Meatloaf Muffins

For the record, I’m not a fan of meatloaf. That said, I do like the cute little meatloaf muffins. Maybe it’s because they are so small and . . . well . . . cute that gets to me. Maybe because they are easy to make and cook up much faster than a traditional meatloaf, making them a good choice for a weeknight meal. Hubby likes his with creamy Au Gratin potatoes, and those take time, which defeats the “quick” weeknight meat thing, unless you use a boxed potato and cook them on the stove top rather than baked in the oven.

I will confess, I’ve used the boxed Au Gratin potatoes. With the right amount of tweaking, they aren’t bad. Add sautéed onions and grated cheddar cheese to the box mix and top with breadcrumbs for a nice finish to the top – not quite “homemade” but not half-bad for a quick side dish.

Using lean meat is very important, otherwise the muffin tins fill up with meat drippings and the meatloaf inside won’t brown well. If you happen to have an old muffin tin, you could punch a hole in the center of each tin, then elevate it on cooking racks over a shallow baking pan to allow the excess fat to drain away. Or you could use good quality meat. Personally, I vote for lean meat.

Meatloaf Muffins
1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
1 Cup Onion, finely chopped
½ Cup Carrots, finely chopped
1 Teaspoon dried Oregano
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Cup Ketchup, divided
1 ½ Lbs Ground Beef (or ¾ lbs ground beef, ¾ lbs bulk sausage)
1 Cup Saltine Crackers, finely crushed
2 Tablespoons Mustard
1 Teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ Teaspoon Pepper
2 Large Eggs
Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 400-degrees.

Peel and chop onions. Set aside. Peel and chop carrots. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots, oregano and garlic.

Sauté for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, combine ½ cup ketchup, ground beef, crackers, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, eggs and onion mixture. Mix well.

Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Divide meat mixture evenly between tins. Top each meat loaf muffin with 2 teaspoons of ketchup.

Bake meat loaf muffins in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until meat registers 160-degrees.

Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Here’s to simple meals and family dinners!

Shepherd’s Pie Style Meatloaf Muffins

Hubby is a big fan of Shepherd’s Pie or Cottage Pie since these are made from Beef and not Lamb. I think that might be a combination of his love for meat and potatoes with his love for foods cooked in a gravy. While the muffin style meatloaf lacks the traditional gravy-like moisture of a traditional Shepherd’s Pie, they do contain carrots and both are topped with a beautiful Mashed Potato “crust”.

Kiddo likes green beans just fine, just not necessarily cooked in with his meat, which might explain why he isn’t a fan of Shepherd’s Pie. By serving the green bean on the side, both my fellows are happy. As for me, I like the look of the muffin and the flavor of the baked mashed potato topping. If you happen to have some leftover mashed potatoes or want to take the time to whip up your favorite mashed potato recipe, by all means please do. If you are looking for an easy short cut, use instant mashed potatoes. My favorite for this recipe is Betty Crocker Butter & Herb.

These Meatloaf Muffins are also great for kids – serving supper that looks like a cupcake can be fun!

Shepherd’s Pie Style Meatloaf Muffins
1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb Ground Sausage (breakfast sausage)
1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Carrots
3 Slices Bread, torn into small pieces
1 envelope Dry Onion Soup Mix (Lipton)
1/4 Cup Ketchup
1/2 Cup Water
1 Egg
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 Cups Mashed Potatoes (Boxed, instant or the real-deal)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. LIGHTLY spray 12 muffin cups with non-stick spray.

Using a food chopper or small food processor, finely chop carrots to the point of minced. The carrots will add flavor to the loaf while retaining that smooth finish to the muffin.

In a large bowl, mix together everything EXCEPT mashed potatoes.

Divide meat mixture among 12 muffin cups. Push down the center of each “muffin” to create a well (this will help the meat cook through). Smooth tops with the back of a spoon. Set aside.

Make mashed potatoes according to directions. Place mashed potatoes on top of each meatloaf muffin, filling the well and rounding out the top (about 2 tablespoons per muffin).

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove and let rest muffin tins for 5 minutes. Run a knife around edge of each muffin to loosen. Transfer muffins directly to individual plates and serve with desired vegetable on the side.

My family likes their muffins with a side of green beans or buttery corn.


%d bloggers like this: