Easy Meatloaf Muffins Recipe

Meatloaf muffins on a plate

The Spruce

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 12 muffins
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
335 Calories
11g Fat
20g Carbs
40g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 335
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 15%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 143mg 48%
Sodium 791mg 34%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 40g
Vitamin C 3mg 15%
Calcium 56mg 4%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 549mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Meatloaf muffins are a nice change from the average meatloaf. There's no trick to the recipe; you'll simply bake a basic meatloaf mixture in muffin tins for smaller servings. It's a fun alternative that you may recognize from diner menus, and they're sure to be a hit with kids.

This recipe is an ideal dinner when you're short on time. The muffins take about a third of the time to cook compared to a full meatloaf and somehow seem like a lot less work. Adding an egg and ketchup to the meat mixture is the secret to moist meatloaf. Finishing these muffins off with a bit more ketchup halfway through the baking process creates a delicious glaze.

One of the great things about meatloaf is its amazing versatility. It's easy to "hide" grated carrots or other vegetables in the meat mixture, add a bit of cheese with the ketchup topping, or turn them into meatloaf sliders.

Two of these muffins are a good portion for one person. Serve the meatloaf muffins along with chips, fries, or mashed potatoes and a vegetable. The muffins freeze well, too, so it's a fantastic recipe for meal prep menus.

"For a quick alternative to meatloaf, this is an excellent recipe. It’s as easy as any other meatloaf to prepare, except you don’t have to worry about forming a perfect loaf or that it will fall apart. It has a classic meatloaf taste, and two muffins are good for one person." —Colleen Graham

Easy Meatloaf Muffins Recipe Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray, or shortening, or melted butter, for greasing pan

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion, from 1 small onion

  • 1 medium clove garlic, finely minced

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck

  • 1 cup ketchup, divided

  • 1/2 cup soft fine breadcrumbs

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for meatloaf muffins
    The Spruce 
  2. Heat the oven to 350 F. Lightly spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray or grease with shortening or melted butter.

    Lightly grease muffin tins
    The Spruce 
  3. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion to the pan and sauté until lightly browned and tender, about 3 minutes.

    Sautéing chopped onion in large skillet
    The Spruce
  4. Add the finely minced garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute longer.

    Add minced garlic to the skillet
    The Spruce
  5. In a bowl, combine the ground beef with 1/2 cup of ketchup, breadcrumbs, beaten egg, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper, oregano, and thyme.

    Combine ground beef with the other ingredients
    The Spruce 
  6. Add the sautéed vegetables and mix until blended, being careful not to overmix.

    Mix the sautéed vegetables into the ground beef
    The Spruce
  7. Pack the meat mixture into the prepared muffin cups.

    Pack meat into muffin cups
    The Spruce
  8. Bake the meatloaf muffins for 20 minutes.

    Bake meatloaf muffins
    The Spruce
  9. Top each meatloaf muffin with about a tablespoon of the remaining ketchup. Return to the oven and bake for about 5 to 10 minutes longer.

    Topping meatloaf with ketchup
    The Spruce
  10. Cook until an instant-read thermometer registers at least 160 F when inserted into the center of a muffin.

    Checking meatloaf muffins with an instant-read thermometer
    The Spruce

Tips

  • To ensure your muffins stay together, you don't want large pieces, so chop the onion and garlic as finely as possible.
  • If the muffin cups are slightly overfilled, place a rimmed baking pan or sheet of foil under the muffin tin to catch any overflow.
  • When properly greased, the baked meatloaf muffins should be easy to remove from the tins. They will likely still be hot, so use a fork and a wooden spoon or spatula to carefully lift each out of the tins and transfer them to a serving platter.

Variations

  • Feel free to add some other finely minced veggies to the mix, such as 1/2 cup carrots or bell peppers.
  • For a more Italian taste, add 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese to the mixture.
  • Instead of ketchup, top the muffins with chili sauce (the mild variety found near ketchup at grocery stores).
  • Serve the muffins as sliders on tiny rolls with extra ketchup on the side and oven-baked french fries.
  • Substitute finely ground crackers or rolled oats (pulse them in the food processor) for the breadcrumbs.

How to Freeze and Reheat Meatloaf Muffins

  • Make a big batch of meatloaf muffins and freeze them for future lunches or dinners. When making ahead, bake the meatloaf muffins without a topping. After baking, place the muffins on a baking sheet and move them to the freezer. When they are frozen solid, transfer them to freezer bags. Label with the name and date and freeze for up to three months.
  • Reheat meatloaf muffins in a 350 F oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until they register 165 F (the minimum safe temperature for leftovers). If you like, add a ketchup topping just before they're ready and enjoy.