Meatloaf Muffins are a fun take on traditional meatloaf. They cook quickly, are easy to customize and serve, and they freeze really well.
My meatloaf with brown gravy recipe is really popular, so I wanted to create a fun twist on that. These meatloaf muffins are so juicy and packed with flavor thanks to all the wonderful sweet and savory spices. In under an hour you will have adorable mini meatloaves topped with bbq sauce that are perfectly paired with roasted potatoes.
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Meatloaf and mashed potatoes is an American classic meal known to many of us as something our grandmothers and parents used to make us. Growing up it was never considered a fancy dish but definitely a comforting one.
This comforting mini meatloaf recipe is perfect for when you are looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal. If you are making these meatloaf muffins for your family, your kids will love them! Small enough for little hands and hearty enough for the adult appetite.
Not only are they fun to eat but they cook faster which is always a good thing and you can make ahead and store them for later.
Whether you are serving them for a weeknight dinner, a summertime barbecue, or a special event these juicy and delicious little muffins will be on your menu from now on!
My husband prefers a brown gravy topping to our meatloaf over ketchup, but the good thing about meatloaf in muffin form is each family member can top them how they like.
Favorite meatloaf toppings:
- BBQ Sauce – In this version, I topped them with bbq sauce. Try my spicy BBQ sauce to kick them up a notch or my homemade KFC honey BBQ sauce.
- Ketchup – Some people opt for plain ketchup to top their meatloaf. Homemade ketchup for bonus points.
- Brown Gravy – Making your own brown gravy is EASY. My version is made without drippings.
INGREDIENTS FOR MEATLOAF
- Ground Sirloin – I prefer sirloin because it is lean and full of flavor.
- Medium onion – chopped
- Minced garlic
- Ritz crackers – crushed into fine crumbs
- BBQ sauce
- Garlic salt
- Seasoned salt
- Italian seasoning
- Chili powder
- Brown Sugar
- Parmesan Cheese – finely grated
WHICH TYPE OF BEEF TO USE
Although there really is no right or wrong kind of ground beef to use, the outcome of your meatloaf will be dependent on a few things, the type of ground beef is one of them.
Ground sirloin, ground round or ground chuck, are also labeled as lean to extra-lean ground beef. Any of these are ideal to use because they contain less fat. I know it sounds counterproductive to having a juicy meatloaf, but when you add all of the sauces it balances out.
If you use regular ground beef which contains more fat, your meatloaf will contain extra oil and fat & you may need to drain it.
WHICH TYPE OF PAN TO USE
To keep it easy, you can use any muffin tin/cupcake tray you already have. If you have a square brownie pan, that will work, too. Both are great as they will hold the right amount for each loaf, will keep its shape and will cook evenly and quickly. Even if you are using a nonstick pan, it’s always a good idea to spray with a non-stick cooking spray.
HOW TO MAKE THEM
STEP ONE: To a large bowl, add the ground sirloin and the chopped onion and garlic.
Sprinkle in the garlic salt, seasoned salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, chili powder, cumin, oregano, brown sugar, and Parmesan cheese.
Add the crushed Ritz crackers, egg, ketchup, and BBQ sauce, and stir to blend all ingredients, without overmixing.
STEP TWO: Scoop the mixture into the muffin wells evenly.
STEP THREE: Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 for another 30 minutes until meatloaf is cooked through (meatloaf should reach 160 degrees internal temperature). Allow to rest to lock in the juices before topping with your sauce of choice and enjoy!
HOW TO STORE THEM
Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
CAN I FREEZE THEM?
Meatloaf muffins freeze beautifully & are perfect to thaw out for busy weeknight dinners. You have a couple options:
- Freeze Them Cooked – If you want to freeze leftovers, after they’ve cooled, place them in an airtight freezer safe container or a zip top bag. They’re best used within three months.
- Freeze Them Raw – Prepare all steps up until portioning them into the muffin pan. Cover and freeze right in the muffin pan until frozen through. Once they’re fully frozen, remove from the pan, and place in a freezer bag to use when ready.
- Thawing – When ready to eat them, move them from the freezer to the fridge overnight to defrost. Put them back into a muffin tin and bake as directed.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH THEM:
TOOLS FOUND ON AMAZON TO HELP YOU:
- Muffin Pan – You’ll need a muffin pan to portion these out.
- Vegetable Chopper – I’m in love with this thing. It’s perfect for chopping onions.
- Cookie Scooper – Not just for cookies, this scooper makes it easy to portion out the meatloaves.
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