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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! | ASpicyPerspective.com #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! | ASpicyPerspective.com #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! | ASpicyPerspective.com #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 | ASpicyPerspective.com #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! | ASpicyPerspective.com #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! | ASpicyPerspective.com #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! | ASpicyPerspective.com #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.

Best Meatloaf Recipe (Mini Meatloaves)

Yield: 8 mini meatloaves

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes


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

Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!

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

  1. Leslieposted August 19, 2013 at 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. Tieghanposted August 19, 2013 at 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 Chefposted August 19, 2013 at 6:32 am

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


  4. Christinaposted August 19, 2013 at 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. Jeanetteposted August 19, 2013 at 7:27 am

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


  6. Kevin @ Closet Cookingposted August 19, 2013 at 7:51 am

    I really like the individual serving sizes! Great idea!


  7. Paula - bell'alimentoposted August 19, 2013 at 8:20 am

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


  8. Bev @ Bev Cooksposted August 19, 2013 at 8:28 am

    In, in, in.



  9. Marian (Sweetopia)posted August 19, 2013 at 8:31 am

    These sound and look so good, Sommer!


  10. Julie @ Table for Twoposted August 19, 2013 at 8:31 am

    i love that these are mini portions! loveeee meatloafs!


  11. Mariaposted August 19, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Love the mini meatloaves!


  12. Heather Christoposted August 19, 2013 at 8:54 am

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


  13. Nutmeg Nannyposted August 19, 2013 at 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 @zomppaposted August 19, 2013 at 9:51 am

    MM! Simple is usually the best!


  15. Cookbook Queenposted August 19, 2013 at 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 Cookiesposted August 19, 2013 at 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 Mountainposted August 19, 2013 at 10:20 am

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


  18. DeLallo Foodsposted August 19, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Looks delicious, Sommer!


  19. Aimeeposted August 19, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Love individual meatloaf and yours look delicious.


  20. Angieposted August 19, 2013 at 11:25 am

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


  21. cassie - bake your dayposted August 19, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Huge meatloaf fan. Love these!


  22. Colette (Coco)posted August 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm

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


  23. Maria W.posted August 19, 2013 at 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)posted August 19, 2013 at 2:01 pm

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


  25. Ash-foodfashionpartyposted August 19, 2013 at 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. marlaposted August 19, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Love how simple these are!!


  27. Andi Houstonposted August 19, 2013 at 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 Natureposted August 19, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Totally digging these mini loaves!!!


  29. shelly (cookies and cups)posted August 20, 2013 at 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. Gabyposted August 20, 2013 at 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 dabblesposted August 21, 2013 at 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 Deliciousposted August 23, 2013 at 7:46 am

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


  33. Megan {Country Cleaver}posted August 23, 2013 at 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 Kitchenposted August 24, 2013 at 9:18 pm

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


  35. Chrisposted August 25, 2013 at 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. Yukoposted August 26, 2013 at 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. sweetsugarbelleposted August 27, 2013 at 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. Gregposted October 8, 2013 at 3:04 pm

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


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  42. anonymouosposted September 30, 2014 at 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!


  43. Cameronposted October 1, 2014 at 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!


  44. Denaposted November 4, 2014 at 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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