Recipe: Mini Meatloaves in a Muffin Tin

by Courtney Sullivan

Mini MeatloafIt's meatloaf night and you're running behind schedule. While a huge meatloaf takes forever to bake, these mini loaves cooked in muffin tins take less than half the time from mixing bowl to serving dish.

We've offered three variation for your meatloaf -- a traditional recipe, a surprisingly tender turkey and vegetable variation and one that sneaks a bit of riced cauliflower into the meal.

Once you've chosen a recipe, you can customize the meal further by adding a bit of cheese or a slice of tomato to the center of the loaves. Top with cheese or glaze with your favorite sauce.

Mini Meatloaves in a Muffin Tin

Prep time: 15 minutes | Total time: 45 minutes | Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients: Traditional Meatloaf Ingredients

• 1 pound ground beef
• 1 egg
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1 cup cheese
• 1/2 cup oats
• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
• 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 teaspoon salt

Ingredients: Savory Turkey and Vegetable Meatloaf

• 1 pound 93 percent-lean ground turkey
• 1 medium zucchini, shredded
• 1 cup finely chopped onion
• 1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
• 1/3 cup uncooked whole-wheat couscous (use quinoa for a gluten free meal)
• 1 large egg, lightly beaten
• 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon salt

Ingredients: Sneaky Mini Meatloaves

• 1 pound lean ground beef
• 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
• 1 teaspoon diced garlic
• 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or sharp cheddar
• 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 1 egg
• 1/4 cup cooked leftover grains (brown rice, quinoa or couscous) or bread crumbs
• 1/2 cup riced cauliflower (process raw cauliflower in a food processor until it has the consistency of rice)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°.

Crumble the ground meat into a bowl. Sprinkle the remaining ingredients on top of the meat. Stir well or mix with your hands.

Divide the meat mixture evenly into a greased or papered muffin tin. The recipe makes approximately 10 mini muffins.

Add a filling to the mini loaves. A bit of string cheese, a slice of tomato or an olive make a pleasant surprise. Top with a sauce or glaze, if desired.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the center registers 165°. Allow to rest for five minutes. Serve with arugula salad, a tomato-cucumber salad or oven-baked vegetables.

Cook's Note

I first made these as an April Fool's Day gag. My daughter wanted cupcakes for dinner, so I made mini meatloaves in a muffin tin, "frosted" them with mashed potatoes colored with a bit of beet juice. A cherry tomato added the final touch. She loved them and still asks for them.

What's your favorite way to make mini meatloaves?