Meatloaf muffins are the perfect single-serve dish for barbecues, potlucks, and make-ahead lunches. These barebcue turkey meatloaves are delicious, easy to make, and so much fun!
I love baking and cooking in muffin tins! There are literally endless amounts of things you can make with a simple 12-inch muffin tray. Remember these Lasagna Muffins.
For this recipe, I used a basic meatloaf recipe and added some smoky barbecue sauce and whole grain mustard. This is a really fun way to make meatloaf and kids love it. The leftovers also make a great option for packed lunches.
We ate them with a cucumber salad last night, and they were a hit! Today, I am planning on stuffing one in between bread for a meatloaf sandwich.
What You’ll Need For Meatloaf Muffins
If you have ever made meatloaf before, you might already have most of the ingredients on hand. Here is a bit more information about what I used to make these savory mini meatloaves.
- Ground Turkey: Use 93% lean ground turkey for some extra moisture, no one wants a dry meatloaf. You can also use a mixture of ground chicken or turkey with ground beef or all ground beef. Ground turkey sausage is another tasty option and you can use marinara sauce instead of barbecue.
- Bell Pepper and celery: Any bell pepper will work just fine. I used red pepper, but green or yellow will taste just as delicious. Use as much celery as you want. I ended up cutting up 2 celery ribs. You can leave it out if you don't like it, but it's a fantastic source of fiber, so try it!
- Garlic: Mince fresh cloves for the best taste. If you don't have garlic cloves, you can substitute them with garlic powder.
- Onion: Any type of onion is perfect in the meatloaf muffins. White, yellow, or red - just make sure that you mince it really small to avoid biting into large pieces. This also adds moisture so it’s important not to skip it.
- BBQ Sauce: Use your favorite BBQ sauce. If you are trying to cut back on sugar, use sugar-free BBQ sauce. You could also take these in an Asian direction with teriyaki sauce or Italian with marinara sauce.
- Mustard: Whole-grain mustard has more fiber and flavor, so I suggest using that. Yellow or Dijon mustard can work as a replacement.
- Bread Crumbs: Use seasoned bread crumbs. If you use plain, then I suggest adding more spices to the meatloaf mixture.
- Worcestershire Sauce: You don't need much, but it really does add a lot of taste to the meatloaf.
What To Serve With Meatloaf Bites
These little single-serving meatloaves are the perfect entree for dinner or even to eat for lunch. If you are going to serve them for dinner, I suggest adding a healthy side dish along with it.
If you are going to eat these meatloaf muffins for lunch, then serve them with a salad. Fresh broccoli salad is creamy and adds a delightful texture to your meal. You can also enhance the sweet BBQ notes with the sharp taste of an easy arugula salad.
Recipe Tips And Ideas
Follow these tips to make sure that this meatloaf turns out savory every single time!
- Spray the muffin tin with cooking spray. These little muffins tend to stick to the pan if you don't. You can also use a muffin liner.
- Use a pastry brush to add the BBQ mustard sauce on top of the raw muffins. You can also use a spoon, but a brush really adds it evenly.
- Check doneness with an instant-read food thermometer. Meatloaf should be cooked until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.
- try this recipe out with different vegetables and seasonings. Just make sure to cook vegetables that have a lot of liquid like mushrooms or zucchini so the meatloaf still have a nice texture.
- Make things spicy by choosing a spicy barbecue sauce or adding a chopped chipotle pepper to the meatloaf mixture.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions I frequently get asked about by some readers…
What type of BBQ sauce is the healthiest?
The healthiest type of BBQ sauce depends on your individual health goals. If you are counting calories, then I suggest using a sugar-free version. BBQ sauce is a pretty safe condiment, but some varieties have more sugar and calories than others. There are also some great paleo barbecue sauces out there made with natural sugars like honey and maple syrup.
How do you store leftover meatloaf muffins?
The best way to store leftover meatloaf muffins is in an airtight food storage container or bag in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh for up to 3 days.
These muffins also freeze well. Let them cool completely and then freeze them on a baking sheet for 3-4 hours until they are solid on the outside. This prevents sticking. Then add to a freezer-safe bag. Defrost overnight in the fridge or gently in a microwave at a lower power.
Can I omit the BBQ sauce?
If you don't like the taste of BBQ sauce, try to replace it with ketchup. Yes, you can leave it out and just use mustard - or don't use any topping at all.
How do you make gluten-free meatloaf muffins?
If you want to make gluten-free meatloaf muffins, I suggest using crushed pork rinds instead of bread crumbs and a gluten-free Worcestershire sauce!
More Delicious Turkey Recipes You’ll Love:
BBQ Meatloaf Muffins
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- 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
- 2 tbsp whole grain mustard
- 1 egg
- 1 lb 93% lean ground turkey (or 99% lean)
- 1/2 cup red pepper, minced
- 2 ribs celery, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup onion, minced
- 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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