Tom Colicchio’s Meatloaf Sandwich

Believe it or not, this is one of my favorite sandwiches in all of New York City (next to pretty much everything available at Graham Avenue Meats and Deli in Williamsburg). When we first moved to the city, one of the places our friend Morgan, who had moved out here about a year before we did, was ‘Wichcraft, surprisingly enough. He told us to get the meatloaf sandwich and couldn’t stop singing its praises, so we figured that we had better try it. I’m telling you right now, there is no better meatloaf than this one right here. There’s nothing fancy about the meatloaf itself – it’s pretty straightforward, actually, but somehow it is the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted. I added some spicy pork sausage to mine, but that is completely unnecessary, as this meatloaf speaks for itself. My favorite part of this sandwich, though, is the tomato relish. It’s the perfect sandwich accompaniment, and is great on not only this sandwich, but in a salad or even as a side dish. I especially love the pickled mustard seeds in the relish, because they pop in your mouth with each bite and add a texture that you won’t find anywhere else. Of course, melty cheddar cheese and crispy bacon tie this meatloaf sandwich all together and make it into the stuff of dreams.

So, to recap: I am completely obsessed with The ‘Wichcraft Cookbook; so much so, that I bought a second copy of the book to give away to one of you. To enter to win the book, just comment on any of my ‘Wichcraft posts and tell me what your favorite sandwich is, what your favorite sandwich was when you were a kid, or anything else you love about sandwiches. So far, I’ve made the Slow-Roasted Pork with Red Cabbage, Jalapenos, and Mustard and the Roasted Pork and Prosciutto Sandwich with Pickled Pepper Relish, so this is the third installment in my ‘Wichcraft series. You can also like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter for more information on how to win!

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
First, prepare your meatloaf.

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
I didn’t have any breadcrumbs on hand, so I made my own. Using a knife or a food processor, take your bread and pulse (or mince) it until you have fine crumbs, about 3/4 cup worth.

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
Toast until golden, then set aside to cool to room temperature.

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
Saute your onions, then your garlic.

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
Combine the rest of your meatloaf ingredients, and using your hands, form them into a loaf.

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
Place it on your makeshift roasting pan (or real roasting pan).

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
Coat your meatloaf in the ketchup and cook at 350 degree F for an hour, or until cooked through.

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
When cooked, set aside until ready to use, as it will be heated back up in the oven.

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
Also be sure to cook your bacon and set it aside. I did mine in the oven (instructions to follow), but you can cook it in a pan, too.

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
Now make your pickled mustard seeds.

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
Bring everything but your mustard seeds to a boil.

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
Then add in your mustard seeds and cook until they double in size, about 5 minutes.

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
Drain the amount you need for the relish, then store the rest in the liquid in an airtight container in the fridge.

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
Now to make the tomato relish.

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
Caramelize your onions and garlic.

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
Then add in your tomatoes.

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
Along with the rest of the ingredients, except the parsley and pickled mustard seeds.

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
When your relish is ready, strain it through a sieve.

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
Save the sauce to use to reheat the meatloaf the next day!

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
Place your relish on a cutting board.

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
And roughly chop.

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
Then add in the mustard seeds and parsley.

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
And stir to combine. Taste, and add salt and pepper as necessary.

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
Now assemble your sandwiches. Place 1 slice of cheese on each slice of bread, followed by a thick slice of meatloaf, then the relish and bacon. Toast in the oven until the meatloaf is warmed through and the other slices of bread are toasted.

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
Cut in half and serve.

Tom Colicchio's Meatloaf Sandwich
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 pounds ground beef (I used 1.5 pounds ground beef and .5 pounds of ground sausage)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or ½ tablespoon dried Sicilian oregano
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 12 slices bacon
  • 4 ciabatta rolls (I used sourdough rolls)
  • 8 slices yellow Cheddar cheese
  • 8 tablespoons Tomato Relish (recipe follows)
Tomato Relish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, halves and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar (I used red wine vinegar because I didn't have sherry vinegar)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried Sicilian oregano
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons drained Pickled Mustard Seeds (recipe follows)
Pickled Mustard Seeds
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • ¼ cup mustard seeds
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. If you are making your own bread crumbs, do that first. Using a sharp knife or a food processor, dice or process the bread into crumbs. Place the crumbs on a baking sheet and toast at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, until browned (I put mine under the broiler, so you can do that if you are impatient, but they will toast in 2-3 minutes, so keep an eye on them!). Set aside until ready to use. In a skillet over medium heat, saute the onion in the oil until golden. Add in the garlic and saute for 1 minute or so, until fragrant. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the beef, eggs, onion and garlic, bread crumbs, oregano, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Form a loaf (approximately 7x5x3 inches in size) and place it in a roasting pan, or place a cooling rack in a lined baking sheet and use that as your "makeshift" roasting pan. Cover the loaf evenly with the ketchup, then bake for 1 hour, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Remove from the pan and allow to rest slightly, then cut into ½-inch slices. Set aside until ready to use.
  3. In a heavy skillet over medium high-heat, cook the bacon until golden brown and crisp on both sides. Alternatively, you can cook the bacon in the oven, like I did. Line a baking sheet with foil, then place a cooling rack on top. Spray with nonstick spray, then place the bacon on the cooling rack. Cook at 400 degrees F for 18-20 minutes, until crisp. Transfer to paper towels so that the fat can drain and set aside.
  4. Slice the ciabatta rolls in half. Top each bottom half with a slice of warm meatloaf, followed by the cheese. Place the tomato relish (recipe follows) on the top halves and then top with bacon. Place all the rolls on a baking sheet and into a 350 degree F oven and remove once the cheese has melted and the meatloaf is heated through. Close the sandwiches, cut into halves, and serve.
Tomato Relish
  1. Pour the olive oil into a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for a minute or two, until fragrant. Add the sugar and curry powder and cook for 5 minutes. Add in the vinegar and deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits.
  2. Add in the tomatoes, oregano, salt, and pepper to taste and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour the contents into a strainer. Stir the reslish so most of the liquid drains. Keep the liquid in an airtight container in the fridge to use later - it's great to spread onto the meatloaf when you re-heat it, or makes a great base for a tomato sauce or dressing. Transfer the relish to a cutitng board and roughly chop. Transfer it again to a bowl and mix in the parsley and mustard seeds. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Use immediately or store refrigerated for up to 1 week. This relish is great on sandwiches, eggs, salads, name it!
Pickled Mustard Seeds
  1. In a sauce pan, bring 1 cup of water, vinegar, sugar, and dry mustard to a boil. Add in the mustard seeds and simmer for 5 minutes, until the seeds bloom, or double in size. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Store the mustard seeds in the liquid, and they will keep well if refrigerated for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. These are wonderful in salads (even tuna salad or egg salad), as well as with any kind of meat. For an example, see my Salsa Verde Brisket with Cabbage, Carrot, and Fennel Salad.


100 Responses

  1. Jenn says:

    Yum. I love meatloaf sandwiches! When I was little I use to eat tomato and braunschweiger because that’s what they ate in the book, A Wrinkle in Time. I don’t even think I really liked the sandwich :)

  2. Ruth says:

    Wow. Looks like a long time to slave over a sandwich….until you look at the photo – I’ll bet it was worth every minute!

  3. This sandwich looks insane- my husband would love it!

  4. Anthony says:

    That looks so good, I’m surprised Mayor Bloomberg hasn’t tried to ban it. 😉

    The tomato relish I bet would be good in several dishes, maybe even as a quesadilla filling.

  5. Katie says:

    My favorite sandwich is a good old fashioned grilled cheese. It was my favorite when I was a kid, and its still my favorite now. The only difference is now I will occasionally move past white bread and American cheese, and will eat more “gourmet” grilled cheese.

    These meatloaf sandwiches look amazing- I think these will need to be made for a football game soon!

  6. Allison says:

    i’m a big fan of cubans, but meatloaf is sounding pretty good right now!

  7. Erin B. says:

    I love this meatloaf sandwich so, so much! My boyfriend got this when we went to ‘wichcraft & I ended up stealing half of it because it was so heavenly. Thanks for posting the recipe!

  8. Letitia A. says:

    Oh. Muh. Guh. That sandwich looks faaaaaaaaabulous!!! I’ve never been a big fan of sandwiches bc I always thought of cold cuts (blech!) when I thought of sandwiches. Since living in italy I have learned that a hot sandwich is what makes my toes curl!!!! I cannot wait to try this Meatloafesque work of art! I’m already salivating all over my iPad.

  9. Jane M says:

    WHAT-A-SANDWICH! OMG OMG! I do not like eating my leftover meatloaf because it’s so dry — but to see this WORK-OF-ART AT 11:27am IS KILLING ME! I’m making salad for lunch (already did the prep) and now NOW I WANT THIS SANDIWICH! GAAAAAAAAAAAAH! Thanks for sharing!

  10. adrienne says:

    Oh man, a meatloaf sandwich with tomato relish!?! I’m in!

    My favorite sandwich is usually a turkey reuben with extra saurkraut..mmmm.

  11. Lori Farmer says:

    This sounds devine – I’ve never run across pickled mustard seeds, but have got to try it – I love those little morsels of delectibility! Please add me to the list of “The Witchcraft Cookbook” possibles, thank you!

  12. Emily says:

    Wow. I love meatloaf sandwiches, but this one looks absolutely fabulous. Probably way better than any I’ve ever had. Lol. Might even beat out the roasted pork and prosciutto sandwich…

  13. Faye says:

    I’m not a huge fan of sandwiches. Growing up we didn’t eat them very often. But I have to say that this Meatloaf sandwich looks absolutely delicious and I plan to make it real soon!

  14. Ali says:

    Looks amazing! i’ll be trying this next free weekend I get! My favorite sandwich of all time is a very good BLT on Sourdough… :)

  15. Phil says:

    There’s a vegan restaurant near me and I’ve tried numerous times to recreate a sandwich there – it’s good, but not quite the same. Split a croissant, add colby cheese and sliced onion and broil it until the cheese is melted, sliced tomato and avocado, alfalfa sprouts, and then I add thinly sliced grilled chicken to it and salt and pepper. So simple, but delicious.

    Also, I have to ask: Your photography is amazing – but my question is about lighting. Do you have good natural light all the time or do you use a flash (because it doesn’t really look like you use flash at all)? Are there certain settings you like to use?

    • Sydney says:

      A sandwich on a croissant? I’m in.

      Thank you so much! I have a nice flash that I use for process shots, but for the final photo, I always use natural light. It’s kind of funny – I’m always scrambling to get my food plated and next to the window before the sun goes down!

  16. amie says:

    oh freaking YUM. that’s going on my meal plan for next week for sure!
    my favorite sandwich is always a blt with avocado and lots of salt and pepper!

  17. Erin says:

    I have never really had meatloaf but if there was one to start with I think it would be this one. One of my favorite sandwiches is cinnamon raisin toast with cream cheese, so simple yet so delicious!

  18. sammy says:

    omg, this looks delicious. i only recently discovered that the reason i never liked sandwiches in the past was because they were always on bread that was too soft. lately i’ve been making roasted chicken sandwiches with a smear of pesto, some roasted red peppers, and some coleslaw, but this blows my fake deli sandwiches out of the freaking water.

  19. Stacy says:

    Oh my goodness – my mouth is watering! There is nothing like a meatloaf sandwich…definitely one of my favorites. That tomato relish looks amazing. Luckily the boys like meatloaf – we’ll be having this soon!

  20. i went to ‘wichcraft in Vegas last year and i had the most amazing sandwich with roasted turkey, avocado, bacon and balsamic onions. YUM.

  21. Marie says:

    It’s really, really simple, but my favorite sandwich is a tomato sandwich! I cannot wait for tomatoes to be in season every year so I can pick up some heirlooms from the farmer’s market. I just like some thick slices of heirloom tomato on toasted bread (sourdough is especially good) that’s been smeared with mayo (homemade is best) and then I top the tomato slices with a sprinkling of salt & pepper and a drizzling of some good extra virgin olive oil. Sooo delicious! Fresh herbs are really good in the sandwich too :)

  22. Amy says:

    This sandwich looks amazing! Will try it soon. Growing up, my favorite sandwich was a tomato sandwich–tomatoes fresh from the garden, toasted Wonder bread, salt and pepper, and a good slathering of mayo–nothing better, even today!

  23. Leli Wiggins says:

    My favorite sandwich is a meatball sandwich with marinara sauce with loads of fresh baby spinach. It has been my favorite for years. Just writing this makes me want to make some too.

  24. Sarah S says:

    My favorite sandwich is the club sandwich. Nothing beats turkey, ham, bacon, slathered with mayo on crisp toast.

  25. Julia says:

    These sandwiches look so great! I am making the pork sandwich as a surprise for my husband on Monday.

    I recently discovered my favorite sandwich: Pears, havarti cheese and thinly sliced ham, grilled and covered in honey mustard. It is definitely worth the work to put it together. So good!

    • Sydney says:

      I love fruit, pork, and honey together – always a winner! And honey mustard is my favorite, I make it for my salad dressings all the time because honestly, I could just eat it by the spoonful.

  26. Alyson says:

    The tomato relish looks amazing – plus it’s got such potential. I’m picturing this smeared on fresh-from-the-oven garlic bread. Mmmmm!

  27. […] Tom Colicchio’s Meatloaf Sandwich – These look amazing, but for me the highlight isn’t even the meatloaf.  It’s the homemade mustard relish.  Looks amazing and great photos as always.  (@ Crepes of Wrath) […]

  28. Laura says:

    Okay this sandwich was the knock-out punch! After the one-two sandwich hits earlier this week, this recipe seals the deal. I MUST GET THIS BOOK! Thanks for the wonderful expose!

  29. Peggy says:

    This has definitely got to be my favorite sandwich I’ve seen so far! I love a good meatloaf sandwich and the relish just puts this baby over the top =)

  30. Lindsay says:

    This looks insane. I’m drooling just looking at the photos (the relish too…mmm). My Grandpa’s famous meatloaf when I was a kid consisted of handfuls of this and that, thrown in with a mixture of ground beef and pork – it was always delicious! Thanks for the mouthwatering recipes :)

  31. Dani says:

    My ultimate comfort food was my mom’s meatloaf sandwiches. No matter what, I cannot make meatloaf as good as she did but it’s still darn tasty.

    And there’s nothing better than a warm meatloaf sandwich on a rainy day. Well…grilled cheese comes closest.

  32. Jen says:

    As a kid, my favorite was a grilled cheese sandwich but I had no idea how to cook before so I used to make them using a microwave! Blasphemy, now that I think about it, lol, but I’m glad to say I’ve learned a lot since then and now I’m a good and real cook! Now, I’d have to say my favorite sandwiches are either a good steak sandwich or chicken salad.

    This meatloaf looks amazing, Sydney! I love meatloaf but have never had it in sandwich form like so many people have. The addition of the cheese and bacon and that gorgeous tomato relish looks awesome! I’ll have to try this soon. 😀

  33. Phil says:

    Also, what did you serve alongside this delicious-looking sandwich?

  34. Caitlin says:

    Mine is in the oven now! I ended up putting it into a loaf pan, as I am not making a sandwich. Let’s hope that doesn’t mess up the cooking! I’ll be posting it soon, thank for the recipe!

  35. Cari says:

    The meatloaf sounds pretty good all by itself, but these sandwiches sound amazing! I can’t wait to try them.

    As for my favorite sandwich, it would have to be chicken salad or grilled cheese on a cold, rainy day, and I’ve really gotten into slightly ‘fancier’ ones, like Havarti and tomato. Also, a while ago, I had a really great ham salad sandwich (chopped ham, mayonnaise, and ?), and I haven’t been able to find anything like it since! I don’t suppose you have a good recipe??? Hint hint. :)

  36. Nicole says:

    I’ve love said that my favorite food is sandwich. Breaking it down there is difficult, but I love a Thanksgiving style roasted turkey sandwich the best!

  37. jan says:

    Loving your blog – I was thinking about the sandwhiches and bottom line, always and forever favorite of mine is a good meatball sub with sauce and melted cheese on a nice Italian roll.

  38. Chris says:

    This looks so good. I /have/ to try this.

  39. It is so yummy. It is heavenly and delightful! Not so heavy, but not so light. A great way to snack up leftovers too! Thanks Crepes of Wrath!

  40. Nancy L says:

    I love meatloaf, but I hate it when I make it! I’ll have to try this, just so I can have a meatloaf sandwich…it sounds really amazing!

  41. Josie-Lynn Belmont says:

    I love meatloaf sandwiches! Never had one until I was an adult, and married a meatloaf ADDICT. Now, it’s a good “go to”, as I will make extra meatloaf and slice and freeze it, so that a sandwich can be made in the morning and thawed by lunch time. My favorite sandwich as a child was something my grandmother called “ham & egg mess”…which was leftover baked ham, hard boiled eggs and pickles, ground together through the meat grinder and then had just enough mayonnaise to hold it together, added. I still make that when we have a baked ham! As for what my favorite sandwich is now…that’s a toughie. I am very much a slave to the crave. Right now, it’s a tie between ham, cheese & pickles, and an egg, sausage & cheese breakfast sandwich. I love to make sandwiches on “sandwich thins”. I’m more about the filling than the bread.

  42. sexyLAMBCHOP says:

    Mercy! That is NOT my mother’s meatloaf so I will take it. Mustard Seeds, yes please! Luscious looking…

  43. Addycat says:

    My favorite sandwich for a long time was made by a West Coast bakery, Specialtys –
    It was a hot sandwich and it had sauerkraut, tuna, lettuce/tomato/etc and cheese and was Ah-maze-ing. They’ve since discontinued it (sad face).

    Otherwise, any time I’m offered a caprese – especially with sun dried tomato pesto – I’ll eat it and do a little dance while doing so.

  44. Lisa says:

    This looks amazing! It’s getting cold here; this would be great for dinner one night this week.

  45. Amanda says:

    Mmm what a delicious looking recipe! I love your choice of spices for this! Please try out my meatloaf cupcakes that I think you’ll really enjoy!


  46. […] Tom Colicchio’s Meatloaf Sandwich – These look amazing, but for me the highlight isn’t even the meatloaf.  It’s the homemade mustard relish.  Looks amazing and great photos as always.  (@ Crepes of Wrath) […]

  47. […] Pan-fried talapia with angel hair pasta, shredded Parmesan, green beans with almonds Saturday: Meatloaf, chick peas with lemon & basil, salad Sunday: special […]

  48. […] sides that are featured, like the tomato relish and pickled mustard seeds that I made for the Meatloaf Sandwich. I needed something tangy and crunchy for a dish I was making a while ago (which I will post […]

  49. […] Meatloaf with Cheddar, Bacon, and Tomato Relish: Wichcraft cookbook    Chef: Tom Colicchio(I’m still researching copyright usage of recipes from cookbooks.  Until I’m sure I’ll try to find a link for you, I linked to a blog called  A fun blog.) […]

  50. Jess Knight says:

    My hubby is craving meatloaf sandwich, making this today for the big football games!

    One question, if I didn’t want to make the pickled mustard seeds could I just use mustard? Or can you recommend a substitute? Can’t wait to try this!

  51. Jess Knight says:

    Just wanted to let you know I made this sandwich last weekend and it’s ah-mazing! I’m not a huge meatloaf person but even I was loving it. Such wonderful flavors, thanks for the recipe!

    Here’s my blog post about the sandwich, thanks again!

  52. Jess Knight says:

    Just wanted to let you know I made this sandwich last weekend and it’s ah-mazing! I’m not a huge meatloaf person but even I was loOoOooving it! Thanks for the recipe!

    I blogged about the sandwich if you want to see! Thanks again!

  53. […] sides that are featured, like the tomato relish and pickled mustard seeds that I made for the Meatloaf Sandwich. I needed something tangy and crunchy for a dish I was making a while ago (which I will post […]

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