This delicious Muffin Tin Meatloaf recipe is a fun twist on your traditional meatloaf and is sure to be a hit with the kids! Meatloaf muffins are perfect for a quick dinner, meal prepping, or to pop in lunch boxes.
This recipe takes our favorite meatloaf recipe and turns it into mini meatloaves, perfectly portioned and delicious. Traditional and comforting meatloaf that is typically made as one big loaf gets a makeover simply by using a muffin pan rather than a loaf pan or baking sheet!
The problem is that in a loaf pan or on a baking sheet, meatloaf takes nearly an hour to prepare and cook. That's not ideal for a busy work week. It's even less ideal for a family with hungry kids and little patience.
This quick and easy muffin tin meatloaf recipe is a simple solution. And better yet, these perfectly portioned meatloaf muffins can be made in jumbo tins for a dinner, standard tins for a lunch, or mini muffin tins for kids.
Muffin tin meatloaf is one of our favorite dinners, next to cheese quesadillas, fried tacos and mini pizzas.
Why You'll Love This Idea
- Dinner is ready to serve in less than 30 minutes, preparation time included!
- No chopping or sauteing- just mix all the ingredients in 1 bowl and place into muffin cups!
- It can be made in standard muffin pans, jumbo muffin pans or mini muffin pans.
- A great idea for easy meal prepping and lunches, as well as dinner.
- Freezer-friendly for quick dinners and lunches later on!
To make muffin tin meatloaf, you need:
- Ground beef: 85-93% lean ground beef is my preferred choice. Any lower in leanness and it will be too greasy.
- Tomato sauce: tomato sauce helps to moisten the meat mixture. Ketchup is a good alternative.
- Onion soup mix: instead of fresh onions, I use Lipton's dry onion soup mix. This gives it so much flavor!
- Bread crumbs: these add extra flavor and help to bind the meat mixture together. Use Italian seasoned bread crumbs for the best flavor. If using plain bread crumbs, add a tablespoon of Italian seasoning.
- Eggs: eggs work as a binder to hold the meatloaf together so it doesn't fall apart in the end.
- Milk: aids in binding and moistening the meat loaf.
Making these meatloaf muffins could not be easier. It requires only 3 steps and a quick cook time.
STEP 1: Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. To a large bowl, add the ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, ½ cup tomato sauce, onion soup mix, milk, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix with your hands or a wooden spoon until ingredients are evenly combined.
STEP 2: Shape the meat mixture into balls big enough to fit into the muffin cups and place in the cavities.
STEP 3: Put the tray into the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes for jumbo muffins, 25 minutes for standard muffins and 15 minutes for mini muffins. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, remove the tray from the oven and spread the reserved ½ cup of tomato sauce on top. Place back into the oven and cook for the remaining 5 minutes or until a digital thermometer reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from the muffin tray and serving.
What To Serve With Muffin Tin Meatloaf
Meatloaf muffins are the star of the plate, so they are best served with simple vegetable, pasta, or potato side dishes. Buttered spaghetti, steamed or roasted broccoli, cauliflower, corn, asparagus, and peas would all be great with this recipe. Garlic mashed potatoes, roasted baby potatoes or sweet potatoes are great choices too.
Size: Instead of standard size muffins, make jumbo meatloaf muffins for the adults or mini meatloaves for the kids.
Meat: instead of using ground beef, use ground turkey or chicken.
Add vegetables: to sneak some veggies to the kids, chop up a bell pepper or zucchini and add it to the meat mixture.
Cooking method: make this recipe take even less time by air frying them instead of baking them in the oven. If you have a basket air fryer, you can buy individual silicone muffin cups and cook your meatloaf in those. For oven style air fryer, a small muffin pan try should fit. Air fry at the same temperature but reduce the cook time in half, checking the internal temperature at that time and continuing to cook in 3 minute increments until 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Store in the fridge for up to 1 week or the freezer for up to 6 months.
There is no need to cover the meatloaf when cooking. In fact, this will just make it take longer to cook.
Yes, jumbo muffins will take longer than standard muffins and mini muffins will take less time. In general, jumbo muffins take about 25 minutes, standard muffins take 20 and mini muffins take 15.
Meatloaf should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Muffin Tin Meatloaf
- muffin pan jumbo, standard or mini size
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- ¾ cup milk
- 3 large eggs
- 1 packet dry onion soup mix
- salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. To a large bowl, add the ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, ½ cup tomato sauce, onion soup mix, milk, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix with your hands or a wooden spoon until ingredients are evenly combined.
- Shape the meat mixture into balls big enough to fit into the muffin cups and put into the muffin cups.
- Put the tray into the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes for jumbo muffins, 25 minutes for standard muffins and 15 minutes for mini muffins. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, remove the tray from the oven and spread the reserved ½ cup of tomato sauce on top. Place back into the oven and cook for the remaining 5 minutes or until a digital thermometer reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from the muffin tray and serving.
These mini meatloaves are a great idea. Easy to make, tasty, and fun!
So fun, easy, and delicious! I know my daughter will even love these. Can't wait to make these! PS- your blog is so adorable! 🙂
A perfect little meatloaf meatball. great on pasta, I think it would be a great appetizer too.
Amy Liu Dong
Hands up to this recipe! It is so easy and delicious!
I made this at my husband loves it!
These were so fun to make. Everyone loved having their own individual meatloaf. They turned out delicious.
This recipe has become an instant favorite! The kids absolutely love it, I always try to make extra to freeze but they never seem to make it that far. Thank you for a real crowd pleaser!
This meatloaf muffin is such a unique concept recipe! It looks so yummy! A perfect appetizer for everyone to love and enjoy!
We had some leftover so I popped them into kid lunches the next day. It was so convenient!
These are just the cutest! My son would love making - and eating these