Everyone needs a quick and easy, go-to weeknight meal like these Gluten Free Meatloaf Muffins. They are petite, savory, colorful, and full of flavor. In my house, these are kid approved, which is an added bonus to any weeknight meal.
Muffins make for easy portion control. Three muffins equals a quarter pound of beef.
Kids are funny. My son has never been a huge fan of meatloaf, especially when I “hide” veggies in it. For some reason, though, he loves these meatloaf muffins. I kind of think it’s the unique, personalized feel they provide. I suppose you can think of them as the beef equivalent to chicken nuggets. They’re cute, manageable, and dip-able. The self contained shape also allows for personal choice in answer to, “How many would you like on your plate?” We all know, kids crave the power of choice.
These meatloaf muffins are quick to throw together. I begin by mixing the tomato paste, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, paprika, fresh herbs, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper into a paste. Next, I stir in the egg. To this mixture, I add the ground flax seeds and arrowroot powder. Then, I add the ground beef and mix everything thoroughly before dividing into a muffin tin.
Most of these ingredients seem pretty standard for meatloaf. Rather than use store-bought ketchup or barbecue sauce which may come with unwanted sugar or other ingredients, I create the flavor of barbecue sauce using the base ingredients of tomato paste, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and spices. An egg is pretty standard in most meatloaf recipes. It binds everything together. I like to add diced onions, peppers, and garlic for more flavor. To make this gluten free, I use ground flax seed and arrowroot rather than the usual bread crumbs.
Ground flax seed is an interesting food to consider. I only became familiar with flax seed within the last year or two. It’s a great source of fiber, boasting 2 grams of dietary fiber in each tablespoon. It also packs 2 grams of protein in each tablespoon. It’s known to be a significant source of alpha-linolenic acid, which is a fatty acid that benefits heart health. Ground flax seed also packs a powerful Omega3 punch…possibly the most significant single-food source apart from fish. Ground flax seed is versatile. I add it to oatmeal, smoothies, and soups. When mixed with water, it can replace an egg in vegan baking. In this recipe for meatloaf muffins, the ground flax seed acts as a binder.
Be sure to press the mixture down into each well of the muffin tin.
While I like to add diced onions, peppers, and garlic for added flavor, they can be considered optional. My child prefers when I don’t add peppers. Feel free to tweak this recipe and make it your own.
Gluten Free Meatloaf Muffins
– muffin pan
– 1 lb ground beef
– 2 oz tomato paste
– 1 tbsp maple syrup
– 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
– 1 tsp sea salt
– 3/4 tsp onion powder
– 3/4 tsp garlic powder
– 1/2 tsp paprika
– 1/4 tsp white pepper
– chopped fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary, and/or thyme)
– 1 egg
– 2 tbsp ground flax seed
– 2 tsp arrowroot powder
– 1/2 small onion, diced
– 1/4 sweet pepper, diced
– 3 garlic cloves, diced
1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Mix the tomato paste, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, white pepper, and optional fresh herbs into a paste.
3. Add the egg to the mixture and stir.
4. Add the ground flax seed and arrowroot powder. Stir to combine.
5. Fold in the diced onion, sweet pepper, and garlic.
6. Add the thawed ground beef and combine everything thoroughly.
7. Place some of the mixture into each well of a muffin tin. Push the mixture down so that it is packed and formed to the shape of each well.
8. Bake for 22-24 minutes. The top of each “muffin” should appear browned and caramelized when done. The beef should be cooked through.
Here on SpringForestFarm.com, Jennifer Taylor Schmidt writes beef recipes for the busy, natural homemaker. It is possible to seek optimal health with limited time and money. Join Jennifer in future posts as she explores the possibilities found in a 1/4 and a 1/2 beeve. You can also find her thoughts and personal health journey on RealFoodRealHealing.com.