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Perfect Mini Meatloaf: Ideal for Single Servings

Discover the charm of our mini meatloaf for one, a recipe that stands out with its versatile herb variations and unique sauce topping ideas. Unlike other recipes, this single-serving delight lets you experiment with mix-ins and adjust flavors to your taste, ensuring a personalized, satisfying meal every time. Perfect for the solo diner seeking a classic comfort with a modern twist.

Close look of mini meatloaf near a salad on a squared plate.

This mini meatloaf recipe is the solution to your quick lunch or dinner dilemmas. It’s designed with simplicity and convenience in mind, perfect for a single serving.

You’ll love how this recipe brings together common ingredients to create a meal that’s both quick to prepare and packed with flavor.

When you crave the classic taste of meatloaf but want to avoid the hassle of leftovers, this individual mini meatloaf is your go-to recipe. It’s a small, personal meatloaf that packs all the traditional flavors into a single, delightful serving.

Plus, it’s versatile!

You can prepare it ahead of time and freeze it, ensuring you have a delicious, home-cooked meal ready whenever you need it.

This meatloaf recipe for one person is not just easy and convenient; it’s a testament to the joy of cooking, even when it’s just for yourself.

Let’s in!

🌟 Recipe Tips

  • Choose the Right Pan: If you’re using a loaf pan, make sure it’s the right size for a single serving. A pan that’s too large can cause the meatloaf to spread out and become dry.
  • Uniformity in Ingredients: Ensure that your ingredients, especially the mix-ins like vegetables or herbs, are finely chopped and uniform in size. This promotes even cooking and consistent flavor throughout the meatloaf.
  • Don’t Overmix: When combining your meatloaf ingredients, mix just until everything is incorporated. Overmixing can lead to a dense, tough texture. Aim for a light hand to keep the meatloaf tender.
  • Use a Meat Thermometer: To ensure your meatloaf is cooked perfectly, use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should reach 160°F (around 71°C). This is especially important when working with ground meat to ensure food safety.
  • Monitor Cooking Time: If you’ve added extra ingredients or made substitutions, keep an eye on your cooking time as these changes can affect how long the meatloaf needs to cook.
  • Glaze Application: If you’re using a glaze or sauce on top, apply it during the last 10-15 minutes of baking. This prevents the glaze from burning and ensures a perfectly caramelized topping.
  • Rest Before Serving: After removing your meatloaf from the oven, let it rest for a few minutes before slicing. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meatloaf, resulting in a moister and more flavorful dish.

🥘 Ingredients & Substitutes

Ground beef, toast slices, parmesan, ketchup and milk on wooden surface.
  • Ground Beef is the star of this meatloaf, providing rich flavor and hearty texture. If beef isn’t in your fridge, ground turkey or chicken are excellent leaner alternatives that still maintain the meatloaf’s essential character.
  • Bread crumbs are the binding agent that holds our meatloaf together, lending a subtle texture. In their absence, rolled oats or crushed crackers can step in, offering a similar binding quality with a slight twist in texture.
  • Milk moistens the bread crumbs, ensuring your meatloaf is juicy and tender. For a dairy-free option, almond or soy milk can be used, which also adds a hint of their distinct flavors.
  • Aromatic Herbs like thyme or rosemary infuse the meatloaf with a burst of fragrance and flavor. If these aren’t handy, dried Italian seasoning or a simple mix of garlic and onion powder can fill in, providing a robust flavor profile.
  • Ketchup adds a tangy sweetness, glazing the meatloaf with a familiar, comforting taste. For a less conventional approach, barbecue sauce or a tomato paste and vinegar mixture can offer a similar tanginess with a unique spin.
  • Parmesan Cheese brings a salty, umami depth to the meatloaf. If Parmesan isn’t an option, grated cheddar or even nutritional yeast (for a dairy-free choice) can provide a similar savory note to the dish.

👩‍🍳 Directions

To begin, let’s prepare the meatloaf mixture, which is quite straightforward. But, before we begin, to save some time, start by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C).

Then, take a comfortable mixing bowl and add the insides of two slices of bread.

Pour milk over the bread, allowing it to absorb all the milk. Then, with a fork, crumble the bread well.

Next, add the seasonings, ketchup, and Parmesan. Mix everything well – now your aromatic base for the meatloaf is ready.

Add the meat and egg on top. The most important and somewhat tricky part is to mix this combination very well.

Once a uniform meatball is formed, take it in your hand and throw it forcefully back into the bowl at least 10 times.

This step is crucial to remove any excess air that might have been trapped in the meat mix, which could create voids in the meatloaf later.

Making meat mix for meatloaf in a transparent bowl on a white marble surface.

Once the mixture is homogeneous and compact, shape it into an oval loaf and place it in a well-oiled baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes.

After this time, remove it from the oven and brush it with ketchup to form a more appetizing crust.

Collage of baked meatloaf in a small baking dish on a white surface table.

Bake again for an additional 5-7 minutes. Then, remove it and let it rest on the counter for at least 10 minutes.

Baked mini meatloaf greased with ketchup in a mini baking dish.

Now, your meatloaf is ready to be served. Slice it as desired and serve it with your favorite side dish.

3 slices of meatloaf near a mashed puree in a green plate.

🍴 How to Double the Recipe:

Doubling the “Mini Meatloaf for One” recipe is a breeze, ideal for when you’re hosting a dinner or meal prepping for the week. Start by doubling all the ingredients: use twice the amount of ground beef, bread crumbs, milk, aromatic herbs, ketchup, and Parmesan cheese.

When it comes to mixing, ensure that the ingredients are evenly combined without overmixing to maintain the tenderness of the meatloaf.

As for baking, use a slightly larger loaf pan or form two separate loaves on a baking sheet.

The cooking time may need a slight adjustment; add an extra 10-15 minutes, but keep an eye on the meatloaves to ensure they don’t overcook.

Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to be certain they reach the safe mark of 160°F (around 71°C). This way, you’ll have two hearty servings of delicious meatloaf, perfect for a shared meal or convenient leftovers.

🍽️ Servings

Rustic Garden Salad

  • Components: Enhance your mini meatloaf by pairing it with a fresh garden salad. Include mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion slices. Drizzle with a light vinaigrette or your favorite salad dressing.
  • Presentation: Serve the salad on a large plate or bowl beside the meatloaf. Top the salad with a sprinkle of feta cheese and a few croutons for added texture and flavor. Add a lemon wedge on the side for a fresh touch.
  • Occasion: This combination is perfect for a refreshing and balanced weekday dinner, especially when you’re looking for something light yet satisfying.

Classic Comfort Combo

  • Components: Complement your meatloaf with creamy mashed potatoes and steamed green beans. For the potatoes, you’ll need potatoes, butter, milk, and a pinch of salt. The green beans just require a bit of steaming.
  • Presentation: Place the meatloaf on one side of the plate, with a scoop of mashed potatoes and a serving of green beans alongside. Garnish with a sprig of parsley for a classic look.
  • Occasion: Ideal for a comforting weekend meal or when you’re in the mood for a traditional, homestyle dinner.

Urban Quick Lunch

  • Components: Serve the mini meatloaf with a side of sweet potato fries and coleslaw. For the fries, use sweet potatoes, olive oil, and your choice of seasoning. Coleslaw can be made with shredded cabbage, carrots, and a simple mayonnaise-based dressing.
  • Presentation: Arrange the meatloaf and sweet potato fries on a plate with a small bowl or side dish of coleslaw. The vibrant colors of the coleslaw and sweet potatoes will make the dish pop.
  • Occasion: This is a great option for a quick, fulfilling lunch, especially when you’re looking for a meal that’s both delicious and easy to put together.

🍽️ Variations

Spicy Southwest Mini Meatloaf

  • Twist: Introduce a blend of cumin, chili powder, and a small amount of finely chopped jalapeño into the meat mixture. Swap out the Parmesan cheese for a spicy Pepper Jack.
  • Why Try: This variation adds a bold, spicy kick, perfect for those who enjoy a little heat in their meals. The Southwest flavors provide a delightful change from the traditional meatloaf taste.

Mediterranean-Inspired Meatloaf

  • Twist: Incorporate chopped sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese into the meat mixture. Replace the traditional herbs with oregano and basil.
  • Why Try: This variation brings a Mediterranean flair to the dish, offering a unique combination of flavors. It’s ideal for a refreshing twist on the classic meatloaf.

Cheesy Bacon Meatloaf

  • Twist: Mix in cooked, crumbled bacon and extra shredded cheddar cheese into your meatloaf mixture. You could also layer thin slices of bacon over the top of the meatloaf before baking.
  • Why Try: Bacon adds a smoky depth, while the extra cheese creates a gooey, indulgent texture. This version is a sure hit for bacon and cheese lovers, adding a comforting richness to the meal.

Vegetarian Mini Meatloaf

  • Twist: Use a plant-based ground meat alternative instead of beef. Adjust the binding agents accordingly, as some meat substitutes might require less or more bread crumbs or milk.
  • Why Try: This variation caters to vegetarians who still want to enjoy the comforting taste and texture of meatloaf. It’s a great way to incorporate plant-based eating into your diet without sacrificing flavor.

❄️ Storage


Your meatloaf will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Make sure to store it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to maintain its quality and prevent it from absorbing other flavors in the fridge.


For longer storage, the mini meatloaf can be frozen. It will retain its quality for about 3 months. To freeze, wrap the meatloaf securely in freezer-safe wrap or place it in a freezer bag. Label the package with the date to keep track of how long it has been stored.


When you’re ready to enjoy your meatloaf again, thaw it in the refrigerator for 24 hours before you plan to reheat it. This slow thawing process helps maintain the meatloaf’s texture and flavor.


To reheat, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the thawed meatloaf in an oven-safe dish and cover it with foil to prevent it from drying out. Heat it for 20-25 minutes, or until it’s heated through. You can also reheat it in the microwave if you’re short on time. Cut the meatloaf into slices and heat on a microwave-safe plate for 1-2 minutes, checking regularly to ensure it doesn’t dry out.

Remember, always check for signs of spoilage before consuming leftover meatloaf. If it has an off smell, appearance, or texture, it’s best to discard it. Following these storage and reheating instructions will help you safely enjoy your Mini Meatloaf at a later time, preserving its taste and texture.

🤔 FAQs

Can I Make This Meatloaf Without Bread Crumbs?

Yes, you can make this meatloaf without traditional bread crumbs. As an alternative, you can use rolled oats or crushed crackers, which will still provide the necessary binding for the meatloaf. These substitutes offer a similar texture and help maintain the structure of the meatloaf.

What Can I Do With Leftover Ingredients Like Bread and Milk?

Leftover bread can be turned into homemade bread crumbs or croutons for salads. Simply toast the bread, let it dry, and then pulse it in a food processor. For milk, consider using it in smoothies, coffee, or as a base for soups and sauces. Milk can also be frozen for later use in cooking.

How Can I Make Sure the Meatloaf Doesn’t Dry Out?

To prevent the meatloaf from drying out, ensure you’re using enough moistening agents like milk and ketchup. Also, avoid overcooking it. Use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature reaches 160°F (around 71°C). Covering the meatloaf with foil while it bakes can also help retain moisture.

📔 Recipe Card:

Close look of mini meatloaf near a salad on a squared plate.

Perfect Mini Meatloaf: Ideal for Single Servings

Perfect Mini Meatloaf recipe: Quick, flavorful, and ideal for solo diners. Easy to prepare and customize with your favorite mix-ins.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Baking time 35 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 559 kcal



  • 2 slices Bread core
  • 2 tablespoons Milk
  • ¼ teaspoon Aromatic Herbs
  • 1 teaspoon Ketchup
  • ½ tablespoon Parmesan
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 12 oz Beef Grounded
  • 1 Egg


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). In a mixing bowl, soak bread in milk. Crumble with a fork.
    2 tablespoons Milk, 2 slices Bread
  • Add seasonings, ketchup, and Parmesan. Mix well.
    ¼ teaspoon Aromatic Herbs, 1 teaspoon Ketchup, ½ tablespoon Parmesan, Salt, Pepper
  • Add meat and egg. Combine thoroughly.
    12 oz Beef, 1 Egg
  • Form a meatball and throw it back into the bowl 10 times to remove air.
  • Shape into an oval loaf. Place in an oiled baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove, brush with ketchup, and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes.
  • Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.


  • Herb Variations: Feel free to experiment with different herbs to suit your taste. Dried herbs are more potent than fresh, so use them in smaller quantities. A general rule of thumb is to use one-third the amount of dried herbs to fresh.
  • Adjusting Saltiness: If you’re using a saltier cheese like Parmesan or a salty ketchup brand, adjust the added salt in the recipe accordingly to balance the flavors.
  • Meatloaf Mix-In Ideas: For added texture and nutrition, consider mixing in finely chopped vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, or mushrooms. They should be diced small to ensure even cooking.
  • Sauce Topping Variations: Instead of plain ketchup, try topping your meatloaf with a mix of ketchup and Worcestershire sauce, or a blend of barbecue sauce and honey for a sweet and tangy glaze.
  • Cooking for Two: If you’re doubling the recipe for two servings, remember to slightly increase the cooking time. Keep an eye on the meatloaves to ensure they don’t overcook.
  • Serving Size: This recipe is tailored for a satisfying single serving. If you have a larger appetite, consider adding a side dish like mashed potatoes or a salad.
  • Cookware Tip: Cooking in a loaf pan gives your meatloaf a traditional shape, but you can also shape it by hand and cook it on a baking sheet for a more rustic look.
  • Checking Doneness: The safest way to check if your meatloaf is done is by using a meat thermometer. The internal temperature should reach 160°F (around 71°C).


Calories: 559kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 35gFat: 39gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 264mgPotassium: 587mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 47IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 81mgIron: 5mg
Keyword Beef, Meatloaf
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Your Turn

We’d love to hear how your Mini Meatloaf turned out! Please take a moment to rate the recipe and share your thoughts in the comments below. Your feedback is invaluable, whether it’s about how much you enjoyed the meal or any creative twists you added.

Plus, your tips and variations might inspire others in their culinary adventures. Let’s build a community of shared experiences and delicious discoveries!

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