Paleo Mini Meatloaves

Paleo Mini Meatloaves

Few things are as beautiful as a field or forest with freshly fallen snow. Wintertime in our neck of the woods is sometimes a Currier and Ives painting come to life. It is a time for Holidays, for celebrations with family and friends, for warm blankets, cozy fireplaces and of course, for feasts. Put simply, wintertime is the comfy season. So why not spend the comfy season with some delicious, comfort-foods? Meatloaf is the ultimate comfort food in my opinion. It’s not fancy but it warms you up and makes you feel satisfied.

I’m always on the lookout for a good meatloaf recipe. But the trouble is most of them contain bread crumbs, powdered soup mixes or prepared sauce ingredients that I do not want to eat. The alternative was to come up with my own recipe containing only healthful ingredients. I had some trouble making full-sized meatloaves because they never seemed to hold their shape. The solution was to make meatloaf in muffin tins.

The recipe I bring you today is for paleo mini meatloaves. You could call them paleo meatloaf cupcakes if you prefer. Whatever you call them, these little meaty muffins are sure to be a hit with your family – including finicky children.

I performed the solemn duty of meatloaf tester. It was a tough job but someone had to do it.

paleo meatloaf

The little morsels definitely passed muster. They reheat well which makes them great to take to work for lunch. These paleo meatloaves are so chock full of vegetables they make a meal in and of themselves. If you have picky children this might be a mechanism for getting some veggies into them without hearing objections.

Here’s how I make them.

Paleo Mini Meatloaves

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground meat – mixture of grass fed beef and/or pork and/or veal
  • 10 ounces frozen, chopped spinach
  • 1-2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 6 ounces mushrooms, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, grated or finely diced
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Paleo Mini Meatloaves

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Thaw the spinach, squeeze out the excess water and set aside.
  3. Heat a pan on medium heat, add the oil and fry the onions and mushrooms until the onions are translucent and some of the liquid has cooked out of the mushrooms. Set aside to cool.
  4. Place the ground meat in a large bowl, add the spinach, carrots, mushroom/onion mixture, beaten eggs, coconut flour and all the spices. Use your hands to combine it well but do not overmix.
  5. Fill 18 regular size muffin tins to the top with the meatloaf mixture. (Greasing the tins may be a good idea if the meat you’re using is fairly lean)Paleo Mini Meatloaf
  6. Cook for 20-25-30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
  7. Allow to cool and use a knife to loosen meatloaves from sides of the pan before removing.

paleo meatloaf

I like to serve the paleo mini meatloaves with marinara sauce – either homemade or a good jarred sauce with natural ingredients and no sugar. We used Rao’s.

Paleo Mini Meatloaf

The coconut flour means my son who has nut allergies and gluten intolerance can eat these meatloaves but it does not impart a coconut flavor. The mixture of beef, pork and veal gave the meatloaves a rich and delicious flavor, tender texture and lighter color which meant the colors of the veggies shone through. You could substitute the beef/pork/veal mixture with other meats like ground turkey or chicken. etc… But be mindful of the fat content. If the meat you use is very lean you may need to adjust the recipe so they don’t dry out. Let us know in the comments how it goes if you do use a different meat or meat mixture.

I recommend serving these little paleo meatloaves with some mashed cauliflower.

Paleo Mini Meatloaves _ header

Let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by!

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87 thoughts on “Paleo Mini Meatloaves

  1. about your post of Feb 18th … it helps me to remember that the darkest shadows are created by the greatest Light – turn to that Light and the shadows won’t loom long before you. Be well.

    • I think you could make them without mushrooms. The benefit of having them is extra volume and they make the meatloaf less dense. I always put mine in a food processor so they end up so fine I don’t even notice them in the final product. If you leave them out you might want to add extra other veggies to make up the difference.

      • Just made them. Delish!! Instead of mushrooms which I didn’t have I used red and yellow bell peppers. Also I used almond flower as that’s what I had in the pantry. Oh also kale instead of spinach same reason! Will surely make again thanks!

    • Be careful of flaxseed. I once used it in hamburger and couldn’t eat it. I think the oil content of them made the meat taste slimy. Maybe different if you use whole flaxseed, but I ground mine.

      • I used ground flax and water as the binding agent in my daughter’s servings. The still thought they were yummy.

  2. Lea, these are FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!! The smell of this mixture was that good I think I could of tried it raw. They really hit the spot. Meatloaf is not huge on my list, I have only cooked it once before and thought never again. But yours, I will be making them again and again. These will be frozen for emergency lunches. I will be the talk of the lunchroom!!!

    I used beef and pork mince. I mixed the flour and seasoning with the egg 1st, bad move don’t think it blend well that way. I think my next batch I’ll try will be beef and lamb.

    Thanks again Lea for another great recipe. I am glad I tried them.

    • Hi Michelle,
      I just got back from the grocery store to buy ingredients to make these again tonight. They are good! I would agree you shouldn’t mix the egg with the flour first, that will just create a gooey glob that won’t mix into the meat. But hey, lessons learned. I do stuff like that all the time when cooking. You’ll have to let us know how they freeze. I can’t imagine they wouldn’t be just fine defrosted for lunches.
      Thanks, Lea

      • Lea, I took my frozen bag of meatloaves out yesterday, transferred them to a glass container, took them to work, heated them in the mic and there I was the talk of the lunchroom!!!! They defrosted and reheated beautifully. They make for a fantastic lunch, especially for a day like I will have tomorrow where at 5am I can grab a bag and I am off to work with an fantastic healthy lunch.

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  4. Has anyone tried using liners in the muffin tins? (the kind used for muffins or cupcakes)

    Just curious, these sound delicious and i hope to try them some time this week!

    • I used silicon cups, & they worked fine. I used lean ground beef & ground pork, no eggs, coconut flour, & the other ingredients. The mini-meatloaves were delicious & enjoyed by everyone, including grandkids.

  5. These are wonderful! Thank you so much for the recipe. My kids and husband loved them too and I didn’t get one complaint about the veggies in them.

  6. I made these and left out the eggs completely (a total accident!) and they turned out great – held together great. I used dark meat turkey and lean beef. Delish!

  7. Lea, I have tried a number of your recipes and have loved them all. You are my ‘go to’ place for food ideas. My husband absolutely loved these meatloaves (as did I). He has his eyes on donuts next!
    Keep up the great work…. and thank you so much for sharing your great paleo food ideas.

  8. These are AMAZING! I used all turkey burger, added olive oil to the mix since it was pretty lean, and added basil to the mix as well. I will DEFINITELY be making these again! Yum!

  9. Yum! I used one pound of ground turkey and one pound of 93% lean ground beef. I omitted the carrots (not a fan) and the coconut flour (didn’t have any) and they held their shape together perfectly! I would suggest filling them slightly below the brim because they puffed up a little and oozed quite a bit of grease…. Although that could be because I omitted the flour. Who knows? Either way, they were DELICIOUS. My calculations for 18 cupcakes were 100 calories each. Thanks for the recipe!!!

  10. I love all your recipes, and this one is no exception. I actually enjoy cooking now. Thanks for making eating Paleo so easy and delicious!

  11. YUM! YUM! YUM! We just made these for dinner, and OH MY GOODNESS! So delicious. This is our new favorite recipe. Thank you!

  12. I made these with deer meat, no additions of pork or other and maybe only a tablespoon of flour. I also sauteed fresh spinach in with the onions and mushrooms instead of the frozen. They were awesome and my husband who never compliments food said they were great! Thank you!

    • Dan, I think you are probably referring the a pic of the Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic recipe. Don’t let the amount of garlic scare you away -it’s delicious!

  13. I recently found your blog through a friend and I decided to make these two nights ago. I followed the recipe exactly, using lean grass fed beef, as that’s all we had. My non-paleo fiancee (he’s at about 80% paleo – eventually he’ll get there) and I both loved them. My fiancee sliced them in half and made a meatloaf sandwich, going back for seconds. They also make excellent leftovers.

    Thanks for a great recipe! I’ll definitely be making another one of your recipes soon!

  14. OH my gosh, this is my new favorite food. Even my husband, who abhors onions spinach and celery (which I added) keeps stealing these from my stash. And the darned mashed cauliflower was a perfect accompaniment. Paleo is good.

  15. these are fantastic! my only complaint is all of the fat that came from the meat (I mixed one pound 90% lean and one pound 80% lean) it kind of builds up around the edge of the mini meatloaf muffin.. but otherwise is delicious! I served with mashed cauliflower, yum!

  16. I keep reading about all of the health benefits of eating organ meats, in particular liver, but I just can handle eating it. Both the smell and texture are just too much for me. But I made about 1/4 of the meat some finely chopped up liver, and you can’t even tell it’s in there! Awesome recipe!

  17. My whole family loved these. They don’t like spinach but they loved these.:-) :-) :-) :-) I used almond flour because I didn’t have any coconut flour it was fantastic.

  18. Thanks for sharing !
    I’m doing the whole 30 right now and need something to take in the car on my long drive. How many of these would constitute a breakfast or lunch?
    Thanks ,
    Jen

    • Hi Jen,
      I would probably end up eating three of these but it would depend on what else I was having with them. Good luck with the Whole30!
      Lea

  19. This recipe made the best tasting meatloaf I have tried. The are so much veggies in there I don’t think you even need a side. Thanks for sharing!

  20. I have to say, I’ve made the seat least 6 times now and I am a huge fan! I love them for so many reasons….the bite size is brilliant, the presentation for guests is always impressive for such a home favorite. I always make extra so I can eat them the next day as a meat ball in quinoa pasta! It can be dressed up or dressed down and while it is not a light dish, it never leaves me over stuffed because of the bite sizes. Thank you!

  21. Starting paleo today..made these for our first paleo dinner..used Turkey meat and your recipe was wonderful! Used normal cupcake size pan…Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  22. I was actually looking for something to do with leftover Christmas ham! I am going to try ham loaf! Will let you know how it comes out!

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  24. Made it without the coconut flour. Delicious. My husband says, “This ones a keeper.” Honestly, this may be the first time he’s ever said that. Thanks!

  25. We made these today with a mixture of pork and beef. I left out the garlic powder because I ran out, but otherwise stuck to the recipe and it was perfect! My fiance said he loved it and I do too! Thanks for all the vegetable incorporations. Left to himself, hubby would prepare rice every night. I must remind him we need veggies for vitamins. Mother in law is coming for the first time to our home tomorrow and I think this will impress her.

  26. I had no spinach, I skipped the coconut flour and fried them as beef patties and my husband declare them as the best burgers he ever ate! Kudos to you! Thanks so much!

  27. These are delicious! Easy to make and have great flavor! I was very full and satisfied after eating just a couple of them. I bought a jar of marinara sauce as suggested which was perfect! My son put BBQ sauce on them. I know that is probably not Paleo but oh well.. The kids loved them and did’t complain about all the goodie veggies in them.
    I used a mix of beef and pork and also used my Vitamix to chop the carrots and mushrooms. Made them perfect size and consistency for this recipe.

  28. These look absolutely great and I’m planning to make them tomorrow. With the addition of liver, as a previous commenter suggested!

    Please could you tell us how long they take to prepare? Thanks a million! :-)

    • Lisa,
      You could try making a “flax egg” if you have flax meal. Google that and you’ll find the easy process. You could also possibly make these without egg or flax “egg” as a binder. I think the meat is fatty enough and making them in the muffin tin makes it easier. Good luck.
      Lea

  29. I made these tonight and used local, grass-fed beef. I left out the nutmeg because we are out and also used chopped frozen kale instead of spinach because our store didn’t have organic spinach! It made 24 cupcake sized muffins and they were delicious!!!

  30. Thank you! These look awesome and can’t wait to try them. Think I could get away with just beef? That’s all I have in the fridge and am on semi-bed rest. Hope it works!

    • I hope the recipe worked for you. Sorry of the delay in responding. The other meats add a bit more fat but most types of ground meat should work well. I hope you are feeling better, too.

  31. Yum…look delicious…a little tip from my family…our absolute favorite marinara is RAO’s…great recommendation! BUT, we recently found a very comparable marinara that is so yummy and a third of the price…Kirkland Marinara from Costco (and we are very picky.) Rao’s cost about $8 a jar and three larger jars of the Kirkland costs about $9 at Costco! Hope this helps some of you save $$$.

  32. Just made these tonight. I used all ingredients except the nutmeg. They were GREAT! My husband and daughter really enjoyed all the flavor. My daughter asked for seconds and said she LOVED the meatloaf’s. Thank you so much for this recipe.

    • Yes, I’m quite sure it would work as a regular meat loaf. I’m not sure the exact times but likely similar to any other meatloaf recipes.

  33. I made these tonight for my son who doesn’t eat any grain or dairy. He is in bed but I couldn’t resist trying one (and I don’t usually care for meatloaf!) away they are completely delicious! It’s a challenge to come up with school lunches for him but these are great!! Thanks!

    • Oh, I totally agree about the difficulty coming up with school lunches. My kids just went back last week and I’m still adjusting. Glad you like the meatloaves!

  34. I made these last night. I didn’t have any coconut flour so I left it out. I had the same problem as a previous poster who left out the flour in that my meatloaves oozed out all of this brown greasy stuff. It left them rather unattractive, but still very yummy. Also, the carrots were still quite crunchy in the finished product. I think next time I will saute the carrots with the onions and mushrooms for a few minutes to soften them up first.

  35. We eat these weekly in our house. I make them exactly as written and they are perfect! We eat about 80/20 paleo so I often make them with organic mashed potatoes and a vegetable. They also taste great leftover for breakfast.

    • Hannah,

      You can use whatever meat you choose in this recipe – either one or a combination. The downside of chicken or turkey will be a drier meatloaf that might stick to the pan a bit more than if you were to use a fattier cut of meat like pork or beef. I hope that is helpful.

  36. Just Started paleo last week, decided to try this recipe last night… OMG they are so good! I don’t like mushrooms so I omitted them, my husband loved them, and he doesn’t like veggies much, didn’t even notice the carrots or baby spinach. I used fresh :) thanks!!

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