My family enjoys meat loaf, but sometimes I can't spare the hour or more it takes to bake in the traditional shape. A quick alternative is to divide the meat mixture into muffin cups for individual servings that are ready in less than 30 minutes.—Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
"I love to experiment with all kinds of recipes," relates Debra Jane Webb of Muskogee, Oklahoma. A dash of chili powder gives her meat loaf fun Mexican flavor that's complemented by zesty picante sauce poured over the top.
If you have kids who protest when they hear meat loaf is on the menu, just try keeping them away from this cheesy, saucy slice, packed with pizza flavors. One bite and there’s no turning back! —Hannah Kleinhans, Milwaukee, WI
“My husband and I both work late, so it’s great to come home to this classic dish with mashed potatoes and a veggie side,” explains Ginger Cortese of Hollsopple, Pennsylvania. “It reminds me of supper at Mom’s.”
When in a hurry, I substitute canned potatoes and green beans for the fresh. I like the fact that I can pop this meat loaf into the oven in the late afternoon and forget about it until dinnertime. —Florence Dollard, Grand Island, New York
Meet the Cook: Although I'm retired after years teaching school, my days continue to be full. So easy dishes like this still are a blessing to me. My husband - who's a meat loaf lover - and I have five grown children and eight grandchildren.—Lois Gallup Edwards, Woodland, California
Paula Petersen in Granite City, Illinois says her recipe for cheesy meat-loaf cups is “great when you have a craving for meat loaf but no time to bake it. My husband and I just love these served with au gratin or fried potatoes.”
Meat loaf gets dressed up for company with this savory recipe. The ground meat is well seasoned with curry powder, allspice, green onion and thyme. And the potato coating adds a special touch.
In Marion, North Carolina, Melanie Ellis puts a fun spin on meat loaf with her Southwestern specialty. She tops the taco-flavored single-serving loaves with zesty tomato sauce and shredded cheese before bringing them to the dinner table.