Mediterranean Grilled Meatloaf is super tender and juicy with tons of flavor from fresh herbs and lemon.
This Mediterranean Grilled Meatloaf just might be one of the most unique recipes on our site – and it’s one of the most delicious recipes too!
This recipe is adapted from one that we found in The Nantucket Table cookbook – where it was inspired by an old Italian Jewish recipe.
How do you make Mediterranean Grilled Meatloaf?
In this meatloaf, ground beef is combined with lemon juice-soaked bread cubes, minced fresh garlic, a generous amount of chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, eggs and seasonings.
The meatloaf is then tightly wrapped in plastic and chilled at least an hour, but ideally overnight. As the meatloaf chills, the lemon juice essentially ‘cold cooks’ the ground beef – similar to seviche, where fish is cooked in citrus juice. The lemon juice also tenderizes the beef.
When you are ready to grill, slice the meatloaf into eight portions. We left the plastic wrap on to make it easier to slice, then removed the wrap and laid out each slice on a tray and froze it for about fifteen minutes before grilling. (Freezing helps firm up the tenderized meatloaf slices so they don’t fall apart on the grill.)
Then, fire up the grill! The original cookbook recipe suggested to just quickly sear the slices for two minutes on either side, since the center has already been ‘cold cooked’ by the lemon juice.
You can do that – but we felt it was better to cook the slices further. So, after searing each side, we moved the pieces to the cool side of the grill, closed the cover and allowed the grilled meatloaf slices to bake until they reached an internal temperature of 140 degrees F. (This took about five minutes.)
Even with the extra cooking time, the Mediterranean Grilled Meatloaf slices were still super juicy and incredibly tender!
This Mediterranean Grilled Meatloaf – with the lemony beef flavor – tastes similar to Kofta, but without the gamey taste of lamb and with a much softer texture.
What do I serve with Mediterranean Grilled Meatloaf?
Since the Mediterranean Grilled Meatloaf has such vibrant flavors, choose some side dishes that will complement the beef and lemon. We suggest:
You may like these other grilling recipes:
- Grilled BBQ Turkey Tips
- Perfect Grilled Sirloin Steak
- Ponzu Grilled Pork Chops
- Marinated Grilled Chicken
- Grilled Coleslaw
2 cups coarse dense bread cut into ¼ inch cubes (You could use any hard-crusted loaf such as French or crusty Italian or bread like a country loaf)
Zest of two large lemons
Juice of two large lemons, ½ cup
2 pounds 80/20 ground beef
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
¾ cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped (about one whole bunch without stems)
½ cup eggs beaten, about 2–3 large eggs
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
In a medium bowl place bread cubes, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix to combine. Let sit for one hour.
While bread is soaking, in a large bowl place ground beef, garlic, parsley, eggs, salt, and both peppers but don’t mix yet.
After the hour, add the soaked bread to the larger bowl and mix by hand until fully incorporated.
Form into a loaf 8X4 inches and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to 12 hours.
Cover a sheet tray with parchment and spray with pan spray. (or a dish or tray that will fit in your freezer)
With the plastic still on, cut into 8 slices then peel off the plastic from each piece. Leaving the plastic on helps hold the shape while you cut.
Press each piece to a thickness of one inch then place on the parchment lined tray and place in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up. Neaten up the edges as you press.
While the meatloaf is firming up, heat one side of your grill to medium high and clean the grates.
After the 15 minutes remove the meatloaf from the freezer and brush both sides of each slice with the olive oil.
Oil the grill grates and lay out the meatloaf slices and cook one minute on the hot side. Using a long flat spatula, carefully turn each piece 90 degrees to get cross hatch marks and cook one more minute.
Carefully flip each piece and grill two more minutes on the second side. Move the eight slices to the cool side of the grill, lower grill heat to get an internal grill temperature of about 350 degrees F and cook the meatloaf to an internal temperature of 140 degrees F. when poked with a probe thermometer.
Carefully remove to a platter and serve immediately.
Keywords: Mediterranean Grilled Meatloaf