Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Vegetating mini meatloaves

How's this for a school night meal idea?
These little meatloaves will cook quickly (no need to wait and hour for a large loaf to cook through), are tasty, and have vegetables hidden in them.
There are no school children in my household, just grown-ups with sometimes simple tastes and foibles ("urgh, but I don't like beetroot...", "oh, not salad again, why can't we have sausages?").
This is a great compromise that can be dressed up to give the impression of sophistication - just add a perfect spinach leaf and a dish of sauce on the side. And if there are any leftovers, pop them in the lunchbox the next day.

Mini Meatloaves
serves 4

• 2 small carrots, peeled
• 1 small zucchini
• 500g lean beef mince
• 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (fresh or dried)
• 1/2 small brown onion, finely chopped
• 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
• 2 tbs tomato paste
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• tomato sauce, to serve

1. Preheat oven to 210°C.
2. Coarsely grate the carrots and zucchini. Use your hands to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Place the carrot and zucchini in a large bowl. Add the beef mince, breadcrumbs, onion, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and egg, and mix until well combined.
3. Lightly grease (with olive oil spray) a 12-hole medium (1/2 cup) muffin pan.  Divide the mixture evenly among the muffin pans, pressing it firmly into each pan and smoothing the tops.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden on top and cooked through. Remove from the pans and serve with some salad (if you're brave) and tomato sauce.

To freeze, wrap each cooked meatloaf in plastic wrap, seal in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, unwrap the frozen meatloaves and place on a baking tray in an oven preheated to 180°C for 18 minutes or until heated through.

Recipe adapted from
Ingredients, including a flavoursome dash of Worcestershire sauce

Even if you have someone with childish tastes, it's no reason to be juvenile in food presentation - serve the meatloaves with grownup grissini sticks and artfully arranged spinach leaves

And lots of tomato sauce, of course.


  1. Hehe, "why can't we have sausages??" Wahhhh I want sausages!!!

    I've always thought the word meatloaf sounds awful. Meatmuffin though? Uhh, actually, that possibly sounds even dodgier. Never mind.

    Dodgy or no, these look awesome! The crispy brown edges look so tasty, this is way better than doing a big one and slicing it up!

  2. These are super cute! I wonder if I could get the veggies past my father....

  3. Good idea, Bel! I love your little muffin cup sausages (smile). Hmm, did they pop out of the muffin tin without any trouble? If so, I might actually make this for my Mum soon...;)

  4. I'm very into large meals made in small portions with an almost 3 year old. I make meatballs, sausage rolls, mini hamburgers and mini meatloaves too (all with hidden veggies). The thing I really like about doing the mini meatloaf is the amount of crispy crust you get (whereas large meatloaves can sometimes be a bit unappetising - especially when done in a loaf pan). These look very grown-up compared to the way I serve them up to my little one :)

  5. My doctor just told me I have to cut down on the saturated fat and I told him I rarely have any healthy recipes - so thanks for the inspiration here Bel!

  6. This recipe couldn't have come at a more perfect time. I took some mince out of the freezer for dinner tonight and now I know what I'm doing with it! Thanks for the inspiration. Loving the grissini touch

  7. I laughed at "why can't we have sausages?" because I've heard many a child say those exact words! These look delicious! I'm a fan of food in mini forms :D

  8. What a great idea! Perfect for grown ups too for a quick post work meal.

  9. Hehe, hidden carrots crouching zucchini! Luckily mr foodwink loves vegies - from broccoli to brussel sprouts! It took some "reeducation" effort though :)

  10. that's a really neat idea! and healthy too.

  11. Sophisticated indeed! These are a great idea, and I love that you used a muffin pan to make them. Ingenious!

  12. That's a neat and healthy idea! I will try to add some veggies in the meatloaf next time.

  13. Mmm...these look delicious!! I've never had meatloaf before....but these look really yummy! I'll have to try these one day too =)

  14. I like the idea of a quicker cooking meatloaf, and they look much more presentable too.

  15. Everything mini is good for me! I love this. It looks so cute and perfect!!!!

  16. Love these mini meat loafs!
    Have you joined us at Project Lunch Box yet? This post would be a great link up...