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Cheesy Turkey Meatloaf Bites

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Meatloaf is THE all-American food. I always think of it as the dish that you either love or absolutely hate. I've also seen hundreds of recipes for it and people are extremely passionate about what they think does and doesn't belong inside. My mother must have used an entire bottle of ketchup on hers. I'll refrain from commenting.

My version of meatloaf is perfect for the whole family, but especially for your little one. The best part is they're cooked in mini muffin pans, so they only take 20 minutes to bake. I pack mine with vegetables and since there's no salt or sugary ketchup, I add some cheese which makes every bite taste heavenly. Kenya had such a grin on his face when I gave him his first one. He tried to shove the entire thing in his mouth, but luckily I cajoled him into letting me cut it up.

Cheesy Turkey Meatloaf Bites  (24 Mini Bites)

  • Prep Time: 5 mins,
  • Cook Time: 20 mins,
  • Rating:
    Rate this recipe
Meatloaf is THE all-American food. I always think of it as the dish that you either love or absolutely hate. I've also seen hundreds of recipes for it and people are extremely passionate about what they think does and doesn't belong inside. My mother...

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup baby carrots (about 8), chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon worsteshire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon italian herbs
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (whole wheat, preferably)
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, white or orange, shredded
  • 1 pound. ground turkey (93% lean ground meat)

Preparation

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. 2. Spray a nonstick mini muffin tin with vegetable oil cooking spray or grease with oil.
  3. 3. Place all of the ingredients, except the turkey, in a food processor and pulse until everything is combined and the vegetables are in tiny pieces.
  4. 4. Place the ground turkey and vegetable mixture in a bowl and thoroughly combine (using your hands is the easiest way to do it).
  5. 5. Place about a tablespoon of the meatloaf mixture in the muffin pans and pack down with a spoon.
  6. 6. Bake until the mini turkey loaves are cooked through or an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165 degrees F, about 20 minutes.
  7. 7. Cool and serve.
  8. * This recipe can also be baked in a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and baked for 50 minutes.
  9. **To Freeze: After baking, let bites come to room temperature, place in a ziploc bag, label and freeze up to 3 months. When ready, defrost over night in the fridge and place in a 300 degree oven for 5 minutes to reheat.
Cheesy Turkey Meatloaf Bites

Nutrition Information

Related Recipes

Comments






  1. Crystal

    March 24, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Let me tell you, this recipe is AMAZING!!!! For babies (mashed up or pureed with vegetables/rice) kids and adults. I have used this recipe with company and it is so yummy. It’s my go-to recipe for quick, healthy and delicious. I really love that you’re eating your vegetables while enjoying your meat loaf

    I use the grater on my food processor and process/grate all the vegetables (including the onion, even though it gets pulverized) and cheese then mix with the remaining ingredients.
    TO SAVE CLEAN-UP TIME: I shape into little loaves on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
    DOUBLE UP OPTION: These can be shaped into balls, baked and frozen on a cookie sheet then put into a ziplock in the freezer. I add to pasta sauce for a super quick (8 minute) spaghetti and meatball supper!! because the meatballs cook quicker than the small loaves I have them freezing before we sit down to eat

  2. Kisha

    November 6, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Hi, this looks like a great recipe! My kids have dairy allergies. Have you tried an alternative without cheese or would you have suggestions for alternatives? Thanks!
    Kisha

    • catherine

      November 6, 2013 at 9:23 pm

      You can omit the cheese! :)

  3. Diedre

    April 13, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    I just do not know what to do anymore. I can not get my 3 yo to eat any meat or veggie. Now he loves muffins and cheese. Made these with ketchup on the side and he would not even try it. I eat with both my boys and eat the same thing, I cook all meals (no fast food or take out). I also do everything the books say anout feeding kids but nothing seems to work. HELP, what am I doing wrong?

  4. Erin

    March 15, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    I made these with ground beef (93% lean). My 15 month old LOVES them! Love how many veggies are inside of each. I was afraid they wouldn’t hold together because of so much veg but they cooked up perfectly!

  5. Ashton

    February 5, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    Just made this tonight for my 16 month old daughter – it’s a keeper! She ate them right up! Of course I gave them a taste first, and I must say… I will be making this for the adults too! Super moist and full of flavor, as well as healthy on top of it all. Love it! Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Danielle

    February 2, 2013 at 11:01 am

    These are going to be a staple in my house for dinner. Bake once and you have dinner for days. Great way to get veggies into your kids.

  7. Beck

    January 6, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    I’ll have to try this! A word of caution if your babe is allergic to fish – often times Worcestershire sauce does contain anchovies. :-)

  8. Beck

    January 6, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    I’ll have to try this! A word of caution – if your babe is allergic to fish, please note that Worcestershire sauce does contain anchovies (at least the Lea and Perrins brand does). :-)

  9. D's Mom

    August 8, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    I made this last night and it is delicious! We didnt have enough zucchini so I added in more onion and carrot. I made 6 regular size “muffins” and a shallow loaf, baked for 45 mins at 375. I think the loaf could have used 5-10 more minutes. My 16 month old son loved it and I thought it was awesome too. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. Gary

    August 3, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Absolutely delicious! Made it last night. I didn’t have zucchini, but added 1 small stalk of celery and added pinch of Indian spices I had it on hand. Also, I added 1 tbsp of ground oats.
    Big hit with my kids and DH.

  11. Elaine

    July 21, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    What is in “Italian herbs”?

    Also, could I substitute bread crumbs for some quick oats?

    I am thinking about making this for my 1 year old. I hope she likes it!

  12. Nicole

    July 14, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    These were terrific and my kids loved them. We used the leftovers the next night mixed with tomato sauce over whole wheat pasta!

  13. cocovolleyball

    July 10, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    My 15-month old loved these! He never liked meat until this recipe. I used Trader Joe’s panko and soaked it in a little milk. Otherwise kept everything the same.
    I chopped extra veggies in the processor and used them on homemade pizza the next day :)
    Thanks Catherine.

  14. Leesh

    July 8, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    I’ve been making these for my daughter since she was around 11 months old. They are a freezer staple in our house. I switch out cheeses, onion powder for fresh onion, ground chicken for turkey, yellow squash for zucchini. It all works. It’s very versitle.

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  18. Keith's Mom

    January 20, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Made these last night, big hit with my little guy! I made gluten free by substituting G.F. crackers in place of the bread crumbs. I had to blow on three hot from the oven for him to snack on before bedtime!

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  22. amyrhyno@gmail.com

    November 20, 2011 at 8:48 am

    How long and at what temp for regular muffin size muffin tins?

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  24. Erin Rosen

    October 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Great recipe! My kids love these mini meatloaves! But my 6yo insists on dipping his in Krazy Ketchup!

  25. Callista

    October 13, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Just wondering why you couldn’t throw the turkey in with the veggies in the food processor.

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  27. Cassie

    July 14, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    I made this recipe the other night and my daughter LOVED it! Instead of turkey though I used chicken and grated the veggies instead of chopping so I wouldn’t have to use the food processor and it worked great! So excited to make it again :)

  28. Lilit

    May 6, 2011 at 5:05 am

    Can I use chicken instead of turkey?

    • Cassie

      July 14, 2011 at 4:27 pm

      I used chicken the other night and it turned out great!

  29. Melissa

    April 2, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Not sure if anyone has the same problem I have with cleaning the mini muffin tin (mine is a nightmare no matter how much I spray it) I have been using a mini icecream scooper and baking them on a cookie sheet, clean up problem solved! Thanks again for another awesome recipe!!!!!

  30. Melania

    March 14, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    My husband and son will not eat veggies. I made this for them tonight and the LOVED it! They both asked for seconds. This is a great recipe! I freezed the leftovers for quick lunches and dinners. Thank you so much!

  31. Cathy

    February 27, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Great recipe! I doubled the recipe and made one loaf and one min muffin recipe. I added some crushed tomatoes on top too. What a great recipe!!! Thank you!!!

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  34. Marlene

    November 6, 2010 at 11:05 am

    how big of a zuccini? or how many cups chopped? they go from the size of a banana to the size of a station wagon here. :)

    • catherine

      November 9, 2010 at 3:36 pm

      I just use a regular medium size :)

      • Marlene

        November 21, 2010 at 11:40 pm

        I get about 36 or more out of this recipe so I must be using a larger than average zucchini. :) I was worried they’d be soggy with so much zucchini but with a few more minutes cooking time they turned out brilliantly! Hopefully Santa will bring me a food processor for Christmas…I have to hand mince all of this every time I make them! A lot of effort, but so worth it. We pop them into a bowl of cooked pasta with sauce and treat them like meatballs.

  35. Club WET

    November 5, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    This recipe was just awesome. So mush flavor and still on the healthy side. I’m making it again for dinner tonight! =)

  36. Lin

    October 28, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    I was curious if you could eliminate the egg, as well? Is there a substitution you would recommend?

    • catherine

      October 29, 2010 at 1:11 pm

      You can do the 1 tbsp of ground flax seed with 3 tbsp of water solution – I have not tested it so let me know how it goes!

      • Lin

        November 23, 2010 at 2:32 pm

        Thank you for the tip, it worked perfectly!

  37. Caryn

    October 27, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    DELISH!!!!

  38. Jen

    October 20, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Love all of your recipes…but I’m wondering if I could do this without using the egg. My son has an egg allergy. What if I added lots of chicken broth? Any thoughts?

    • Natalie

      January 26, 2012 at 10:46 pm

      I substituted psyllium for the egg. Mix 1 tbsp of psyllium with 3 tbsp water and let sit for a few minutes before adding. You can use this substitute for egg in all kinds of recipes. I did notice that they seemed to take longer to cook and were a bit soggy though. But still delicious!

  39. Julie

    October 18, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Will these hold together if I leave out the cheese?

    • cat

      August 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm

      did you get a reply about making without cheese? my son is allergic and would love to try this . . .

  40. Teagan

    October 15, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    I don’t have a food processor, do you think I could still make them? I do have that old fashioned thing that you turn the handle and the blade spins….we use it to make pesto, etc – do you think that would work??

    • catherine

      October 18, 2010 at 2:50 pm

      Sure :)

  41. Suzy

    October 7, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Catherine – I saw this on the FB site. How do you reheat them if you’re packing them in a bento for lunch?

    • catherine

      October 11, 2010 at 2:45 pm

      Kenya eats his lunch at room temperature since there really is no reheating at most schools. At home, I just pop them in the oven at 300 for 5-10 minutes just until they are warm :)

  42. Vaea

    October 7, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    This recipe was just awesome. So mush flavor and still on the healthy side. I’m making it again for dinner tonight! =)

  43. Maureen

    September 27, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    BTW – I used a loaf pan 375 for 40 minutes & it was perfect

  44. Maureen

    September 27, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    I was really excited and a little nervous to make this. My 3 kids have been terrible @ eating their veggies lately. I needed to get some in somehow. I made a full meatloaf tonight & everyone devoured it, even my picky 3 year old (he is a chicken nugget guy). I was so happy. Thank you for coming up with this delicious, healthy lunch/dinner option. I will be replacing my other meatloaf recipe with this one ;)

  45. Tera

    September 22, 2010 at 10:37 am

    This looks great! What do you think about substituting ground beef for turkey? (I have beef thawing out in the fridge and don’t have time for a grocery store trip today.)

    Thank you!

    • catherine

      September 22, 2010 at 4:20 pm

      Ground beef would work fine!:)

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      • Tera

        September 22, 2010 at 8:25 pm

        It did! I was afraid it would be too fatty, but they were delicious. My 3 year old couldn’t get over them being in a muffin tin – he must have been expecting something sweet, so he rejected it at first. I smooshed one between bread and he was sold. Perfect size. Thanks again.

  46. Liz

    September 21, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Yum! Can’t wait to try this recipe – probably tonight! I have a turkey meatball recipe this just might replace!

  47. Sandy

    September 18, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    I made these for my son for the first time when he was about 12 months old, they are now a freezer staple for him. I like the addition of veggies to the meatloaf. I often snitch a few of them for myself when I defrost them for him. I did make one change – I noticed my son is not a big fan of onion so I eliminated the onion from the recipe and increased both the red bell pepper and the baby carrots to 3/4 cup. He loves these, sometimes plain and sometimes I give them to him with some applesauce to dip them in.

    • Sharon

      September 20, 2010 at 9:00 pm

      Just to clarify…do you bake them and then freeze them or freeze them raw? How long does it take and at what temperature to defrost?

      • catherine

        September 21, 2010 at 5:15 pm

        I bake them then freeze :) After baking, let bites come to room temperature, place in a ziploc bag, label and freeze up to 3 months. When ready, defrost over night in the fridge and place in a 300 degree oven for 5 minutes to reheat.

  48. Lorrie

    August 23, 2010 at 10:33 am

    another hit! we did eat them with organic ketchup though…just can’t do meatloaf without it :)

  49. Becky

    July 4, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    I tried this today for my 11 mo old and he was not too big of a fan. I don’t like meatloaf at all, and I did not think it was too bad, needed salt for me but I am an adult. My question is I had to do the veggies seperate since my food processor bit the dust last night…..could that be part of the reason they tasted kinda soggy….I had to use my magic bullet and food chopper to improvise…any thoughts?

    • catherine

      July 6, 2010 at 2:04 pm

      hmm maybe, If they were a bit soggy, it could have been from your veggies. After chopping them, if you found that there was liquid, just pat it out with a towel to remove some of the liquid. Also, I used lean turkey – was your turkey lean? The fat from the turkey may have also caused it to become soggy. Let me know if this helps, but I am happy you enjoyed them :)

  50. Blanca

    June 28, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    what about temp and time on a small loaf tin?

  51. Melanie

    June 25, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Hi Catherine, love your recipes and want to try this one too! What temp and time would this cook at for regular muffin tins? Thank you. Oh, yeah I voted!

  52. Linda

    October 25, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    This is the best thing I have ever eaten with ground turkey!!!!! It was so yummy!

  53. Neal Sugg

    October 25, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    awesome easy recipe, very tasty, and the little one likes it too@

  54. Lisa Schulz

    August 26, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Our whole family loved these mini meatloaf bites! I am about to make them for the third time this month. It’s very had to find food that my daughter likes and so when I can find something, I stick to it. I love the website and can’t wait to try more recipes. I do have one question about this recipe. My mini muffin tin only holds half the recipe so we end up with 48. I was wondering if I should be using a half a pound of turkey instead of a whole pound or if I’m making the correct amount.