Hidden Vegetable Meatloaf Recipe (Mini Size)

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Hidden Vegetable Meatloaf Recipe (Mini Size) from domesticsoul.com

I love this idea so much. It’s perfect for almost any diet – it’s egg free, gluten free, grain free, paleo, primal, low carb and more. About the only group this might not be suited for is anyone trying to watch their nightshade consumption because there are tomatoes in it. But, don’t lose hope, you could totally swap out the tomatoes for another vegetable with beautiful results!

The reason I love this dish so much (other than it being delicious, of course), is that I know some parents have trouble getting their kids to eat vegetables. Hey, some kids are picky eaters, I get it. (No judgment here. Do what you gotta do.) The beauty of this is, even if you take the brussel sprouts off the plate, there are still 5 different vegetables on that plate: tomatoes, carrots, garlic, onions and spinach. When it’s done cooking, only the chef will know! The kids will just taste a delicious, and oh-so-moist meatloaf.

And, even if you don’t need to hide vegetables in your household, it’s still worth trying. I made this for dinner and everyone went back for seconds.

Note: I came up with this recipe based on what I had left in the house. So, I have included options for substitutions on some of the ingredients if you are buying them fresh. Baby carrots, for example, are usually kept around my house for snacks, so that’s what I had handy… but regular carrots would work just fine. You get the idea. Feel free to experiment!

Hidden Vegetable Meatloaf Recipe (Mini Size) Photo Tutorial
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Ingredients:

1.5lbs ground beef – OR – 1 lb ground beef and 0.5lb bacon, chopped
0.5 lb bacon (for slices on top of each loaf)
5 baby carrots (or equivalent of whole carrots), diced
1 handful baby spinach, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1/2 large onion, diced
1 14.5oz can tomatoes
1 large pinch parsley
1 large pinch savory
1 large pinch thyme
cooking oil
salt & pepper

Step 1: In a small pot, heat a bit of cooking oil over medium heat – just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Add garlic and cook for a minute or two to brown a bit. Add the carrots, spinach, onion, tomatoes, parsley, savory, thyme, salt, and pepper.

Hidden Vegetable Meatloaf Recipe (Mini Size) from domesticsoul.com

Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through and are starting to break down.

Step 2: Once the vegetables are cooked through, remove from heat and let cool. Pour the vegetables into a bowl and, using your stick blender, blend the vegetables into a thick sauce.

Hidden Vegetable Meatloaf Recipe (Mini Size) from domesticsoul.com

Step 3: Add either 1.5lbs ground beef OR 1 lb ground beef and o.5 lbs chopped bacon to the sauce. Use your hands and mix the meat into the sauce very thoroughly – like you’re making meatballs. Don’t be shy! Really give it a good squish! The mixture will be a bit wet. This is just fine. (Note: If you’re using only ground beef, I’ve found you might need a little extra salt.)

Step 4: Separate the meat into roughly 9 equal sections. Shape them into mini loaves and place them in a large Pyrex baking dish leaving some room in between each loaf. These loaves will release a lot of liquid when they cook, so you want the space to let them drain a bit and not turn into mush. Top each loaf with half a slice of bacon.

Hidden Vegetable Meatloaf Recipe (Mini Size) from domesticsoul.com

Step 5: Cook in the oven at 400° until cooked through – about 45 minutes, give or take. Then, serve and enjoy! (Note: If you’re using thick cut bacon and it’s taking to long to crisp, put it under the broiler for a few minutes. It’ll crisp up perfectly.) Shown here served with Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Bacon & Apple Recipe from littlepinkmonsters.com. It’s very delicious and definitely worth a try!

Hidden Vegetable Meatloaf Recipe (Mini Size) from domesticsoul.com

 

17 COMMENTS

  1. Am working on this now. Can’t have eggs so used applesauce instead. Had leftover broccoli and some zucchini so added that along with my dried mushrooms, spinach, carrots and onions. Will let you know how it turns out. Racks are a good idea.

    • Please do let me know how it turned out. My first thoughts are that it would be a bit too watery with the applesauce, but I’d be very glad to be proven wrong! I’m excited about the idea of an egg-free variation for this recipe. I’m sure it would be very helpful to a lot of people.

      – Manda

  2. Delicious recipe. I hate using bread or breadcumbs in my meatloaf so I loved this alternative. My wife likes meatloaf when it has the baked ketchup on top, and we’ve been eating tons of bacon, so I skipped the bacon and put a layer of ketchup on top of each before putting in the oven. Fantastic turn out. Everyone loved it and wanted seconds.

  3. How long is this supposed to cook for? I don’t normally cook meatloaf so I have no idea how long to leave it in the oven. I am cooking it right now and plan to cook for 20 minutes and then check it out

    • About 45 minutes, but it will depend a little on your stove and the pan used and such (some cook a little faster), so keep an eye on them around that time. You might have to pull them a little early, or leave them a few extra minutes.

      HTH!

  4. I made these tonight. I cooked them on a wire rack over a cooking dish to catch the liquid. They turned out moist but not soggy. Very yummy.

  5. Just put this in the oven. Used kale instead of spinach, added mushrooms and a green pepper to the veggie ingredients. Dash of celery salt, basil, and oregano. I didn’t have any savory. Will get back after eating.

  6. Thanks for this! I made it as one large loaf, as my dish was too small to fit the small loaves. Very tasty – although came out a bit watery, I think as my veg:meat ratio was a little too high (trying to translate to UK measurements) and also I substituted mustard for the garlic, as I can’t eat garlic. But still sooo yummy… bacon was nice touch! 🙂

  7. […] 8. Hidden Vegetable Mini-Meatloaf They aren’t kidding when they say that the veggies in the recipe are hidden. They’re hidden under a layer of bacon and a loaf of meat. Somehow they’ve managed to pack spinach, onions, carrots, tomatoes, and a bunch of herbs in this meatloaf, so you’re getting a ton of phytonutrients, fiber, and essential minerals your body needs to function properly. This makes it one of the healthiest meatloaves on our list, and one that you should definitely try, especially if you don’t really like eating your vegetables. The baby spinach alone is enough to round out your nutritional intake on this one. […]

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