Monday, May 23, 2011

Cheesy Meat Loaf Minis with Garlic Roasted Potatoes

Recipe modified by You Want Me to Cook? - February 23, 2011
For a commentary-free and printer-friendly version of it, please click here.
For a commentary-free and printer-friendly version of the Cheesy Meat Loaf Minis, please click here.
For a commentary-free and printer-friendly version of the Garlic Roasted Potatoes, please click here.

Cheesy Meat Loaf Minis Recipe originally published in Cooking Light, January/February 2011.
Garlic Roasted Potatoes originally published in Taste of Home Holiday Collection 2008, but found at the Mrs. Dash web site.

Meatloaf, as boring as it is, is one of my go-to recipes when I’m in a pinch.  I always have ingredients on hand and have a favorite recipe (Better Homes and Gardens).  On occasion, I’ll stuff it with vegetables and cheese, but for the most part, it’s a standard recipe that, while tasty, doesn’t have much pizzazz.  The Cheesy Meat Loaf Minis definitely had a more interesting ingredient list than my usual meatloaf.  Horseradish, Dijon mustard, onion and garlic made it almost impossible for me to pass up.

Since meatloaf isn’t really difficult to make, I decided this was a dish I needed to prepare with a side.  Now, I have a list of about 9000 recipes (yes, you read that right) of every kind of dish you can imagine.  I couldn’t find ANYTHING I wanted to serve with my mini-loaves.  I stumbled across this recipe that was attributed to a magazine, yet was so old that I found it on a completely different web site than the original.

I don’t know if that made any sense.  I think I need to tweak my medication.

On to the pictures!!!!!

My finished meal:
© You Want Me to Cook?
Cheesy Meat Loaf Minis with Garlic Roasted Potatoes
Admit it.  You want to eat the mini-meatloaf.  Okay, my vegetarian friends/followers don’t, but the carnivores, like me, do.  My loaves didn’t look as pretty as those of Cooking Light, but they aren’t ugly either.

The smell was FANTASTIC, but upon reflection of this dish, I should have gone with my initial instincts and made garlic mashed potatoes.  Still it tasted good with the meatloaf and overall I was happy with the way it looked.

The pictures with the recipes:
© Cooking Light
© Mrs. Dash

As I said above, their loaves are very pretty and perfectly formed.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say they used a mold and then turned them out onto the broiler.  Of course, professional chefs and food stylists probably have the ability to make them gorgeous.  Same goes for the perfect, symmetrical potato wedges that are perfectly coated in the marinade.

Still, I was proud of what I made and figured it wasn’t that far off.

for more details about what my ratings mean, go to Gretchen’s Rating System

MessSIGH – so potatoes are starchy and always make a mess.  Add to that the meat getting all over my hands during mixing.  However, the straw that broke the camel’s back was moving everything between the multiple pans and my potato marinade burning to the bottom of the pan making it impossible to clean.

Start-to-Finish Time: ALMOST AN HOUR AND A HALF – You’ll save yourself some time if you start the potatoes first then prepare and make the meat loaf minis during the first bake of the potatoes.  If you move fast enough, you’ll be able to finish cooking both dishes together.

Prep Work: SLIGHT BLOOD LOSS – there’s just some light chopping (none of it precise) and I left out the fresh herbs (used dry) so it was fairly easy to get everything ready.  Of course, the potatoes require peeling, but it still isn’t anything a novice chef, such as me, can’t handle.

Ease of Recipe: THE BASICS – there’s really nothing new to learn in the recipe, but there are a lot of steps.  Also, if you want to have the potatoes and meat loaf minis come out at the same time, you have to be efficient with your time and move at a steady pace.

OverallYUMMY – the YUMMY applies more to the meat loaf minis than the potatoes.  I’d make the minis again in a heartbeat, but the potatoes I’d pass on.

Recipe Information:
I am not a doctor or dietician.  I make my nutritional assessments with the aid of (Calorie Count)  I run the original recipe and my altered recipe through their calorie counter and then compute the differences I find.  My numbers are to be used as a guideline.  Anyone who is under dietary medical supervision should follow the advice of their medical professional if their opinion differs from mine.  PLEASE!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Ready in: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

Nutritional Information (1 meat loaf mini & 4 potato wedges)
  • Calories 452
  • Total Fat 14.6g (Saturated Fat 5.7g)
  • Cholesterol 112mg
  • Calcium 159mg
  • Sodium 631mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 55.2g
  • Protein 32.5g
  • Fiber .9g
  • Iron 2.6mg
  • Potassium 699mg
What I did was blend together the timing for the two recipes based on how I made them.  I think the recipe writers really underestimated the timing of the Cheesy Meat Loaf Minis.  The potatoes were really accurate, but it took me a little longer to assemble the minis than they had projected.  Here is how long it took me to make the dishes:

Garlic Roasted Potatoes:
  • Prep Time: 7 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • 2nd Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 57 minutes
Cheesy Meat Loaf Minis:
  • Prep: 9 minutes
  • Cook bread crumbs and onion mixture: 14 minutes
  • Assemble loaves: 13 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 61 minutes
Obviously, you are making 6 mini loaves, so you’re getting the 6 servings as stated.  I got 6 servings out of the potatoes as well.  I used slightly larger potatoes and served everything with a nice salad.

Cheesy Meat Loaf Minis had significantly higher numbers than listed by cooking light.  Of course it could be an anomaly in the types of products used by both calculators.  Just know that I’m not convinced that my numbers are totally inaccurate.

Cheesy Meat Loaf Minis/Garlic Roasted Potatoes/Total
  • Calories 346+187 = 533
  • Total Fat 16.8+2.2 = 19g (Saturated Fat 8.2g)
  • Cholesterol 127+0 = 127mg
  • Sodium 626+753 = 1379mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 14.7+39.5 = 54.2g
  • Fiber 1.2+5.1 = 6.3g
  • Sugars 6.3+6.5 = 12.8g
  • Protein 30.3+3.6 = 33.9g
Meat Loaf Minis:
  • Nutrition Grade B-
  • Good Points: High in B12 & zinc
  • Bad Points: High in saturated fat & cholesterol
Garlic Roasted Potatoes:
  • Nutrition Grade A-
  • Good Points: Very low in saturated fat, no cholesterol, high in fiber, potassium & vitamin B6, and VERY high in Vitamin C
  • Bad Points: High in sodium
I must admit that I'm really disappointed in the nutritional information for this recipe.   I got the recipe for the biggest calorie/fat/cholesterol item from Cooking Light.  I clearly isn't light at all.

Changes denoted by red text

Cheesy Meat Loaf Minis:
1 ounce of day-old French bread
Cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup ketchup, divided
3 ounces brick cheese, diced
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (extra lean 88%)
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Garlic Roasted Potatoes:
1/2 cup Mrs. Dash Zesty Garlic Herb Marinade
3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
Cooking Spray

Ingredient Notes:
French bread – the original recipe called for ½ cup of fresh breadcrumbs, but since you actually have to make these, I decided to break it down and include the steps in the recipe.

Onion – since they didn’t specify a type, I used a white onion.  To get the 1 cup of chopped onion, use a small-medium one.

Garlic – to save time, I used pre-minced.

Brick Cheese – the original recipe called for white cheddar cheese, but I had a heck of a time finding it.  So I decided to look it up in Cook’sThesaurus and it said it is a pungent American washed-rind cheese.  It also said a substitute was brick cheese, so that’s what I found and used.

Parsley – the original recipe call for ¼ cup fresh, but mine ended up going bad, so I used the dry I had on hand.

Shredded Parmesan Cheese – the original recipe called for grated, but I usually keep shredded around and that’s what I used.

Ground Beef – the recipe called for ground sirloin (90/10), but I couldn’t find it at the grocery store I visited that day.  I did find a lean ground beef (88/12) AND it was on sale, so I decided to go with that instead.

3 large potatoes – I originally purchased 4 potatoes, but they were GIGANTIC.  I was still going to cut them all up, but as I was peeling one, it shot out of my hand and into the garbage.  Thus, I only cut up three and still had plenty of potatoes.  This again reinforced the peel bowl to me.

Cutting up potatoes into wedges can be a tricky thing to do.  Here's how I make my potato wedges:
© You Want Me to Cook?
Step 1: I cut the potatoes in half and place them cut side down on the cutting board.

© You Want Me to Cook?
Step 2: I cut the potatoes in half in one direction.

© You Want Me to Cook?
Step 3: I cut the potatoes in quarters by making a perpendicular cut into the second cut.

© You Want Me to Cook?
Step 4: I make two more cuts cutting each quarter into two pieces.

Equipment Needed:
© You Want Me to Cook?
Cheesy Meat Loaf Minis - equipment needed
Cutting board
Bread knife
Food processor
Sharp knife
Small bowl
Vegetable peeler
(2) Large bowls
Small skillet
Wooden spoon
Large skillet
Large spoon
Spoon - mixing
Broiler pan
© You Want Me to Cook?
Garlic Roasted Potatoes - equipment needed
13x9x2" baking pan
Spoon – mixing

Equipment Notes:
Small bowl & fork – I used these to beat the egg before adding it to the meat mixture.

Scale - I used it to accurately measure the 1 ounce of bread and 3 ounces of cheese.

Mini-spatula – I find this is a much easier tool to use than a knife when spreading sauce on top of raw meat.

(1)   Start the potatoes:
(a)   Coat a 13x9x2" baking pan with cooking spray.
(b)   Add marinade and potatoes. Toss well to coat.
(c)   Bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes.
(2)   Prepare the meat loaf minis:
(a)   Place the bread in the food processor and pulse it until you get fine breadcrumbs. Set aside.
(b)   Place the ground beef in a large bowl and set aside.
(c)   Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add breadcrumbs; cook 3 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently. When finished, place in a second large bowl.

Be ready to dump the breadcrumbs immediately from then pan after you have removed them from the heat.  The hot pan continues to cook them and will start them burning in even an extra 15 seconds.  That’s about how long it took me to set off the smoke alarm

(d)   After breadcrumbs are complete, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray.

Remember to remove from the heat source first before spraying.  I speak from experience when I say that you will get a mini-fireball in your kitchen if you do not.  It’s funny because not too long ago, you couldn’t add cooking spray to a hot pan.  I specifically remember the directions telling you NOT to do that.

Another side note: I happened to spray myself in the face with the cooking spray when taking the top of the can off.  It was funny, but blinding.

(e)   Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Add onion mixture, to the breadcrumbs.
(f)   Add 1/4 cup ketchup, and remaining ingredients to the breadcrumb and onion mixture.
(g)   Add the breadcrumb and onion mixture to the ground beef.

It is easiest to mix the breadcrumb-onion-meat mixture with your hands.  Making the breadcrumb-onion mixture first and adding to beef assures even mix through beef.

(h)   Shape into 6 (4 x 2-inch) loaves on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; spread 2 teaspoons ketchup over each.
(3)   Remove the potatoes from the oven and turn up the temperature to 425°F.

(4)   Place the meat loaf minis in the oven and bake at 425°F for 25 minutes or until done.

(5)   Toss potatoes and continue to roast for an additional 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender and browned. Watch them closely.

Really the potatoes weren’t still cooked all the way through.  They probably could have gone another 5-10 minutes, but the marinade in the pan was starting to burn.  This was the second time the smoke alarm went off while making this meal and the pan was a burnt mess when I was through.  Seriously, I had to soak and scrub at least 4 times before it even started to come off.  I almost threw the pan away.

That aside, the Cheesy Meat Loaf Minis were juicy and filled with flavor.  Even if I decide to make my standby meatloaf recipe, I’ll add the horseradish and Dijon to the meat mixture.  The potatoes were a little dry, but still edible.  Things I’d change:
  • Had I not had the pan issue, I maybe would have stirred one more time and cooked the potatoes another 5-10 minutes.
  • Also, I might add a little olive oil after the first bake to keep the marinade wet and not sticking/burning to the pan.  Maybe line the pan with foil too… just in case.


  1. Great recipe! I bet it did smell fantastic!

  2. It was one of those times that I didn't care if my house smelled like dinner for days. :)