Meatloaf…kinda

Meatloaf is one of my favorite comfort foods… one of about 100! One thing I’ve never really loved about meatloaf is the thought of a big loaf of meat. So… I started making meatloaf into individual loaves… more like meatballs. Here are a couple reasons why –
  1. Big piles of ground meat kinda gross me out
  2. I never know if it’s thoroughly cooked without a meat thermometer
  3. Slicing a pile of meat like bread is weird to me 😉
  4. I love the brown sugar-ketchup coating and individual balls means more of this caramelized goodness in each serving.
  5. It’s easy to put away leftovers.
So there you have my deep intellectual reasonings… ha!
The only problem now is really what to call this dish. It’s not really meatloaf… it’s not really meatballs. I’m open to suggestions – let the naming begin!! and the cooking…
There’s a base “recipe” at the bottom of the post to get you started but please think about changing at least a couple things up when you try this!



I started with a pan with olive oil over med-high heat


I chopped up some onion and carrot. I would have used red pepper if I had it. I also thawed a bit of frozen sweet corn.


This all went into the oil once it was hot. Then you gotta just forget about this stuff for a while and gather your other ingredients. You want to roast the veggies and get the onion all soft and delicious. I also threw in a couple cloves of chopped garlic after I took the picture.


You can see it starting to brown a bit here… let me zoom in for you…


There ya go 🙂 In cooking… in most cases brown = tasty

While all that is happening you should have been rounding up a big bowl of raw meat 🙂


I use equal parts lean ground turkey and ground beef. I’ve used all turkey and all beef before and it turned out just fine. Don’t be afraid to use whatever ground up meat you have 😉


After your veggies are good and browned throw them on top.


Throw an egg in on top of that.


Secret ingredient alert! Are you using plain yogurt yet? No, well today is the day to start. It’s super good for you. Full of good bacteria that helps in digestion, your immune system, full of protein… etc. No, you can’t use Yoplait Key Lime Pie yogurt… PLAIN yogurt… totally different folks. This will be replacing any plain milk or sour cream in this recipe. You could do milk if you didn’t have yogurt but next time you’re at the store just pick up one of these little guys. Not a huge commitment and I guarantee you’ll be seeing more of it in my cooking.


Drop in plain yogurt.


Still new to food photography here folks… this one is a bit crazy blurry… but anyway, here I threw in some salt, pepper, cumin, thyme, and probably some other spice that was sitting nearby. You can’t really go wrong here. Got a favorite spice or herb… throw it in!


Real appetizing pic here… I’ve added in my binder… not a 3 ring binder but something to pull everything together. You can do breadcrumbs. We’re gluten free here so I did a mix of ground up corn chips and ground brown flax seed. If you’re wanting to get into using ground flax and other stuff invest 10 bucks in a coffee grinder. You can obliterate almost any chip, cracker, nut, and seed to use it as breading, binder… whatever. Also a note on flax – it’s a great food binder and a great G.I. unbinder, if you know what I mean, at the same time. Ok, maybe too much there 🙂

Next get your hands in there and mix it all up. Don’t go overboard but do make sure it’s all incorporated.


Cover a baking sheet with foil and add a metal rack. This is a cooling rack that is oven safe, the best double duty little booger ever. If you don’t want to scrub forever you will want to coat the rack with oil or nonstick cooking spray.


Form your mini meatloaves and put them on the rack. Oh, and preheat your oven at some point 😉

Bake for about 30 minutes at 350. Is there a button on the keyboard for the little degrees thing?? While they are baking mix up some ketchup and brown sugar in a bowl. You could use honey instead of sugar.


Pull these guys out of the oven and drop a dallop of your glaze on each one then spread it all around with the back of your spoon. Pop them back into the oven for about 5 minutes.


Once they are all caramelized and yummy take them out of the oven and let them rest for a few minutes. Pop them on a plate next to a pile of creamy mashed potatoes and a healthy vegetable and there you have it!

Here is the base recipe but remember to be adventurous and try a variation that is more to your liking.

Mini Meatloaf Ball Things
1Tbs olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 cup corn
1 red pepper, diced (or carrot or green pepper)
2 cloves garlic diced

1lb ground lean turkey
1lb ground lean beef
1 large egg
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp herb or spice of your choice
1 cup binder (breadcrumbs, crackers, flax, oatmeal…)

3 Tbs ketchup
3 Tbs brown sugar/honey

Saute onion, pepper/carrots, corn, and garlic until browned. In a large bowl combine meat and other ingredients, including saute mix. Form into balls and drop onto baking rack. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. While baking mix ketchup and brown sugar in small bowl. Remove loaves from oven and coat with glaze. Return to oven for additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for a couple minutes. Serve!

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4 Responses to Meatloaf…kinda

  1. Stephanie says:

    Looks yummy! I love meatloaf too! I like the idea of little ones.

  2. Carolyn says:

    Looks like these smaller ones would freeze well and be a great way to
    pop out of the freezer and pack in lunch for work. I can almost taste them!

  3. Caitlin says:

    This is brilliant! They look delish.

  4. paige says:

    i vote you call them meatboafs. doesn’t sound super appetizing, but i’m not sure what would when you’re trying to decide on a name for hunks of ground meat in sauce.

    that being said, once you get past the name, meatloaf (and presumably meatboafs) is delicious – i just made some for the first time last night, actually, and will be making it again. but i LOVE the idea of making boafs (boaves) rather than a loaf because there’s something gross about having meat juice permanently stuck to my stoneware loaf pan.

    i will definitely be trying this!

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