Meatloaf is a comfort food, but it can be laden with unnecessary calories and fat content, which is why we love this lighter version of the traditional loaf. Not only is this recipe easy to make, but it has a fun twist–these are made in muffin holders instead of a meatloaf pan, which makes this recipe kid-friendly and easy to clean up.
Not only are these muffins easy to make, but they are packed full of nutritional goodness from the mushrooms. Mushrooms are rich in riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and selenium, and studies have shown that niacin may help with cardiovascular disease, as it may protect the arteries and prevent hyperlipemia (excess buildup of fat in the arteries) (1). Mushrooms can also be used as a healthy substitute for meat and can reduce the sodium in meat-based dishes without contributing to a loss of overall flavor (2). The addition of mushrooms to this recipe also adds a moist texture that is pleasing to the palette, and is sure to become a hit at the next meal you serve it at!
2 cups butternut squash, grated or finely chopped (see note)
6 ounce baby spinach
1 pound lean ground beef, organic
1 cup panko bread crumbs (gluten free if necessary)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Box grater, food processor or spiralizer
Medium saute pan
Muffin cup liners
Ice cream scoop
Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a medium saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil and onion. Saute for 3-4 minutes until soft, then add garlic, mushrooms and butternut squash. Stir occasionally until vegetables begin to brown, then add spinach,and stir until it wilts. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, apple cider vinegar and ketchup with a wooden spoon. Add vegetable mixture, salt, and pepper to the ground beef. Using clean hands, mix until ingredients are combined.
Line two muffin tins using paper muffin cup liners. Scoop the meat mixture with an ice cream scoop, and bake for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meatloaf muffins reaches 170° F. When done, remove from oven, and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.