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!
To warm up on a chilly winter day, serve these muffins with our Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes or our Red Lentil Soup with Sweet Potatoes. In the warmer months, try pairing these muffins with our Chard Salad for a light, easy meal that will help beat the heat.
Butternut Squash Meatloaf Muffins
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped
- 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
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Box grater, food processor or spiralizer
- Measuring spoons
- Cutting board
- Medium saute pan
- Large bowl
- Wooden spoon
- Muffin tin
- 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.
You can spiralize butternut squash or buy it spiralized then cut it into bite sized pieces.
If desired, substitute sweet potatoes for butternut squash.
Serving size: 4 muffins Calories: 420 calories, Fat: 18 grams, Saturated fat: 6 grams, Carbohydrates: 40 grams, Sugar: 4 grams, Sodium: 460 milligrams, Fiber: 6 grams, Protein: 24 grams, Cholesterol: 140 milligrams
(1) Pharmacological effects of niacin on acute hyperlipemia. Current Medical Chemistry. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27063258
(2) A. Mydral Miller et al, Flavor-enhancing properties of mushrooms in meat-based dishes in which sodium has been reduced and meat has been partially substituted with mushrooms. 2014, Journal of Food Science A Publication of the Institute of Food Technologists. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1750-3841.12549/abstract