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!
16 thoughts on “Mini Lunchbox Meatloaves”
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.
Hi Leah, these are from Sistema. You can find them at Amazon, Walmart, and Target. – Nicole
Made these tonight-huge hit with the adults and 2 and 4 year old. Will definitely make a lot more next time to freeze
Hi Jenn! Thanks for sharing. So glad to hear everyone loved them. – Nicole
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?
It can take a while in the loaf pan … 45 min to an hour!
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?
What can be substituted for maple syrup? It’s in most of you’re recipes. Our family doesn’t like maple syrup. Thank you.
For it to stay real food, I would suggest substituting with honey. – Nicole
I love making meatloaf cups and suggest baking them in silicone cupcake liners. They make cleanup SO much easier!!
Thanks for the tip! Anything to make cleanup easier. – Nicole
This is such a great idea! Do they thaw enough in the lunch box, or do you heat them at all before packing? Thx!
If you take them out the night before, they should thaw fine by lunch time. – Nicole
Absolutely brilliant idea ! Will do as soon as the heat leaves. Thank you and have a nice day :-)
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!