Meatloaf made easy

I was excited a couple of weeks ago to find the meat I like $1 a pound off!  So I picked up a bunch and decided to make up some mini-meatloaves to go in the freezer.  This is a family favorite of ours.  The meat loaf recipe is great made into the obvious loaf.  You can also freeze it in loaf format.  For us though it was TOO long to cook it from frozen to table.  So I started experimenting a little and discovered I could freeze them in muffin tins and they cooked up a LOT faster.  Plus the munchkins love eating meatloaf better in muffin format rather than loaf (I have NO idea why!)

I like to make a big batch up and have them on hand in the freezer then on crazy day’s it is easy to throw in the oven and have a nice warm dinner in just over an hour but VERY little work.  Ready to give it a try?

Janet’s Meatloaf (makes 2 loaves)

  •  2 eggs beaten
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 tps Pepper (optional)
  • 2 tsp salt (optional)
  • 3 slices of bread broken (I crumble it in my food processor until it looks like brown sugar)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 2/3 cup onion chopped (optional)
  • 1 shredded carrot (I add more like 2 1/2)
  • 2 LBS extra lean ground beef

Topping:

  • 1/4 cup Ketchup
  • 1 TBS prepared mustard
  • 1/4 brown sugar

Editor’s note:  To be honest I leave out all of the optional ingredients and it still works great!  I figure the cheese is salty so we don’t need the extra, Pepper really isn’t a favorite of mine and neither is onion so we don’t miss them. However if these are flavors your family enjoys you probably want to leave them in.

Instructions:

Stir together eggs, milk, salt & pepper and bread.   Add onion, carrots, cheese and beef.  Mix well.

You can either do this in a food processor or if you are like me and making a big batch I enlist the help of my husband to do the mixing by hand.  Then I don’t have to deal with the raw meat! (Since it’s Valentines and all I can point out that to me this is True love I tell you!)

meatloaf7

Now you can do one of two things–cook it up OR freeze them.

To cook immediately:

Place in loaf pan and Bake 350 degree’s for 1 hr 15 min.  Then spread topping over loaf and bake 15 min. more.

To freeze:

Spray cupcake pans with cooking spray

Then fill with meatloaf mixture.  Place in freezer.

meatloaf8

Once frozen pull pans out.  Let sit 3-5 minutes then simply pop out frozen meat loaf’s onto a cookie sheet

meatloaf5

Place in freezer bags until ready to use.

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To use frozen mini meatloaf simply place in cupcake pan with a cookie sheet underneath (Just in case anything drips) and turn oven on to 350.  Bake until done @ 1 hour and 15 minutes.  (* this time can be shortened by turning your oven up higher) 🙂 

meatloaf6

Once cooked I mix up a batch of topping.  Truthfully I am not extremely exact about this.  I use a bunch of Ketchup a bit of brown sugar and a squirt of mustard.

meatloaf3

Mix it together and spread over the top of each meatloaf.  Bake for an additional 15 minutes.

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Now you are ready serve.

meatloaf1(please excuse the ketchup covered broccoli, I apparently wasn’t very observant)

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