Mini Meat Loaves Recipe photo by Taste of Home

How to Make Mini Meat Loaves

Total Time
Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min.
This freezer-friendly mini meat loaf recipe makes dinnertime a breeze.

Updated: Dec. 19, 2023

When it comes to comfort food, meat loaf often tops the list. It’s simple to bake, adaptable and customizable (there are dozens of ways to make meat loaf!). Our mini meat loaf recipe calls upon a muffin tin to make individual servings, the perfect size for potlucks or dinner parties. In fact, this recipe tops our list of meals kids love.
Pair these mini meat loaves with cheesy mashed potatoes for a fun meal that even adults won’t want to pass up. And don’t worry about leftovers. The cooked meat loaves can be wrapped and stored in the freezer. Just reheat as needed. Here we come, meat loaf sandwiches!

Mini Meat Loaf Recipe Ingredients

  • Ground beef: The star of the show, this recipe calls for 90% lean ground beef. For an even juicier meat loaf, look for 80% lean ground beef.
  • Crispix cereal: Corn-and-rice cereal adds crunch and texture to the mini meat loaves while helping them to maintain moisture.
  • Eggs: Eggs are used to bind the ingredients together and prevent crumbly meat loaves.
  • Ketchup topping: A mixture of ketchup, brown sugar and mustard adds flavor to the meat loaves and helps to prevent the loaves from drying out as they cook. If your family likes extra sauce, double the ketchup topping recipe, and reserve the leftover sauce for dipping.


Step 1: Make the mini meat loaf mixture

Mini Meat LoavesTMB STUDIO

Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, stir together the ketchup, brown sugar and mustard. Remove 1/2 cup for the topping, and set aside. Add the eggs, Worcestershire sauce, cereal, onion powder, seasoned salt, garlic powder and pepper to the remaining ketchup mixture. Let stand for five minutes. Crumble the beef into the cereal mixture, and mix well. Press the meat mixture into 18 muffin cups (about 1/3 cup each).

Step 2: Bake the loaves

Brushing Sauce on Meat loavesTMB STUDIO

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Brush mini meat loaves evenly with the reserved ketchup mixture. Bake 10 minutes longer, until meat is no longer pink and a thermometer inserted into the center of each mini meat loaf reads 160°. Cool for five minutes, then remove loaves from pans.

Mini Meat Loaf Variations

  • Swap out the cereal: Crushed cornflake cereal, seasoned dry bread crumbs or crumbled crackers can replace the Crispix cereal.
  • Try a different meat: The ground beef can be completely replaced with a different ground meat such as ground pork or ground turkey. However, to ensure juicy and tender meat loaves, use 80% to 90% lean ground meat. You can also use a combination of ground meats. Whichever meats you choose, make sure you cook to the proper USDA safe temp.
  • Add more flavor: For additional flavor, add 1/4 cup sauteed vegetables, such as chopped onion, green pepper or mushrooms, to the meat loaf batter.

Can you freeze mini meat loaves?

These mini meat leaves are incredibly freezer friendly. Transfer cooled meat loaves to a freezer-safe container, and freeze for up to three months. Completely thaw in the refrigerator. Place loaves in a greased baking dish. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes (or cover and microwave on high for one minute), until heated through to 165°.

How do you store mini meat loaves?

Cooked mini meat loaves can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Mini Meat Loaf Tips

Mini Meat Loaves served on Plate with Peas TMB STUDIO

How can you prevent making tough mini meat loaves?

Take care not to overmix the meat loaf mixture, as this can lead to tough meat loaves.

What can you serve with mini meat loaves?

When it comes to meat loaf side dishes, you have a lot of options. Some of our favorites include: dill and chive peas, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, garlic knots and buttery green beans.

Mini Meat Loaves

Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 30 min
Yield 1-1/2 dozen.


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cups Crispix cereal, crushed
  • 3 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)


  1. In a large bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar and mustard. Remove 1/2 cup for topping; set aside. Add the eggs, Worcestershire sauce, cereal and seasonings to remaining ketchup mixture. Let stand for 5 minutes. Crumble beef over cereal mixture and mix well.
  2. Press meat mixture into 18 muffin cups (about 1/3 cup each). Bake at 375° for 18-20 minutes. Drizzle with reserved ketchup mixture; bake 10 minutes longer or until meat is no longer pink and a thermometer reads 160°. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans.

Nutrition Facts

1 mini meat loaf: 171 calories, 7g fat (3g saturated fat), 68mg cholesterol, 304mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 0 fiber), 16g protein.

My family and I can't get enough of these little meat loaf muffins topped with a sweet ketchup sauce. They are the perfect portion size. This recipe requires no chopping, so it's quick and easy to make a double batch and have extras for another day. I've given them to new moms, too. —Joyce Wegmann, Burlington, Iowa