Meatloaf is the ultimate go-to Mom Meal, isn't it? Comforting and classic, meatloaf is always there for you when you need a meal idea. You are going to love our easy dinner recipe for Baby BBQ Meatloaf. There are three things I love about this meatloaf recipe. 1-The individual meatloaves are perfectly portioned for quicker cooking. 2-They are perfectly seasoned with the zing of bbq sauce.
And 3-they are totally adorable. Maybe I need to get out of the kitchen for a minute.
Baby BBQ Meatloaf. Meatloaves. Meatloaf plural. You know what I mean.
I make meatloaf like I make cornbread...different every time. Seriously, I love changing it up, using different ingredients or what we have on hand.
This delicious dinner experiment involved re-purposing day-old bread into breadcrumbs. (If I am ever out of breadcrumbs, crumbled crackers do the trick nicely.)
(Come on, everyone has a meatloaf secret or two, right?)
To egg or not to egg, that is the question.
Usually, I add an egg. This night I was completely out of eggs. So I skipped it. Feel free to add an egg when you make this BBQ meatloaf recipe, but I the thick BBQ sauce held the little loaves together like a dream.
Note to self: I need my own chicken coop. That would make a great Christmas present from my husband, wouldn't it? I'll get right on that and let ya'll now what he says.
For more color and flavor, I added sauteed sweet peppers, garlic and onions to the mix. This also helps the texture and keeps the meatloaf moist. I'm crazy about sweet bell peppers and use them a ton in my cooking. One of my favorites is this side dish for Okra Vidalia and Peppers. Yummy.
More fun and easy recipes:
Nothing fussy about making Baby BBQ Meatloaf. Just press them gently into the prepared mini loaf pan and top with more of your favorite sauce. The sauce bakes into the top and creates that yummy meatloaf topping that I love.
Must Have Kitchen Tool for this Recipe: 8 Loaf Mini Loaf Baking Pan. This one from Baker's Secret is about $10.00, and you can use it for so many recipes (mini banana bread, mini pumpkin loaves, etc.).
You can baste the little BBQ meatloaf while cooking with more sauce if you really like it thick.
When they are done (and it doesn't take as long as a normal meatloaf), let them rest in the pan for a few minutes. They will absorb some of the meat juices. Then pour off of the excess fat.
They pop right out of the pan for easy serving. We enjoyed our meal of Baby BBQ Meatloaf with a side of Buttery Spinach Angel Hair Pasta and Whole Roasted Balsamic Cauliflower.
This BBQ meatloaf recipe is excellent for meal-prep, too. Just make a batch or two on Sunday and you have a perfect lunch portion for the work week.
You could totally remix this recipe:
- Swap the ground beef for ground turkey
- Use half ground pork or Italian sausage, and use marinara sauce instead of BBQ
- Add corn and jalapenos, and use salsa instead of BBQ sauce
Baby BBQ Meatloaf
- 2 lbs lean ground beef must be lean
- ½ cup plus 4 TB thick BBQ sauce
- ½ cup fresh bread crumbs
- ¼ cup finely diced bell pepper
- ¼ cup finely diced onion
- 1 TB olive oil
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. No need to grease the loaf pan.
- In a small skillet, heat the peppers, onion and garlic in the olive oil. Cook until tender and translucent, about 7 minutes. Cool.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, reserving 4 tablespoons of the BBQ sauce. Portion into 8 roughly equal amounts. Gently press into the mini loaf mold.
- Top each mini meatloaf with ½ tablespoon of the remaining BBQ sauce.
- Bake for approximately 35 minutes. Remove from oven, let rest for 5 minutes. Pour off the excess fat. Serve hot.