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Cuban-Style Egg-Stuffed Meatloaf (Pulpeta)

6 to 8 Servings

3 hours 1 hour active

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Pulpeta is meatloaf, Cuban style. It’s pure comfort food, with unique qualities from the Spanish, Caribbean and African influences on Cuban cuisine. Breaded, browned, then braised in a garlicky, wine-brightened tomato sauce—ours also is flavored with smoked paprika and bay—the well-seasoned loaf hides hard-cooked eggs at the center. Pulpeta does require more work to prepare than American meatloaf, but we think it’s well worth the effort. We strove to streamline our recipe, making good use of a food processor and forming two smaller, easier-to-handle loaves instead of a single large one. This recipe provides a couple good stopping points for make-ahead convenience. The loaves can be shaped and then refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Or the loaves can be fully cooked, cooled in the sauce and refrigerated in the pot for up to three days; set the pot over medium-low for about 20 minutes, occasionally turning the loaves, to gently rewarm. Leftover slices are great made into sandwiches. Our preferred method for hard-cooking eggs is steaming, which dependably results in easy-to-peel shells. Fill a medium saucepan with about 1 inch of water, place a steamer basket in the pan, cover and bring to a boil over medium-high. Add the eggs to the basket, cover and cook for 12 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the eggs to an ice bath and let stand until cool to the touch, 10 to 15 minutes.

6 to 8



Don’t be afraid to firmly compact the meat mixture around the eggs when forming the loaves so there aren’t any gaps between the eggs and meat. This will help the loaves hold together during breading, cooking and slicing. Also, be sure to turn the loaves at least once during simmering and stir the sauce as it reduces to ensure there’s no scorching on the bottom of the pot.

3 hours

1 hour active


  • 4

    ounces (1 sleeve) saltine crackers

  • 10

    medium garlic cloves, 6 smashed and peeled, 4 minced


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Jennifer B.
October 29, 2023
Pretty complicated.
My meatloaf mixture didn't hold enough together as a loaf. It all sort of crumbled. The taste was ok, but not worth the effort.
Theodore A.

Good recipe but a total of 20-25 minutes in the dutch oven only got mine to about 120° so I finished in a 350° oven for another 15 minutes to get up to temp.