Back-to-school time is fast approaching which is making me feel a pull towards the meals I cooked on a regular basis for my boys at this busy time of year. We can be a bit more loose-goosey during the summer but this time always brings a shift in the cooking routine as consistent mealtimes and wholesome meals are absolutely vital while they are in school.
Can you remember that sinking feeling when you were a kid on summer break and the back-to-school commercials started? I swear it felt like they started airing those darned commercials when you were just getting into the swing of the relaxed summer schedule.
I started noticing those commercials a couple of weeks ago and even though it doesn’t feel like we should be anywhere near back-to-school time, here we are. I know, oh so well, what an incredibly busy and stressful time this is, and not just for the kids, but for Mom and Dad. The mounds of paperwork, shopping for back-to-school clothes (this one is extra special fun if you have boys), and fighting the crowds with teacher lists in hand to shop for all those essential back-to-school supplies. A side note to the office supply stores – please stock more college ruled notebooks – nobody wants those wide ruled notebooks – m’kay?
My boys are old enough to shop for their own back-to-school supplies (hurray!) but regardless, these meatloaves are still a huge hit.
The meatloaf mixture is a simple combination of lean ground beef, quick cooking oats, some shredded cheddar cheese, a couple eggs, some milk, a little garlic pepper, onion powder, and salt.
Easy clean up is just as important as easy prep when life gets crazy so here’s what I do to make cleaning up after this meal a total breeze. Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty foil and coat it generously non-stick cooking spray. Form the meatloaf mixture into 8 mini loaves and place them on the prepared baking sheet. You’ll see why this is an important step in just a little bit.
The topping is a simple combination of kethcup, BBQ sauce (use your favorite), Dijon mustard, and a little brown sugar.
After the meatloaves have baked at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, spoon the topping evenly over each loaf and return the pan to the oven for an additional 25 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked.
After you serve the meatloaves, the foil can be removed and tossed. The baking sheet is completely unaffected by the whole thing. Nice.
The kids will love them, the cleanup is incredibly easy and, if you end up with leftovers, there are meatloaf sandwiches for lunch the next day.
Mini BBQ Meatloaves
- 2-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup quick cooking oats
- 1 teaspoon garlic pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
BBQ Sauce Topping:
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup prepared BBQ sauce
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty foil. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl combine the ground beef, egg, milk, cheese, oats, garlic pepper, onion powder and salt. Mix well. Form into 8 small, evenly sized meatloaves and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes in preheated oven.
- Meanwhile, in a separate small bowl, combine the ketchup, BBQ sauce, brown sugar and mustard. After the meatloaves have baked for 20 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and spoon the sauce evenly over the tops. Return the pan to the oven and bake an additional 25 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink in center. Serve.
Also on the plate with the mini meatloaves…
Looking for more back-to-school dinner ideas?