A Spicy Perspective

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.

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Best Meatloaf Recipe (Mini Meatloaves)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
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.
Servings: 8 mini meatloaves


Simple Meatloaf Recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh
  • 1/2 onion roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk roughly chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce



  • 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.
  • Place the veggie pulp in the bowl with the bread crumbs, herbs and spices, ground meats, egg, milk and Worcestershire.
  • Toss together, then mix thoroughly by hand, but don’t squeeze the mixture too much!
  • Separate the mixture into 8 equal portions—I like to do this by cutting the mixture in the bowl. This ensures consistency in size. Shape each portion into a loaf, and place them on a rimmed cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Mix all the ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl.
  • 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.
  • 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 1/2 hours to 160 degrees F.


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


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 104kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 28mg, Sodium: 272mg, Potassium: 155mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 445IU, Vitamin C: 3.7mg, Calcium: 23mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

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49 comments on “The BEST Classic Meatloaf (Mini Meatloaves)”

  1. This is my favorite meatloaf recipe! I have been making it for about 3 years now and figured it’s time I finally leave a comment. My family of 4 loves the flavor! I fell in love with it right away. It is so much more flavorful than so many other meatloaf recipes out there. As an added plus there is veggies in the meatloaf. I often just use ketchup as my glaze when I don’t have chili sauce in the house.  I didn’t learn how to cook until I got married so I don’t have too many go-to recipes yet. I cook a lot now and  consider myself a foodie. It truly is the best and today I want to explore your site more to find another main dish recipe that will become a go-to recipe for our family (I think many of your favorites have “best” in the title so I may start there). Thanks for sharing your recipes with the world!

  2. I know this is an older post, but I just had to stop and say how amazing this recipe is. I’ve made it more times than I can count, each time being as amazed as the first time I tried it. My hubby goes wild over it and asks for this recipe by name. I’ve shared it with so many friends and family. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  3. 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!!!

  4. 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?

    • 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!

  5. 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!

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

  10. 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!

  11. 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?

  12. 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!

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

  14. 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!!

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

  16. 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.

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

  18. 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!

  19. Totally digging these mini loaves!!!

  20. 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!

  21. Love how simple these are!!

  22. 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.

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

  24. 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.

    • 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. :)

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

  26. Huge meatloaf fan. Love these!

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

  28. Love individual meatloaf and yours look delicious.

  29. Looks delicious, Sommer!

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

  31. 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!

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

  33. MM! Simple is usually the best!

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

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

  36. Love the mini meatloaves!

  37. i love that these are mini portions! loveeee meatloafs!

  38. These sound and look so good, Sommer!

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

  40. I really like the individual serving sizes! Great idea!

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

  42. 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.

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

  44. 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!

  45. 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!