There is something very comforting about meatloaf. It’s really just a hamburger dressed up with yummy aromatics such as onion and celery. And for me, the leftovers are divine! Nothing beats having a cold meatloaf sandwich the next day on white bread with a heaping spoonful of mayo spread on top. Oh wow. Sometimes I think I make meatloaf just so a can have that sandwich the day after.
Anyway, about a month ago I found myself in a quandary. I had some hamburger thawed in the refrigerator on a weeknight and I started having that craving for meatloaf but knew I wouldn’t have time after work to pick up the kids, prepare the ingredients, and wait for the meatloaf to bake in the oven for an hour before the kids started getting restless and tired. So I tried a new stovetop technique and made “mini” meatloaves in 15 minutes! Not a thing is lost on these little wonders. The taste, texture (and sliceability the next day!) are all great. Plus, I can sneak in a little bit of carrot along with the aromatics so the kids have even more servings of veggies. I’m also able to make a down-home, filling meal for my husband to enjoy at the end of his long day. I like to serve this with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.
Here’s how I do it:
-1 pound of 15% fat hamburger
-About 10 saltine or club crackers crushed finely inside a plastic bag
-8 ounces of stewed tomatoes crushed by hand
-1 tablespoon ketchup
-1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
-1 stalk of celery finely diced
-1 small onion finely diced
-1 small carrot finely diced
-1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
-1/4 teaspoon of dried basil
-1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme
-Extra ketchup to spoon on top of loaves
For the garlic mashed potatoes:
-4 russet potatoes, diced
-1/4 cup of lite sour cream
-A couple of splashes of nonfat milk–enough to moisten to the desired consistency
-1/2 tablespoon of garlic powder
-Salt and pepper to taste
As a side: 1 big bunch of broccoli to steam on top of the potatoes as they’re boiling.
Bring a large sauce pot of salted water to a boil. Peel and dice four russet potatoes and cut and de-stem broccoli.
Dice the vegetables for the meatloaf and saute them in the olive oil in a large frying pan until soft. Season the veggies with salt and pepper. Place the softened vegetables into a bowl and set aside to cool. In a large mixing bowl, add the hamburger and all the other ingredients, except the olive oil and extra ketchup. Mix by hand and add about a half tablespoon of salt and 1/4 tablespoon of pepper to the mixture. Add the cooled veggies to the hamburger and mix by hand until incorporated.
Place cut up potatoes into boiling water and stir. Place a steamer pot on top, put broccoli in it and place a lid on top. Boil for about 10 minutes on medium-low heat or until broccoli and potatoes are tender. Turn down the heat a bit if you have to in order to avoid the water overspilling.
Next, form the hamburger into a patted-down ball and score evenly with the side of your hand lengthwise down the middle and up and down so that the mixture looks divided into four equal parts. Take each quarter and form into the shape of four mini loaves.
Then, heat the frying pan again to medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, place each loaf in the pan and sear on one side until browned. Then turn each one, spoon some ketchup over the tops and sear on the other side until browned. Once there is nice color on both sides, lower the heat and pour about two tablespoons of water into the pan. Place a lid on the pan and cook the meatloaf on medium-low heat for 12 to 15 minutes until cooked through. The steam is the magic that makes these loaves moist and tender on the inside! Add more water, if needed, to continue the steaming action.
While the loaves cool, set the broccoli aside, drain the potatoes, and place them back into the saucepan. Add the sour cream, nonfat milk, garlic powder and enough salt and pepper to taste. Mix by hand with a slotted potato smasher until smooth.
That’s it! I usually slice the meatloaf into bite-sized pieces for the kids
Super easy and really yummy (but not better than those leftover sandwiches!)