Mini Lunchbox Meatloaves

3 Reviews / 5 Average
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My 14-year-old daughter, who told me at one point this summer that she wanted to be a pescatarian, asked me the other day to make meatloaf for dinner. 🤔 I love how our kiddos keep us on our toes, LOL. And the funny thing is, I am not sure I’ve ever made meatloaf for dinner before!

I have made it for school lunches though, inspired by one of Real Lunches, Real Easy school lunch plans (that are available for only 2 weeks a year—including right now!). So I got out the recipe and not only made another batch for the freezer (for the lunchboxes) but also made an extra batch that I baked in a loaf pan for our dinner. It was well-received by all! And now I love how stocked my freezer is feeling for school lunches. :)

Here’s how I packed a couple of them in the lunchbox this week—my kids eat them cold and love them! It’s an excellent option for bigger appetites or any kids heading to sports after school. If your kid doesn’t eat as much, just send one instead of two. I love how our lunch plans (developed by Kiran on our team) introduced us to something new that my girls are excited to have at school. Sometimes it feels like half the battle is just keeping things interesting! Hope your little ones enjoy this as much as mine do.

I shared this and some other “freezable” lunch ideas on the Charlotte Today show yesterday. Here’s the clip if you want to see it!

Mini Lunchbox Meatloaves on 100 Days of Real Food

Mini Lunchbox Meatloaves

Mini Meatloaves, inspired by a recipe in our "Real Lunches, Real Easy" meal plans, are perfect for school lunches and bigger appetites.
3 Reviews / 5 Average
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Print Recipe
Servings: 6 (serving size = 2 mini loaves)


For the meatloaves (adapted from "Real Lunches, Real Easy" School Lunch Meal Plans)

  • olive oil for greasing the pan
  • 2 pounds ground beef can sub other ground meats
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 carrots shredded, about 1 cup
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (see recipe below) plus more for tops
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme

For the BBQ sauce (from "100 Days of Real Food" Cookbook)


For the meatloaves

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a muffin pan with olive oil and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together all the rest of the ingredients until well combined. I think it's easiest to use my hands for this job!
  • Spoon out between 1/3 and 1/2 cup of the meatloaf mixture into each muffin cup. Top each with a spoonful of the remaining BBQ sauce.
  • Bake until cooked all the way through (165 degrees F), about 20 to 25 minutes.

For the BBQ sauce

  • Combine all ingredients in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.


Adapted from "Real Lunches, Real Easy" School Lunch Meal Plans.
We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition Facts
Mini Lunchbox Meatloaves
Amount Per Serving
Calories 180 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 74mg25%
Sodium 370mg16%
Potassium 436mg12%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin A 3527IU71%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 38mg4%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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16 thoughts on “Mini Lunchbox Meatloaves”

  1. My recipe is similar: I use beef and some pork, and instead of BBQ sauce, I use a can of partially-drained Roi’tel tomatoes. I also use a mix of grated/finely chopped carrot, green bell pepper and onion.


    What container is the picture of the lunch in? I have searched the site and wondering if it’s something I could use.

  3. This looks delicious!! If we wanted to do the same and bake part of the recipe in a loaf pan and some in a muffin pan how long should we bake the loaf for?

  4. This looks delicious!! If we wanted to do the same and bake some in a muffin pan and one batch in a loaf pan how long should we bake the loaf for?

  5. What can be substituted for maple syrup? It’s in most of you’re recipes. Our family doesn’t like maple syrup. Thank you.

  6. 5 stars
    I love making meatloaf cups and suggest baking them in silicone cupcake liners. They make cleanup SO much easier!!

  7. I will definitely try this. It looks like something my whole family will eat, and I’m glad it’s gluten free. Its hard to find gluten free meatloaf!

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