Meatloaf Muffins Recipe
Cute mini meatloaves in muffin form!
Ever found a recipe and thought "Oh this should be great!" only to try it and nothing comes out as it should? It's not just that it's not as good as you thought it would be. Instead, it actually seems to be missing ingredients or doesn't even come close to making the amount it says it will. That's exactly what happened to me with this recipe.
My grandmother found a recipe for mini meatloaves in a coupon book and gave it to me. The first time I tried it, as I do with any recipe, I did exactly as the directions said. It was supposed to make a dozen "mini" meatloaves. It made half a dozen. It used too much milk and not enough seasonings, at least for my tastes, relying on the cheese to give it most of its additional flavor. Also, and this was a mortal sin as far as I was concerned, it didn't include bacon. Unforgivable. I'll admit I broke my strict "stick to the recipe the first time around rule" for that part.
BUT! The idea had potential, and I liked calling them meatloaf muffins. So the next time I tried the recipe, I just changed it, not a tweak here and there like I do with a lot of recipes, just flat out changed large portions of it, in order to make something I considered much more tasty than the original. Feel feel to tweak (or change) this to your heart's content as well. That's the best thing about recipes.
Notes on this Recipe
It is easiest to get pre-cut cheese cubes for this recipe, but since I can never find pepper jack cubes pre-cut, I normally just get a block of cheese and cut it myself. When cutting the cheese, make sure to cut the pieces evenly into small cubes. You want a cheesy surprise in the middle, not a little bit of ground beef around a hunk of melted cheese.
The onion and pepper
For those of you who don't work with green peppers much, make sure to seed the pepper before you begin chopping. If you've never seeded, it's easy. Using a knife, remove the top of the pepper. Then, scrape out all the seed core and interior ridges that connect the seeds to the pepper.
The onion and pepper can be cut by hand, but it is much easier to use a food processor. Make sure to cut halves into large chunks before placing into a food processor to chop. If you don't have a food processor, simply use your knife to chop. Make sure the pieces are fairly small, but don't worry about them being uniform.
The bacon strips will go on the top of each muffin, so should be cut in half. Don't worry if a half looks way too big. Each strip will be folded over on top of the muffin in order to cover a large portion of the exposed surface. The bacon helps add not only flavor, but moisture to the meat.
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cups milk
- 1 cup uncooked quick-cooking oats
- 1/2 large onion, minced
- 1/2 green pepper, minced
- 1 lb ground sirloin
- 1 lb ground sausage
- 12 pepper jack cheese cubes
- 12 oz bottle chili sauce, divided
- 6 strips bacon, halved
- salt and pepper, to taste
Any type of meat can be used for meatloaf, but using 2 different types adds to the flavor and texture. Try flavored sausage if you are brave. I usually use sage.
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Place ground beef and sausage in large bowl and break up. Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper. Then, fold onions, peppers, eggs, and 1/4 cup of chili sauce into meat mixture, one at a time. Sprinkle more salt and pepper onto the mixture.
- Fold milk and oats into mixture and stir or knead until combined.
- Scoop the meatloaf out with a 1/2 cup dry measuring cup. Insert a cheese cube into the center of each section, ensuring the meat is completely covering the cheese. Then, place the meaty muffin into a form in the muffin pan. The muffin should be slightly rounded on top. Repeat till all the forms are full.
- Coat the top of each muffin with chili sauce. Using a knife to control the flow, pour a little sauce onto the top of each muffin. Spread the sauce over the muffin. Then repeat until the sauce is gone and the muffins tops are coated in chili sauce. Try to spread the sauce evenly over the top of each muffin without leaving bare spots, as you would do with icing. Chili sauce, of course, is less firm than icing, so don't expect it to behave as well as icing does.
- Fold a piece of bacon in half, so the ends do not overlap (refer to the picture in the "notes" section for a visual reference). Place a folded bacon slice on top of each muffin.
- Bake, uncovered, for approximately 50 minutes. Pop each muffin out of the pan with a rounded soup spoon. Serve with ketchup, if desired.