The BEST Classic Meatloaf (Mini Meatloaves)

A zippy simple meatloaf recipe that I consider the best meatloaf recipe ever! It’s a true family favorite that makes a great freezer meal for nights when you’re too busy to cook.

Best Meatloaf Recipe... ever! | #meatloaf #recipe #dinner

Secretly, today’s recipe has been published on ASP before…

This is actually one of the very first recipes I ever posted. It’s such a marvelous simple meatloaf recipe, and was buried so deep in my archives, I thought it deserved a photographic facelift. So I’m republishing my best meatloaf recipe today, on behalf of all you meatloaf-lovers out there.

Knock yourself out!

How to Make the Best Meatloaf Recipe... ever! | #meatloaf #recipe #dinner

I’m a big proponent of doubling or tripling recipes when you cook, and freezing the extras for later meals.

We all have those days when we either run out of time to cook, or just don’t have the energy at the end of the day.

Making the Best Meatloaf Recipe... ever! | #meatloaf #recipe #dinner

Storing meals allows you to have a homemade meal with essentially no work, on the day you need it.

It is also a money-saver, because you can buy meat and other ingredients in the economy size. You spend a little more up front, but save in the long run.

Making a Simple Meatloaf Recipe | #meatloaf #recipe #dinnerI like to cut the meatloaf mixture into equal portions to ensure they’re all the same size.

Sometimes when you wrap food to put it in the freezer, the aesthetic value is lost.

Food often doesn’t come out of the freezer looking like it did the day you put it in. Freezer bags get mashed up in the freezer and the items inside don’t come apart without looking horrid!

Best Simple Meatloaf Recipe... ever! | #meatloaf #recipe #dinner

As mentioned last week, I have discovered if I flash freeze the items FIRST, then wrap them; they look a lot better the day I want to thaw and cook them.

Flash freezing works great for individually portioned meats, garlic-cheese breads, cookies and cupcakes, homemade pizza, and appetizers.

Best Healthy Meatloaf Recipe... ever! | #meatloaf #recipe #dinner

Our best meatloaf recipe is a great recipe for flash freezing because it makes 8 individual meatloaves–that’s 2 meals for my family. I bake 4 on the day I make them, and flash freeze 4 for later.

Healthy Meatloaf Recipe... ever! | #meatloaf #recipe #dinner

I used to not like meatloaf, but my husband and kids love it. So I came up with this simple meatloaf recipe, using half ground turkey (instead of pork or veal) and tons of pureed veggies.

It really lightens the meatloaf and suits my taste buds much more than heavy traditional meatloaf. I decided to make individually sized meatloaves, because they cook much faster than a large loaf.

And they’re cute.


Yield: 8 mini meatloaves

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Best Meatloaf Recipe (Mini Meatloaves)


Simple Meatlloaf Recipe:

  • 1 ½ cups seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne
  • 1 Tb. caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme (1 Tb. fresh)
  • ½ onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1.5 lbs. ground beef chuck
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce


  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1 Tb. balsamic vinegar
  • 1½ tsp. honey
  • ½ tsp. cumin


  1. Preheat oven to 360 degrees F. Place all the veggies and garlic in the food processor and pulse until it’s the consistency of apple sauce.
  2. Place the veggie pulp in the bowl with the bread crumbs, herbs and spices, ground meats, egg, milk and Worcestershire.
  3. Toss together, then mix thoroughly by hand, but don’t squeeze the mixture too much!
  4. Separate the mixture into 8 equal portions--I like to do this by cutting the mixture in the bowl. This insures consistency in size. Shape each portion into a loaf, and place them on a rimmed cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Mix all the ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl.
  6. Brush the loaves with glaze, leaving extra on the top. Place in the oven and bake until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F--approximately 30 minutes.
  7. Tint with foil and let rest 5 minutes out of the oven before serving. *For one large classic meatloaf, shape all the mixture into a loaf measuring 10X5X4 inches. Bake approximately 1 ½ hours to 160 degrees F.

To make this healthy meatloaf recipe dairy-free or grain-free, simply remove the breadcrumbs and milk. #paleo

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47 Responses to “The BEST Classic Meatloaf (Mini Meatloaves)”

  1. #
    Leslie — August 19, 2013 @ 5:47 am

    I need to do this with soooooo many of my old recipes on my blog. The photography makes me cringe!!!! I love that you made your meatloaf into individual servings!


  2. #
    Tieghan — August 19, 2013 @ 6:05 am

    My family is not really big on meatloaf, but I really only think it is because we have never had a good one. These look and sounds great and I love that they mini. So much prettier this way!


  3. #
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef — August 19, 2013 @ 6:32 am

    My husband isn’t fond of meatloaf and I love it. This is a perfect idea for me.


  4. #
    Christina — August 19, 2013 @ 7:24 am

    Excellent blog!! Thanks for inviting me through Twiiter!! I will definitely cook your family’s meatloaf since I love meatloaves. They’re comfort food for me.


  5. #
    Jeanette — August 19, 2013 @ 7:27 am

    Such a fun idea Sommer! My kids love anything in mini form.


  6. #
    Kevin @ Closet Cooking — August 19, 2013 @ 7:51 am

    I really like the individual serving sizes! Great idea!


  7. #
    Paula - bell'alimento — August 19, 2013 @ 8:20 am

    Our family loves meatloaf. Minis are the perfect portion too.


  8. #
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — August 19, 2013 @ 8:28 am

    In, in, in.



  9. #
    Marian (Sweetopia) — August 19, 2013 @ 8:31 am

    These sound and look so good, Sommer!


  10. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — August 19, 2013 @ 8:31 am

    i love that these are mini portions! loveeee meatloafs!


  11. #
    Maria — August 19, 2013 @ 8:36 am

    Love the mini meatloaves!


  12. #
    Heather Christo — August 19, 2013 @ 8:54 am

    this is perfect as I’m thinking about getting back to school menus ready!


  13. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — August 19, 2013 @ 9:36 am

    Oh wow, this dish is so perfect!! My husband loves when I make meatloaf, I’m definitely saving this recipe!


  14. #
    Belinda @zomppa — August 19, 2013 @ 9:51 am

    MM! Simple is usually the best!


  15. #
    Cookbook Queen — August 19, 2013 @ 10:08 am

    We LOVE meatloaf around here!! Can’t wait to get some of these stashed in the freezer!!


  16. #
    Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies — August 19, 2013 @ 10:12 am

    I love the idea of the pureed veggies in the meatloaf. It is so hard to get my family to eat veggies sometimes! What a beautiful recipe, it totally deserved the facelift!


  17. #
    Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain — August 19, 2013 @ 10:20 am

    Um, this needs to be dinner! And you are spot on with adding veggies to the meatloaf!


  18. #
    DeLallo Foods — August 19, 2013 @ 10:51 am

    Looks delicious, Sommer!


  19. #
    Aimee — August 19, 2013 @ 11:02 am

    Love individual meatloaf and yours look delicious.


  20. #
    Angie — August 19, 2013 @ 11:25 am

    I love how cute and little these are!!!!


  21. #
    cassie - bake your day — August 19, 2013 @ 11:50 am

    Huge meatloaf fan. Love these!


  22. #
    Colette (Coco) — August 19, 2013 @ 1:01 pm

    Love the caraway seeds – very interesting.
    Great glaze, too.


  23. #
    Maria W. — August 19, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

    I’m watching my weight, so I will give this a try. Caraway seeds? I’ve never used them and I’m wondering if I should crush them or leave them as is? They are kind of large looking. Do you recommend a substitute? I hope you can answer these questions.


    • Sommer — August 19th, 2013 @ 3:50 pm

      Hi Maria!

      The caraway seeds absorb moisture and soften as they cook, so you don’t need to crush them. You can leave them out if your worried about the flavor–just add in your favorite herb. :)


  24. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — August 19, 2013 @ 2:01 pm

    Yes to mini and filled with veggies, my kind of meatloaf! ;)


  25. #
    Ash-foodfashionparty — August 19, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

    The best part of the meatloaf are the edges and tops and you got that covered. Perfect, perfect for school lunches, thanks for another great idea.


  26. #
    marla — August 19, 2013 @ 3:36 pm

    Love how simple these are!!


  27. #
    Andi Houston — August 19, 2013 @ 3:51 pm

    I love the pureed vegetables idea! Our current favorite meatloaf is with all grass-fed beef, which is low in fat, mixed with a jar of good salsa verde. Maybe this will become our new favorite!


  28. #
    ashley - Baker by Nature — August 19, 2013 @ 6:58 pm

    Totally digging these mini loaves!!!


  29. #
    shelly (cookies and cups) — August 20, 2013 @ 6:43 am

    Love this.. and making extra and freezing the leftovers is the best! Especially now when it’s coming up on the a super busy time of year! PInning this!

    Also, I cringe at people going back through my archives. I need to facelife a bunch of recipes!


  30. #
    Gaby — August 20, 2013 @ 8:43 am

    I’ve never made meatloaf before! can you even believe that! This one looks awesome though and I love the individual portions!


  31. #
    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — August 21, 2013 @ 8:20 am

    I never grew up on meatloaf, and always thought it was “weird”. But after I got married, we tried a few new recipes and now I have to say that I absolutely LOVE IT!! Our kids get so excited when they know it’s in the oven. Love your individual portions and the flash freezing tip.


  32. #
    Russell at Chasing Delicious — August 23, 2013 @ 7:46 am

    Sometimes, nothing beats a great meatloaf. This recipe looks fantastic!


  33. #
    Megan {Country Cleaver} — August 23, 2013 @ 9:19 am

    Ben and I make mini meatloaves at least twice a month – they’re so easy!! I’m going to have to give yours a try Sommer!!


  34. #
    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — August 24, 2013 @ 9:18 pm

    Such a great idea to freeze the meatloaf for busy nights. My bunch really loves meatloaf.


  35. #
    Chris — August 25, 2013 @ 1:57 pm

    A meatloaf sandwich is one of my top 3 favorites so I just copied this to try. I really like the idea of the glaze. Looking forward to trying this! Since they are small loaves, maybe I’ll make sliders with the slices using potato rolls as the buns!


  36. #
    Yuko — August 26, 2013 @ 10:49 am

    Hi Sommer,

    Thanks for sharing the great recipe! They look so adorable I couldn’t wait to make some for my family. I’m a vegetarian myself but I’m very happy how they turned out and how my family absolutely loved them :) As suggested, I baked 4 and froze 4 uncooked glazed loaves for later. My question is how I’m supposed to use the frozen loaves? Thaw them first and then bake? Or bake frozen longer?


    • Sommer — August 27th, 2013 @ 6:40 am

      You can do either, Yuko. If you bake them frozen, they’ll probably take 45-60 minutes.


  37. #
    sweetsugarbelle — August 27, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

    Loving this recipe. We’ve got some meat heads around here that are going to love you! And you’re right. Mini loaves are cute!


  38. #
    Greg — October 8, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

    Tried it. We absolutely LOVE it! Rave reviews. Will make it again. This one is a keeper.


  39. #
    anonymouos — September 30, 2014 @ 9:53 pm

    This looks delicious; I love the addition of thyme that you used (my blog is dedicated to the art of cooking with thyme), and love coming across any recipe that uses it!


  40. #
    Cameron — October 1, 2014 @ 10:25 pm

    I’ve tried this recipe before and loved it! Usually I make it with some spaghetti squash or zucchini passed through a spirooli. I thought the glaze had chili sauce as well as the honey and balsamic. Was that a different recipe or did you decide it was better without?


    • Sommer — October 2nd, 2014 @ 6:09 am

      Hi Cameron! What a great idea. :)

      And you are absolutely right, when it was moved to a new page, it looks like the recipe wasn’t moved accurately. Thanks so much for bringing that to our attention. Chili Sauce added!


  41. #
    Dena — November 4, 2014 @ 1:07 pm

    Hi Sommer,
    LOVE the meatloaf! I wasn’t sure about the glaze so I made my own with ketchup, mustard and brown sugar. I like the caraway seeds, I used rye bread so its YUMMY! I will try the glaze next time!!!



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