Juicy and tender mini meatloaf muffins coated in a sweet and tangy meatloaf sauce. An easy, kid-friendly dinner idea that’s on the table in just 35 minutes!
My family loves this muffin tin meatloaf! My kids prefer them over a classic meatloaf and honestly, most nights I do too. They taste just as delicious as the traditional recipe, but don’t need to bake as long in the oven. Anything quick is always a win in my book!
Convert your kids to meatloaf lovers with these easy mini meatloaf muffins! There’s just something about mini individual portions that makes dinner that much more fun. These are an easy twist on the classic recipe and are the perfect serving size for your little ones. Regular meatloaf slices can sometimes be a little big for them to eat, but these mini muffins are just the right size. No waste or extras leftover on their plate!
They also make a great freezer meal for busy weeknights. You can make them in advance and freeze for later. Then thaw and reheat on a night where you don’t have a ton of time to spend in the kitchen. Easy peasy! We love serving them with roasted red potatoes and green beans for the ultimate comfort meal.
How to make mini meatloaf muffins
- MIX. Combine all of the meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl and mix just until combined. Make sure not to over mix, or the meatloaf will dry out when baking.
- PRESS. Divide the meat mixture evenly into a greased muffin pan and press down. Then mix the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. Don’t add the sauce just yet.
- BAKE. Place in the oven and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and use a paper towel to absorb any extra grease in each muffin cup. Then spread the sauce evenly on top of each. Place back in oven and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. They are done when the centers reach 160°F.
Tips + variations
- Spray the pan. The last thing you want is for the mini meatloaf to stick to the pan. So make sure to lightly spray each muffin tin before pressing the meat mixture into the pan.
- Don’t over mix. If you over mix, your meatloaf won’t be as juicy and tender. Stir the meat mixture just until combined,
- Ground turkey. Sub ground turkey for beef to make turkey meatloaf instead. Beef makes it a little more juicy, but ground turkey is a lighter alternative that still tastes super delicious.
- Breadcrumbs. If you can’t find any in the pantry, make your own homemade breadcrumbs by toasting some leftover bread and then blending into fine crumbs.
- Spice. If you like spice, add a few red pepper flakes into the meat mixture or mix in some sriracha when making the sauce.
Storing, freezing + reheating
- Storing: They will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 3 to 4 days if stored in an airtight container or bag.
- Freezing: If you have plans to freeze them raw, I recommend leaving off the sauce. Prepare the meat mixture as directed and then press into the muffin tin. Place the pan in the freezer and flash freeze for about an hour until hardened. Then transfer the muffins to a freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Reheating: Thaw the mini meatloaf cups in the fridge overnight. Then place back into the muffin pan and bake according to directions. Spread the sauce on top about halfway through baking.
Favorite sides for serving:
- 1 1/2 pounds 90% lean ground beef , you could also use ground turkey
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg , whisked
- 2-3 Tablespoons fresh parsley , finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tablespoon ketchup
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 cup ketchup or BBQ sauce , you could mix half and half
- 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
For serving: Potatoes and green beans
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray muffin pan and set aside.
- Combine the meat, breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder in a large bowl. Mix just until combined. Don't overmix or the meat won't be as tender.
- Divide the meat evenly into the muffin pan and press down.
- In a small bowl, mix together the ketchup and/or BBQ sauce and brown sugar. Set aside.
- Bake meatloaf for 15 minutes. Then remove from oven and absorb any extra grease with a fork and paper towel. Then pour sauce over the meat evenly. Add pepper on top if desired. Then bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until the center reaches 160°F.
- Serve while warm with potatoes and green beans.