Cheesy Mini Meatloaf

Delightfully Cheesy Mini Meatloaf is an easy dinner the whole family will love!

mini meatloaf recipe on a plate with fork and potatoes

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 best easy 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!

cheesy meatloaf on a brown rimmed plate

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!

meatloaf muffins in a blue muffin tin

How to Make Mini Meatloaf

Do you have five minutes to prep dinner? You can make meatloaf!

  1. 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
  2. Gently use your hands to mix all the ingredients together until well incorporated.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.

3 meatloaf muffins on a plate with cheesy potatoes

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.

Here’s how:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

mini meatloaf on a plate with salad and cheesy potatoes

What to Serve with Meatloaf

Our favorite side dishes for meatloaf are Cheesy Potatoes and an Easy Garden Salad (pictured here).

Of course, you can’t go wrong with Creamy Mashed Potatoes, Garlic Green Beans, Corn Souffle, or Chinese Zucchini.

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! You can also make Meatloaf in the Air Fryer!

If Pork is more your flavor, but you still crave a quick meal, try my Air Fryer Pork Chops recipe.

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!

mini meatloaf recipe on a plate with fork and potatoes

Mini Meatloaf

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 42 minutes

Mini Meatloaf is an easy dinner recipe the whole family will love! This Cheesy Meatloaf is moist and absolutely loaded with flavor!

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Add all ingredients to a large bowl. Using your fingers, mix everything together until thoroughly combined.
    3. 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.

Notes

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

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10 Comments

  1. I made these for dinner last night. Delicious!! I’m not usually a meatloaf gal but I really enjoyed these!

    I did modify the recipe just slightly: instead of a 1/2 cup water I used 1/4 cup with 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce. Definitely elevates it to the next level!

  2. I tried this as mini loaves and they turned out great! I did have to cook them a little longer than the recipe called for but that could’ve been due to my oven. They were extremely moist and had really good flavor. I will definitely be making these again.

  3. I love meatloaves and burgers BUT I don’t eat red meats (anymore,) so I have to keep experimenting with ground turkey in recipes, which is what I did here, too (I simply used ground turkey instead of the ground beef and sausage). I have to say this recipe is so good that it even worked with ground turkey. It might be the dry onion soup mix, I am not sure, but this turns into some of the best turkey meatloaf I have ever made. I can imagine how yummy it is when made as written. I am definitely saving it for the future, thank you for the amazing recipe!

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