Meatloaf for dinner can seem somewhat boring, but these mini loaves are anything but. Full of flavor and sized just right for kids, you can make the basic ground beef base and then customize to your liking. Add some of the optional add ins to make them even more special. Bake immediately or toss into a ziplock and freeze to bake later, they will be perfect for a winter’s evening alongside mashed potatoes and a salad.

Ingredients:

Main Meatloaf :

2 lb lean ground beef
5 tbsp milk
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup finely grated carrots
½ tsp paprika (or smoked paprika)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Add:

1 cup grated aged cheddar, mozzarella, jack cheese, or a combination
6 green onions, thinly sliced, or diced red onion

Optional add ins:

3 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled or 1 dried chorizo sausage, diced

  Pre-heat oven to 375 F

  In a large bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, milk, ketchup, green onion, cheese, carrot, salt and pepper.

  Add the ground beef and the optional add ins, if you are using them. With your hands, work all the ingredients together until blended. Divide mixture into eight even balls. Shape each into a loaf shape about 2.5 x 4 inches, and place on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake about 30 minutes until cooked through.

  Notes: To make ahead, place the mini loaves on a baking sheet lined with foil and place it in the freezer for a few hours, until firm before putting in a ziplock bag and freezing for up to a month. Bake at 375 F from frozen for about 35 minutes on a foil lined pan.

Makes 8 mini meatloaves

Adapted from Every Day Food