Bring some culinary kitsch to your table with this retro recipe. Meatloaf sandwiches are a timeless treat and this version is gussied up with homemade onion straws and basil aioli. Get the Throwback Meatloaf Sandwich Recipe.

Throwback Meatloaf Marvel-makes 8-12 sandwiches

Shaping the loaves into 2”x 12” rectangles ensures they will fit snugly between sliced bread. Make the meatloaf the day before you plan to serve the sandwiches; slicing a cold meat loaf is a breeze.

For the Meatloaf:

  • 1 Celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • 1 Red Pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • ½ Sweet onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 Cup dried bread crumbs, finely crushed crackers or finely crushed croutons
  • ½ Cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg
  • Splash of milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½- 1 ¾ Pounds ground chuck
  • ½ Cup BBQ sauce 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the celery, red pepper and onion into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse to coarsely chop the vegetables and transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixture fitted with the paddle attachment. Add all the remaining ingredients except the beef and BBQ sauce to the bowl with the vegetable mixture and process on medium speed until well combined. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the meat bit-by-bit until just combined. Do not over mix. 

Divide the meat mixture in half. With wet hands shape each portion into a 2”x12” loaf on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. Smooth the surface of the loaves with wet hands to eliminate any cracks or gaps. Bake the meat loaf for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 375. Brush the loaves with the BBQ sauce and return to the oven for 15 minutes. Cool the cooked meat loaf completely and refrigerate overnight. 

For the Basil Mayo:

  • 1 Cup Light Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon Basil Pesto
  • 1 Tablespoon sliced scallions

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Quick Homemade Onion Straws:

  • 1 Onion, very thinly sliced and separated into rings
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
  • ¾ Cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons of your favorite seasoning blend (I like a BBQ blend or even Italian herbs)
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • Oil for frying

Combine the cider vinegar and the milk. Soak the onion rings in the mixture for 20 minutes. Mix the flour, seasoning blend and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the soaked onions in batches to the flour mixture and toss to coat. Shake off the excess flour and fry in batches until golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels and serve.

For assembly:

  • French Rolls, lightly toasted
  • Spinach and arugula leaves
  • Sliced harp Cheddar Cheese, sliced
  • Roma tomatoes sliced
  • Sweet pickle slices

Spread the bread generously with the basil mayo and some greens. Layer the sandwich with two slices of the cold meat loaf, a slice of cheese, three tomato slices, and three sweet pickle slices. Wrap the sandwiches in parchment and tie with twine before placing in a box for easy transport. Garnish with the onion straws just before serving.

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