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Why I made mini meatloaf
We’ve been having a bit of a dinner time struggle lately. My oldest doesn’t want to eat anything I make, and we are getting constant complaints at the table. It’s been super fun.
When I put her to bed the other night, I asked her what she wanted to have for dinner the next day. “Maybe meatloaf?” she replied with a questionable voice.
So the next day, we made mini meatloaf together while watching The Descendants 3 on my computer, and she got to mix the meat and help portion out the meatloaves.
Bonus points go to the mini meatloaf though, because besides being fun, they cook way faster than traditional meatloaf.
Why would you put milk in meatloaf?
Believe it or not, a lot of meatloaf recipes have milk in them. I know. It’s crazy, but just like meatballs, milk is used a binder. Plus, it helps to moisten the meatloaf.
You could substitute dairy free milk, but, you don’t need to. There are plenty of other ways to bind and moisten meatloaf. In place of milk, I’ve used my favorite Panko breadcrumbs* and egg. *Be sure to double check your ingredients for hidden dairy.
Here’s what you’ll need to make them
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring spoons
- Kitchen scale (optional, for portioning meatloaf)
- Baking sheet
- Meat thermometer
To make this a healthier meatloaf recipe I’ve used both ground beef and ground turkey, but you can easily swap one out for the other and go for all beef, or all turkey.
If you opt for all lean turkey, you may want to add another egg to maintain the moisture. You can also swap the turkey out for ground pork which will give you a more traditional meatloaf recipe.
How do you make meatloaf?
Mix the ingredients in a large bowl until evenly combined. Don’t over mix or you’ll end up with tough meatloaf.
Portion the meatloaf. Divide the mixture into 8 equal loaves. I like to use my kitchen scale to make sure mine are the same size, but you can eyeball it if needed
Make the meatloaf sauce. Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and spread a thin layer onto the top of each loaf before baking. Reserving the rest for later.
Bake the meatloaves at 400˚F for about 30 – 35 minutes on a baking sheet lined with parchment. With about 10 minutes left, add another layer of meatloaf sauce to the top of your mini meatloaf.
Use a meat thermometer to make sure the loaves reach 165˚F (you can take them out at 160˚F and let them rest).
FAQs and tips for making the best meatloaf
No. You can substitute 1/4 cup of liquid for each egg. Any liquid will work: water, broth, juice, milk, etc.
Meatloaf sauce can be made from anything really, but its traditionally made from ketchup and brown sugar to create a glaze.
Your meatloaf is either too dry or doesn’t contain enough binder. You may have also overcooked your meatloaf.
You do not have to cover meatloaf when you cook it, but you can if you’re worried about it drying out. Remove the cover for the last 10 – 15 minutes of cooking to allow the meatloaf sauce to brown.
Since this recipe uses both turkey and beef, you’ll want to cook it to a food safe temperature of 165˚F.
Absolutely. Just be sure to wrap it in a freezer friendly paper, or use an airtight container, and you can freeze this for up to 6 months.
You can also freeze the uncooked meat mixture. Just thaw and bake as directed when you’re ready.
What goes good with meatloaf?
- Dairy free mashed potatoes
- Roasted brussel sprouts
- Easy broccoli salad
- Kale caesar salad
- Brandy old fashioned
More ground meat recipes:
- Ground beef stroganoff
- Greek meatballs
- Lamb burgers
- Ground chicken tacos
- Baked Italian meatballs
- Bolognese sauce
Mini Meatloaf Recipe
Mini Meatloaf Recipe | These individual loaves are super simple and healthy since they’re made with ground beef and turkey. And, since they’re smaller, they cook in way less time. #dairyfree #meatloaf
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings. 1x
- Category: Mains
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
For the mini meatloaf:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound lean turkey
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoon ketchup
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- Black pepper, to taste
For the meatloaf sauce:
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Preheat oven to 400˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix the meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl until evenly combined. Portion the mixture into 8 equal loaves and place on baking sheet.
- Mix the meatloaf sauce ingredients in a small bowl until smooth and spread a thing layer onto each loaf, reserving half for later.
- Bake mini meatloaf for 30 – 35 minutes, adding a second layer of meatloaf sauce with about 10 minutes left in baking time.
- Cook meatloaf until it reaches an internal temperature of 165˚F.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 340
- Sugar: 8.5 g
- Sodium: 878.7 mg
- Fat: 14.9 g
- Saturated Fat: 4.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 23.8 g
- Fiber: 1.1 g
- Protein: 24.9 g
- Cholesterol: 103.7 mg
Keywords: dairy free, easy
Last Updated on November 11, 2021 by Melissa Belanger