When we shoot a show, the crew eat whatever it is I’ve made. And this sandwich went into their top 5…immediately. You can use a store-bought meatloaf for this—or try the Mexican Meatloaf recipe—it’s way good. Say what you want, but this is what meatloaf was really meant to be. There really is nuthin’ better.–Sam Zien

How do I keep my leftover meatloaf from being dry?

If you’ve followed our recipe for Sam Zien’s meatloaf with spinach, you shouldn’t have any dried-up meatloaf to begin with. But, we get it, dry meatloaf happens. This recipe for a leftover meatloaf sandwich has a super tasty, creamy sauce that will amp up the moisture in your ‘loaf, but there is another thing you can do. Add a very little bit of water to your skillet when you’re reheating the slices and cover them with a lid. Once the liquid is gone, the slice will quickly crisp.

Two halves of a leftover meatloaf sandwich stacked on top of each other and held together with a wooden skewer.

Leftover Meatloaf Sandwich

5 from 1 vote
Leftover meatloaf is miraculously made into a meatloaf sandwich that will make you wish there was still more. The meatloaf gets crisped in a skillet, smothered with melty cheese, and slathered with a sweet and spicy mayo.
David Leite
Servings2 sandwiches
Calories516 kcal
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes


For the sauce

For the sandwiches

  • Enough 3/4-inch-thick (18-mm) slices of leftover meatloaf, to cover 2 slices of bread (2 to 3 slices)
  • 4 slices Muenster, provolone, or Havarti cheese
  • 4 slices of a really good bread, such as sourdough or a hearty rye
  • Arugula or other greens, for serving


Make the sauce

  • In a small bowl, mix together the ketchup, apricot jam, chipotles, and mayonnaise.

Make the sandwiches

  • In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook the meatloaf slices until heated through and starting to get crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Flip the slices of meatloaf, divvy the cheese between them, and cook until the cheese begins to melt, 2 to 3 minutes more. Slide the meatloaf slices onto a plate.
  • Add the bread to the skillet and cook until just toasted.
  • Spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the sauce on two slices of the toasted bread. Top each slice with arugula, half of the cheese-topped meatloaf, and the final slice of bread.

Adapted From

Sam the Cooking Guy: Recipes with Intentional Leftovers

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 516 kcalCarbohydrates: 45 gProtein: 19 gFat: 29 gSaturated Fat: 13 gMonounsaturated Fat: 8 gTrans Fat: 0.03 gCholesterol: 60 mgSodium: 1035 mgFiber: 4 gSugar: 13 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2020 Sam Zien. Photo © 2020 Lucas Barbieri. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I had made Brian Voltaggio’s Homemade Meatloaf recipe earlier in the week, so I had some nice, thick slices of a very tasty, leftover meatloaf. Normally I just toss a bit of mayo and ketchup on bread and have it cold, as the meatloaf reminds me a bit of pate when served cold.

I heated my meatloaf slice on medium high heat, about 90 seconds, then turned it over for another 90 seconds. I repeated that again, then topped it with a few slices of provolone. I had made a hearty grain whole wheat sourdough so I added the toasted meatloaf to my toasted bread. This recipe for leftover meatloaf sandwich certainly kicks a meatloaf sandwich up a notch! That mix of the ketchup and chipotle chile sauce mixed in with that little bit of the apricot jam to add that hint of sweetness, really makes the meatloaf shine. I washed it all down with a nice cold can of Narragansett lager, a great pairing!

Meatloaf makes the quintessential sandwich. And this leftover meatloaf sandwich is a winner—crisped slices of meatloaf, wrapped in melty cheese, all enrobed in a creamy, spicy sauce and stashed between slices of great toasted bread.

That’s all you need to know….except, this is a “great fricking sandwich” and is reason enough alone, to make meatloaf to begin with. Yes, I am a fan of leftover meatloaf. As luck would have it, I had made meatloaf, so this fit in perfectly with my leftover life!

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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  1. I straight up clicked on this (on FB) thinking I would get a great meatloaf recipe only to see “Enough 3/4-inch-thick (18-mm) slices of leftover meatloaf, to cover 2 slices of bread (2 to 3 slices)”

    Yes, I clicked on the link. Yes, I will be making meatloaf this weekend.