I always know when my husband gets a certain look on his face after taking a bit of something new I made for him. I know in that first bite that I found a winner of a recipe. That’s what happened with these meatloaf cups.
I know what you’re thinking. Meatloaf? What’s so great about meatloaf? And with turkey? Oh, just wait until you try these. My husband immediately requested they get entered into the regular dinner rotation.
Meatloaf can easily become dried out, especially when it’s made of turkey, but these little cups were so tender and so moist. Totally the opposite of dried out meatloaf. They were full of flavor and healthy veggies, and they were super easy. It’s perfect for a weeknight because when you make them in the little cups, you cut down on the cooking time.
Do you need even more reasons to try these? You can make them ahead of time and they are freezer friendly. Boom. Done. Make them.
Now, for the recipe. This is an adaptation of a Bobby Flay recipe I came across randomly on Food Network.
Veggie-Full Turkey Meatloaf Cups
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 zucchini, diced small
4 or 5 mini sweet peppers, diced small
½ onion, diced small
3 cloves of garlic, minced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
1 ½ pounds lean ground turkey
2 teaspoons ground thyme
1 cup panko bread crumbs
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
4 oz can of mild green chiles
¾ cup ketchup
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
In a skillet, heat the olive oil. Then saute the zucchini, peppers, garlic, and onion until soft. Add a pinch or so of salt and the red pepper flakes while sauteeing. Remove from the heat and set aside to start to cool slightly.
In a bowl, add your turkey, egg, thyme, panko, cheese, chiles, ½ cup of the ketchup, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and the sautéed veggies. Add another heavy pinch of salt and some pepper. Mix until all the ingredients are combined evenly.
Divide the meat mixture evenly into the cups of a muffin pan. I didn’t spray the cups first and each one came out perfectly fine. You can also make this as a big loaf, but you will need to increase your cooking time to about an hour and fifteen minutes or so.
Once the meat is divided up, brush on a coat of the balsamic glaze, which is just the remaining ¼ cup of ketchup and ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar whisked together.
Bake at 450 for 20-25 minutes. I checked one at 20 minutes to make sure it was done and it was perfect.
Let them sit for a few minutes; it will make it easier to take them out of the cups.
These reheat really well, so I could easily see making a big batch of these for premade lunches and dinners. You could even make a bunch and freeze them and just pull out however many you need at a time. They are proportioned, which is really nice.