School is in full swing and here I am struggling to keep up with the kids’ school lunches. Sounds familiar? Whether your children are gluten free or have other food allergies like mine or none at all, I’m sure you will agree that these mini meatloaf muffins will be a great addition in their packed lunches.
How many times have we prepared something healthy and when the kids get home we’ll see that untouched food at the end of the day? So frustrating especially if we spent hours researching in Pinterest and even woke up extra early just to prepare the lunch. Okay, let’s not get emotional here.
So today, I’m sharing with you an easy to make and kid friendly recipe which is a big hit with my children and their classmates. In our home, it is known as the Mighty Mini Meatloaf Muffins. Sounds really catchy? Well the kids made it up around the time they were obsessed with the Power Rangers and it name stuck. Admit it, you know the song.
Anyway, this recipe was created on a day while I was preparing to make some Sweet and Sour Meatballs. Child #2 asked if I have the time to also bake some muffins. When I asked her what flavor she likes, Child #3 who wants to be silly, started saying “You want meat muffins?” Then both child starting asking me if there is such a thing as a Meat muffin. Feeling adventurous, I told them “Let’s make some.” That’s when the idea of meatloaf cooked in muffin tins was born.
Since Meatloaf is the perfect dish to sneak in some (or more) veggies, I went all out and put a whole pound of carrots. These not just provided extra vitamins and nutrients, it also gave the dish some sweetness which the kids love. Most traditional recipes require stale bread for texture. Of course, I don’t have any gluten free bread laying around the house. What I do have on stock are opened cereal boxes which no one seemed to be interested in anymore. So I made a gamble and used some instead. The end result is very pleasing. Plus, no more leftover cereals!
Have you noticed that each meatloaf is also portion sized? This makes it really portable and an ideal lunch box insider. My kids like it at room temperature which is a big plus. I often make it ahead of time because it freezes really well too.
Are you excited? Then give it a try. Hopefully you and your children will love it too.
3 lbs. ground beef
1 lb. carrots, finely chopped
1 cup chopped onions
2 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/3 cup crushed rice cereal
1/4 cup non dairy milk (I used GOOD KARMA Flax Milk Unsweetened)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tsp. Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos or gluten free soy sauce
1/2 cup tomato ketchup
Chosen Foods Avocado Oil for greasing the pans
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease 2 (12 pcs) standard sized muffin pans.
2. With the help of a food processor, finely chop the onions, carrots and rice cereal.
3. Transfer the vegetable and cereal mix to a big bowl.
4. Add the salt, rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, non dairy milk, vinegar and aminos. Mix well.
5. Using your hands, slowly mix in the ground beef. Make sure it is well combined.
6. Fill each muffin cavity to the rim with the meatloaf mix. Using the back of a spoon, pat the meat to remove any air spots.
7. Top with about a teaspoon of ketchup.
8. Bake for 16 – 20 minutes.
9. Take the muffin tin out of the oven and let the meatloaf rest in its juices for 5 minutes. This makes sure that the meatloaf stays moist.
* Here’s an extra tip. Serve it with Mashed Potatoes or Jersey Fried rice.
(Note: This post contains affiliate links of products I actually used to make the recipe. You can see my full disclosure here.)