Our Mini Meatloaves with Balsamic Glaze are the perfect solution for rushed weeknight dinners! These meatloaves cook up quickly thanks to their smaller size, are packed with kale, topped with crunchy bacon, and smothered in the best-ever balsamic sauce.

mini meatloaf topped with bacon on parchment paper beside roasted fries

We originally made a version of these mini meatloaves for our Cook Once, Eat All Week eBook, and we loved them so much that we found ourselves making them for dinner on a regular basis. The combination of tender beef, salty bacon, and sweet and tangy balsamic sauce is a delicious upgrade on the classic meatloaf topped with ketchup. (And ever since we came up with this balsamic glaze, it’s become our favorite thing to drizzle on top of everything from Oven-Roasted Pork Tenderloin to simple Grilled Chicken Breasts, and Whole Roasted Brussels Sprouts.)

While everyone loves the classic comfort food meatloaf, these mini versions offer a couple other perks over the traditional bread pan-sized loaves — which usually take an hour+ to bake. Because of their petite size, these little loaves come together quickly, and bake in just 30 minutes. (Roast some veggies in the oven alongside them for a nearly hands-off dinner.)

The other perk of these individually sized mini loaves is that everyone gets their own, which looks cute and feels a little special!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Ready in half the time of traditional meatloaf recipes
  • Easy to customize with different proteins and other ingredients
  • Balsamic sauce is so delicious, you’ll want to drizzle it on everything!

Meatloaf Recipe Ingredients

Made with ground beef, bacon, kale, eggs, and some common pantry staples, these hearty mini meatloaves come together easily and bake up fast! Find ingredient notes (including substitutions and swaps) below.

Ingredients for mini meatloaves with balsamic glaze are laid out in a variety of small plates and bowls on a light grey colored surface.

For the Balsamic Sauce

  • Dijon mustard – ¼ cup of mustard adds flavor and emulsifies the dressing
  • Balsamic vinegar – the star of this addictive glaze!
  • Coconut aminos – 3 tablespoons get whisked into the sauce
  • Honey – a couple tablespoons of honey add just the right sweetness and texture
  • Garlic powder – 1 ½ teaspoons of this potent powder give the sauce a little punch

For the Meatloaf

  • Ground beef – the base of this recipe is 1 ½ pounds of ground beef 
  • Kale – 2 cups of shredded lacinato kale add vitamins and nutrients
  • Balsamic glaze – ¼ cup of the glaze goes into the meat mix
  • Breadcrumbs – ½ cup of breadcrumbs keeps the meat mixture together 
  • Egg – 1 whole egg is the other binder for the ground beef mix
  • Coarse sea salt – 1 teaspoon is all you need to season all the ingredients
  • Onion powder – this spice rack staple adds onion flavor with none of the chopping
  • Garlic powder – 1 teaspoon gives just the right dose of garlic flavor
  • Black pepper – a few cranks from your pepper mill are all you need
  • Bacon – strips of bacon get crisscrossed on top of each mini loaf 

A full ingredient list with exact amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

Recipe Variations and Modifications

These cute lil’ loaves are super adaptable to the protein, greens, and spices you have on hand:

  • Swap your proteins – if you’d prefer another protein, ground chicken or turkey will work well too. We’d recommend using higher-fat meat mixes (like dark meat ground turkey) over lean to keep the meatloaf nice and juicy.
  • Choose your greens – we used lacinato kale for this recipe, but curly kale or spinach will work too.
  • Sub in another binder – if you’d like a grain-free binder, opt for almond flour over traditional breadcrumbs.

How to Make Meatloaf

You’ll see that a lot of mini meatloaf recipes around the web are made in muffin tins. And while we love that idea, we found that depending on the fat content of the ground beef you use (and the bacon) you could often wind up with a super greasy, messy result. Baking the meatloaves directly on a sheet pan eliminates that problem! Here’s what you’ll need to do to make these.

Coconut aminos are poured into a small bowl with balsamic vinegar sitting on a light grey colored surface.
A meatloaf mixture with shredded kale sits in a stainless steel bowl on a light grey colored surface.

Step 1: Mix the balsamic glaze by whisking together the Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, coconut aminos, honey, and garlic powder. 

Wash and de-stem the kale, then finely shred it and set aside.

Step 2: Mix all of the meatloaf ingredients together by adding 1 ½ pounds of ground beef, the kale, ¼ cup of the balsamic glaze, breadcrumbs, an egg, and the seasonings to a bowl. Mix it all up with your hands until fully combined.

Bacon pieces are placed onto small uncooked meatloaves sitting on a lined tray on a light grey colored surface.
Balsamic glaze is spooned over the top of small uncooked meatloaves sitting on a lined tray on a light grey colored surface.

Step 3: Once the meatloaf mixture is ready, simply line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, then divide the mixture into five and shape it into mini meatloaves. Top each meatloaf with a piece of bacon cut in half crosswise.

Step 4: Baste with the balsamic glaze. Place the meatloaves in the oven for 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the meatloaf reaches 160 F. Then remove from the oven and serve!

Recipe Tips

  • Wet your hands – before shaping the meatloaves, run your hands under some water to help prevent the meat from sticking.
  • Freeze your leftovers – these mini meatloaves freeze well, but you’ll want to wrap them individually in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn.

How to Serve

Serve these lil’ cuties warm from the oven alongside your choice of roasted veggies or a simple green salad.

How to Store and Reheat

Refrigerate the mini meatloaves in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat them in the oven until they’re warmed through, and the bacon re-crisps. You can also freeze them for up to 6 months.

mini meatloaf topped with bacon on parchment paper beside roasted fries

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you serve with meatloaf?

For this recipe, we decided to bake oven fries alongside our meatloaf. Simply cut about 1 1/2 pounds of russet potatoes into wedges, toss with one tablespoon of avocado or olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of coarse salt, then spread on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cook at 375 F for 40-45 minutes, until browned. You can make these on the lower oven rack while the meatloaf cooks on top! If you’re not in the mood for fries, here are a few more side dish ideas:

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
Perfect Roasted Vegetables
Basic No-Stir Polenta
Lemon Sea Salt Arugula Salad
Loaded Smashed Potatoes

What’s the best ground beef?

We always opt for grass-fed and finished beef when we can, and here’s why. Grass-fed and finished beef actually contains higher concentrations of ALL OF THE GOOD STUFF (omega-3 fatty acids, polyunsaturated fats, conjugated linoleic acid, vitamins, and minerals) than conventional beef. Conventional beef also tends to contain trace hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides, so going grass-fed ensures that we not only get more of the good stuff, but we also skip out on all of the bad stuff! For more about WHY we choose grass-fed beef, click HERE.

What ingredients are in balsamic glaze?

These days, you can find bottles of balsamic glaze in some upscale grocery stores. But our easy balsamic glaze recipe is so easy (and much cheaper) to make at home, once you try it, you may never want to pony up for store-bought versions ever again. 
Our recipe just requires whisking together five pantry ingredients: balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, coconut aminos, honey, and garlic powder.
Double (or triple) the recipe so you’ll have extra glaze to drizzle over grilled or roasted meat and vegetables.

If you tried this recipe for Mini Meatloaves with Balsamic Glaze, or any other recipe on the Fed & Fit website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let us know how it went in the 📝 comments below!

Mini Meatloaves with Balsamic Glaze

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
These mini meatloaves bake in just 30 minutes, are loaded with veggies, and topped with the most deliciously sweet and tangy balsamic glaze!


For the Balsamic Glaze

  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

For the Meatloaves

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 cups shredded kale, (we used lacinato, but curly kale or spinach will work, too)
  • Balsamic glaze
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs or almond flour*
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 strips of bacon, cut in half crosswise


  • Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  • In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, kale, 1/4 cup of the balsamic glaze, breadcrumbs, almond flour, sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper until it’s evenly combined, then set aside.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, then shape the meat mixture into 5 small loaves. Top each mini meatloaf with 2 pieces of bacon, then glaze with the balsamic sauce.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the tops of the meatloaves are browned and the internal temperature has reached 160 F.

Recipe Notes

You can use whatever breadcrumbs you prefer here! We used these for gluten free, but you can also make your own from bread, grind up oats, or use almond flour for a grain-free swap.
If you’d like your bacon to get a little bit more crisp, turn on your broiler and let the meatloaves cook for a few more minutes, but watch them closely to make sure that the meatloaves and the parchment don’t burn!


Calories: 559kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 144mg | Sodium: 1152mg | Potassium: 595mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2742IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 133mg | Iron: 4mg

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 559
Keyword: balsamic, beef, gluten free, ground beef, meatloaf, mini, muffins, paleo

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Elizabeth Brownfield

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Recipe Rating


    1. Just mixed together! It will caramelize while baking in the oven. ~Melissa

  1. 5 stars
    This was really good! Maybe the best meatloaf I’ve ever had. And the picky kids ate it up too. Oh, and we skipped the bacon and kale :/ because our supermarket was out of both. Still great.

    1. So glad you all loved this one, Jennifer! Thank you for letting us know!

  2. Quick question…..we get Butcher Box and LOVE it!!!! But, there ground beef is 85/15……is that what you use or should I buy a different one from the grocery store?