BBQ Meatloaf Muffins

These little meatloaves are so moist and packed with barbecue flavor that I’m sure you’re going to love them! Baking them up in a muffin tin makes this meal come together quickly – perfect for those weekday dinners when you don’t have a lot of time. This recipe was inspired by one I found by Rachael Ray. When I went to make these last year, I was missing some of the ingredients so I had to wing it. I think these came out tastier and have been making them this way ever since! I am not even a fan of meatloaf (unless I get an end piece, bacon is involved, and use a lot of ketchup) and hubby normally hates meatloaf — but we loves these!

You need two bowls: a large one for the meat mixture and a medium one to make the sauce. Combine the meatloaf ingredients in the large bowl, mix the sauce ingredients in the smaller bowl, and then mix in HALF the sauce to the meat mixture. Fill your muffin tins and spoon the rest of the sauce over the meatloaf muffins.

Bake and enjoy!

BBQ Meatloaf Muffins
Ingredients:
1 1/4 lbs. ground beef
1/2 of a large, sweet onion (like Vidalia), chopped
2 tablespoons BBQ seasoning (like McCormick Grill Mates)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg
Splash of milk (about 1/4 cup)
3 handfuls of plain bread crumbs
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1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup mild picante sauce

Directions:
(Preheat oven to 400 degrees)
1. Mix together the beef, chopped onion, BBQ seasoning, salt, pepper, egg, milk, and bread crumbs in a large bowl. Using your hands work best!
2. In a separate bowl, combine the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, and picante sauce.
3. Mix in half of the sauce with the meat mixture, reserving the rest of the sauce. Combine well, but do not over-mix.
4. Grease the cups of your muffin tin with a little olive oil or spray lightly with cooking spray. Distribute the meatloaf mixture evenly among the muffin cups, and then spoon the reserved sauce over each muffin. (You may have a little sauce leftover…)
5.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, until the meat is cooked through.

Note: I get 12 meatloaf muffins when I fill the muffin tin. The meat doesn’t come up past the top of the “cup”. The sauce will bubble a little while the meatloaves are baking so if you fill them higher it might get messy in there. If you happen to have a little more meat than 1 1/4 lbs., just use a second muffin tin for the extra ones.

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Spicy Beef with Potatoes

You’d think I could have come up with a more creative name for this dish, but no. I kind of dropped the ball in that department. However, there’s a lot of flavor in there and in no way is it boring! If you can think of a better name to jazz it up, I’m open to suggestions. This was one of those dishes that came together when I had no plan and not a lot of ingredient options, but I wanted something spicy. It’s just good ol’ comfort food with a little kick that comes from the chipotle chile in adobo. I’ve made it several times now and luckily wrote my recipe down after I made it the first time. (Psst…This is another tasty addition for a Cinco de Mayo feast!)

Spicy Beef with Potatoes (until we can think of a better name!)
Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef (you can substitute ground turkey)
1 teaspoon cumin
3-4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup (+ more if needed) chicken broth
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
salt & pepper, to taste
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeded and chopped (see note in instructions)
1 teaspoon dried cilantro (or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro added in at the end)
1 – 15oz. can cut green beans, or 15 oz. fresh or frozen green beans (see note in instructions)
1 tablespoon green onion, chopped

Instructions:
1. Brown ground beef (or ground turkey) over medium high heat in a deep skillet and season with salt and pepper. Drain off excess fat.
2. Add 1 teaspoon cumin and stir into the beef to combine.
3. Add 3-4 tablespoons of tomato paste (enough to coat the meat). I like to buy the tomato paste in the tube. Keeps for a long time in the fridge and you don’t waste any like you sometimes do with the little cans.
4. Add in the 1 cup of chicken broth* and the peeled and cubed potatoes. Season the potatoes with a little salt.
5. Add in the chopped up & seeded chile in adobo. You buy these in the international section of your grocery store and they come in a can, usually marked Chipotle Chiles in Adobo Sauce. They pack a good punch so you only need one. If you like a LOT of heat, you can add another one. Just don’t add the whole can! Take a little bit of the sauce with it when you add it to your beef mixture.
6. If you are using dried cilantro, add it in now. Wait until the end for fresh cilantro. If you are using fresh or frozen green beans, add them now. Stir everything to combine well.
7. Cover and simmer over low to medium heat until the potatoes are tender and mixture has thickened up. If you are using canned green beans, add them about halfway through the cooking time. (I really don’t care for canned veggies but for some reason canned green beans taste good to me in soups and stews like this. Don’t judge. I usually keep a can on hand for times when I throw stuff together…)
*Stir occasionally throughout cooking time and add in little splashes of chicken broth as needed. You don’t want the mixture to dry out and the potatoes need moisture to cook. However, you don’t want it to be runny when it’s finished.
8. When it’s ready, add the chopped green onions and fresh cilantro.

So does this sound good to you? Or am I alone in my love for this spicy dish with a boring name? You’ll let me know I’m sure. 🙂