This mini meatloaf recipe with balsamic glaze is sure to please. I love the idea of mini meatloaves because they are pre-portioned, making them easier to serve. The meatloaf mixture is simple and light, with the use of panko breadcrumbs and a few staple ingredients.
The meatloaf mix itself can also be made in a multitude of ways, from muffins to a traditional, full-sized meatloaf your mom used to make. The balsamic addition gives it that extra bit of class this recipe has been looking for!
Need to make more than four mini meatloaves? Click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.
Why does meatloaf fall apart?
There are many reasons why meatloaf will fall apart and crumble. This can range from overmixing to overcooking to using the wrong kind of meat.
What do I put in meatloaf mix?
Eggs and milk are very popular in the meatloaf making world, but they have a tendency to cause the meatloaf mix to become oversaturated with liquid. To prevent this, but to also prevent the meatloaf from drying out, we are going to use a simple combination of onions and panko breadcrumbs. The lighter texture and larger flakes of panko breadcrumbs ensures the meat forms into a ball more easily.
Why do you add breadcrumbs?
Breadcrumbs in your meatloaf mix are there to absorb and retain the juices in the ground beef, producing a moister loaf. Meat by itself would simply drain away the juices and end up dry.
What type of beef should I buy?
Look for the 80/20 mix (80% meat, 20% fat) when shopping at the grocery store. If this is not available, 85/15 will work just as well. The higher fat percentage will ensure your meatloaf remains moist.
Is my meatloaf done?
The best method for determining if your meatloaf is done is to use a digital thermometer. If you cook your meatloaf too long, it will dry out. If you don’t cook it enough, you risk food safety issues. When you use a digital thermometer, it gets rid of all the guessing. Cook the meatloaf to an internal temperature of 155-160 degrees. The meatloaf will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven, reaching the desired 165 degrees. Perfectly moist meatloaf every time!
How do I make mini meatloaf muffins?
Rather than forming the meatloaf into 4 mini loaves, grease a 12-cup muffin tin and scoop the meatloaf mix with a 2-ounce ice cream scoop. You should end up with 12 mini meatloaves. Finish with the glaze and bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes.
Can I make this into one big meatloaf?
Yes! Just follow the recipe as written and form it into one large, 1-inch tall free-standing loaf on the prepared baking sheet. Since the thickness of the loaf is the same as the mini version, the cooking time will remain the same. Another meatloaf making tip – do not over mix or compress the meat. When shaping the loaf, no matter the size, looser is better. Over mixing and compressing the meat will mean it will need to cook longer, resulting in a drier loaf.
Mini Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 20 ounces ground beef
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh parsley chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Adjust rack to upper position and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy clean up (if using foil, coat with cooking spray).
- In a small bowl, combine ketchup and balsamic vinegar.
- In a large bowl, combine beef, onion, panko, garlic, parsley, 1 teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Mix with hands to combine.
- Divide beef mixture into four pieces and form into 1-inch tall free-standing loaves. and place on prepared baking sheet.
- Brush ketchup mixture onto loaves. Bake in oven until no longer pink in the center, about 25 minutes.
- Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley.