I have your next weeknight meal all planned out for you…. These super easy and amazingly delicious mini meat loaves take less than 15 minutes to prep and pop into the oven. Pair with some roasted vegetables and a green salad and dinner is complete!In general, I must admit, I find meatloaf to be a rather unappetizing idea. Perhaps this is from too many school lunches in which meatloaf looked like a solid grey slice of mass produced, over-processed meat with no real flavor. Meatloaf from other venues has similarly frightened me and I have mostly avoided it.
Now, that being said, the idea of meatloaf holds some real promise that it could be a delicious, flavorful meal, if it’s done correctly. And, I have heard rumors through the years of delicious meatloaf that is so good it’s a family tradition, which is treasured as both a meal in and of itself, and then mastered into a meatloaf sandwich for leftovers. This meatloaf recipe has been in our family for years now and it is the first meatloaf that I really ever remember liking. I have made it numerous times through the years and it is always delicious, homey and satisfying. In addition, it uses simple ingredients that you likely have on hand all the time. And, of course, anything in mini form is just awesome, right?
So, what makes these little meat loaves work? Well, for one, they are moist and tender. Each bite is flecked with onion and cheddar… I mean, come on… beef, onion and cheddar are made for each other. And while I’ve lightened the glaze from the original recipe, it’s a slightly sweetened ketchup glaze, which really is just the finalizing touch to meld all the flavors into a big mouthful of deliciousness.
So, the next time you need an easy dinner meal, try these mini meat loaves. They are delicious!
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup quick cooking oats
- ½ cup onion, finely chopped
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ⅓ cup ketchup
- 2-3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp yellow mustard
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 x9 inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a bowl, beat the egg and milk until well combined. Stir in the cheese, oats, onion, garlic powder, pepper and salt.
- Add the beef, and using your hands, gently mix the ingredients until combined.
- Shape into 6 individually sized loaves; place in the prepared baking dish.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar and mustard until combined. Spoon the glaze evenly over the loaves.
- Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.
I decreased the amount of total glaze, as well as the sugar content of the glaze from the original recipe. Feel free to adjust further if you like, just know that I have already significantly cut back on the sugar content of the recipe.
These are also great to make ahead and freeze! Just make a double batch; bake one and freeze the other. Just thaw the frozen loaves in the refrigerator overnight and bake as directed.
Recipe slightly adapted from Taste of Home’s L’il Cheddar Meat Loaves.