Mini meatloaves are so darn cute! Though easily confused for burgers, they take offense to such accusations, pleading that they are indeed distinct from your run-of-the-mill hamburger! Not only are they baked, but they are baked with a tasty sauce on top that gets all sticky and gooey and just plain finger-licking good. Meatloaves are also extremely versatile; by varying the type of meat, veggies, crackers, and spices you use, you're bound to never be bored by these little meat discs. I prefer the mini loaves over one large because they not only lessen the cook time required, but they make it so that each diner can enjoy a good smattering of sauce (what we all remember loving so much about the end pieces of the big loaves mom used to make).
Another thing I love about these babies: You can make them ahead of time. I would say no more than 2 nights ahead of time you can store these in the refrigerator in the dish you plan on using to bake them, well-covered with clear wrap. You might even be so lucky to have yourself someone handy to throw then in the oven (and maybe make some carrot fries as a side... please?) so that dinner is done when you get home, ragged and weary from Chicago public transportation. And nothing cures what ails you more than a good smile and some warm loavies.
- glass baking dish (about 8" by 11")
- medium saute pan
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 1 medium mixing bowl
- olive oil cooking spray
- about 2 c. mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
- 1/2 red onion
- 3 T. ketchup, divided
- 2 & 1/2 T. barbeque sauce, divided
- 1 & 1/2 T. worchestire sauce, divided
- 2 T. milled flax seed
- 3 T. water
- 3/4 c. combination of crushed crackers and/or breadcrumbs
- 1 T. garlic powder
- light sprinkle of onion salt
- about 1 T. dried oregano
- about 1/2 T. dried thyme
- shake of chili powder
- pepper to taste
- 1 pound ground sirloin
- 3/4 c. chopped spinach (from frozen)
- Preheat oven to 425. Spray baking dish with olive oil cooking spray.
- Spray a medium saute pan with olive oil cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add onion; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms and cook for 3 to 5 minutes longer, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent and mushrooms appear dark. Remove from heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes.
- In large mixing bowl combine next 5 ingredients, through water. Stir until fully mixed.
- In separate mixing bowl combine next 6 ingredients (crackers/crumbs through pepper) until all ingredients are equally distributed.
- Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. This will be the topping for your meatloaves.
- Add sirloin and spinach to the bowl containing the wet ingredients; mix with clean hands to get the meat and spinach fully incorporated with liquid sauce.
- Gradually add dry ingredients to the meat mixture, kneading the meat with your hands to ensure equal distribution. Form the meat into 5 or 6 patties (or as I like to call them, "mini meatloaves") and place in prepared baking dish. Top with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the sauce (step 4), and spread with a spoon.
- Bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes, until they no longer are pink inside.