Mini meatloaves – little loaves or muffin-size – are easier & cook a lot faster than regular meatloaf, making them perfect for everyday as well as a great company main dish. Try them slathered with this easy homemade chipotle BBQ sauce sweetened with honey – it’s kind of amazing.
I’m pretty excited to share this recipe for mini meatloaves with a super tasty chipotle-honey BBQ sauce because they actually changed my mind about meatloaf. I don’t know if it’s the same for you, but meatloaf is something I rarely used to make. For one, it just seemed so…blah. I didn’t really get the appeal based on the meatloaves I had growing up.
Second, it just takes SO long – you need to prep the ingredients, mush it all up together (many people use their hands – sorry, I do not want to be picking raw meat out of my fingernails, yuck), press it into a pan, and then wait more than an hour to cook.
And serving it? I don’t know what the problem is, but the few times I did make it I could never get nice clean slices and the plate would end up with a glob of meat mixture in the middle. Lovely. I could’ve just made a ground beef hash in a fraction of the time for almost the same result.
Because of these things, making meatloaf just never seemed worth it to me, so I only made it if someone in my family requested it, which was pretty much never.
Mini Meatloaves with Chipotle-Honey BBQ Sauce
So what changed? Why mini meatloaves?
One day it occurred to me (who knows why…) that I could make individual mini meatloaves in the same pan I use to make little bread loaves (like these Cranberry Crumb loaves – yum!). If I had needed to make more or wanted smaller serving sizes, a regular muffin tin would work, too.
Well, this was pretty much a revelation for me – not only do they cook quicker and are a snap to serve, I actually like them better because more of each serving gets that nice crisp edge and coating of barbecue sauce. I was starting to get the whole idea of meatloaf!
So I started playing around with flavors and seasonings. I came up with this recipe that has plenty of garlic and is topped with a super easy homemade spicy chipotle barbecue sauce. Um, this is not your mama’s (or grandma’s) meatloaf – there’s nothing blah about this!
A side benefit is that with this presentation the humble meatloaf is elevated to company fare and actually looks good on a platter or plate.
So whether you make them in a mini meatloaf pan or regular muffin tins, these mini meatloaves liberally spread with a spicy sauce (or not – you can adjust the seasoning easily) just might make a meatloaf believer out of you, too. Unless you already were – in that case, you’ll just enjoy another version of a favorite!
And you can bet my family asks for meatloaf now – only if it’s these quick mini meatloaves with the yummy sauce.
Click the arrow for the full recipe (with print options)!
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