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Mini Meatloaves

When initially sitting down to eat this dinner I noticed just how "50s & Retro" it was, however I forgot that until I took a look at the pictures.  Wow, what a well balanced meal we have here - protein, starch and a veggie.  Too bad I didn't think to put a glass of milk in the shot!

With that being said, there is something ultimately comforting about "retro-style" foods, such as meatloaf.  With just two of us to feed it doesn't make sense to make an entire meatloaf unless I plan to freeze leftovers, which is very possible with meatloaf, however my freezer is a little cramped right now, so I decided to make little mini meatloaves.  I've seen a lot of people making them in muffin tins, which is a great idea, however when you're planning to make a lot of cupcakes and need all the muffin tins you can get, you don't necessarily feel like dirtying one up.  Bring in the trusted casserole dish - she works for so much more than just casseroles!  Example A: You want to make mini meatloaves and chose to make them free form.... once formed, bake them in your trusty casserole, forget about them until the timer goes off.

I have made many different versions of mini meatloaves, and I've liked most of them so after awhile I decided to take what I like from each of the recipes to create my own.


Mini Meatloaves
Ingredients:
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/4 cup Italian Seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/3 cup shredded cheese - I like to make with Italian cheese, or Sharp Cheddar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 1/2 tablespoons ketchup

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and lightly spray a casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Combine beef, breadcrumbs, onions, salt, pepper, Italian Seasoning, shredded cheese and beaten egg in a large bowl.  Divide beef mixture into 4 equal portions and shape in to a small loaf.

Place each loaf on the lightly sprayed casserole dish.  Top each loaf with about 2 teaspoons ketchup and gently spread over the top.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.

For Freezer-Friendly:
If making specifically to freeze before baking - place each prepared loaf on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.  Flash freeze the meatloaves for a few hours and then wrap individually in plastic wrap before putting in a freezer weight plastic bag.  To bake - thaw in fridge during the day and bake as directed in the recipe.

If freezing after cooking, allow to cool in the fridge for a bit and then wrap each loaf in plastic wrap before storing in a freezer weight plastic bag.  Thaw in fridge during the day and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until heated through.

Source: Telly's Tasty Tidbits Original


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