Meatloaf Muffins

.  Comfort food.
If you do a search for "meatloaf cupcakes", you'll discover muffin tins and mashed potato toppings that reach a level of cuteness no ordinary meatloaf could aspire to.  While my inspirations for this dish are, quite frankly, adorable, my goal was far more ordinary.

I wanted muffin sized portions that would bake more quickly than the standard loaf pan, so that I could get it on the table on a weeknight.  Obviously ground beef and egg are out of the question at my house, so I wanted a ground turkey version that would hold its shape.  Fundamentally, these meaty muffins are big honking meatballs, so I also wanted to make sure they weren't too dense.  Finally, I was planning to use leftovers for packed lunches on the following days, so I wanted them to be moist and flavorful enough not to need a messy sauce or glaze without being too spicy for a child.

It took four attempts to make a version that made me completely happy, though my family had enthusiastically snarfed down all the previous ones.  They are still a bit crumbly while warm from the oven, but firm up nicely when they cool down.  One downside to the recipe is that the hue from the tomato paste makes it awfully hard to tell if they are cooked all the way through.  (But they are moist, oh so moist!)  You can either break out the thermometer or give them a few extra minutes in the oven.  Since I like a little burn on the bottom, that's the option I use.

After trying a muffin tin with and without cupcake liners, I finally settled on my silicone cupcake molds.  The muffin tin works just fine, but I like being able to just drop them into a lunchbox, without either extra paper to throw out or an extra pan to wash.

Meatloaf Muffins
(Click here for printable recipe.)

1 C fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 C ground flax seed
1 Tbs mixed Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 onion, finely chopped
1 lb ground turkey
6 oz can tomato paste
1 Tbs prepared mustard (any kind except the yellow stuff)

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Either prepare a standard muffin pan by greasing it or placing cupcake liners in the cavities, or place 12 silicone cupcake molds on a baking sheet.

Combine bread crumbs, flax and seasonings in a large bowl.  Stir in onion, then remaining ingredients.  Divide into 12 muffins, rounding tops with a spoon.  Bake for 30 minutes.


Deanna said...

Think I'll try these this weekend - looks yummy! How about those green beans in the main photo - how did you make those? Thanks!

~Deanna (fellow food allergy mom serving dairy, egg, and peanut allergies)

Libby said...

Deanna, thanks, let me know how the muffins turn out. The green beans are roasted with sweet onions, garlic and balsamic vinegar and taste amazing, can't believe I haven't posted them yet.