Sunday Dinner: Tomato-Glazed Mini Meatloaves


Before you scoff at the concept of individual meatloaves, consider the facts:

  • The cooking time is about forty minutes shorter than roasting a traditional loaf, making these an ideal main dish for a quick weeknight dinner.
  • Or a Sunday dinner, when you’re up to your ears doing life, but still want to sit down together, civilized-like, at least once on the weekend.
  • More surface area for the tennis ball-sized meatloaves means more delicious crust to enjoy and more room for the glaze to drip down and caramelize on the pan.
  • There’s also no awkward sawing of a loaf made from meat; the single serving meatloaves spoon up easily in tidy portions.

Sunday Dinner: mini tomato-glazed meatloaf

I served these Tomato-Glazed Mini Meatloaves yesterday for a very simple Sunday dinner, with a smattering of roasted mushrooms to accompany them. A humble baked potato made up our super simple side dish, and a bowl of Stir-fried Brussels Sprouts with Lemon, Bacon & Parmesan rounded out the meal. There were no complaints. Did I mention there was Dark Chocolate Beet Bundt Cake for dessert?

They would have also been brilliant with fluffy buttermilk mashed potatoes, or browned butter whipped sweet potatoes; I have a feeling we’re going to be trying out one of those combinations before too long.

This recipe originates for the stellar The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, of which I am beginning to delve into and discover just how wonderful it is. I made a few minor changes to the recipe – but who isn’t going to sub in maple syrup for honey when you’ve just tapped your trees and are reducing the syrup on the stove at the same time the recipe is coming together?

mini meatloaves ingredients-1

I also cut back on the onion by half, because I wanted Clara to fully enjoy the mini meatloaves and I wasn’t sure how strong the onion flavor would come through. Turns out I could have probably added the whole thing. A gentle saute of the vegetables subdues the onion and brings out the sweetness in both the onion and the carrots.

This recipe comes together quickly, thanks to the help of a food processor which does most of the chopping. Once all the ingredients are assembled, roll up your sleeves and get your hands in there, it’s the only way. Better yet? Let one of the kids do it.

All the children enjoyed the meatloaves; Clara in particular, who plowed through her own entire boule – and then ran her sticky fingers through her hair. Sigh.

Tomato-Glazed Mini Meatloaves

These individual meatloaves are light and full of flavour and a nice twist on a classic dish. They are perfect for a weeknight dinner because they bake up quickly. Recipe is adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.
4.5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 365kcal
Author: Aimee



  • 4 teaspoons coconut oil or vegetable oil, as per Deb's original recipe
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey I used maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt


  • 2 slices sandwich bread
  • 1/2 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 medium stalk celery finely chopped
  • 1 medium-sized carrot finely chopped
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • 1 teaspoon table salt plus more for vegetables
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 medium-sized eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce



  • Combine glaze ingredients in a small saucepan, and simmer, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes until coconut oil is dissolved and glaze is satin smooth. Set aside.


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Tear the bread into chunks and then blend it, in a food processor, into breadcrumbs. Place the breadcrumbs in a large bowl. You should have about 1 cup.
  • Add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrot to the food processor, and pulse it until they are finely chopped.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, coat the bottom with olive oil, and heat the oil for a minute; add the finely chopped vegetables. Season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Add the vegetables to the large bowl with breadcrumbs, then add the remaining ingredients. Stir the ingredients together with a fork or your hands.
  • With wet hands, form the mixture into twelve 3-inch meatballs; each will weigh about 4 ounces.
  • Space meatballs so that they are not touching, in a baking dish. Drizzle or brush each meatball with a teaspoon or so of the tomato glaze you made earlier, and bake until cooked through, about 20 minutes (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a cooked meatball will register 160 to 165F)
  • Serve with additional glaze if desired.


Calories: 365kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 660mg | Potassium: 525mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1510IU | Vitamin C: 4.2mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 3.3mg


This week, Danny, Clara and I will head to Hockley Valley Resort for the much-anticipated Food Bloggers of Canada conference. We’ll meet up with nearly one hundred of the countries finest food bloggers, cookbook authors and food personalities. I’m speaking on a panel with Jan of Family Bites and Dan of Dan’s Good Side, so that should be a riot!

I’d like to say a special thanks to Canadian Beef,  the official sponsor of the 2013 Food Bloggers of Canada conference. Canadian Beef is making it possible for me to attend FBC2013 and for that I am truly grateful! Check out their blog for recipe ideas, news, contests and interesting articles.

Psst. If you’re attending the conference, please come up and say hi to us!

How do you like to prepare beef?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. 5 stars
    Aimée – these were a huge hit when I made them with Les Petits Chefs last year from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook – I love the idea of individual meatloaves too 🙂 Can’t wait to see you on Friday!

  2. bobbie-sue says

    Aimee, these sound great! I’m adding them to the meal plan for this week. One question though: the picture seems to have 2 eggs, but I don’t see them as ingredients. Are they missing from the recipe or am I seeing things? Thanks!

  3. Martinique says

    I’ve been slacking on putting together my meal plan for this week. Looks like I just filled in one of my days! Can’t wait to try this out Wednesday night! Look delish Aimee, thanks for sharing!! 🙂

  4. These are so cute and sound delicious!

  5. What a perfect family meal! I just know my boys would love this. Can’t wait to try!

  6. 5 stars
    Looks good!! Will def make those maybe for this Sunday’s family dinner. Love including the kids in meal prep.

  7. Hey these recipes seems to good to be taken regularly on a sceduled dinner.Now iwould take these dishes with my family as tomato addas more flavour to the dish.

  8. I have added ground beef to a soup that is simmering in my crock-pot on this dreary spring morning. Along with fresh buns it will make a quick, cozy supper for our busy music lesson evening! : )

  9. Seeeeeriously love these. And that PAN, are you joking.

  10. Oh girl, I want to come to YOUR Sunday Dinner!

  11. I love that they are mini!

  12. Gorgeous little mini meatloafs! And a great idea- i bet my kids would be totally into these!

  13. These sound delicous! I definitely have to try them as the longer cooking time on my regular meatloaf recipe is a major drawback for us! Is that parsley you have in the picture as well? I just didn’t see it listed, but it certainly looks like it!

    • Holy Hannah. Yes, my ‘assistant’ missed that too!! The recipe has been updated (again).
      Rest assured the recipe is complete now. =)
      Is it Monday, by any chance?

  14. What an amazing Sunday dinner! (Can I come over please? 😉
    Can’t wait to see you in just DAYS!!! xo

  15. I can’t wait to see the three of you on Friday. I made this recipe for my boys from the SK cookbook and we loved it. Such a great option for dinner, and I love that you used your maple syrup in the glaze!

  16. Absolutely love this, Aimee! Meatloaf is a favorite in this house, but I don’t like the big slices of it. Mini, they’re mouthwatering! This is a must-try. Thanks!

  17. These are just brilliant. We <3 meatloaf (but not so much the cooking time) Will be trying these : )

  18. 3 stars
    This recipe looks delicious. Do you know the nutritional values? If you post it on they will calculate it for you and you can get paid for posting recipes.

  19. These are perfect & we are always up for a new meatballs recipe.

  20. Meatloaf hair products are all the rage? Didn’t you hear? 🙂 And I love the idea of these to save on cooking time, it’s the reason I make muffins more times than loaves!

  21. I love that this comes together in such a quick amount of time and yet it still has all the flavor components of a meatloaf. This looks so good and comforting for a Sunday meal!

  22. We made these for dinner tonight, along with the Brussels sprouts. Rounded out blog recipe day with the Mac and cheese posted on 100 days of real food. Fabulous dinner!

    These will go into regular rotation, AND I have a new favorite way to cook Brussels. Thank you for posting.

    • Bravo! Sounds like a killer dinner. Mac & Cheese is SO much more exciting than baked potatoes.
      Every time I make those Brussels, my husband threatens to steal the whole bowl. =)

      Keep cooking!

  23. I love all foods that are mini 🙂 these look delicious, my husband would love them!

  24. Forget scoffing, I’m thinking scarfing! I love individual portions of anything and the quicker cooking time: what a bonus!

  25. I learned this trick from my Mom [meatloaf for 7 takes a long time to cook all in a big bunch], and use it often. These look really good!

  26. I’ve had my eye on this recipe from Deb’s cookbook since the first day I got it. Who doesn’t love meatloaf? And the individual portions are just genius.

    Oh, and I’m loving all of your Sunday family dinner instagrams/posts. So inspiring!

    • Deb is nothing short of genius. And she’s way cooler, too, serving the meatloaves with a gorgeous mash instead of baked potatoes….but I’m just keeping it real. =)

      Thanks for the encouragement with Sunday dinner. Sometimes I wonder why the heck I bother, but if I inspire ONE family to gather, unhurried around the table on a Sunday, then it is all worth it!

  27. I am liking the sound of mini meatloaves!

  28. These are in the oven as we speak! I can’t wait for my almost 1 year old, 7 and 5 year olds to try them. I completely missed the parsley , but hopefully it won’t make too much of a difference to the taste! Thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂

  29. 5 stars
    My boyfriend made our version of these last night. He made a bunch of cheesy mashed potatoes, then we put the mini meatloaves on top. Delicious!! Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

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