Looks can be deceiving, after all. 

The meatloaf post. I had family in town. It’s Christmas. Red and green pesto stuffed meatloaf! Yesss! Ha! Well, stuffed meatloaf kind of looks not like meatloaf. Tastes delicious, though.

Let’s also go ahead and remind everyone that photographing meatloaf is a pretty horrible task. The meatloaf needs to be perfect. And, stuffed meatloaf almost never comes out looking perfect, at least not after you slice it. The goop runs out a little bit. So, sorry about the photos. At least my thirsty man in the background is kind of hilarious. Am I right?

venison meatloaf

Enough about the fact that my meatloaf looks like something hemorrhaging unnatural things on the plate. It tastes delicious! Since I made two meatloaves, I decided to try the two different ways of stuffing them. I rolled one like a pinwheel (the red one) and I did the other one using a layer of meat, stuffing, and another layer of meat. Layered. (The green one.) While the pinwheel meatloaf came out of the oven looking nicer, I think we can all agree which one held up better. The goat cheese also somehow got lost in the pinwheel/red loaf, which is strange considering it took twice as much. Needless to say, I will always be layering my stuffed meatloaf from here on out.

venison meatloaf

This is the layered meatloaf. You can really see the stuffing so much better this way.

As far as which pesto went better, half of us liked the sun-dried tomato pesto better and half liked the regular basil pesto better. While I liked the green pesto better myself, I will say that the nod to ketchup you make in a fancy way with the sun-dried tomato flavor. It’s a toss up. When it comes to the goat cheese, more is more.  Do keep in mind to half the recipe if you’re only making one stuffed meatloaf.

Red and Green Goat Cheese and Pesto Stuffed Meatloaf


  • 4lb ground meat (I used venison and wild hog, 2 lbs each)
  • 1 Large onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsely (minced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup bread or cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto (split, half for middle half for top)
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomato pesto (split, half for middle half for top)
  • 10.5oz goat cheese (at room temperature, or slightly microwaved to be spreadable)
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts


Step 1
Mix together the meats, onions, garlic, parsley, bread crumbs, eggs and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix until everything is well combined.
For the rolling method
Step 2
Take half the meat mixture and spread it out in a rectangle on a piece of saran wrap or foil with the short side roughly the length of your loaf pan. Spread on the goat cheese and 1/2 the pesto. Sprinkle with a few pine nuts. Take the foil of one side up and roll over, continuing to roll the loaf (like a pinwheel). Place the loaf pan over, squishing the loaf in there if need be, and fit over the top. Then flip and squish the rest of the loaf into place.
For the sandwich method
Step 3
Take 1/4 of the meat and spread it out to about the size of your loaf pan on a piece of foil or saran wrap. Spread the cheese and pesto in the center and sprinkle with some pine nuts. Cover with another 1/4 of the meat mixture and press at the edges to seal in the stuffing. Set your loaf pan on top (upside down over the meat) and squish it all in if necessary. Flip, then continue to form and squish the loaf in.
Step 4
Preheat the oven to 350. Bake the loafs for about an hour, or until a thermometer in the center reads at least 160 degrees. Pinwheel loaf took a little longer. Top with remaining pestos and sprinkle with pine nuts.

Non-game substitution: Any combination of 1-2 ground meats, like beef, pork, lamb, or even veal if you don’t mind the fact that they nail their little baby cow hooves to the crate and don’t let them move to keep the meat extra tender, you heartless veal eater.


Posted in Venison
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