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Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Bites

I remember the first time we gave Kenya a big slab of meatloaf and he just stared at it totally daunted. Can you imagine what it must be like for a kid to see an enormous portion of food on their plate? It helped me to realize that size really does matter, especially when it comes to kids willing and wanting to try certain foods.

You can absolutely make this zesty meatloaf in an 8 x 4 inch pan, but baked into individual bites, just two or three are a perfectly portioned meal for a toddler or kid. These mini meatloaf bites with just a dot of ketchup on top will satisfy everyone!

This post is part of Food Network's Comfort Food Feast. Check out all the post from these talented bloggers_

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Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Bites (makes 30 bites)

Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 20 mins

nut free

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Small Onion, diced
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients to thoroughly combine.

3. Pack greased mini muffin cups with the mixture. Fill to the top as they will shrink a bit during cooking.

4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.



Note: For a full size meatloaf, press mixture into a 9x5 loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes.

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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. My passion is creating simple, healthy recipes that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

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62 comments

  • Nicole

    These look delicious! Will they freeze well? Can they be frozen already cooked?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      They freeze beautifully! You can freeze before or after baking!

      leave a comment

  • Karen

    Can I use ground beef?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      I haven't tried ground beef, but yes I think that would work!

      leave a comment

  • Meredith

    Do you think these would hold up without the breadcrumbs? Thank you in advance! LOVVVVVVE your site.

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      They will be more fragile without the breadcrumbs, but you can certainly leave them out! They might crumble apart a little.

      leave a comment

  • Peggy

    Would ground turkey work? How about tomato paste instead of marinara? Trying to work with what I already have on hand.

    leave a comment

    • Ruth

      Funny - those are the same substitutions I'm planning to make with this recipe tonight! The tomato paste will probably need to be thinned and seasoned to be like marinara.

      leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Yes, ground turkey would work just fine! Tomato paste will probably be okay, but it quite thicker than marinara. So maybe add some water to thin it out a little.

      leave a comment

    • Rebin

      its cool that you didn't order some fancy ass salad. I go to dinner and my fdirnes usually order vodka tonics + chicken salad while I am gorging away on a steak or burgers. Right now I really need that beer on my desk.

      leave a comment

  • Meleah

    What a great idea!

    leave a comment

  • April

    I never think of using ground chicken but I love this idea. Thank you!

    leave a comment

  • Carly

    I was thinking of using shredded chicken. Do you think that would be okay? It will definitely be a different consistency.

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      If you're using raw chicken that should be fine. I wouldn't use pre-cooked chicken because it will dry out!

      leave a comment

  • Debbie

    If I use the larger sized muffin pans, how long should I cook them? Thx!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      25-30 minutes!

      leave a comment

  • Janel Nielsen

    Great site and love it!! I basically do this same recipe but add in one finely shredded carrot and form around Popsicle sticks and freeze on baking paper til solid and then bag and pull out however many I need and fry in a scant bit of oil (straight from frozen) at dinner time... The kids love eating \"chicken on a stick\" !!

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  • Erin

    I made these tonight and they were a huge hit! Me, my Mom, sister, husband, 5 year old, 3 year old twins and 14 month old nephew all loved them. Silly me, I should have doubled the recipe as every last one was eaten :). I used oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs as that's what I do with my usual meatloaf and it worked well.

    leave a comment

    • Heather

      Oatmeal sounds like a great idea! I was just thinking - I don't have any breadcrumbs, what can I quickly use instead, and I know I have oatmeal on hand!

      leave a comment

  • Diana Eating Made Easy

    Great idea with the muffin cups! I'm making mimi breakfast omelets with them this week. Now I want to try this too.

    leave a comment

  • Queenie

    This meatloaf was fantastic, and my very picky 3 year old ate it!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I can't wait to try more of your recipes. By the way, I used oatmeal in lieu of breadcrumbs, and it was perfect--my husband was surprised when I told him, because it isn't noticeable at all.

    leave a comment

  • Melissa

    Would you be able to make this same recipe in a regular sized loaf pan? If so, do you need to change anything? How long would it need to cook?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Yes, you can do this in a regular sized loaf pan! Keep the recipe the same, just increase the cooking time to about 50 minutes!

      leave a comment

  • Ruth Pinnell

    New favorite recipe with the whole family - super easy to make and we all liked them. I made these when the recipe first posted, and tucked them in the freezer for a quick dinner. Just now remembered them and enjoyed with tortellini and a simple marinara sauce. They froze perfectly, and I reheated them for about 12 min in a 350 degree oven. Worked great.

    leave a comment

  • Lois Witmer

    I really enjoy your recipes and would like to be on your mailing list

    leave a comment

  • LauraU

    Any idea what I could use instead of parmesan? My daughter has issues with cheese. Thanks!

    leave a comment

  • D

    This is a great recipe! The meatloaf bites came out very moist and tasty. My son loved them and gobbled down 5 at a time. I froze a bunch of them and they reheated beautifully.

    They were a little onion-heavy for my taste but my son didn't complain.

    leave a comment

  • De Fabuleuses idées Repas Pour Les Petits

    [...] plats remplis de nutriments que vos petits vont dévorer : mac and cheese vert, bouchées poulet-parmesan, muffins mexicains, raviolis en cœur, pesto de kale et je pourrais continuer [...]

    leave a comment

  • Sheva

    can i omit the cheese with it still tasting good?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      You can, but it adds TONS of flavor! If you omit it then I would suggest adding a little extra salt for more flavor!

      leave a comment

  • Bits Of Random BeerCat Brewing

    [...] the hopes of finding some more quick and easy meal ideas to share. Unfortunately both of them (the Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Bites and the Spinach Gnocch-wee) were epic fails and the Littlest Brewster wanted nothing to do with [...]

    leave a comment

  • Amanda

    Just made these tonight! SO GOOD! Lots of flavour, lots of complements and so easy! Thank you so much~will make these again and again!

    leave a comment

  • Marcia

    My 5-year-old son wanted to cook something.
    I pulled up this website and this is the recipe he chose. Improvisations made due to available ingredients
    : we chopped chix breast, then put in blender with sauce (used jar spaghetti sauce), used italian-seasoned bread crumbs+1/4 tsp Emeril's chicken rub spice blend, and made them regular muffin size.
    We tried topping with ketchup and sour cream. Sour cream won.
    He LOVED these!

    leave a comment

  • Karin

    I made these today for my 7 month old and my 8 year old. They both loved it! I used ground turkey because that's what I had in the freezer. It was absolutely delicious. I think I ate half the batch myself. Oops!

    leave a comment

  • KAsey

    is it possible to print these recipes? How?

    leave a comment

  • Kara

    Made these for my 19 month old and family, we all loved them!!! So glad my sister told me about weelicious!

    leave a comment

  • Vanita

    Delicious. I made these last night, and ate two of them with dinner. As they were cooling, I went to bed, and my husband forgot to put them in the fridge over night. I guess they are no longer good? Boo Hoo. I plan to make them again tonight! I know my one year old will love these.

    leave a comment

    • Sebas

      Interesting! I was wondering if you could pvidore a few tips on what some of those small ways to make meals more nutritious might be, or a link to the article you mention? Also, do you know of any research about how what people eat at conferences affects their ability to absorb information?Thanks!

      leave a comment

  • Reynaul

    Very tasty, i cooked them in a regular muffin pan, cooked a liittle too long, my fault though! I used ground turkey and onion powder since that's what I had, worked well. Thanks for another great recipe!

    leave a comment

  • Barbara Anthony

    I would like to join the mailing list.

    leave a comment

  • peces517

    These are one of the best things we have made so far since introducing finger food. So much flavor - the whole family loved them! Absolutely delicious!

    leave a comment

  • susiegould3

    Can you substitute ground beef? Would that change the cooking time?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      You can use ground beef! Cook for the same amount of time!

      leave a comment

  • Courtney

    My family loves these, especially my 13 month old! I have made them with lean ground turkey, and with lean organic ground beef. I used bread crumbs with the beef but only had corn flake crumbs for the turkey, both ways were great and stayed together nicely. My 4 year old has requested I make these for her lunch when she starts school:)

    leave a comment

  • Sarah

    My family LOVES this recipe! Even my picky husband! We were thinking this would make delicious meatballs to have on top of pasta. Any suggestions how long I would need to cook them?

    leave a comment

  • Cooktoeat

    I added some cumin and pepper ...yummy! I got more than 24 mini mufins. I froze the remaining batter to bake for later. Is that ok?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      Yes! Just thaw in the fridge when ready to use!

      leave a comment

  • Annie

    Re: the nutritional info -- is that the amount of fat/protein etc for just one bite/mini muffin? Thanks!

    leave a comment

  • Recipes And Food Posts, November Paloma Cruz

    […] way to pack meatloaf for lunch is to make it in easy-to-pack muffin cups. This recipe for “Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Bites” is a great variation on an old […]

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  • Guest Post: Toddler Bites From Weelicious 100 Days Of Real Food

    […] your child’s food and their body. Some of my family’s favorites are: Chicken Nuggets, Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Bites, Animal Crackers, Whole Wheat Cheddar […]

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  • What’s For Lunch/Dinner: Mini Meatloaves Have Cake And Eat It Too

    […] I felt strongly should not come in loaf form. Bread? Yes. Ground meat? No. But I came across a recipe for mini meatloaves and had all of the ingredients on hand, so thought I would give it a try. It was super quick and […]

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  • Patchanii

    I think some smoked pairkpa, garlic and olive oil would make roasted cauliflower taste delicious! Smoked pairkpa really doesn't have any heat, just a wonderful smokey red pepper flavor. Let me know how it turns out

    leave a comment

  • Kelly

    Can you freeze these? Before or after cooking?

    leave a comment

  • Mschristina

    Hello! I just wanted to say that I love your website - you offer good ideas and this is a great place to turn to when you're stumped for the next food idea for your baby/toddler.

    I've tried many recipes from this site since my son was a baby. He is now almost 2. However, I recently noticed that some of the recipes just don't \"work\" -- either flavor-wise or texture-wise. In the last 6 or 7 recipes, I've had to adjust the proportions of ingredients, change something or add something in, in order for the recipe to \"work.\"

    Now, I know very well that toddlers go through tremendous changes with their taste buds -- one day, they'll lovelovelove something, the next day, they'll hate the same exact thing. But even for an adult tasting some of these recipes, I can see that there are things that can make things just a little bit more toddler-friendly, and still stay within the healthy realm.

    I haven't added my thoughts to the previous recipes I've had issue with. But for this one -- the chicken parmesan meatloaf... my suggestion would be to saute the onions and garlic in a bit of butter or oil before adding to the meat mixture. Sauteing will bring out the sweetness and fragrance of the onion and garlic. Adding raw onion and garlic to the meatloaf - even though all ingredients of the meatloaf will be fully cooked through baking - the \"raw\" flavors of onion and garlic will still come through. For a toddler, this is a major turn off.

    Anyway, hope this helps. :-)

    leave a comment

  • Annaosterwald

    Oops forgot the marinara sauce but still turned out delicious. We will see how the kids like them! Thanks

    leave a comment

  • Kate

    One of the best recipes! Simple, juicy and absolutely delicious! My Marinara sauce had mushrooms in it which made the meatloaf bites even more versatile. My toddler daughter loves them.

    leave a comment

  • Jen

    This is great. I make it at least once a week. Quick, easy, few ingredients, tastes good!

    leave a comment

  • Chicken Parmesan Bites My Mommy Blueprint...

    […] http://weelicious.com/2013/02/20/chicken-parmesan-meatloaf/ […]

    leave a comment

  • ell716

    Has anyone found out how many bites are in the Nutritional Information?

    leave a comment

  • Margot

    hi! I'm going to try these this weekend but only have a full size muffin pan. do you think that's ok and how long would you bake for?

    leave a comment

    • McCord

      That should work out just fine. I would check them at 20 minutes to see if they are cooked through, if not, let them go to 25-27 minutes.

      leave a comment

  • Sarah

    Hi, I used MyFitness Pal to re-calculate the calories for this recipe, I came up with 296 calories for a serving on 6 mini meatloafs, so 5 servings for this recipe is what I come up with for those who are curious.

    leave a comment