What is an Italian Meatloaf?

When you get right down to it, what is any Meatloaf but a giant meatball shaped like a loaf of bread. So when you think about it, an Italian Meatloaf is nothing new. While Americans slather their meatloaf (and just about anything else) with Ketchup, this Italian rendition uses a Marinara Sauce for that same look.

Continue reading “What is an Italian Meatloaf?”

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!

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