Delightfully Cheesy Mini Meatloaf is an easy dinner the whole family will love!
In a world full of avocado toast and oat milk, meatloaf seems like food from a bygone era. While I love a good turmeric latte as much as the next millennial, I still gravitate towards classic recipes like Johnny Marzetti, Mom’s Cottage Cheese Lasagna, and Green Bean Tater Tot Casserole.
Mini meatloaf may not be the trendiest recipe on the planet, but it’s right up there at the top of my list of comfort foods.
I grew up loving my mom’s meatloaf recipe, and I’m happy to be passing that love onto my kids. My boys can be picky at times, but I’m happy to say they both LOVE this cheesy mini meatloaf!
Mini Meatloaf Recipe: A Dinner Winner
Of course, there’s a whole lot to love. Classic meatloaf is fantastic, but mini meatloaf takes dinner prep to a new level. We love that this recipe is:
- Easy to make–you only have to dirty one bowl!
- Fast– Mini meatloaf cooks in half the time of standard meatloaf.
- Super flavorful– Two secret ingredients- cheddar cheese and onion soup mix-add so much flavor!
- Great for making ahead of time and freezing
- Perfectly portioned– Kids and adults both love having their own individual meatloaf!
These Cheesy Mini Meatloaves are so moist and flavorful, they don’t even need a glaze! I’m sure your family is going to love them as much as we do!
How to Make Mini Meatloaf
Do you have five minutes to prep dinner? You can make meatloaf!
- Grab a big bowl and add the following ingredients to it:
- 2 lbs. ground beef- Sometimes we sub in 1/2 a lb. of Italian sausage for even more flavor!
- 1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 packet onion soup mix
- 1 small finely chopped sweet onion
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup bread crumbs
- ½ cup water
- ⅓ cup ketchup
- Gently use your hands to mix all the ingredients together until well incorporated.
- Shape the meatloaf into 6-8 mini loaves and place on a greased foil lined baking sheet, or divide the meat mixture into muffin cups (this recipe makes 18-20 meatloaf muffins).
- Bake at 350 degrees until a thermometer inserted in the center registers 165 degrees or no pink remains. Mini meatloaf will take approximately 35-40 minutes. Meatloaf muffins will take around 20-25 minutes.
Mini Meatloaf vs. Meatloaf Muffins
This Mini Meatloaf recipe can be shaped into loaves or baked in a muffin tin. I’ve included instructions for both in the recipe below. I personally like the mini meatloaf size for adults, but the meatloaf muffins are great if you need a super fast cook time.
If you do decide to make muffins, don’t overfill your tins and always place your muffin tin on a foil lined baking sheet to catch any overflow of grease. Otherwise, those little grease drips can cause quite a smoke situation. ASK ME HOW I KNOW.
Can you make meatloaf ahead of time?
Meatloaf is ideal for making ahead of time. You can mix up the meatloaf, shape it, and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours before baking.
Baked meatloaf can be cooled and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
Can you freeze meatloaf?
Absolutely! Meatloaf is a perfect freezer dinner, and mini meatloaf makes this even more convenient.
Meatloaf can be frozen baked or raw. Either way you’ll want to “flash freeze” the meatloaf first for easier storing.
- Move the mini meatloaves to a parchment lined baking sheet. Keep meatloaf muffins in the muffin tray. Place in the freezer for about an hour, then remove, wrap in saran wrap, and place in a freezer plastic bag.
- Note: Wrapping in saran wrap isn’t 100% necessary, but I find it’s helpful for preventing freezer burn.
- To bake, place the mini meatloaf on a greased foil-lined tray and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. If the meatloaf was raw when frozen, add an extra ten minutes. Meatloaf muffins should be baked in a muffin tin and will take 30-35 minutes.
More Family Friendly Dinners You’ll Love
Quick and easy recipes are our favorites, and we have lots more we think you’ll love. If you have an air fryer, these Air Fryer Chicken Thighs are a MUST. They’re unbelievably crispy and ready in just 20 minutes!
We also love this Slow Cooker Shredded Beef (it makes the best leftovers!), and these Walking Tacos are easy and always a hit with the kids. Hobo Dinner Hamburger Foil Packets are great for camping, but also make a fun and convenient weeknight dinner.
Finally, my husband and I, absolutely LOVE this Harlem Meatloaf. It’s got quite a kick, so it may be too spicy for some kiddos, but it’s a must for grown ups who love meatloaf!
Use any leftover meatloaf to make an incredible Meatloaf Sandwich!
- 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
- 1/2 lb. ground Italian sausage (or substitute with ground beef)
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 packet onion soup mix
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add all ingredients to a large bowl. Using your fingers, mix everything together until thoroughly combined.
- Shape mixture into 6-8 round, dome shaped loaves and place on a greased, foil lined and rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until outside is browned and no pink remains on the inside.
To make Meatloaf Muffins: Divide the meatloaf mixture between 18-20 muffin cups and bake fro 20-25 minutes.
For instructions on freezing meatloaf or making ahead of time, see the post above!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 251Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6.6gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 614mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: .7gSugar: 4gProtein: 15.5g