Crisp Up Leftover Meatloaf For A Tasty Sandwich The Next Day

Repurposing yesterday's leftover meatloaf by turning it into a scrumptious sandwich is a brilliant way to cut food waste and save money. Crisping up the meatloaf first to lend your hoagie more flavor, texture, and aroma is a baller move. The kiss of a hot skillet lends a slight crunch to the surface of a slice of meatloaf and warms it through to the middle, transforming a classic meatloaf sandwich from simply good to appetizingly gourmet.

Before you assemble your sandwich, inspect your bread. A thickly sliced loaf will require a hefty wedge of meatloaf to ensure the bread-to-meat ratio is perfectly balanced, whereas a smaller roll or petite sub will warrant a leaner helping that doesn't overwhelm the size of the hoagie. Place your slices of meatloaf on a medium-hot skillet without adding extra oil to the pan. There should be enough fat in the meat to prevent it from sticking to the base. If you're concerned about it catching, use a non-stick pan or add a small knob of butter, which will also provide extra flavor. 

Once the meatloaf is crispy on one side, turn it over to fry the remaining side. If you've seared a burly chunk of meatloaf, it should have a beautifully crisp exterior and a soft, juicy middle. A thinner slice will be even crispier, lending your sandwich heaps of textural contrast alongside the softness of the bread, the freshness of the salad toppings, and a thick slathering of condiments.

Tips to make a better leftover meatloaf sandwich

Taking your leftover meatloaf out of the fridge and bringing it up to room temperature before you slice and fry it will prevent it from drying out in the pan. The loaf will crisp quickly on the outside while the center retains its moisture and the sweet, ketchup glaze on top warms through. While the meatloaf heats up, you could also toast some buttered bread alongside it in the skillet and even add a slice of cheese on top. Any smaller scraps or chunks that fell off of your herby meatloaf as you sliced through it can be added to the pan to create crispy meatloaf crumbs. 

Use them as an additional crunchy topping in a closed or open-faced sandwich, or toss them straight into a salad as a savory treat instead of using crispy bacon or croutons. While it's true that a cold meatloaf sandwich makes for a delicious lunch, taking a little more time to crisp it up first in a hot pan will elevate the flavors and turn it into a heartier meal that sings.