This Muffin Tin Meatloaf is a family favorite and a super easy Freezer Friendly meal. Pop a batch of these in the freezer and you have a quick dinner when you’re in a rush!
Some wise soul told me recently that this baby I am unexpectedly expecting will bless my life and my girls’ lives in ways I can’t even yet imagine. I hold this thought close a lot lately as the weeks approaching the baby’s impending arrival dwindle to just days.
I am going to be a single parent to four kids. I can’t say I am actually ready for this, but I am as ready as I’ll ever be. Most of the time I’m just grateful to be here and hopeful about all those unexpected blessings. Most of the time.
When I’m not – when I find myself spiraling into panic and worry – I find that making a lot of Muffin Tin Meatloaf helps. It helps because as I’m popping the delicious meaty muffins into freezer bags, I feel like I’ve done something, albeit small, to forestall the fear.
Sometimes, in my darker moments, I imagine we are hurtling towards the launch of an atomic bomb in our lives (not the baby, just the overall situation, you know?). And when I think about the days/years of fallout ahead, well, it helps to know that at least we’ll have dinner in the freezer. I can do dinner.
My kids love meatloaf so this recipe wins extra cheer points. We don’t eat much beef around here, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to put an extra smile on my kids’ faces.
And here’s the real reason why I’m so very fond of this mini meatloaf recipe: it’s really easy! It’s easy the first time around because you can have these in and out of the oven in under an hour. It’s a no brainer the second time around because you can have them reheated from the freezer in just minutes. They also work well in the lunchboxes, so that’s three birds with one muffin tin.
The truth is, I love being a mom. Really, I do. More than anything.
I get frustrated and tired and worried, and all that other inevitable stuff that comes with parenting, but at the end of every single day, I remember that being here with these kids is exactly where I want to be. Every night, without fail, we jump into our marathon bed time routine. Everyone piles into my bed and we read, scriptures and picture books and chapter books. We cuddle, and sometimes argue about who gets which pillow and her feet are touching mine and she keeps looking at my funny.
And then, there is always the moment of peace. The moment when their heads are on my shoulders and they’re grinning about Molly Moon’s latest escapade and they are sleepy and sweet and we are all together and it’s perfect.
I didn’t ever want to be a single mother. I really didn’t ever want to be a single mother twice over. But here we are and even in the middle of the mess, we have these perfect moments. We can do this!
When I make this I normally double it – one batch for now and one batch for later. Enjoy!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 or 3 carrots, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup ketchup, plus more for topping
- 1½ pounds ground beef
- 1 cup finely crushed bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease each cup of a standard 12 cup muffin tin and set aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, oregano, garlic and saute for 3 to 5 minutes. Cool mixture slightly.
- In a large bowl, combine onion mixture and all of the remaining ingredients. Use your hands to thoroughly combine the mixture.
- Spoon the meat mixture into the prepared muffin cups. Top each with ketchup and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a thermometer registers at least 160 degrees. Let stand for 5 minutes before removing muffins from tin.
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