Mini Meatloaves for Busy Nights


Complicated recipes and experimental cooking haven’t been on my schedule lately. I spent last week baking for last Friday night’s craft fair (which went very well). This week I’ll be getting ready for Thanksgiving. And then we start the Christmas baking. Mix in a busy school year for Calvin, extra work for me and long workdays for Rich and we are running ragged lately. We are all looking forward to a few days off at the end of this week.

Dinners have been things we can eat in shifts, dishes that are easy to prepare ahead and pop in the oven or easy crockpot recipes. One of our favorite meals is meatloaf, and I have adapted it to make mini meatloaves that bake in just 20 minutes. In that time I can make mashed potatoes and heat up a few frozen vegetables. Or, I can put potatoes in the oven, make and bake the meatloaves and do the dishes in the time it takes the potatoes to bake.

I like to bake my meatloaf on a broiler pan, instead of a loaf pan. We like the sides a little crusty, which just doesn’t happen in a loaf pan. Any grease drains away, though I use lean ground sirloin, so there isn’t much.

I am including my recipe for meatloaf, though I know many people have strong feelings about the right way to do meatloaf. Feel free to use my mini meatloaf method with your favorite meatloaf recipe. Or adapt my meatloaf recipe to your tastes.

What do you make for dinner on busy nights?

Download or print the recipe here.

Mini Meatloaves
From The Cook’s Life
Serves 4

Adjust the Worcestershire sauce and spices to taste. I use a few shakes of each.

1 pound ground sirloin
3-4 tablespoons wheat germ or fine bread crumbs
¼ cup ketchup
1 egg
Worcestershire sauce
garlic powder
cayenne powder
black pepper

½ cup ketchup
2-3 tablespoons brown sugar, or to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a broiler pan, casserole dish or baking sheet with sides.

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until evenly mixed.

Divide mixture into quarters and form each quarter in a stubby football shape, packing the meat together with your hands.

Place meatloaves on prepared pan, leaving space between them. Mix the ketchup and brown sugar together for the sauce. Top each loaf with a dollop of sauce. Spread the sauce over the top and partway down the sides of each meatloaf. There will be sauce left over.

Bake about 20 minutes, or until cooked through and the outside edges are starting to brown.

Let rest about 5 minutes before serving with extra sauce.

Leftovers reheat well in the microwave.



4 thoughts on “Mini Meatloaves for Busy Nights

  1. I always keep homemade soup in the freezer in serving sized jars for busy nights. I just thaw them as needed and serve with crusty bread. I also LOVE busy night stir frys. They’re quick and they help me clean out the fridge, soo I’m doubly productive while cooking.

  2. Sarah,
    I like the crusty part of meatloaf, too! One reason I keep the bulky heavy Pampered Chef mini loaf pan (4 wells in one pan, makes 4 mini loaves) because it can make plenty of crust for us.
    However, being stoneware, it takes longer to bake in–so this muffin tin idea is genius.

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