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