It’s time for my Mini Meatloaf Sheet Pan Dinner recipe. This one’s bound to be a busy weeknight dinner savior. The best part? It all comes together on one baking sheet which means fewer dishes for you to do afterward.
This is another recipe that’s featured in my new book, The Core 4: Embrace Your Body, Own Your Power. Note that it goes by a slightly different name, Mini Meatloaf Tray Bake. Same delicious recipe!
A couple months back, I shared another recipe from the book, Savory Ham and Egg Cups. They’ve taken my readers by storm! It never ceases to delight me when I see your creations. And The Core 4 has workouts, journal prompts, and so much more about the four pillars of health. It’s really your road map to finding a sustainable way of building your health without the pressure of restrictive diets, the scale, and exercise as punishment.
What’s a Sheet Pan Dinner?
A sheet pan dinner is, to put it simply, a way to prepare a whole meal on one baking sheet. You prep the ingredients for your main protein, side starches, and vegetables. Then, you have two choices: either bake everything at the same time or stagger the baking time depending on the ingredients. Many veggies and starches like root vegetables like potatoes need a longer baking time. You’ll put those in first, then add components that need less cooking time later on. The sweet potatoes, broccoli, and meatloaf in this recipe don’t roast at the same rate, so you’ll have to be around to add them one at a time.
The advantage of a sheet pan dinner is less clean up, and who doesn’t love that? To make it as simple as possible, line your baking sheet with parchment paper first. (See the parchment paper I like.)
Why You Need a Rimmed Baking Sheet
Before you get excited and run off to make this Mini Meatloaf Sheet Pan dinner, make sure you have a baking sheet with a rim. Some baking sheets or cookie sheets have no lip around the edge. That makes it easier to get a spatula in there to lift cookies or other items after they’ve baked. Convenient when what you’re roasting is dry and doesn’t release much moisture as it bakes.
However, in this recipe, the meatloaf tend to give off liquid as it cooks. If you use an unrimmed baking sheet, that means a drippy mess in your oven. With that in mind, make sure you stick to a rimmed baking sheet with an edge all the way around. (Here are the ones I have.)
Can You Make Meatloaf Without Breadcrumbs?
Absolutely. Breadcrumbs are traditionally added to meatloaf or meatballs after being soaked in milk. This adds moisture, can lighten the texture of the meatloaf, and acts as a binder. I’ve been making meatloaf without breadcrumbs for nearly a decade, and it comes out just fine. In this Mini Meatloaf Sheet Pan recipe, the bell pepper and onion you’ll add to the mixture provide plenty of moisture. Sometimes, people add egg to bind meatloaf, too. My mom used to do that. If you’re egg sensitive, you’ll make a damn delicious meatloaf without it. In fact, this recipe contains no egg as written.
How to Make This Mini Meatloaf Sheet Pan Dinner
Making this Mini Meatloaf Sheet Pan Dinner is quite simple to do, though it does take some awareness of time. Here’s how to make them:
- Preheat the oven.
- Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Bake the sweet potatoes for 10 minutes, then add the broccoli to the same sheet.
- Mix the meatloaf while the sweet potatoes and broccoli bake.
- Add the mini meatloaves to the same tray.
- Bake until the meatloaves are cooked through, about 25-30 minutes.
- Top with BBQ sauce or ketchup if you’d like.
Alternatively, you could bake the veggies on one sheet and the meatloaves on another.
Mini Meatloaf Sheet Pan Dinner
Growing up, I was a lover of TV dinners and a hater of meatloaf. I don’t eat TV dinners anymore, but this Mini Meatloaf Sheet Pan Dinner reminds me of them a lot because you get a full entrée in one pan (minus the little fruit crumble dessert). Sheet tray bakes rock because there are no pots and pans to clean up afterward. The meatloaf has a bit of a kick from some ground chipotle peppers and smoked paprika, and the sweet potatoes and broccoli get perfectly roasted alongside. It turns out perfectly without bread crumbs or eggs as binders.
For the vegetables
- 3 sweet potatoes small, peeled and cut into ½-inch semicircles
- olive oil or melted ghee for cooking
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 lb broccoli florets
For the meatloaves
- 1 red bell pepper small, stemmed and seeded
- ½ yellow onion small
- 1½ lb grass-fed ground beef
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp ground chipotle pepper
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ cup prepared BBQ sauce optional
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread the sweet potato semicircles on the sheet. Drizzle them with about a tablespoon of oil or melted ghee, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the sweet potatoes with your hands until everything is well coated. Bake them for 10 minutes, then add the broccoli to the sheet, stirring it in with the sweet potatoes before returning the sheet to the oven for another 10 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the meatloaves. In a food processor, pulse the red bell pepper and onion until they’re finely chopped but not a paste. You want the pieces to melt into the meatloaf. If you don’t have a food processor, chop the red bell pepper and onion very finely with a knife.
In a large bowl, combine the red bell pepper and onion with the ground beef, parsley, garlic powder, chipotle pepper, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper. Mix everything well with your hands, but don’t overmix or the meat will become tough. Shape the mixture into four even mini loaves that are tapered at the edges.
After the broccoli has been roasting for its 10 minutes, move the veggies on the baking sheet to one side and add the meatloaves to the tray. Bake everything for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the mini meatloaves are cooked through.
Top each loaf with about 1 tablespoon of the prepared BBQ sauce, if desired.