Since having my fourth baby three months ago, I have been on the search for quicker weeknight meals. This recipe definitely fits the bill. My family happens to love meatloaf but I struggle making the large pans of meatloaf turn out without being tough and greasy. When I happened upon this recipe, I knew I had to try it. I like the concept of mini meatloaves and my kids thought it was “way cool” that they got their own little meatloaf. The meatloaf itself was incredibly tender and juicy – not tough and greasy like so many times before when I’ve made it and the glaze topping was perfect parts sweet and tart. For me, the key to the juiciness of the meatloaf was using both ground chuck and ground pork (if you can get true “meatloaf mix” from your butcher, go for it!), which I’ve never done before. This was a hit with my family and is definitely going in the tried-and-true pile.
- 17-20 saltine crackers, crushed fine (about 2/3 cup)
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds ground meat (I use a combination of lean ground chuck, lean ground pork, or lean ground turkey)
- 2 teaspoons oil (I used canola oil)
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons cider vinegar
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Stir cracker crumbs, milk, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, egg, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together in a large bowl. Add ground meat and combine until uniform. Shape mixture into oval loaves (I doubled the recipe and got 10 mini loaves, so when I make the recipe without doubling it, I plan to shape into at least 5 loaves – they were definitely big enough to be perfectly filling!).
- Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until the oil is rippling. Add meatloaves (without letting them touch sides) and brown well on one side, 3-5 minutes. Carefully flip loaves over and tidy up edges using a spatula (I didn’t need to do this – my meatloaves managed to hold their shape really well). Brown on this side for another 2-3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix glaze ingredients together until smooth. Transfer mini meatloaves to a foil-lined baking pan and spoon the glaze over the top of each meatloaf. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the center of the loaf registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer (or do like I do and cut one of the little babies open and if it looks done – pull ‘em out of the oven!).
Recipe Source: adapted from The Best 30-Minute Recipe