Meatloaf Florentine; Lixus, Dinner

One of the first signs of cooler weather, chez nous, is mon mari’s request for meatloaf.

He loves meatloaf, of any shape, style or flavor, but he particularly loves meatloaf sandwiches. He would be happy if I made a meatloaf every week and just gave it to him for sandwiches.

As I am rather fond of it myself it’s an easy request to accommodate.

Meatloaf was one of the 8 or 9 things in my mother’s repertoire. As with everything she cooked it was always good.

As with many things she cooked she used ‘convenience’ foods. After all, she started cooking for her own family when all the convenience foods became the new best thing.

In other words. her meatloaf was finished with a red & white can of either Tomato Soup or Cream of Mushroom Soup…. And it certainly never had spinach in it.

She never knew what she was missing….

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Meatloaf Florentine

Florentine means it has spinach in it.
While this meat loaf is chock-a-block with vegetables it still retains the ‘proper’ meat loaf taste and texture. It’s a sneaky way to get more vegetables.

  • Author: Katie Zeller
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 75 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Beef


  • 16oz (480gr) ground beef, or beef and sausage mixed
  • 1 medium onion, about 1/2 cup finely chopped
  • 2oz (60gr) mushrooms about 3/4 cup finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, about 1/3 cup finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, about 1/3 cup finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8oz (240gr) frozen spinach
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) red wine or beef stock
  • 1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) ketchup
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) tomato sauce


  • Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. 
  • Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic and sauté until they start to get tender, onion will be transparent, about 8 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms and frozen spinach; the heat from the skillet will thaw it.
  • Cook spinach and vegetables, stirring frequently until spinach is just thawed and mixture is well combined. There should be no visible liquid from the spinach.
  • Remove and spread the vegetables on a plate to cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl lightly beat eggs.
  • Add crumbs, wine, ketchup, herbs and mix well. 
  • Add meat and mix.
  • Add about a third of the vegetables and mix (because the veg are hot we are adding them slowly). 
  • Add another third, mix.
  • Add remaining vegetables, mix well – at this point it’s best to use your hands.
  • Put into a baking pan large enough to hold it easily, with room all around, and shape into a loaf.
  • Cover and bake at 400F (200C) for 45 minutes.
  • Remove and pour tomato sauce over the top.
  • Bake, uncovered, 15 minutes longer or until done.
  • Remove, let rest 5 – 10 minutes. Slice and serve.


I used 12oz (360gr) ground beef and 4oz (120gr) ground pork.
It takes 30 minutes to cook the veg and make the meatloaf, then you can ignore it for 45 minutes.
This makes 4 servings – we have it for 2 meals.

Meatloaf Florentine

After we left Asilah we continued along the coast to Lixus.

Lixus was first settled by the Canaanites in the 12th century BC. It was thought by the ancient Greeks to be a sanctuary of Hercules and the place where he gathered the golden apples.

It’s situated on top of a hill, overlooking a river. Not all of us climbed the hill to the ruins,. The path was long and steep.

It was conquered by Rome and became a thriving port city in the first century AD.

About 20% of the site has been excavated and it has been added as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Lixus was abandoned around 1300 AC.

On another subject….. I had arranged with our riad to prepare dinner for all of us our first night together.

The set a lovely table for us on the rooftop terrace.

We had a simple first course of sliced tomatoes, local sheep’s milk feta, and red onions.

There were two tagines – one of chicken and this one of lamb.

And of course, there were plates of sweets to finish but I was busy eating and drinking wine and talking to family I hadn’t seen in years…. We’re lucky to have these photos…..

4 thoughts on “Meatloaf Florentine; Lixus, Dinner”

  1. Those views!! And I don’t blame you for ‘forgetting’ to take many pictures at dinner. It’s hard to remember when you’re catching up like that.

    I make one type of meatloaf. Hubs won’t eat any other but that. Sometimes, I wish he’d be a bit more adventurous, but his mother’s was never very good and since he loves mine, he says he’ll stick with it. :/ But he would also eat it as sammies all week so I try to make it every other week at least.


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