Our new neighborhood is a child’s paradise. All day long there’s kids zipping around on scooters and bikes, and running between backyards stopping only for forced food and water breaks. There weren’t any kids our kids’ ages at the old house so Lincoln, especially, is in heaven! Ben and I both grew up in neighborhoods full of children, whom we were shoo’ed out the door to play with all summer long, so it’s a treat knowing our kids will be able to have the same experience.
Now when I say “forced food and water breaks” I am not exaggerating. I saw Lincoln for a grand total of 30 minutes between the hours of 9am and 5pm yesterday. His shoes are still wet this afternoon if that tells you what kind of fun he got into. 😂 I finally got him to sit in his chair for longer than 10 minutes with the promise of Mini Taco Meatloaf for dinner!
Can I take a second to self-proclaim myself the Mini Meatloaf Queen? Is that something people aspire to be? We’re rolling with it. You guys, mini meatloaves are my JAM. They are such a great way to give familiar flavors a twist AND serve them up in a fun, individual-sized package. Here are my favorite past renditions:
- Mini BBQ Cheddar Meatloaf
- Italian Sausage and Pepper Ring Mini Meatloaves
- Mini Philly Cheesesteak Meatloaf
- Stuffed Italian Meatball Mini Meatloaf
- Mini Muffuletta Meatloaf
- Mini Mediterranean Turkey Meatloaf >
These Mini Taco Meatloaves have all the flavor of tacos, smashed into a tasty, cheesy individual-sized portion. No crisping up taco shells, no drying tears when said taco shells inevitably shatter and the fillings go cascading onto the floor, no internal screaming when having to clean up said fillings from the floor. You get the picture. This dish is a total upgrade!
Tips for Making Mini Taco Meatloaf
- Gluten free bread crumbs: these mini meatloaves are held together with the help of gluten free bread crumbs. You can buy GF crumbs at the store (or use panko if you don’t need to eat gluten free) but I just use pulverized Rice Chex! Either crush them in a food processor or in a large Ziplock bag with a rolling pin.
- Egg allergy? There’s also an egg in here to keep the meatloaf mixture together, which is a no-go for Gwen’s egg allergy. That said, I tested this recipe omitting the egg, relying on hummus to help keep things together. The meatloaves were soft for sure, but SO tender and flavorful from the addition of the hummus! That said, you can enjoy this recipe either with or without the egg.
- Homemade Taco Seasoning: you guys know how obsessed I am with my Large Batch Homemade Taco Seasoning so I definitely recommend you use it in this recipe. That said, you can use your favorite taco seasoning packet instead.
- Make ahead of time: these mini meatloaves are able to be made ahead of time – woo! Simply prepare up to the baking step then cover tightly and refrigerate. Let the mini meatloaves sit at room temperature while your oven is preheating, then bake.
Allllrighty – let’s cook (then more importantly, EAT!)
How to Make This Recipe
Start by combining salsa, gluten free bread cumbs, taco seasoning, cubed cheddar cheese, a whisked egg and a big dollop of hummus (un-pictured) in a large glass bowl.
Crumble lean ground beef (I use 90/10) on top then use your hands to mix everything until just combined. Divide the mixture into four portions then shape into mini meatloaves and place on a foil-lined, nonstick-sprayed baking sheet.
Bake for 18-20 minutes at 425 degrees then you’re set! LOOK at that melty, cheesy taco deliciousness! 😍
Serve with a scoop of salsa, if you please, then dig in! I hope you love this simple yet scrumptious twist on taco night – enjoy!
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Mini Taco Meatloaf
Switch up taco night with Mini Taco Meatloaf! This easy dinner recipe can be prepped ahead of time, and is customizable too.
- 1lb lean ground beef
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1/3 cup salsa
- 1/3 cup gluten free bread crumbs (see notes)
- 3 Tablespoons hummus (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons homemade taco seasoning OR 1 taco seasoning packet (see notes)
- 2oz cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4" cubes
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees then line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Add egg, salsa, bread crumbs, hummus (if using), taco seasoning, and cheese cubes to a large bowl then stir with a fork to combine. Crumble ground beef on top then use your hands to mix until just combined. Divide mixture into four portion then shape each portion into a loaf and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until cooked through, then serve.
- You can prepare the mini meatloaves up to a day ahead of time. Place on prepared baking sheet then cover tightly with saran wrap and refrigerate. Let the baking sheet with the mini meatloaves sit on the counter and come to room temperature for 20 minutes or so before baking.
- I use pulverized Rice Chex as gluten free bread crumbs. Add Chex to a food processor then process until they're the texture of panko bread crumbs, or place in a large Ziplock bag, cover with a kitchen towel, and use a rolling pin to crush until fine.
- Click here for my Large Batch Homemade Taco Seasoning >
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.