Meatloaf is the retro recipe people love to hate, but thanks to superstar chef Curtis Stone, it’s getting a modern makeover.

With a few low-cost ingredients and even some secret veggies, the “meat-ball meat-loaf” is sure to be a winner with the whole family.

Watch: Curtis Stone makes his modern meatloaf in the video above

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Curtis Stone’s meatball meatloaf with passata

Serves: 6


  • 1½ cups cubed (1 cm) French baguette
  • ½ cup full-fat milk
  • 2 x 500g packages beef mince
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup coarsely grated onion (use large holes on box grater)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 3 large eggs, beaten to blend
  • 1 tbs finely grated garlic
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 6 zucchini, halved lengthways
  • 1 red onion, cut into thick rings or wedges
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups tomato passata, warm


  1. Position rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced. Line large rimmed baking tray with aluminium foil (for easy cleanup). Place wire cooling rack on foil.
  2. In large bowl, stir bread cubes and milk. Soak 10 mins, or until bread is very soft. Mash bread with your hands.
  3. Mix beef, parsley, onion, Parmesan, tomato paste, eggs, garlic, thyme, paprika, and 1 tbs salt into bread mixture. Shape meat mixture into 24x11cm oval loaf; place on rack on baking tray. Bake 30 mins.
  4. Toss zucchini and onions with oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange on baking tray. Bake for 30 mins, or until instant-read thermometer inserted into centre of meatloaf reads 65C, and vegetables are crisp tender and beginning to caramelise. Let stand at room temperature for 10 mins.
  5. Remove meatloaf from rack, slice, and serve with passata, more Parmesan, and roasted vegetables.

Curtis’ Tip: I also like to serve this meatloaf as “meatball” sandwiches. Tuck warm slices of meatloaf into toasted French rolls, and smother with marinara sauce. Top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and broil until mozzarella is melted and gooey.

The meatloaf mixture can be made up to 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate.