meatloaf cupcakes?

I know. This recipe needs a new name.

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Meatloaf is a relatively new meal in our home. Because my experience with meatloaf was back in the 70s and involved a dry, gray slab of tasteless hamburger, I had never made (and rarely ate) it until about three years ago. My friend brought a meal over one night, and it was meatloaf. The kids were excited and I was willing to give it a second chance, mainly because she told me it contained bacon and red wine.

I had a second helping that night. It was delicious, and in my many attempts to recreate her succulent, juicy and flavorful dish, the recipe below is what I’ve settled on. But not exactly in its original loaf form.

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Enter the muffin tin. As I was combining the mixture a couple of nights ago, I realized it was late and we were hungry. Anyone who knows meatloaf understands it takes about an hour to cook. My mind weighed the options: microwave the meat, have this tomorrow night and feed them cereal tonight, or find a smaller pan. Then, bing! The muffin tin came to mind. This cut the cooking time in half and made perfect serving sizes for the children (who knew meatloaf could be “so cute”?). While they were cooking, I whipped some Yukon gold potatoes with chicken broth and McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning. Comfort food comes in all sizes.

For more Works-For-Me-Wednesday tips, visit We Are THAT Family.

Mini Meatloaf

from foodie plus 4

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork (the meatloaf mix that’s available in stores also works fine)
  • 4 strips bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (whichever kind you prefer; we used Italian blend)
  • 2 slices bread (use whatever you have; we’ve used up hamburger buns this way)
  • 1/2–3/4 cup milk
  • 1 jar tomato sauce (we used leftover pizza sauce)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Pour milk into shallow dish. Soak bread in milk.
  3. Mix the beef, pork, bacon, onions, and garlic in a large bowl with a fork. Squeeze excess milk from bread, then tear off in pieces and add to the meat. Add wine, ketchup, eggs, cheese, salt, and pepper. Combine thoroughly with your hands (kids love doing this).
  4. Divide into non-stick muffin tins. Top with a generous spoonful of tomato sauce.
  5. Cook for approximately 25–30 minutes or until center is no longer pink.
  6. Makes 16-18 mini meatloaves (is that a word?).
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8 thoughts on “meatloaf cupcakes?

  1. I make these all the time!! I love how quick they are. I too figured this out when I didn’t have a lot of time to cook the meatloaf one night and needed it to be done quickly. They make perfect lunch portions for the next day too. I put cheese on mine at the end. Thanks for sharing!

  2. We call them Meatloaf Muffins. Can’t wait to make them again and try your recipe.
    Along the same idea-Someone once told me to cook an egg casserole in a muffin tin for a quick and easy breakfast. You could even freeze the “egg muffins” and pull it out just the portions you need.
    Love love your ideas and we can’t wait to try your absolutely delicious looking s’mores soon too.

  3. I love to make meatloaf this way. I also make it as a flatter patty sometimes, topped with pizza sauce and sauteed onions and peppers (it’s called a Meatzza).

    Those little meatloaf muffins freeze really well too.

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