A meatloaf sandwich piled high with hot, creamy mashed potatoes is the ultimate in savory comfort food, and the perfect cozy offering when something slightly decadent is craved. My scrumptious meatloaf sandwich recipe features a crispy meatloaf patty lightly breaded in panko breadcrumbs, then shallow fried for a tasty crunch, plus sauteed shiitake mushrooms and a savory gravy to pour over top!
Meatloaf Sandwich, Crispy, Savory Comfort Food in a Sandwich
Growing up in a Slovak household, my mom prepared classic culinary staples with her own unique twist and some Slovak “magic” sprinkled into them...
For example, meatloaf looked a little different in our kitchen. Rather than coming in the form of a traditional “loaf” shape that had been baked in the oven after being spread with a bit of ketchup, mom’s version of meatloaf was in the form of patties called “fasirki” (pronounced fa-sheer-kee).
These meatloaf patties were prepared with a mixture practically identical to that of classic meatloaf, but instead of placing the beef mixture into a loaf pan, or shaping it by hand into a loaf shape on a baking sheet, my mom would shape the mixture into patties.
These patties were then pressed into breadcrumbs and fried in a shallow amount of oil until deeply browned and crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside.
The meatloaf patties were so tasty, and we would often enjoy them for dinner with hot, fluffy mashed potatoes on occasions when we craved a savory and extra cozy, comforting dinner.
I still make these meatloaf patties, these “fasirki”, often enough for our own meals, and thought they'd make the perfect meatloaf sandwich because of their patty shape and hot, crispy outer texture.
For me, this recipe for a meatloaf sandwich is just a little bit extra comforting and delicious because it's a bit unique and different from the typical meatloaf sandwich, which is part of the fun.
Piled high with creamy mashed potatoes, my version also has earthy sauteed shiitake mushrooms to spoon over top, as well as a simple homemade beef gravy to generously drizzle over everything for added richness and savoriness!
How to Make a Meatloaf Sandwich
Part of what I love about my meatloaf sandwich recipe is that it's actually a little quicker to prepare, which is nice.
Since I don't bake my meatloaf for this recipe in the oven, and use only my stove top, preparing the meatloaf only takes as long as mixing together the beef mixture, shaping into 4 patties, then shallow frying for a few minutes per side until nice and browned on the outside, and cooked through on the inside.
Honestly, the mashed potatoes, mushrooms and gravy are totally optional, but I think they're what make this recipe extra delicious and more of a complete meal. So I do prepare those from scratch (you could even use prepared from the market for convenience, if you prefer) just before making my meatloaf patties. That way, everything is hot and ready to be pile up onto toasted bread and enjoyed!
Here's a sneak peek at my meatloaf sandwich recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I cook the potatoes for about 22 minutes or so, to make my creamy mashed potatoes.
- While those boil, I whip up my quick and easy gravy to have hot and ready to pour over top of the meatloaf sandwich.
- I finish preparing my mashed potatoes once the potatoes are tender, and set those aside, keeping them warm.
- To prepare my meatloaf patties, I add all of the ingredient to a large bowl, mix together until combined, then shape the mixture into four patties, roughly the shape of the slices of bread I'm using.
- I press each patty into panko breadcrumbs and then shallow fry them for a few minutes per side until golden-brown and crispy; then, I wipe out that pan and saute my mushrooms for a few minutes.
- To assemble my meatloaf sandwich, I pile on a thick layer of creamy mashed potatoes, top with a meatloaf patty, some sauteed shiitake mushrooms and a generous pour of gravy, and serve open-faced style.
Meatloaf Sandwich with Homemade Gravy
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: 4 sandwiches
Nutrition Info: 985 calories (per sandwich, with ¼ cup gravy)
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Meatloaf Sandwich Ingredients:
- 1 pound ground beef (85/15 fat ratio)
- ¼ onion, very finely minced
- 1 clove garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- ½ teaspoon granulated onion
- 1 egg
- 2 to 3 tablespoons whole milk
- 2 cups (loosely packed) fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs, finely processed in food processor
- Avocado oil, or other frying oil
- 7 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 4 slices (thick-sliced) country white bread, or Texas Toast, toasted
Creamy Whipped Potatoes Ingredients:
- 6 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- Few pinches of salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
- ½ to ¾ cup whole milk
Homemade Gravy Ingredients:
- 1 ½ ounces unsalted butter (about 3 tablespoons)
- 1 ½ ounces all-purpose flour (about 5 tablespoons)
- 3 cups beef stock/broth
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Begin by preparing your creamy mashed potatoes (if preparing): add the cubed potatoes to a pot and cover with water; add a couple of generous pinches of salt, so that the water is well-salted and will help season the potatoes as they cook.
- Turn the heat on medium-high and bring the potatoes to the boil, and allow them to cook for about 22 to 25 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a small knife of fork.
- While the potatoes cook, prepare your homemade gravy: add the butter into a medium-size saucepan, and set over medium-low heat; once the butter is melted, sprinkle the flour into it, and combine/blend with a wooden spoon; cook this “roux” for about a minute or two, to cook out the raw flour taste.
- Next, slowly pour the beef stock/broth into the “roux”, whisking all the while to avoid lumps, and allow the gravy to very gently simmer to tighten up a bit, for about 2 to 3 minutes; turn off the heat.
- Finish the gravy with the black pepper and the Italian seasoning, and check to see if you need any additional salt/pepper; keep warm until ready to use.
- Once potatoes are tender, drain, and place them back onto very low heat for about 30 seconds just to “dry” them of their water a bit more.
- To make your whipped potatoes, use a potato ricer if you have one, as it will create lump-free and fluffy potatoes; if you don't have one, then just use a masher, and mash the potatoes very well until they are as lump-free as possible.
- Add the butter into the potatoes, along with about ½ cup of the milk to start with, and blend/fold those into the potatoes until the butter is melted and the milk is incorporated (use more milk, if necessary); check your seasoning and add salt if needed; keep warm.
- To prepare your meatloaf patties: add the ground beef into a large bowl, and add in the minced onion, the garlic, the salt, the Italian seasoning, the ground black pepper, the granulated onion, the egg, the milk, the fresh breadcrumbs (I used 1 medium French roll and my food processor), and the chopped parsley, and gently mix the ingredients into the meat until well-combined, but not over-mixed.
- Divide the meat into 4 equal portions, and shape those portions into the general shape of your bread, making them slightly bigger, as the patties will shrink a little as they fry.
- Gently press each of the patties in the panko breadcrumbs, flipping them to coat both sides evenly.
- Place a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add in enough oil to coat the bottom well, and to shallow fry; once the oil is hot, add the patties (work in batches, if necessary) and allow them to fry for about 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through and golden-brown and crispy; allow the fried patties to drain on paper towels, and keep warm.
- Wipe/clean out the same large pan, and add another good drizzle of oil in; once the oil is hot, add in the shiitake mushrooms, along with a pinch of salt and ground black pepper, and allow them to saute for a few minutes until they become golden-brown and seared; set aside and keep warm.
- Build your meatloaf sandwich, pile on some of the creamy whipped potatoes onto the toasted bread, and top with a meatloaf patty followed by some of the sauteed mushrooms and a generous pour of the gravy, and serve open-faced.
Tips & Tidbits for my Meatloaf Sandwich with Homemade Gravy:
- Lean, organic ground beef: For the meatloaf patties I like to use 85/15 ratio of fat to allow for the meatloaf to be juicy and flavorful. And I use organic, grass-fed beef whenever possible—the price is only slightly higher, but the quality and flavor of the beef is much better. (If you're looking for meat substitutions, feel free to use turkey or chicken as leaner options.)
- Red potatoes for mashed potatoes: Red, waxy potatoes are my potato of choice when preparing my fluffy mashed potato recipe, as they are a bit more buttery and light, perfect to be piled high.
- Texas toast or other thick sandwich bread: I like thick-sliced country white bread or Texas toast for this meatloaf sandwich, but feel free to use any bread you prefer. (Sour dough is super delicious as well.) Just give the bread a little toasting in the toaster oven before assembling for added flavor.
- Shiitake mushrooms for earthy flavor, or your favorite kind: Thinly sliced shiitakes have so much savory flavor, and are my preferred variety for this meatloaf sandwich. However, feel free to use cremini or classic button mushrooms—whatever you like!
- Short-cut options: If you're looking for a bit of a short-cut, or want to save time, feel free to use good quality pre-made/prepackaged mashed potatoes and/or gravy from your market. This way, you can simply prepare the meatloaf patties and the mushrooms for this sandwich, and assemble.
Hungry for more savory and cozy sandwich recipes? Check out this Spicy Chicken Sandwich, this Pork Tenderloin Sandwich, this Braised BBQ Short Rib Sandwich, or this Chicken Cheese Steak!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2014, and has been updated with even more love!
This is a wonderful sandwich! Real comfort food. I particulary like the panko coating. We love the gravy also! thanks for sharing.
The Cozy Apron
It was my pleasure, Wendy! Thanks for your comments.
Made this for dinner tonight - absolutely fantastic!! Thank you for sharing!
The Cozy Apron
Marie, that's fantastic! So glad you enjoyed this recipe, and thanks for taking a moment to share your experience!
I'm down visiting my mom right now, and even though I'm a very good cook, and aspiring chef in the making, we're pretty much forced to make meals from what we have on hand, due to monetary constraints. Ok, you get the gist. In any case, yes I can cook great food with high end ingredients, and amazingly good food with almost nothing. But there is a noticeable gap there 'somewhere.' I want to make my mom something great, with good but limited supplies. We have the protein, in the firm of half a loaf of meatloaf. And we have 'crusty' French bread ... ok ... stale, French bread. And some leftover gravy as well. Any tips on elevating my own faced meatloaf sandwich to make it awesome, rather than just very good? Last question: any comment on flash flying the already cooked meatloaf slices, and if so, any specifics? Thanks
The Cozy Apron
Hi there, thanks so much for your question! You seem to have the basic components for this open-faced meatloaf sandwich; you asked about frying the already cooked meatloaf slices, and I think that'd be great! Why not? I think skip the breadcrumbs/panko; it would take too long to get 'em brown & crispy, and may make the slices tough since they're cooked. So just add a little oil to a pan, get it hot, and add a slice or two. Let it brown up on the first side and flip, then repeat. And perhaps to "revive" the stale French bread, slice it and toast it up a bit and then spread some butter on it for added flavor; then it's "toasted", not stale. You've got some gravy, which is great; any potatoes? If not, you sound like you're creative, so just take a peak and see if you have something to dress it up. Hope that helps some!
The Cozy Apron
One more idea: if you have onions on hand, those would be a great addition if you sliced one into semi-circles and caramelized them in butter or oil until golden-brown and slightly sweet, then added them on top.