Where did meatloaf get such a bad reputation? It’s AMAZING! It’s like a big fluffy burger without the bun. Comfort food at its finest. What’s not to like? On it’s own, with ketchup, in a sandwich, with gravy… there are so many possibilities for such a simple supper.
And when the meatloaf is made mini, it’s extra amazing. Why?
- Not only do they taste amazing, they are also so adorable!
- They are extremely quick and easy- with only 5 minutes of prep time (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
- They can be made in bulk and frozen individually for really easy future meals
- Because they are small, they take half the cooking time of traditional meatloaf (only 25 minutes!)
- Meatloaf is already an inexpensive meal to make, and by making the mini loaves, it’s a little easier to make it go a bit further (and prevent you from going in for too many helpings).
- It’s only 5 ingredients besides salt and pepper!
Have I convinced you yet?
Seriously, this has to be one of the most easy, simple things I’ve cooked in quite some time. And, you know me… I LOVE quick and easy*, especially with my busy schedule. I made mine in bulk with two pounds of ground beef (my grocery store has a delicious grass-fed brand that’s under $5 a pound, so I stocked up), which yields eight mini meatloaves. That’s four (FOUR!) dinners for me and Zach. In only 5 minutes of prep, and for about $10 total. The cost to benefit ratio here is outrageous!
You can make meatloaf with either breadcrumbs or oats. Since I usually make my own breadcrumbs by putting whole wheat bread in a food processor (to avoid the extra scary ingredients in most breadcrumbs), I opted for the quicker and easier option of oats this time. This is simply a mixture of ground beef, eggs, oats, salt, pepper, and a little soy sauce and hot sauce for an extra boost of flavor. The mixture is divided into eight parts (originally, I did six, which you can do if you have a big appetite. We wanted ours a little smaller next time) and formed into small loaves, with some individually wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for later.
When you are ready to bake, place in a buttered baking dish (I have this one by Pyrex, pictured in the photos. It’s the perfect size for me and Zach and has a lid, so I can defrost the meatloaves covered in the fridge and just place them in the oven when I get home!), and add ketchup or barbecue sauce to top it off. Or, add nothing! It’s delicious plain as well :-) Enjoy!
|Mini Meatloaves|| |
- Combine all ingredients except for ketchup/barbecue sauce in a large bowl.
- Mix well- for best results, use hands.
- Divide the mixture into eight parts and form them into loaf shapes.
- If not cooking right away, follow directions below to freeze/store them*
- Place loaves in a buttered baking dish and spread ketchup or barbecue sauce on top, if desired. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
* Make-ahead / freezer directions: After all the loaves have been formed, wrap the ones you don't want to cook right away like burritos in plastic wrap. They can be kept in the fridge for a few days until you are ready to cook, or freezer for up to 6 months. Before cooking, make sure you defrost in the fridge for at least 24 hours to fully unfreeze the meat, otherwise you risk overcooking the outside and undercooking the inside.