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Meatloaf Meatballs

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These easy and delicious meatballs make your grandma’s meatloaf recipe into the best weeknight dinner your family could eat! Tender, flavorful meatballs with a classic meatloaf sauce on top and baked in the oven – these meatloaf meatballs are ready in 30 minutes!

platter of meatballs with meatloaf glaze next to mashed potatoes and corn

Meatloaf is a classic family favorite dinner, and it’s no wonder why. The delicious, tender meat is drizzled with a tangy sweet glaze. It’s like a giant meatball, and its soooo good. But meatloaf often takes over an hour to make, and in today’s age, that just way too long for an average weeknight.

These meatloaf meatballs are perfect because they are small and bake quickly, which means you can enjoy this meal any night of the week!

A plate of meatballs with glaze with a fork and knife

Historically Hungry – Old Recipes Made New

Every month my friend Amy from House of Nash Eats and I get together and recreate a historical recipe. Sometimes we make it exactly with just a few minor adjustments to suit the times, and sometimes we recreate the recipe into something new!

This month is all about the 1950’s, and as luck would have it both Amy and I wanted to make meatloaf, and neither was willing to give it up in exchange for something else – I mean, when you want meatloaf, you want meatloaf!

So we both recreated the traditional meatloaf recipe (which often takes an hour or two to make) and turned it weeknight friendly so your family can enjoy it more often! Amy made these awesome Meatloaf Hamburger Patties, so make sure you check them out!

a plate with meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans

Food in the 1950’s

Food in the 1950’s was a fun and interesting time – for the most part, meals were prepared from pre-packaged goods and were belly filling. America was just coming off of the lean pantries, government rationing and WWII rations, and convenience was the name of the game – TV dinners were the new rage, and things that were canned or frozen were where it was at. Casseroles, meatloaf, grilled meats on the barbecue, and canned soups all reigned supreme.

American homemakers were interested in trying new flavors and recipes introduced by returning GI’s from Europe and the Pacific. The age of Hawaiian-American fare came about, as well as the beginning of international foods entering mainstream American meals.

overhead image of white platter with meatballs and glaze

How to make the best meatloaf meatballs

For the full set of directions, please make sure you scroll down to the recipe card below:

Make the meatballs.

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a rimmed baking sheet (affiliate link) with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, onion flakes, and spices until well mixed.
  3. Mix in the egg until well combined.
  4. Using your hands, add in the ground beef and the ground pork and gently mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
  5. Using a medium sized cookie scoop, form about 18-20 meatballs and them place about 2″ apart on the baking sheet.

Make the glaze.

  1. In a small-medium sized bowl, mix together the ketchup, mustard and brown sugar until combined.
  2. Spoon over the meatballs so that each meatball has a generous topping.

Bake the meatballs.

  1. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until an internal thermometer reads 165.
  2. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!

Recipe Tips

  • Avoid greasy meatloaf by using a lean grass fed beef and mixing it with a small amount of ground pork.
  •  Sometimes I find that meatloaf gets a really weird texture to it. Remedy this by mixing the dry and seasoning ingredients FIRST, and then mixing in the egg and finally adding the meat until just combined with your hands. Overmixing your meatloaf causes it to be tough and weird.
  • Yes, use your hands. They wash, I promise. Using your hands allows you to properly mix things without over mixing. You have more control this way.
  • Use a medium sized cookie scoop to measure out the meatballs – this way they are all uniform in size and cook the same, and you won’t be man-handling the mixture while you form your meatballs – remember, the less you mess with it the more tender they will be.
  • Because we are using a combination of low fat beef and higher fat pork, we want to make sure that we don’t overcook our meatballs, otherwise they will become tough. You want them to be JUST done – so use a meat thermometer and remove them from the oven when they reach 165F.

Serve these with mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and/or creamed corn or a nice salad. Really – these would work well with whatever you want to pair them with.

white plate with three meatloaf meatballs next to platter

Get Your Kids in The Kitchen

This is a great recipe to invite your kids to help make! Its easy, and simple, with just a few steps.

  • Kids aged 1-3 can help you measure and whisk the meatball dry ingredients and the glaze ingredients together and set the table.
  • Kids aged 4-6 can help you do all the above, plus help you mix and shape the meatballs!
  • Kids aged 7-10+ can help you do all the above!

*Please note that these recommendations are generalized, and to please use your personal discretion with your child’s skill level. And always, always supervise! Read more about how to have your children help you in the kitchen.

baking dish with beef meatballs and glaze being added

Food tastes better when its shared! If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and rate below!

Yield: 4 Servings

Meatloaf Meatballs

Meatloaf Meatballs

These easy and delicious meatballs make your grandma's meatloaf recipe into the best weeknight dinner your family could eat! Tender, flavorful meatballs with a classic meatloaf sauce on top and baked in the oven - these meatloaf meatballs are ready in 30 minutes!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

Meatloaf Meatballs:

  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 TBSP dried onion flakes
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 TBSP dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 TBSP mustard
  • 1 TBSP worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lb grass fed ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground pork

Glaze:

  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp dried mustard
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the panko breadcrumbs, onion flakes, oregano, parsley, garlic, pepper, salt, mustard, and worcestershire sauce until well mixed.
  4. Mix in the egg until well combined.
  5. Using your hands, add in the ground beef and the ground pork and gently mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
  6. Using a medium sized cookie scoop, form about 18-20 meatballs and place 2" apart on the baking sheet.
  7. Wash your hands!
  8. In a small-medium sized bowl, mix together the ketchup, mustard and brown sugar until combined.
  9. Spoon over the meatballs so that each meatball has a generous topping.
  10. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until an internal thermometer reads 165.
  11. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 544Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 155mgSodium: 978mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 2gSugar: 33gProtein: 43g

Did you make this recipe?

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Kelly Anthony

Saturday 4th of August 2018

My kids would absolutely love these! (And me toooooo!) I can't wait to serve them up for Meatloaf Monday!

Nicoletta Sugarlovespices

Friday 3rd of August 2018

That looks and sounds like a great recipe for a weeknight meal, but also a weekend activity where everybody can help, have fun in the kitchen, and the best part, eat delicious homemade food!

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