Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Mini-Meatloaves...I wish I could say that I came up with idea all by myself but a while back, in a doctor’s office, I read in a health magazine that a good way to freeze meatloaf is to make them in a cupcake pan. This whole idea was something that I have had in the back of my mind for a while and a couple weeks ago, I finally decided to try it out.  I made turkey meatloaf filling (using my Mom’s recipe), put it in a cupcake pan, and baked it. Turns out that this concept of “Mini-Meatloaves” is genius and here’s why:

First, this recipe is FAST! It only took minutes to combine the ingredients and dividing the meatloaf filling up in the cupcake pan significantly cut down the cooking time!  Baking meatloaf in a standard loaf pan takes anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes and these took only 30! 

The second reason this concept is great is because they are just so aesthetically pleasing!  A large square loaf of meat has never been pretty but this version looks AND tastes good.  I mean anything that is petite and individualized looks fancy and it makes people happy! (Think of the cupcakes that are usually made in that pan)

So having said all of this, I have included my recipe for Mini-Meatloaves below.  Though I will note that when my mom makes meatloaf, she doesn’t measure. I included measurements here for my cooks who like specifics but feel free to omit and add ingredients as you please and employ the: “little of this, little of that” method. Also, I never got around to freezing them because we ate them all up, but if you are interested in freezing, I suggest you leave off the topping. 

Oh and since I brought up the topping, ketchup is a classic, but if you’re feeling adventurous, try barbecue sauce or the “Balsamic Glaze” topping I stole from Bobby Flay (which kind of tastes like barbecue sauce). ENJOY!

Ingredients: (makes 12 Mini-Meatloaves)
1 ½ lb. Ground Turkey
½ of Small Onion (or 1 large shallot), finely chopped
½ of Bell Pepper (any color), finely chopped
Leaves from 5-6 Thyme Sprigs
1 Egg (lightly beaten)
1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon Salt
1 tablespoon Pepper           
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
Meatloaf Toppings: Ketchup, Barbecue Sauce, or Bobby Flay’s Balsamic Glaze (see below)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place ground turkey in a bowl. Then add ALL of the other ingredients. Mix with your hands until everything is combined, but be sure not to over mix.  Then press a handful of the mixture into each of the 12 cups in a non-stick cupcake pan. Be sure to keep the mixture slightly below the top or else the juices will run over. Next spoon the meatloaf topping of your choice onto each mini-meatloaf.  Bake for 25-30 minutes and remove from the oven. (Similar to cupcakes, these mini-meatloaves will pull from the sides when they are cooked.)  Allow them to cool for a few minutes before you remove each from the pan and place on a platter to serve. 

Bobby Flay’s Balsamic Glaze:
Whisk a 1/4 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes in a small bowl.  Spoon over meatloaves.

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