Looking for a dinner that’s big on flavor but mini in size? Look no further than this mini meatloaf recipe! These cute and delicious portions are a perfect way to enjoy all the comforting goodness of classic meatloaf in a convenient, single-serving form. Let’s get cooking!
The secret to juicy meatloaf
The secret to achieving a perfectly moist meatloaf is all about the balance of ingredients and cooking techniques. To keep these meatloaves moist, we use a combination of lean ground meat (turkey) and slightly fattier cuts. Ground beef with a lean-to-fat ratio of 85/15 or 80/20 is an excellent choice. Incorporating finely chopped vegetables like onions and bell peppers not only adds flavor but also contributes to the overall moisture of the meatloaf.
What do I need to make this mini meatloaf recipe?
For the meatloaf itself, you’ll need:
- Ground beef or ground chuck
- Ground turkey
- White or yellow onion
- Green bell pepper
- Chili powder
- Worcestershire sauce
- Prepared mashed potatoes. These are optional but highly recommended.
We also like to brush our meatloaf with a ketchup glaze, which you’ll make with ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, and a little more chili powder.
Protip: Keep it firm and juicy!
We use a mixture of beef and turkey because it gives you the best of both worlds—the beef adds flavor and juiciness, while the turkey gives the meatloaf a little more structure.
How to make mini meatloaf
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk up the ketchup glaze and set aside.
- Mix all the meatloaf ingredients together. Your best bet is going to be to mix everything with clean, bare hands. We know, it isn’t glamorous—but it really is the most effective way to get everything incorporated.
- Shape the meat mixture into 12 evenly-sized patties. They should be about the size of a small crab cake, and fit right into a muffin pan.
- Use a small spatula to brush the glaze over the meatloaf. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the inside of the meatloaf registers 165°F.
- Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before removing the mini meatloaves from the muffin pan. Top with mashed potatoes, if you’re using them.
How long do I need to bake mini meatloaves at 350°F?
The beauty of mini meatloaves lies in their quicker cooking time compared to traditional meatloaf. When baking your mini marvels at 350°F (175°C), they usually require around 30 to 35 minutes to cook to perfection. This shorter bake time ensures that your mini meatloaves are cooked through while retaining their juiciness and flavor.
What’s the deal with the mashed potatoes?
No meatloaf experience is complete without a side of creamy mashed potatoes. The smooth, buttery goodness of mashed potatoes complements the savory flavors of the meatloaf, creating a meal that’s both comforting and satisfying.
We wanted these meatloaves to be extra cute, so we used a piping bag to add a little swirl of mashed potatoes to the top of each mini meatloaf. They look like little savory cupcakes!
Protip: Make your own piping bag!
No piping bag? No problem! Cut the corner off a gallon zip-top bag for your own DIY piping bag.
How do I make sure my mini meatloaf doesn’t stick to the pan?
This shouldn’t be much of a problem—the beef and the eggs provide enough fat that the mini meatloaves won’t stick to the pan!
Mini meatloaves are a delightful twist on the classic comfort food, offering convenience without compromising on flavor. With a balanced blend of ingredients and careful baking, you’ll be treated to juicy, flavorful bites that are perfect for any occasion. Enjoy!