My son's absolute favorite dinner, this Healthy Mini Meatloaf is an easy recipe that warms you from the inside out! The simple weeknight meal is baked in a muffin pan so that it's ready in about 30 minutes!
If there's ever a time for comfort food, then this is it! The cold and dark winter evenings call for cozy dinners that bring everyone together around the table. And during this period when you're pulled in so many different directions and you're indulging in so many decadent treats, a lighter, healthier supper is like a "reset" button for your body.
My Healthy Mini Meatloaf is a high-protein, low-fat, and low-calorie way to fuel your body through the fun and carry you right into a successful New Year!
HOW TO MAKE MINI MEATLOAF
Honestly, ever since I discovered this technique for baking mini meatloaf in a muffin pan, I've never looked back! No matter how much you crave a home-cooked dinner, let's be realistic and acknowledge the fact that crazy-busy schedules don't allow for much time in the kitchen. By keeping the meatloaf portions small and baking them in a muffin tin, the meat cooks in just 20 minutes.
Plus, the smaller size is incredibly kid-friendly! Let your toddlers pick them up with their hands, or stuff them into hoagie rolls with cheese and sauce for your husband. It's an easy, versatile dinner that appeals to everyone at the table and will not place additional stress on your already-too-full schedules!
The process is so easy, too -- you'll only need about 10 minutes of hands-on time. This mini meatloaf with breadcrumbs comes together in one bowl! In addition to the seasoned breadcrumbs, you'll need an egg, ketchup, seasoning, zucchini, and diced onion. Trust me -- the finely-grated zucchini is undetectable -- even to discriminating little picky eaters! It just adds the perfect amount of moisture to the extra lean meat, without adding any taste.
How long do you cook mini meatloaf in a muffin pan in the oven?
Here's the good news! Unlike a large meatloaf that requires up to an hour in the oven, the miniature version only takes about 20 minutes. Yet another reason they're perfect for busy moms!
The mini meatloaf bakes in a 400-degree F oven, so I'll often add a tray of Tater Tots or French fries in the oven at the same time. That way we have an easy side dish done when the meatloaf is done, too! Steam some broccoli or toss together a salad and the dinner is complete...in about 30 minutes!
Can you freeze mini meatloaf?
Yes! The mini meatloaf freezes really well!
To freeze, cool the loaves to room temperature, wrap them individually in plastic wrap, and freeze them in a resealable plastic bag. To reheat, simply remove the plastic and bake them on foil-lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. You can bake them directly from the freezer (still frozen). It should take about 30-40 minutes in a 350-degree F oven for the mini meatloaf to warm through.
It's a supper that will work wonders towards calming the chaos of the season, counteracting the holiday treats, and fueling your body for even more family fun!
Looking for even more easy, healthy and kid-friendly dinner recipes? Try these favorites:
- Easy Taco Soup
- Italian Baked Turkey Meatballs
- Dump-and-Bake Chicken Pot Pie Pasta
- Slow Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes
Healthy Mini Meatloaf
- 1 lb. extra lean ground beef (I used 96 % lean)
- 1 small zucchini, finely grated (about ¾ cup grated)
- ½ cup finely chopped onion (I used frozen chopped onion for a short cut)
- 1 egg
- ½ cup breadcrumbs (I like Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, but you can use whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs, plain breadcrumbs, or whatever you have on hand)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 6 tablespoons ketchup divided
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a standard 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- Place meat in a large bowl. Add zucchini, onion, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the ketchup. Use your hands to gently combine. You don’t want to over-mix because the meat will become dry and tough.
- Press the ingredients into the prepared muffin cups. I like to use an ice cream scoop to portion the meat into each cup. Top each mini meatloaf with a dollop of the remaining ketchup.
- Place the muffin pan on a foil-lined baking sheet (to catch any drips).
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until meatloaves are cooked through and a thermometer registers 160 degrees F.