Gluten Free Italian Main Course Recipes

Rotolo Toscano – Stuffed Meatloaf

This gluten free meat roll is seasoned minced beef stuffed with ham and cheese, then glazed with tomato sauce. 

This recipe was inspired by my friend Joan, who is a fantastic cook with an open mind.  She worked in the Detroit-Windsor auto sector back in the days when the booming industry drew many new immigrants in search of factory work.  As often happens with developing friendships, one way of learning more about each other’s cultures, is food and sharing recipes.

Florence, Tuscany, Italy

When Joan offered to make meatloaf one day, she served what she called Italian Stuffed Meatloaf. Everybody thought it was amazing and I just loved how she elevated the mundane meatloaf to the epicurean realm. She passed along her recipe which I planned to make for some friends. When I found out that one had celiac disease, I decided to make a gluten free version. As it turns out, this dish didn’t really need to have breadcrumbs in it after all in my opinion. It’s a little denser than meatloaf but the flavours are more intense.

Rotolo Toscano

The rotolo is Italian seasoned minced beef stuffed with ham and cheese, and glazed with tomato sauce.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 280kcal
Author: Kevin Lamoureux


Meat Mixture

  • lbs. lean ground beef
  • ½ cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 garlic clove finely minced
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp dry onion soup mix
  • ¼ cup chile sauce
  • ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp anise
  • ¼ tsp crushed dried chilies
  • ½ cup passata or crushed tomato for the glaze


  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 2-3 thin slices Prosciutto Cotto cooked ham
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • In a large bowl, combine mixture ingredients
  • Evenly roll out the mixture onto plastic wrap or wax paper making a ½ inch layer
  • Make a second layer with the ham slices
  • Spread out the cheese as the third layer
  • Roll up the layers as a jelly roll with the help of the wrap/paper underneath
  • Close the ends and form into a loaf shape
  • Spray a broiler rack with non-stick spray then place loaf onto rack
  • Coat loaf with the passata or tomato sauce
  • Add a little water to the bottom of the broiler tray
  • Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving


You can make your own variation of the stuffing, using other Italian cheeses like Parmesan, Pecorino, and adding spinach or basil leaves.  Refrigerate left over rotolo and serve the next day as a cold appetizer as you would a pâté or terrine. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.