Gluten Free

Mini Meatloaves with Balsamic Glaze

at a glance
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 5 servings
5 from 1 vote

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Balsamic glazed mini meatloaf is 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We originally made a version of these mini meatloaves for our Cook Once, Eat All Week bonus eBook (you can grab your copy here) about a year ago, and I loved them so much that I found myself making them for dinner on a regular basis. I couldn’t get enough of the combination of tender beef, salty bacon, and sweet and tangy balsamic sauce – which quickly became one of my go-to marinades for everything from chicken to pork tenderloin. They come together quickly and bake in just 30 minutes, plus you can easily roast some fries or veggies alongside them for a nearly hands-off dinner.

The main reason I love making mini meatloaves over traditional meatloaves is because of the time savings! Traditional meatloaf can sometimes take over an hour to cook, which meant I used to only make this classic comfort food dish on Sundays. The miniature version bakes up faster, plus they are cute and everyone can have their own!

How to Make Mini 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:

  1. Mix the balsamic glaze. This glaze is a combination of dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, coconut aminos, honey, and garlic powder. Simply whisk it together for the perfect sweet, tangy, and savory topping.
  2. Chop the kale. In this recipe, we call for 2 cups of shredded lacinato kale, though you could also use curly kale or chop up spinach in its place! Wash and de-stem the kale, then finely shred it and set aside.
  3. Mix all of the meatloaf ingredients together. Next, you’ll add 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef, the kale, 1/4 cup of the balsamic glaze, breadcrumbs, an egg, and a few simple seasonings to a bowl, then mix it all up with your hands until fully combined.
  4. Shape the meatloaves. 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, then baste with the balsamic glaze.
  5. Bake. 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!
mini meatloaf topped with bacon on parchment paper beside roasted fries

What to Serve With Mini 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:

Free Ground Beef for Life!

Our favorite ground beef to use for these mini meatloaves comes from ButcherBox. I’ve used ButcherBox’s subscription service for years now and love how convenient it is to get grass-fed, pasture-raised, proteins delivered directly to your door! For more information on how the service works, check out our ButcherBox review. One of my favorite items in my monthly ButcherBox is their grass-fed ground beef because it’s perfect to have on hand for quick and easy dinners like this one, and it is cost-effective. Right now when you sign up for your first ButcherBox, you can get 2 pounds of grass-fed, grass-finished ground beef for free in each box – FOR LIFE.

Click HERE to get your ground beef!

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Q What are the best breadcrumbs to use for meatloaf?
A

Breadcrumbs in meatloaf help make it more tender and give it a different texture than what you’d experience with a burger or something similar. For this recipe, you can use whatever breadcrumbs you prefer! We’ve used these gluten-free ones successfully, and you can also make your own by blending up toasted bread, crackers, or even oats. If you’re grain-free, almond flour works as a great swap in place of the bread crumbs.

Q Can I use a different sauce?
A

Absolutely! If you don’t want to make the balsamic glaze, BBQ sauce is a great alternative or you can even use ketchup. You’ll need about 3/4 cup total.

Q Can I freeze meatloaf?
A

Absolutely! To freeze these meatloaves, first cook them through all the way, then store in an airtight container (like this one) and place parchment paper between each layer if you are stacking them. To reheat, either microwave for 3-4 minutes, until heated through, or bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes.

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Mini Meatloaves with Balsamic Glaze

By: Cassy Joy Garcia
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
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!

Ingredients  

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

Instructions

  • 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!
Meet the Author
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Cassy Joy Garcia

HOWDY! I’m Cassy Joy and I am just so happy you’re here. I’m the founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Nutrition Consultant here at Fed and Fit. What started as a food blog back in 2011 has evolved now into so much more.
Get to know Cassy

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    Recipe Rating




  1. Annette Kistler says

    Annette Kistler —  03/08/2020 At 11:18

    Can you use ground turkey instead of ground beef?

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  03/09/2020 At 06:00

      Sure!!

  2. lauren collins says

    lauren collins —  05/13/2020 At 14:01

    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?

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  05/14/2020 At 18:42

      You can totally use 85/15!

  3. Roxanne Garza says

    Roxanne Garza —  05/18/2020 At 09:08

    Hi! Do
    You think it would be okay to sub out beef for ground chicken?

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  05/18/2020 At 20:56

      That’ll work!! Enjoy!

  4. Clare says

    Clare —  06/24/2020 At 16:04

    When do you add the egg and breadcrumbs?

  5. Jennifer says

    Jennifer —  01/30/2021 At 13:26

    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.

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  02/01/2021 At 09:13

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

  6. Zarina says

    Zarina —  03/26/2022 At 06:44

    Is the glaze just mixed together or is it reduced first?

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  03/31/2022 At 00:50

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

  7. Zarina says

    Zarina —  05/16/2022 At 07:21

    Is the glaze just mixed together or is it reduced first?

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