is your chili so make it the way you usually do. The only difference is that you are using leftover meatloaf in place of the ground beef.  

Meatloaf Manhattans

To be honest, this meal is my favorite when using leftover meatloaf. And it is so easy! 

Just reheat your meatloaf in slices. Place on a slice of bread.

Place a slice of bread on top. I then slice the sandwich in half, place a heaping spoonful of mashed potatoes between the slices, and smother it all with brown gravy. 

And there you have a meatloaf Manhattan!

Packet of gravy mix

I have to be completely truthful here. I use packaged brown gravy.

There are times when I go all out and then there are times I want easy. If it tastes good, who cares?

Not me, that’s for sure! I wish I had a picture to show you.

But it’s just like a beef Manhattan only made with meatloaf in place of roast beef. Go here to get an idea of what I am talking about.

Meatloaf Spaghetti Sauce or Is It Goulash?

I made a meatloaf last Sunday for dinner. Of course, I made too much. 

So the next day I decided to make spaghetti. I made my sauce like I always do, the leftover meatloaf, tomato soup, tomato sauce (I didn’t have any mushrooms to add) Italian seasoning, and of course my sugar. 

But when I went to the pantry to grab my spaghetti, to my horror, I didn’t have any. Well, shoot what do I do now?

Use elbow macaroni instead. So I added some tomatoes to my sauce and made goulash instead. 

My Final Thoughts

  • Leftover meatloaf can be repurposed in various dishes like spaghetti with meat sauce, chili, and sloppy joes, utilizing its pre-seasoned flavor.
  • Freezing leftover meatloaf is practical; it can be stored for up to three months, thawed, and reused in recipes.
  • Reheating meatloaf properly involves adding moisture to prevent drying out, using methods like oven reheating with broth.
  • Leftover meatloaf can be innovatively used in recipes like Meatloaf Manhattans, offering a comforting and quick meal solution.
  • The versatility of leftover meatloaf in recipes highlights its convenience and flavor, making it a valuable ingredient for home cooks.

For anything that calls for ground beef in the recipe, you can use leftover meatloaf instead. The beauty. 

Your meat is already seasoned and has all those yummy vegetables in it cutting down on your cooking time and those extra steps. Spaghetti, chili, sloppy joes, just a plain old meatloaf sandwich.

And we can’t forget that wonderful meatloaf Manhattan. Go ahead and give it a try. 

You just might make a new family favorite. Please leave me a comment below with your thoughts.

Have you used leftover meatloaf and what did you do with it? I would love to hear about it. 

And as always, have a wonderful day!

FAQ: What Can I Do With Leftover Meatloaf?

1. What are some creative ways to use leftover meatloaf?

  • Leftover meatloaf can be repurposed into various dishes that typically use ground meat. For example, it can be crumbled into spaghetti sauces, used as a filling for tacos, or added to chili recipes to enhance flavor and bulk up the meal.
  • Meatloaf can also be transformed into a hearty sandwich filler, especially when sliced and paired with your favorite condiments and bread.

2. Can leftover meatloaf be used in recipes other than sandwiches or pasta dishes?

  • Absolutely! Leftover meatloaf works well in shepherd’s pie, where it can replace the ground meat layer, or in meatloaf hash, mixed with diced potatoes and onions for a savory breakfast option.
  • For a quick and easy meal, consider using crumbled meatloaf in stuffed peppers or as a topping for pizza, adding a unique twist to traditional recipes.

3. How should I store leftover meatloaf to ensure it stays fresh?

  • Leftover meatloaf should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and is best used within 3-4 days to maintain freshness and flavor.
  • If you need to keep it for a longer period, meatloaf can be frozen. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place it in a freezer-safe bag, and it can be stored for up to 3 months.

4. Are there any tips for reheating leftover meatloaf to keep it moist?

  • When reheating meatloaf, it’s best to add a splash of water or broth before warming it in the oven or microwave to help retain moisture.
  • Covering the meatloaf with foil while reheating in the oven can also prevent it from drying out, ensuring it stays juicy and flavorful.

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