This easy recipe for Muffin Tin Meatloaf is perfect for a busy night—they only take 30 minutes to bake.
This easy recipe for Muffin Tin Meatloaf is a gem! You just need six ingredients and a little over 30 minutes to make them.
The recipe comes from my friend Andrea’s sister, Tonya. Andrea brought the mini meatloaves over for dinner as a baby meal after Luke was born.
We aren’t huge meatloaf people (unless it’s Bacon Cheddar Meatloaf), but this Muffin Tin Meatloaf recipe completely changed our mind, and now it’s on our dinner rotation. Thanks, Tonya, for the delicious recipe!
The mini meatloaves are filling, flavorful, and the perfect size for portioning out according to different appetites.
And they’re made with one thing I always have on hand—old fashioned oats.
I like serving them with mashed potatoes, roasted broccoli, and homemade potato rolls on the side. Read on for how to make them!
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The best meat for meatloaf
Meatloaf can be made with 100% ground beef, or a mixture of pork, beef, and veal. The latter is often sold as “meatloaf mix” at the grocery store.
Bon Appetit has done some research on the matter, and they note that meatloaf mix can make the loaf too soft and fall apart easily.
I recommend using all beef. 80% lean or 85% lean ground beef at the best choices to keep the meatloaf juicy.
When you’re shopping, look for beef labeled either ground chuck (which is 80% lean) or ground round (which is 85% lean).
- I used 80% lean ground beef for this recipe. 85% lean works, too.
- Diced green pepper and diced yellow onion add lots of flavor.
- The binders for this meatloaf are old fashioned oats, an egg, and ketchup. You’ll need 1.5 cups of ketchup total—1 cup for inside the meatloaf and another ½ cup for the top.
How to make meatloaf in a muffin tin
Start by chopping one small yellow onion and one small green pepper.
If your green pepper and/or onion are large, use half or three-quarters of it. If there are too many pieces of either, the meatloaf won’t hold together as well.
Place the ground beef, green pepper, onion, one cup of ketchup, egg, oats, and salt in a large bowl.
Use your hands to very gently combine the ingredients until well distributed. Avoid over mixing the meatloaf, which can make it tough.
Scoop the meat mixture into standard size muffin tins. There’s no need to grease the muffin tins, since the fat from the beef will prevent the meatloaf from sticking.
I like using a cookie scoop to scoop the meat. Press the meat down firmly in each cup, which help the meatloaf hold together after baking.
This recipe makes approximately 18–20 mini meatloaves if the cups are filled to the top.
Bake the meatloaf in the muffin tin for 25 minutes, then top each mini meatloaf with ketchup. I spread it with an offset spatula to make it even. A butter knife would work, too.
Return the muffin tins to the oven to bake for an additional 5 minutes. The ketchup will set slightly on top.
Let the meatloaf sit for 5 minutes, then run a butter knife along the edges of each loaf to loosen them from the pan.
Top the Muffin Tin Meatloaves with chopped parsley if desired, and serve them immediately while still warm.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can substitute ¾ cup breadcrumbs for 1 cup of oats in this recipe.
I recommend using old fashioned oats for this recipe, for the best texture.
Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Approximately one hour in the oven will be enough in the case of this meatloaf, but check with a meat thermometer if you would like to be sure.
You can substitute either ground turkey or ground chicken, just be sure that it’s dark meat (white meat is too lean for this recipe).
There is no need to cover meatloaf in the oven. The fat content of the beef ensures that it will not dry out.
This recipe is made with old fashioned oats, which don’t contain gluten. To ensure that the recipe is gluten-free (some oats are processed on the same equipment as wheat), make sure that you purchase gluten-free old fashioned oats.
Make it ahead
You can make Muffin Tin Meatloaf up to one day in advance. To make it ahead, prepare the meat mixture and divide it into muffin tins.
Cover the muffin tins tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake them.
I recommend baking within 24 hours of making them, due to the perishable nature of ground beef.
Freezing and reheating
You can freeze muffin tin meatloaf after cooking. Prepare and bake the recipe as directed, but do not add ketchup to the top.
Remove the meatloaves from the muffin tin, and let cool completely. Place in a single layer in a resealable plastic freezer bag, and store flat in the freezer.
When you’re ready to serve them, defrost the mini meatloaves in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. Place them back into the muffin tin and bake for 10 minutes. Top with ketchup and bake for another 5 minutes, or until the meatloaves are warm throughout.
How to jazz up meatloaf
Looking for ways to change it up? Here are a few of my favorites!
- add 4 crumbled slices of cooked bacon
- add 1 cup of shredded or cubed cheddar
- add 1 tablespoon of ranch dressing to the ketchup on top
- use bbq sauce on the top instead of ketchup
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!
Muffin Tin Meatloaf
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1½ cups ketchup, divided
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 green pepper, finely diced
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Reserve ½ cup of ketchup for the top. Place the remaining 1 cup ketchup and the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix gently with your hands to combine.
- Divide the mixture into muffin tins. I got 18–20 mini meatloaves from this recipe.
- Bake the meatloaves for 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and divide the reserved ½ cup ketchup among the meatloaves. Bake for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Run a butter knife around the edges of each loaf to loosen them from the pan. Serve immediately.