This Mini Meatloaves recipe is quick, easy and basically foolproof. With just a few simple ingredients you can have a hearty, satisfying and delicious dinner on the table in just 35 minutes!
Easy Mini Meat Loafs
If you’re a fan of Traditional Meatloaf, then you are going to love these amazing mini meatloaves. They are so tender, juicy and cheesy on the inside with a sweet and tangy topping.
It’s a super flavorful recipe that not only taste incredible, but it’s also budget friendly and kid-approved! I call that a winning combination! And you can prep them ahead of time for a short cut on busy weeknights.
Why We Love this Recipe
Easy recipe: This meatloaf recipe is so easy to make; they come together in minutes. You won’t even need specialty mini loaf pans. You just mix everything up, form the loaves on a sheet pan and bake.
Mini loaves: You’ll love the individual portions! Mini meatloaves cook up faster and everyone gets their very own meatloaf.
Super filling: This is a really hearty dish. Oats act as a binder in this recipe, but they also really make this dish super filling and satisfying.
What’s Needed to Make this Mini Meatloaf Recipe
- Ground beef – We use lean ground beef. 85/15 ground round works great in this recipe.
- Cheddar cheese – Grated cheese is added to the savory meatloaf mixture.
- Milk – Adds moisture to the ground beef.
- Onion– Sweet onion, like Vidalia or a yellow onion adds so much flavor.
- Quick oats and egg – Oats and the egg in this recipe act as a binder to help hold the meatloaf together.
- Ketchup – The main ingredient used for the meatloaf sauce.
- Brown sugar and yellow mustard – Adds extra flavor to the sauce.
- Salt and pepper – Seasons the meatloaf
How to Make Easy Mini Meatloaves
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
Step One: Make Meatloaf Mixture
- In a large bowl, combine the cheddar cheese, milk, onion, quick oats, egg, salt, and pepper. Add the ground beef and mix in very well.
Step Two: Form into Meatloafs
- Form the meatloaf mixture into nine small loaves and place on the prepared baking sheet.
Step Three: Make Glaze and Bake
- In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard. Spoon the meatloaf sauce over the meatloaves, covering the whole top and sides with the sauce.
- Place the sheet pan in the center of the oven. Bake the meatloaves at 350 F for 25-30 minutes, or until the center is no longer pink and the internal temperature reaches 160 F on a meat thermometer.
- Serve the meatloaves hot.
Store leftovers covered in plastic wrap or in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
What Side Dish Goes with Meatloaf
A classic meatloaf dinner is usually served with mashed potatoes and some sort of simple green vegetable, like English peas, green beans, brussels sprouts or cabbage.
But if you are feeding a hungry crowd, here are some extra filling side dishes that pair really well with the flavors in this traditional meatloaf recipe:
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Funeral Potatoes
- Best Baked Beans
- Creamy Bacon Pea Salad
- French’s Green Bean Casserole
- Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots
- Creamy Cucumber Salad
Tips for Making the Easiest Meatloaves:
- For easy clean-up, the baking sheet can be lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- If you are feeding several little ones, you may want to make these mini loafs even smaller! Using a muffin tin, that you have sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, form the meat mixture into each muffin cup and bake! These will cook faster so be sure and adjust the cooking time. You can make them in a silicone muffin pan to ensure they won’t stick.
- One of the keys to keeping meatloaf from being too dense and packed down, is to avoid over mixing. A lot of people will use a wooden spoon to combine the meat mixture, but I have found the best tools you can use are your own two hands. If touching the meat bothers you, wear latex kitchen gloves. Mix the ingredients just until everything comes together well.
- One of my all-time favorite tips is always make extra sauce! Meatloaf is so good the next day as a meatloaf sandwich. Slather some of the extra sauce and a little mayo between two slices of crispy bread with a slice of leftover meatloaf! It so good. I usually make extra meat loaf just so I can have enough for these sandwiches!
Variations of Mini Meatloaves
Italian: Make this recipe an Italian meatloaf by using parmesan cheese instead of the cheddar and adding a dried Italian seasoning blend. You can also use 1/2 ground beef and 1/2 ground pork for this version.
Mexican: For a Mexican flair, you would just swap out the cheddar for a Mexi-blend cheese and season it with a little chili powder and cumin.
Spicy: If you like a little heat, you could add a finely diced jalapeno pepper to the meat mixture and a little bit of cayenne pepper to the sauce.
Cowboy style: Add in some sauteed bell pepper and pickled jalapenos, then top them with barbecue sauce instead of the ketchup mixture.
Low sugar version: You can use sugar free ketchup and a brown sugar substitute, like Swerve Brown.
Lighter version: If you are looking for a lean meat to use for this recipe, you could use ground turkey or ground chicken. But because they are both lean proteins, you’ll need to add an extra egg to help hold the meatloaf together as it bakes.
By adding milk and egg to the mixture, they work hand in hand to ensure your meat loaf stays moist. The ketchup mixture topping also helps keep meatloaf moist by creating a protective shield over it while it bakes.
Usually, over baking meatloaf causes it to crumble. But also, not using a binder like bread crumbs, or in this case quick oats, can result in your meatloaf falling apart.
More Comfort Food Recipes
- Classic Italian Lasagna
- Easy Chili
- Homemade Chicken and Dumplings
- Cheeseburger Casserole
- Homemade Goulash
- Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ cup onion peeled and very finely chopped
- ½ cup quick oats
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1- pound lean ground beef
- 2/3 cup ketchup
- ½ cup brown sugar packed
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cheddar cheese, milk, onion, quick oats, egg, salt, and pepper. Add the ground beef and mix in very well.
- Form the meat mixture into 8 small loaves and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard. Spoon the sauce over the meatloaves, covering the whole top and sides with the sauce.
- Bake the meatloaves at 350F for 25-30 minutes, or until the center is no longer pink and the internal temperature reaches 160F.
- Serve the meatloaves hot.
Did You Make This Recipe?
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