Italian Mini Meat Loaves

My sweet friend, Betsy, brought these little meat loaves to our family after one of our babies were born. With it, she brought a mashed potato casserole and an applesauce gelatin dish that fed us for three meals. I certainly felt spoiled!

We often make a triple batch of these mini meat loaves in order to share some with a friend or to put some in the freezer for another time. I like that they bake more quickly than a big meat loaf, and I can change the sauce on top to suit different tastes. Betsy initially made these with ground pork, but I usually use ground beef just because it’s what I have on-hand. I have shared the recipe many times, and I know people who use a mixture of beef and pork, ground venison or even pork sausage. Quite frankly, they’re pretty hard to mess up and that’s a good thing!

2 eggs, beaten
¾ c. cracker or bread crumbs
½ c. milk
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
¼ c. finely chopped onion (I usually use more.)
1 t. Worcestershire sauce (I usually use more of this, too.)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 lbs. ground pork (or whatever)
¼ c. ketchup

In large bowl, combine eggs, crumbs, milk, Parmesan cheese, onion, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt and Italian seasoning. Add meat and mix well.

Shape into 10 individual loaves; place on rack in a large, greased, shallow pan (or on broiler pan).

Spread ketchup over loaves.

Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until no pink remains.

You can freeze them before baking (which is what I usually do) and then thaw and bake accordingly.  I freeze them on a cookie sheet (see below) overnight and then divide them up into meal-sized portions and put in freezer bags before putting them back in the freezer until I need them.

meat loaves for the freezer

You can also freeze them after baking and just re-heat when needed.

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