Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Bites
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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:

Jeanette's Healthy LivingBalsamic-Glazed Roasted Vegetable Meatloaf
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Napa Farmhouse 1885My Mom's Meatloaf (Connie's)
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Made By MichelleTurkey Meatloaf
The Heritage CookSucculent Gluten-Free Meatloaf, The Ultimate Comfort Food
Feed Me PhoebeSmoky Meatloaf With Three Paprikas
Virtually HomemadeBacon Wrapped Meatloaf With a Spicy Sweet Ketchup Glaze (Gluten-Free)
DevourPick Your Meat (Loaf): Beef, Pork or Turkey
Dishin & DishesThe Ultimate Southwest Meatloaf

FN DishFor the Love of Meatloaf

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Bites  (makes 30 bites)

  • Prep Time: 10 mins,
  • Cook Time: 20 mins,
  • Rating:
    Rate this recipe
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...


  • 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


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. 2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients to thoroughly combine.
  3. 3. Pack greased mini muffin cups with the mixture. Fill to the top as they will shrink a bit during cooking.
  4. 4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
  5. Note: For a full size meatloaf, press mixture into a 9x5 loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes.
Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Bites

Nutrition Information

Related Recipes


  1. Sarah

    January 13, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    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.

  2. margot

    September 14, 2016 at 7:33 am

    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?

    • C. McCord

      September 21, 2016 at 10:29 am

      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.

  3. ell716

    September 5, 2016 at 6:15 pm

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

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  5. Jen

    October 21, 2014 at 2:10 pm

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

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  7. Kate

    August 7, 2014 at 9:53 am

    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.

  8. annaosterwald

    June 23, 2014 at 5:31 pm

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

  9. mschristina

    April 3, 2014 at 11:09 am

    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. :-)

  10. Kelly

    March 24, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Can you freeze these? Before or after cooking?

  11. Kari

    March 17, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    How many bites are in a serving (looking at the nutritional information)

  12. Kari

    March 17, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    How many bites is one serving?

  13. Patchanii

    February 4, 2014 at 4:33 am

    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

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  17. Annie

    October 16, 2013 at 12:01 pm

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

  18. cooktoeat

    September 10, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    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?

    • catherine

      September 11, 2013 at 11:15 am

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

  19. Sarah

    September 5, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    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?

  20. Courtney

    July 18, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    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:)

  21. susiegould3

    July 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm

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

    • catherine

      July 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm

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

  22. peces517

    July 7, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    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!

  23. barbara anthony

    July 6, 2013 at 11:47 am

    I would like to join the mailing list.

  24. Reynaul

    June 17, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    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!

  25. Vanita

    June 14, 2013 at 8:21 am

    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.

    • Sebas

      February 4, 2014 at 11:10 pm

      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!

  26. Kara

    June 13, 2013 at 2:30 pm

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

  27. KAsey

    June 11, 2013 at 11:02 am

    is it possible to print these recipes? How?

  28. Karin

    May 29, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    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!

  29. marcia

    May 22, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    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!

  30. Amanda

    May 14, 2013 at 5:40 am

    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!

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  32. sheva

    April 29, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    can i omit the cheese with it still tasting good?

    • catherine

      April 30, 2013 at 3:39 pm

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

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  34. D

    April 20, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    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.

  35. LauraU

    April 19, 2013 at 3:41 pm

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

  36. Lois Witmer

    April 17, 2013 at 2:24 pm

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

  37. Ruth Pinnell

    April 15, 2013 at 8:18 am

    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.

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  39. Risa

    April 3, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Another Weelicious home run! I followed the recipe exactly but used leftover home made pasta sauce that had mushrooms and spinach instead of plain marinara. My son loved them! He repeatedly said mmm, mmm and rubbed his tummy as he polished off 3 muffins! I love a recipe that can be thrown together before the oven finishes preheating and tastes great!

  40. Kristen

    March 27, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Do you know what happens if you leave out the egg? I NEED recipes like this but my son has an egg allergy…I don’t give him the substitute either :-/ would something like applesauce be a good binding agent maybe??

    • catherine

      March 28, 2013 at 10:15 am

      I haven’t tested it without the egg, but since it contains breadcrumbs and marinara sauce, I think they might still hold together okay without the egg. I’ve also heard that people soak oats or breadcrumbs in milk, squeeze out the excess liquid and then use that as an egg replacer in meatloaf! Might be worth a try! Let me know how it turns out!

  41. Monica

    March 27, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I’m making this tonite and I’m super excited!! Can these be frozen for a quick meal option later? Would u freeze before or after cooking? How long would u think before it spoils in the freezer? Thanks… love your recipes! Made a whole chicken in the crock pot a few days ago, it was amazingly easy & moist!!!!! – mama to an 11th month old who loves to eat!

    • catherine

      March 27, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      I would freeze after baking, and I don’t freeze things for longer than 4 months!

  42. Noah & Aaron's Mommy

    March 24, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    I noticed that you don’t add salt and pepper to your recipes. I love it actually as I am trying to lower my sodium intake. I just want to make sure that you left them out on purpose and that the recipe listed will produce the expected result.

    • catherine

      March 25, 2013 at 11:16 am

      I don’t use pepper as it is too spicy for my kids! I add small amounts of salt to enhance the flavor of the dishes, but I try to keep it as small an amount as possible. For instance, this recipes calls for 1/2 teaspoon of salt! I test, taste, and feed my kids all the recipe that I put up here so before I’ve shared them with the world I already know that I like the taste and so do my kids!

  43. Stephanie Williams

    March 21, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    These were awesome…husband and 4 year old ate 3 apiece! thanks!! So easy too….we love them here in Louisville! Go Cards…

    • Jenn Holbrook

      March 21, 2013 at 7:38 pm

      Steph, Thanks for sharing this recipe. I will try them with R & C. Did you use Chicken or Turkey?

  44. Shay

    March 12, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Would it work to put cooked elbow pasta in the mixture as well?

    • catherine

      March 13, 2013 at 11:25 am

      That is a very interesting question. I have not ever tried putting pasta into meatloaf!

  45. Nilong Vyas

    March 9, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I think a good vegetarian option would be to use quinoa instead of chicken

  46. Mabel

    March 7, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    How long should I bake if I use ground beef and larger muffin cups? Also, I do not have marinara sauce. Can I use the Ragu pasta sauce instead?

  47. lish875

    March 6, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    I made these today with ground turkey and they were absoultely delicious!! Thank you for this super easy recipe! :)

  48. Amber

    March 1, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    These were a huge hit at my house!! Thanks for all your great recipes!!

  49. vannietakase

    February 26, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    how can you tell when they are completely done?

    • catherine

      February 27, 2013 at 12:58 pm

      Ground chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees fahrenheit! You can also tell if you open one up and it doesn’t “bleed” or the juices run clear.

  50. jeankao

    February 26, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    do you think i could add finely chopped zucchini to this? would it need more or less of any other ingredient since im adding another solid into the mix?

    • catherine

      February 26, 2013 at 6:41 pm

      You could probably add half a cup with no problem or other adjustments needed! I would squeeze out some of the liquid first, though!

  51. Lesley

    February 26, 2013 at 7:40 am

    I made this last night and 4 kids ate it with no complaints or fussing at all. My husband and I even ate some! What a great recipe. Thanks so much!!!

  52. Melissa

    February 26, 2013 at 12:53 am

    Do you mix the marinara sauce in with all of the other ingredients?

    • catherine

      February 26, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      Yes! You mix together all the ingredients!

  53. Melissa

    February 25, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    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?

    • catherine

      February 26, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      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!

      • Melissa

        February 26, 2013 at 1:59 pm

        Thank you! I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  54. Queenie

    February 24, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    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.

  55. Diana @ Eating Made Easy

    February 21, 2013 at 8:13 pm

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

  56. Erin

    February 20, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    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.

    • Heather

      March 13, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      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!

      • Lori B.

        June 11, 2013 at 8:58 am

        I too rarely have breadcrumbs and never think that I have a pantry FILLED will different grains & cereals. I am sure anything from oatmeal to ground up Cheerios type cereal would work. :)

  57. Janel Nielsen

    February 20, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    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” !!

  58. Debbie

    February 20, 2013 at 3:17 pm

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

    • catherine

      February 20, 2013 at 4:52 pm

      25-30 minutes!

  59. Carly

    February 20, 2013 at 2:32 pm

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

    • catherine

      February 20, 2013 at 3:14 pm

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

  60. april

    February 20, 2013 at 1:23 pm

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

  61. Meleah

    February 20, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    What a great idea!

  62. Peggy

    February 20, 2013 at 11:52 am

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

    • Rebin

      February 5, 2014 at 6:50 am

      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.

    • catherine

      February 20, 2013 at 1:18 pm

      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.

    • Ruth

      February 20, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      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.

  63. Meredith

    February 20, 2013 at 11:44 am

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

    • catherine

      February 20, 2013 at 1:19 pm

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

  64. Karen

    February 20, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Can I use ground beef?

    • catherine

      February 20, 2013 at 1:19 pm

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

  65. Nicole

    February 20, 2013 at 11:02 am

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

    • catherine

      February 20, 2013 at 1:19 pm

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

      • Lyza

        February 5, 2014 at 4:42 pm

        Well maciaamda nuts, how about that.

      • Lori B.

        June 11, 2013 at 9:02 am

        These were insanely easy to make and doubling/tripling the batch is a must. Recipes like this give me the convenience of processed food, but none of the chemicals, dyes, etc…

      • Kate

        February 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm

        When freezing, what do you suggest for re-heating?

        • catherine

          February 25, 2013 at 1:54 pm

          Freeze after baking, thaw in the fridge then reheat in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes or in the microwave!