Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mini Italian Meatloaves

I think I'm comin' around in the meatloaf department.  It used to gross me out.  I think it's mainly the ketchup that was ruining it for me.  I detest ketchup, and even the smell of it gags me.  I know, I'm weird.

Anyway, these were delicious.  Like, really, really, really good.  And, EVERYONE at the table liked dinner.  Not a single complaint about anything.  Amazing.

The recipe came out of our newspaper.  Here it is with my notes:

Mini Italian Meatloaves
Makes 4 to 6 servings - I doubled the recipe and filled a 12-cup muffin tin

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 C finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 oz bulk ground pork
8 oz ground beef (10 percent fat or leaner)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 C dry breadcrumbs (store-bought are fine)
1/2 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh Italian leaf parsley
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed in a mortar and pestle, or with the bottom of a clean pan (I don't care for fennel, so I left it out)
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 C jarred marinara sauce (I made a batch)
1/2 C shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a standard 6-well muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. (If you only have a 12-well tin, fill the other six with water.)  Line a baking sheet with foil.

Heat oil in a small saute pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until tender and browned, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and continue to saute until fragrant, 45 seconds; set aside and let cool for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the onion-garlic mixture, pork, beef, egg, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, vinegar, fennel seeds, oregano, salt and pepper.  Mix thoroughly to incorporate all of the ingredients.

Fill prepared muffin tin wells with the meat mixture, making a small, 1/2-inch deep, indent in the center of each loaf.  Place the muffin tin on the prepared baking sheet.  Top each meatloaf with about 1 tablespoon of the marinara and sprinkle with the mozzarella.

 Bake until the meatloaves are cooked through, about 30 minutes. 

Warm the remaining marinara sauce and serve with the meatloaves.

I made enough sauce for pasta. We had spinach-zucchini rotini, salad and bread.  We both thought it would also be really good with polenta.  Or, of course, the typical mashed potatoes.

Here's dinner on my plate:

That recipe is definitely goin' in the keep binder.

Not in the mood for Italian?
Here are two more meatloaf recipes that are a hit at our house:


  1. Yum! I love meatloaf but it always takes so long to cook - what a great idea. And these look extra delicious.

  2. I love meatloaf too and who doesn't love minis. Super cute. Glad you found a way to work around the ketchup issue.

  3. Pinning this one too...I gotta tell my dad about these! He is 100% old school Italian from Chicago...never even thought to make an Italian version of meatloaf! This rocks!

  4. YUM YUM!!! I have wanted to make meatloaf for forever now but had no idea what to do. I will try your recipe for sure! Pinning now so I don't forget.

  5. What a good idea...making mini meat loaves! I usually make a giant heart-shaped meat loaf when I make it...and it takes forever to bake.

  6. I also detest ketchup. Hate it.


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