I have recently discovered many mini-foods I can make with my muffin pan. I’m not really a muffin person, so the pan has lingered unloved in the cabinet next to the oft-used cookie sheets. Until now!
My new uses for muffin tins include:
- Chicken pot pies
- Meat loaves
The nice thing about cooking in a muffin pan is that it takes a much shorter amount of time to cook the item, saving a few bucks on heating your oven. Plus, you end up with individual servings just right for a lunch box.
Here is how I made the mini meat loaves:
Start with ground meat. I used a pound and a half. This allowed for one meal and left over for lunches. I used organic, grass fed beef. Yes, it is pricey, but I would rather spend the money on this grade of ground beef instead of factory farm grown filet mignon. I think it is a wiser financial move because I am giving my family food free of antibiotics. Needless to say, we haven’t had any filet mignon for a very, very long time.
Add the following and mix: (feel free to add whatever other extras are right for your family)
- 2 tablespoons bread crumbs (more if you want to stretch your meat)
- 1 egg
- 2 crushed garlic gloves
- 2 tablespoons salsa (medium hotness)
- salt and pepper to taste
Form meat mixture into balls and put directly into the individual muffin cups. Gently press the ball into the cup to form a flat bottom. The meat will shrink somewhat (see picture) so don’t fill so much that the juices will spill out and into your stove.
Top the balls with BBQ sauce or a sauce of your own mixture. I used a mix of ketchup & mustard.
Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until done. Note that this same recipe in a regular meat loaf pan takes an hour to cook.
If you run across a great ground beef sale, you can make up several batches of these mini meat loaves and then freeze them to save money on your groceries. One mini loaf is the perfect size for slicing up to make a man-sized sandwich or two kid sized sandwiches. These also travel well in a lunch box wrapped in a sandwich bag or container. Include a small container of spaghetti sauce or ketchup for a dip.
My family LOVES these “meat muffins.” I hope you do too.
Have you started using your muffin pan more?
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