Mini Meatloaves with Ketchup Glaze

published Aug 5, 2022
Mini Meatloaf Recipe

Mini meatloaves cook in half the time of a full-sized meatloaf. They're a cinch on busy nights, and provide ample time to put together a side dish.

Makes8 mini meatloaves

Prep35 minutes

Cook40 minutes

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A photo of a round, pink plate with a meatloaf patty with ketchup on top, a scoop of mashed potatoes and green beans cut into small pieces.
Credit: Meleyna Nomura

Meatloaf is a classic for a reason. It’s good, hearty food that stretches to feed lots of mouths and is excellent as leftovers. The only real downside is the hour (or more) cook time. Shrinking the loaf down to personal-sized loaves not only shortens cook time, but it also makes it easier to serve. Plus, more ketchup glaze per serving! 

What Kind of Meat Do I Use for Meatloaf?

Meatloaf can use a wide variety of meats, from all ground beef to a mixture of ground beef, pork, turkey, veal, or even sausage. This version is a classic 50/50 mix of ground beef and pork. Using 85% lean ground beef ensures juicy loaves without being too greasy. Ground pork often isn’t labeled with fat content, but choose a fattier percentage if you can.

How To Make Mini Meatloaves

  • Stir together a ketchup glaze. Most recipes call for squirting ketchup over the top of meatloaf. Adding a little extra tomato paste and a few more seasonings provides a more robust flavor. But you can still use ready-made ketchup or barbecue sauce if you prefer!
  • Soften the breadcrumbs. Giving the breadcrumbs time to soak in milk ensures tender meatloaf that doesn’t fall apart.
  • Prep the vegetables. Mincing the carrot, onion, celery, and garlic in the food processor gives your meatloaf a uniform texture without big chunks of vegetables. Sautéing them before mixing them into the meat provides better flavor.
  • Mix the binder. Take time to mix all the filler ingredients thoroughly before adding the meat. 
  • Add the meat. Adding the meat after everything else helps prevent overworking the meat to result in tender — not tough — meatloaf.
  • Form the meatloaves. Using wet hands to form the meatloaves prevents them from sticking to your hands and helps prevent the meatloaves from cracking.

How Long Does It Take to Cook Mini Meatloaves?

Mini meatloaves cook in about 30 minutes, which is half the time of a full-sized meatloaf. It’s also just enough time to put together a side dish.

Mini Meatloaf Recipe

Mini meatloaves cook in half the time of a full-sized meatloaf. They're a cinch on busy nights, and provide ample time to put together a side dish.

Prep time 35 minutes

Cook time 40 minutes

Makes 8 mini meatloaves

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the glaze:

  • 1/4 cup

    ketchup

  • 1 tablespoon

    tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon

    apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon

    maple syrup

  • 2 teaspoons

    Dijon mustard

  • 2 teaspoons

    Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/8 teaspoon

    smoked paprika

  • 1/8 teaspoon

    granulated onion

For the meatloaf:

  • Cooking spray

  • 3/4 cup

    panko breadcrumbs

  • 1/3 cup

    milk, plus more as needed

  • 1

    medium yellow onion

  • 1

    medium carrot

  • 1 medium stalk

    celery

  • 2 cloves

    garlic

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 1 tablespoon

    Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tablespoon

    apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    smoked paprika

  • 1 pound

    lean ground beef

  • 1 pound

    ground pork

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

  2. Place 1/4 cup ketchup, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika, and 1/8 teaspoon granulated onion in a small bowl and stir to combine.

  3. Place 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs and 1/3 cup milk in a large bowl and stir to combine. Set aside to soak while you prepare the vegetables.

  4. Prepare the following, placing each in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment as you complete it: Chop 1 medium yellow onion, 1 medium carrot (no need to peel), and 1 medium celery stalk into 1-inch pieces. Peel 2 garlic cloves. Pulse until finely chopped, about 15 (1-second) pulses, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. (Alternatively, finely chop everything by hand.)

  5. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the vegetables and season with 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes, reducing the heat as needed if the vegetables start to brown. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

  6. Check to see that the breadcrumbs have absorbed all the milk. If they still feel dry, add another splash of milk until it forms a smooth paste. Add 2 large eggs, 2 tablespoons of the ketchup glaze, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, the remaining 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika. Whisk to combine.

  7. Add the vegetable mixture in 4 increments, stirring between each. Add 1 pound ground beef and 1 pound ground pork, breaking them up into pieces as you add them to the bowl. Using your hands, mix together gently but thoroughly, using your hands to bring the vegetable mixture up from the bottom of the bowl and into the meat and turning the bowl as needed to incorporate all of the ingredients from the bottom.

  8. Divide the meatloaf mixture into 8 portions. Using wet hands, form each portion into a football-shaped oval about 4-inches long by 3-inches wide and place on the baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart. Spoon the remaining glaze over the meatloaves and spread to coat the tops.

  9. Bake until cooked through and the centers register at least 155°F, 27 to 32 minutes. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Ketchup glaze substitute: 1/2 cup ketchup or barbecue sauce can be substituted for the ketchup glaze.

Make ahead: The meatloaves can be shaped up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated. Spread on the glaze right before baking.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.