Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tuesday Tips: The Secret to Fast and Easy Meatloaf, In Less Than 30 Minutes...

I miss Tuesday Tips, they were some of my most popular posts. I've decided it's time to bring Tuesday Tips back. I've had some informative posts brewing and Tuesday Tips are the best place for them.

So meatloaf?

Yes, we are huge fans of meatloaf in our house. 99% of the time I make ground turkey breast meatloaf. Have I ever mentioned I am not particularly fond of ground beef? Well, I'm not. Turkey meatloaf gets the job done just splendidly for me. I don't ever feel like there is anything missing. I make meatloaf often because it's so easy and quick to prepare, I don't need special ingredients, all items I use to make it are always in stock. If I am missing something, it's pretty easy to just replace it with an item on hand. Take for example bread crumbs, if I'm out, I just use quick cooking plain oats in place of the bread crumbs.

The only problem with cooking meatloaf is that it takes so long to bake. 45 minutes at least?! I never have 45 minutes when cooking dinner. My maximum time limit is about 30 minutes from start to finish on weekdays. So how do I get my meatloaf on the table in less than 30 minutes?

Cupcake/Muffin tins!

By placing the prepared meatloaf filling in a muffin tin, the meatloaf only takes about 25 minutes to cook. What's even better about this cooking method, my girls get their own little meatloaf. They love them. It seems silly, but sometimes presentation just makes or breaks dinner.

Recipe, I don't have a specific recipe because making meatloaf is always a result of what I have on hand, but I do have a basic backbone for the recipe. It goes a little like this. I emphasize turkey breast in my recipe because some ground turkey can be full of random parts, fat, and skin which isn't very healthy! My meatloaf tends to go Italian, but you can substitute with other spices to take on the flavor range you are looking for (example substitute out Italian spices for cumin and dried chipotle).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, Use cooking spray to coat muffin tin.

I take out a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients and mix:

1lb ground turkey breast
splash of milk for moistness
squeeze of organic ketchup or 3/4 cup tomato sauce
handful of breadcrumbs or dried quick cooking oats are a wonderful addition
1 egg
handful of feta cheese or grated cheddar cheese
handful of romano cheese (you could use parmesan, we only use romano here)
pinch of dried parsley, oregano, and basil
1 clove of fresh garlic minced

Mix well, but gently with your bare hands! Eek! Then I use a scoop typically reserved for cupcakes/muffins to just scoop the portions out into a greased tin.

I rarely make a meatloaf in a loaf pan anymore, so I have one muffin/tin that has become my go to meatloaf pan. You will find over time it gets heavily baked in and harder to keep pristine clean, so just throw in the towel and buy yourself a pretty new muffin tin if you become a fan of this baking method!

Other additions that go well with the turkey meatloaf base (just add in when mixing):
*Chopped baby spinach, sundried tomatoes, feta, red bells
*sauteed vegetables such as onions, carrots, and bell peppers



10 comments:

  1. I looove meatloaf!
    I don't know why I never thought to put them in muffin tins! I'm gonna have to try that

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  2. Great idea! I'll remember this one...

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  3. These look great and love that they are mini's and your variations are incredible too!!

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  4. Great tip! Will definitely try this next time, thanks :)

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  5. yum! just introduced my fam to meatloaf and it went over well. i'll try minis next.

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  6. Love this idea Denise. Meatloaf is one of those comfort foods that takes me back to my childhood...except that my husband's version is tastier than my mother's. Not telling her that though.

    By cooking the mini meatloaves, it seems so much easier to take them as leftovers the next day. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Well being Scottish haven't really ever had meatloaf! so thanks for the recipe i am always up for trying something new. Do you think it would work in a mini loaf pan - how long would i cook it for??

    And welcome back to the Tuesday tips!

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  8. we are big into meatloaf too, I will definately try this this week:) Thank you for bringing back tueday tips:) oh and are you going to post that lemon chicken you tweeted about today:)

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  9. We've made these before. So much fun! I love your ideas for alternative ingredients. - Melissa

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  10. That's how I make my meatloaf too. And adding feta! Great idea!

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