Leftover Meatloaf Pasta Sauce

Leftover meatloaf pasta sauce makes weeknight dinners a snap. Sam Zien’s recipe reinvents the traditional ground beef and tomato sauce using what you’ve already got at home.

A skillet filled with leftover meatloaf pasta sauce, with a pile of pasta on the side.

One of the biggest pains when making a delicious meat sauce is messing with the meat. Well, guess what: with this version, the meat’s already been messed with, and it’s a snap!–Sam Zien

*How do I keep my meatloaf from drying out?

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.

Leftover Meatloaf Pasta Sauce

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 40 M
  • Makes 4 cups sauce
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In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. When hot, add the onion and cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Stir in the meatloaf and mix well to combine.

Squish the tomatoes into the pan by hand, breaking them up well. Add any extra can juices along with the Worcestershire and oregano. Taste, and add sugar, if desired.

Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer until thickened and the flavors have melded, 20 to 30 minutes.

Spoon the sauce over cooked pasta.

Print RecipeBuy the Sam the Cooking Guy: Recipes with Intentional Leftovers cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

I love pasta and am constantly on the lookout for new sauce recipes. I love the flavor from slow simmering a tomato sauce for hours but sometimes you need something quicker for a weeknight meal. The thought of using leftover meatloaf in a pasta sauce never crossed my mind but thankfully it crossed someone else's because this recipe is to die for. Not only is the finished sauce the best I've ever eaten but the included recipe for meatloaf is incredible!

My husband is a meatloaf fanatic and loves my standby dish but even he said this is the only meatloaf he wants from now on. And the leftover meatloaf pasta sauce? According to him, I'm not allowed to make any other recipe from now on. This meatloaf is so moist and flavorful with the combination of beef and pork. The spinach not only makes the finished product look beautiful, it adds to the moistness and texture of the loaf. I simply can't say enough about this meatloaf and pasta sauce. Yummy!

I'm a sucker for a pasta sauce. While this doesn't capture the same lightning-in-a-bottle brilliance, flavor, and ease of the gnocchi sauce using this same meatloaf, it also doesn't have a cup of heavy cream doing all the heavy lifting, and succeeds in being another great option for using leftover meatloaf without costing you a day's worth of calories in one sitting. It comes together quickly, is perfect for a weeknight dinner, and is probably just as good with any meatloaf you have on hand.

My only gripe is the leftover meatloaf pasta sauce tastes too sweet for me since I prefer a savory tomato sauce...so next time I'll omit the sugar. However, if you have leftover meatloaf glaze, I could see adding some of this glaze into the pan around when you add the garlic, letting the natural sugars caramelize like you would tomato paste, and this could bring a little sweetness and heat without being as strong as the granulated sugar.

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