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Makeover Li'l Cheddar Meat Loaves Recipe

Makeover Li'l Cheddar Meat Loaves Recipe

My husband goes wild for my meatloaf, but I don't know how healthy it is. The Taste of Home Test Kitchen experts slashed the calories and fat, but kept the original's tender and delicious qualities. —Jodie Mitchell, Denver, Pennsylvania
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 25 min. YIELD:8 servings


  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 3/4 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard


  • 1. In a large bowl, whisk egg whites and milk. Stir in the cheese, oats, onion, carrot and salt. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.
  • 2. Shape into eight loaves; place in a 13x9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar and mustard; spoon over loaves.
  • 3. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until no pink remains and a thermometer reads 160°. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 meat loaf: 187 calories, 7g fat (3g saturated fat), 36mg cholesterol, 550mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 1g fiber), 15g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 1 starch.

Reviews for Makeover Li'l Cheddar Meat Loaves

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Kurtbeattie User ID: 8768971 243922
Reviewed Feb. 16, 2016

"I was trying to find something for my 3 old son to like.... and he enjoy it alot plus my wife enjoy also i have to say it was so easy to make"

sjmdam User ID: 4248228 174962
Reviewed Apr. 11, 2014

"delicious moist I made the normal version that bryteyz posted as well. loved it"

katiebrownky User ID: 4775005 93686
Reviewed Nov. 3, 2013

"These are wonderful! I've made them several times and always a hit! I do us 1lb lean ground beef just for the ease of buying the meat, but it doesn't seem to make a difference. I also make these in a muffin tin. I've made them in a jumbo muffin tin (6 servings) and in a regular muffin in (12 servings). Perfect portions each time this way. Anyway you decide to make them, they are delish!"

KuipoBakes User ID: 6368493 141834
Reviewed Feb. 20, 2013

"I added a bit of Worcestershire to the ketchup topping. My family loved it. My husband liked that it tasted like a cheeseburger instead of traditional meatloaf, something different."

Maryrose90 User ID: 179832 176319
Reviewed Jan. 24, 2013

"<p>My husband was craving meatloaf but so many recipes have so much fat. I found this recipe and he loved it! Ate 2 more slices for midnight snack and 2 more the next morning for breakfast. Good thing I made two! I was in a rush so I prepared with onion soup mix and omitted the additional seasoned salt and divided the recipe between two meatloaf pans rather than mini loaves. I also omitted the carrots only because I was out. Recipe was great without the carrots but next time I will add to up the "healthy content."</p>"

GranBTX User ID: 5715431 114272
Reviewed Dec. 30, 2012

"Re-vamped this original recipe myself quite awhile ago and no-one can tell the difference - I usually mix the meat: 1/2 super lean beef and 1/2 either the 99% FF ground turkey or ground chicken breast - works beautifully!!"

jwagner831 User ID: 2105365 107200
Reviewed Sep. 13, 2012

"I have made the original recipe and we actually prefer this one. It is more moist and it seems the flavor of the meat shines through more without so much sweet sauce. We really enjoyed it and will make this version again for sure."

Briadona User ID: 5500759 105376
Reviewed Aug. 22, 2012

"I too printed out the Original recipe and plan to make soon. The original listed here in the comments calls for 1 teaspoon salt. My copy says 1/2 teaspoon think that would be enough with only 1 pound of meat and the cheese."

logansmom8 User ID: 5347851 93684
Reviewed Mar. 13, 2012

"This has become a standard in my house. Probably one of my most requested from my hubby and 3yr old son."

logansmom8 User ID: 5347851 107199
Reviewed Jan. 12, 2012

"Awesome! Make this all the time. Tons of flavor. Just Yummy"

BrytEyz User ID: 2759683 89434
Reviewed Jan. 3, 2012

"For those seeking the ORIGINAL recipe for "Lil Cheddar Meat Loaves" as published by Taste of Home, here it is. My family adores this recipe, and I'm so glad I clipped it from an old ToH and saved it.

"I got this recipe from my aunt when I was a teen and have made these lip-smacking miniature loaves many times. My husband and three children count this main dish among their favorites. The recipe is also great for company since it's easily doubled or tripled." -- Kathy Bowron, Cocolalla, Idaho
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound lean ground beef
2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard
In a bowl, beat the egg and milk. Stir in cheese, oats, onion and salt. Add beef and mix well. Shape into eight loaves; place in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Combine ketchup, brown sugar and mustard; spoon over loaves.
bake, uncovered, at 350 for 45 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer reats 160.
Yield: 8 servings."

mrsoak User ID: 1995667 105375
Reviewed Dec. 17, 2011

"I make the original Lil Cheddar Meatloaves, but the link is broken. These are exactly the same, except the original uses 2 whole eggs, whole milk and no carrot. These taste very similar to the original. Both are excellent. My husband can't tell the difference between the original and the makeover!"

hbaseley User ID: 3311639 210012
Reviewed Dec. 7, 2011

"easy to make and yummy. This will be my go-to meatloaf recipe from now on!"

deborahn User ID: 1761412 158027
Reviewed Aug. 25, 2011

"Fantastic, made this tonight & my husband loved it. Using oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs kept the meat moist. I will be making this again."

mollymorris User ID: 2130283 176315
Reviewed May. 31, 2011

"This is our family & extended family favorite! We have been making this for years. I like to use turkey burger to make it a little more healthy."

auntee14 User ID: 4694465 173124
Reviewed Apr. 18, 2011

"I made these tonight for my two boys! DEEELICIOUS. I absolutely loved them. And they were pleasantly lighter but still as yummy as the ever so fatty meatloaf my momma used to make! YUMMMO!"

slurpeegirl13 User ID: 5396894 160345
Reviewed Sep. 22, 2010

"I was apprehensive when I saw how little 'meat' there is in this, but we were very pleasantly surprised and we make this all the time now!"

katejudy311 User ID: 3820802 105374
Reviewed Apr. 11, 2009

"I knew this recipe was a keeper when my dad and granfather both went back for more. I look forward to making it again. Very good!"

mulbry9565 User ID: 2053066 114270
Reviewed Nov. 21, 2008

"These are fantastic, even my 5 year old asks for seconds"

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