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!
This recipe that I first shared over at the Weary Chef makes eight “meatloaf muffins” for four servings. The recipe can easily be doubled to serve a larger family or to help with meal prep. Leftovers can be stored and reheated for lunch or another dinner later in the week.
Easy Meatloaf Muffins
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!
Tips for making meatloaf in muffin tins
- When baking today’s meatloaf muffin recipe using a 12-cup muffin tin, fill the empty cups halfway with water. Doing this allows for more even baking. (This is a great tip 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.
More healthy dinner recipes!
Coming up with new “healthy-ish” weeknight dinner ideas can sometimes be a challenge. I know about this firsthand, so here are a few recipes that just might help!
- BRAVO Copycat Grilled Salmon Salad — Toss mixed field greens, cherry or grape tomatoes, Feta cheese, and crispy shoestring potato sticks with grilled salmon and asparagus and drizzle with my EASY homemade balsamic dressing.
- Fish Taco Bowl with Mango Salsa and Cilantro Lime Crema — Baja grilled fish + cool cilantro crema + spicy sweet mango salsa = FISH TACO BOWLS. This meal is healthy and fun to eat, and not messy like eating hand-held fish tacos!
- BBQ Turkey Stuffed Peppers — BBQ Turkey Stuffed Peppers. Bake BBQ-flavored turkey mixture in red, yellow, or green sweet bell peppers for a tasty and colorful dinner entrée.
- Southwest Shrimp and Succotash — Southwest Shrimp and Succotash is a fresh and healthy TexMex twist on a Summer classic!
- BBQ Chicken Tostadas — BBQ Chicken Tostadas are a fun, healthy meal which can be made completely on the grill. So, head outside and get cooking!
- Turkey Mini Meat Loaf with Honey Dijon Glaze
- Orange Mustard Glazed Pork Chops — Oranges and a good-quality stone ground mustard make a wonderful glaze for these delicious oven-baked Orange Mustard Glazed Pork Chops.
- Skinny BBQ Turkey Meatballs & Mash — Simple two-ingredient meatballs are simmered in a tangy homemade barbecue sauce and are served over a skinny version of mashed potatoes.
Easy Meatloaf Muffins Recipe
Now, you can enjoy meatloaf any day of the week with this fast and easy Easy Meatloaf Muffins recipe that requires half the cook time of traditional meatloaf recipes!
- 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.)
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 276Saturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 126mgSodium: 608mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 30g
Sheila Thigpen, author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook, is a recipe developer, food photographer, and food writer. She spent 20+ years as a business manager in the publishing industry before she retired in 2018 to focus on her passions — cooking, photography, and writing. Living near the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Sheila and her husband have two adult daughters and two fine sons-in-law, are active in their church, love to travel, and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. Follow Sheila on YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!