This delicious Muffin Tin Meatloaf recipe is a fun twist on your traditional meatloaf and is sure to be a hit with the kids! Mini meatloafs are perfect for a quick dinner, meal prepping, or to pop in your lunch box. Make in jumbo muffin tins for just the right portion and mini muffin tins for the little ones. Meatloaf muffins use only 6 ingredients and are truly easy to prep. Just mix everything and bake for a quick dinner in only 30 minutes!
I have been making this same muffin tin meatloaf recipe for over a decade. It's a classic, comforting meatloaf recipe that is traditionally made in a loaf pan or on a 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.
Instead of shaping the meatloaf mix into a loaf, stuff it in muffin tins and you have a dinner ready to serve in only 30 minutes, prep time included.
This recipe does not require chopping or sauteing any veggies prior to mixing, so they are even easier than a lot of other meatloaf recipes out there.
All you need to do is mix all the ingredients in 1 bowl and put into muffin tins. It's really that simple.
Muffin tin meatloaf is a great idea for meal prepping and lunches, as well as dinner. The perfectly portioned meatloaf muffins can be made in jumbo tins for a dinner, standard tins for a lunch, or mini muffin tins for kids.
Once you have a tray of muffins cooked, they can be kept in the fridge all week long for an easy grab and go lunch. Or, pop them into the freezer for longer keeping and meal prepped lunches or dinners in a few months.
Ingredients and Substitutions
To make muffin tin meatloaf, you need:
- Ground beef: 85-90% lean is the best choice; any higher than that and it will be too dry
- Tomato sauce: tomato sauce helps to moisten the loaf, and is added to the top
- Onion soup mix: instead of fresh onions, this gives it so much flavor
- Breadcrumbs: add extra flavor and help to hold it together; use Italian seasoned crumbs for the best taste
- Eggs: works as a binder to hold it all together
- Milk: aids in binding and moistening the meat
Making these meatloaf muffins could not be easier. It requires only 3 steps.
First, spray a muffin tin with oil and mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
Second, shape into balls and put into the muffin cavities.
Third, cook for 25 minutes for jumbo muffins. Spread tomato sauce on top and cook for another 5 minutes. For standard muffins, cook for a total of 25 minutes. For mini muffins, cook for a total of 20 minutes.
And that's it! Easy to make, easy to clean.
I prefer using jumbo muffin tins because 1 jumbo meatloaf muffin is enough for one adult. This recipe makes 8 jumbo muffins, so it's enough for a large family.
To make with standard muffin tins, cut down on the cooking time by about 5 minutes. They need to reach an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees before you top with the tomato sauce.
For the kids, I use mini muffin tins. I also like mini meatloaf muffins for meal prepping work lunches or a simple snack.
Plus, kids love that they are eating "muffins" for dinner!
Bonus? They take only 15-20 minutes in mini muffin tins. So when you've got hungry kids to feed, mini meatloaf muffins are the way to go!
Easy Meatloaf Muffins
- 2 lbs ground beef (85-90% lean)
- 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 3 eggs
- 1 package of onion soup mix
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400° and spray a muffin tin with oil (you can use jumbo, regular, or mini muffin tins).
- Mix all ingredients together, reserving ½ cup of tomato sauce. Shape into balls and put in muffin cavities.
- Cook for 20 minutes (an internal thermometer should read 160°). Pour remaining tomato sauce evenly over muffins and bake for another 5 minutes.
Serving and Storing
Meatloaf muffins are the star of the plate, so they are best served with simple veggies and noodles or potatoes.
Steamed or roasted broccoli, cauliflower, or asparagus is a great choice. Corn is another simple veggie that would be great with meatloaf muffins.
Microwave-baked potatoes or mashed potatoes are also a great choice.