Down-home comfort food gets a healthy makeover in these lean Easy Meatloaf Muffins AND they can be prepared and on your table in less than an hour!
One reason I rarely make meatloaf for dinner on weeknights is that it just takes too long to bake—I’m really not into spending hours prepping and waiting for dinner to be ready after a long day at the office! Just last week, though, I had this genius idea (let’s face it, that’s kind of rare for me!) to put my meatloaf mixture into a muffin tin, and doing so cut the baking time literally in half!
This recipe that I first shared over at the Weary Chef makes eight “meatloaf muffins” or four servings and can easily be doubled to serve a larger family or to store and reheat leftovers for lunch or another dinner later in the week. If you bake this meatloaf in a 12-cup muffin tin, fill the empty cups halfway with water to allow for more even baking. (This works for any recipe you bake in a muffin tin.)
Although you’d normally want to use meat with a higher fat content in most meatloaf recipes to keep it moist, in this recipe use a leaner ground beef, preferably ground sirloin or ground round, to avoid a lot of grease cooking out into the muffin tin cavities. By doing this, the meatloaf will be easier to remove from the muffin tin, keeping its shape for serving.
Cooking the onion before adding to the meat mixture, plus using soft bread crumbs, and adding a little cheese will keep these Muffin Tin Meatloaves moist. One last tip to remember when making meatloaf, don’t over mix. Gently combine all the ingredients, no need to overwork it, and then press lightly into shape.
Easy Meatloaf Muffins
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons ketchup or barbecue sauce (plus 2 tablespoons to top muffins)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tablespoon coarse ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup cheese, parmesan or cheddar (plus 2 tablespoons to top muffins)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a muffin tin with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, sauté onion in olive oil until translucent; about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly before mixing with other ingredients.
- Combine onion mixture with remaining ingredients in a large bowl, stirring just until combined. Press meatloaf mixture into muffin tin cups, filling to the rim. To allow for even baking, pour a little water into any cups that are empty. (This recipe should fill 8 regular size muffin cups.)
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and brush tops with more ketchup or barbecue sauce and sprinkle with a little cheese. Bake for 5 more minutes, Let rest 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin. (Drain meatloaf on a paper towel lined plate if necessary.)