Moist and flavorful, these uber simple mini meatloaves are a quick and easy dinner that is greatly enjoyed around here – especially when served with baked fries and homemade ketchup!
Using coconut flour instead of bread crumbs make this meatloaf recipe grain-free (and egg and dairy-free!) and even easier to make than the typical version. I love having easy dinner recipes, and this is definitely one of them. I am a firm believer in having a list of simple dinners that you can easily make, but are nutritious and welcomed by your family. It’s a great way to keep on track in feeding your family well, a help in keeping within your food budget, and important for making real food realistic.
When buying meat from the store, and not in bulk directly from a farmer, grassfed beef can get really expensive. (Look for an upcoming post on the benefits of grassfed beef.) Ground beef is almost always the most frugal choice, and so I like recipes, – like this one – to help keep our food budget low. Meatloaf is known as a frugal main dish, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t delicious!
Here are a couple other easy and inexpensive dinners using beef:
- Mexican Beef Bowls: A simple favorite.
- Simple Baked Italian Meatballs (also grain/dairy/egg-free): These can be used in so many ways!
- 7 Layer Mexican Dip: Make this as simple or as fancy as you’d like.
- Ground Beef and Cabbage: I make this pocket filling and serve it over rice or quinoa all the time! We like it with butter and tamari (here is a favorite brand #affiliate)
- Autumn Beef Stew: Stew is a great way to enjoy meat, especially with homemade, nutritious beef broth!
When grassfed beef is bought directly from farmers, it is generally very lean, and thus, is very easy to use in recipes like this. We’ve eaten up our ¼ of a cow from a local farmer, so I’ve been buying my meat from a local store. Their grassfed beef is 20% fat (I assume because they process some of the fat with the meat when making it). If you use fatty ground beef, you will have a lot of drainage during the cooking process, but that’s okay. It’s very easy to simply leave all the drained fat behind, as once cooked, you can lift the mini meatloaves right out of the pan, and the fat is left behind. Just be forewarned that your mini meatloaves will shrink a lot!
To make this even more nutritious, you can hide some ground liver in the meat for the meatloaf. (It sounds gross to some, but is hardly noticeable in taste). I also have a planned post on that topic in the upcoming weeks!
A word about coconut flour: They can absorb moisture differently. I’ve been using Let’s Do Organic’s coconut flour lately, just because it’s widely available. (They are also available here at my affiliates Amazon and Vitacost. If you aren’t up to making your own ketchup, you can also find organic and corn syrup-free ketchups there – Vitacost has a lot of options.) You may need to adjust the recipe slightly when using other brands of coconut flour. If it seems too dry, just add a little milk, or more ketchup. If it seems a little too wet, add a bit more coconut flour. Meatloaf is very forgivable, thankfully, so any little adjusting you need to do should be fine.
- 1 ¼ pounds ground beef (grassfed, lean beef preferred)
- 2 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
- ½ cup homemade ketchup (or best quality you can find/buy)
- 1 teaspoon unrefined salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- ½ teaspoon each dried thyme, oregano, and basil (or 1 ½ teaspoon of Italian Seasoning)
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled and finely minced or put through a garlic press
- Put rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 425F.
- Put aside half the ketchup, and dump ¼ cup of it, and the rest of the ingredients in a medium bowl, and mash together with your hands. Divide into 12 balls and press into a muffin tin (if you are working with very lean meat, oil the pan before, but with most ground beef you don’t need to worry about it sticking because of the fat content).
- Divide the rest of the ketchup over the top of the meatloaves, and spread evenly.
- Place in the oven and cook for 20- 25 minutes, or until no longer pink in the middle. Remove from pan and serve.
- Serve 2 to 3 per person.